Town & Gown Association of Ontario


Keep up to date with news of current Town-Gown relationships in action!

TGAO Webinar – Roundtable on Engaging Commuter Students

February 28, 2019

As commuter student populations continue to grow on many campuses, we will discuss emerging practices, share programming initiatives, and identify how we can create environments that provide commuter students with a sense of belonging on post-secondary campuses and their communities. This webinar is curated for post-secondary staff who work directly with engaging commuter students in campus and community activities and others with an interest in this topic. Send questions in advance to Kathryn Hofer at khofer@uoguelph.ca.


Federal support helps Western researchers make “a real impact” for at-risk youth

February 15, 2019

A team of researchers at Western University have received $5M from the Government of Canada for programming that supports healthy relationships for at-risk youth. According to a Western release, the funding will enable the researchers to engage with more than 2,600 youth and provide training and resources to 540 facilitators and 875 pre-service educators across Ontario, Alberta, and the Northwest Territories. “Our programming has been shown to reduce teen dating violence – but its impact is much broader,” said Education Professor Claire Crooks. “Our positive youth development approach gives youth the skills they need to develop healthy relationships, improve their mental health, and minimize problematic substance use.” 

Western University

Embracing the town and gown revolution

February 12, 2019

In one of the final events of the University of Stellenbosch’s centenary year, the rector of the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa, Professor Wim De Villiers, convened a ‘town and gown’ conference on 29 and 30 November 2018. The myth of the ivory tower was shattered. The conference illustrated that there is no longer a zero-sum calculation between civic engagement and academic excellence. In fact, it was revealed that in the Global North the closer the co-operation and the better the understanding of the separated but connected roles of town and gown, the greater the rewards for both parties.

University World News

Provincial intervention is cutting into Canadian university autonomy: Study

January 31, 2019

A new study has found that six research-intensive universities across Canada—Dalhousie University, l’Université de Montréal, l’Université du Québec à Montréal, the University of Toronto, the University of Alberta, and the University of British Columbia—are “experiencing increased requirements for accountability, and increasing pressures to respond to government priorities.” Co-author Glen Jones attributed greater capacity for research and knowledge mobilization, as well as the fact that more people are attending universities, as major factors in this trend. Trust—or lack thereof—between governments and institutions is also said to have contributed to the pattern of decreased autonomy cited in the study. The authors note, however, that the relationships between universities and provinces have undergone distinct historical trajectories that differ on a case-by-case basis. 

University Affairs

UVic, SFU, Heiltsuk Nation collaborate to launch website

January 29, 2019

UVic, SFU, Heiltsuk Nation collaborate to launch website The Heiltsuk people, Simon Fraser University, the University of Victoria, the Hakai institute, and Greencoast Media have launched “Húy̓at: Our Voices our Land,” a website that illuminates thousands of years of Heiltsuk Nation voices and history. The website is the result of over eight years of collaboration between the partners and grew from the community’s desire to present their connection to their lands and seas for their own communities and others. “With this publicly accessible website, we’re sharing our inseparable connection with our homelands as it holds true for all First Nations up and down the coast,” said Heiltsuk Chief Marilyn Slett.