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Toronto vies for title of Intelligent Community of the Year

Louis Zacharilla is a social entrepreneur credited with initiating the global Intelligent Community movement. He appears regularly in the media, and writes about how to build more holistic, creative and culturally relevant places that stimulate economic activity.

International competition judge will tour the city's hotspots for innovation and culture

Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) co-founder Louis Zacharilla arrives in Toronto today for an official Top 7 Intelligent Communities site visit, an important step in our city’s bid to be named the Intelligent Community of the Year for 2014.

Toronto's site visit will highlight for Mr. Zacharilla just how our city's vibrant cultural assets augment and enhance our work to build an Intelligent Community. This year’s official tour takes place Tuesday, April 15 and Wednesday, April 16. The tour showcases Toronto’s robust ecosystem of innovation programs, digital policies and advocacy initiatives. In addition, this year’s competition theme focuses on  culture, drawing on the ICF's recent white paper Community as Canvas: The power of culture in the emergence of Intelligent Communities

During the two-day site visit, Mr. Zacharilla will visit some of the city’s leaders in innovation, information and communications technology, culture and education. Tour stops will focus on Toronto’s successes in:

  • Building next-generation broadband infrastructure
  • Bridging gaps in Internet access through “digital inclusion” initiatives
  • Supporting the development and growth of a knowledge workforce
  • Facilitating innovation in multiple sectors, like government, education, science and technology
  • Promoting the ideals of the “Intelligent Community”
  • Cultural production and creation, including the film industry and vibrant culture of festivals and events


Winning the prestigious title of “Intelligent Community of the Year” delivers more than just bragging rights – cities that have taken home the top award have been distinguished on the global stage as places with strong leadership and strong infrastructure – places that are well-prepared to compete for business, investment and jobs in the new knowledge economy.

The tour will include stops profiling programs at the City of Toronto, the Art Gallery of OntarioOCADU, theOntario Research and Innovation Optical Network (ORION)MaRS Discovery District, the Southern Ontario Smart Computing Innovation Platform (SOSCIP), George Brown College’s Digital Media & Gaming Incubator, Artscape’s Daniels Spectrum in Regent Park (including the Centre for Social Innovation, Art Heart, Regent Park Film Festival, Native Earty Performing Arts, Regent Park School of Music, and the Paintbox Bistro), Waterfront Toronto, the Screen Industries Research and Training Centre at Pinewood Studios, the Toronto International Film Festival, and the Evergreen Brickworks.

Join the discussion online using the hashtags #ICFTop7 and #InnovateTO. Follow @thenewblueedge on Twitter for live tour updates and a look behind the scenes at our city's unique culture of innovation. 

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Toronto vies for title of Intelligent Community of the Year
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