Individual whose vision and passion for cities has had a profound impact on urban health over many years. 

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Senator and Distinguished Visiting Professor at Global Diversity Exchange (GDX) at the Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University

Senator Omidvar is an internationally recognized voice on migration, diversity and inclusion. Jane Jacobs gave us the pivotal ideas, that our space, our home, have profound impacts on the way we live. Today, we live in the age of the sharing economy, an economy that has allowed Canadians to open their homes on the foundation of trust and respect for others. Senator Omidvar exemplified the spirit of this economy well before it developed. It’s in the spirit of Jane Jacobs, her commitment to everyday people organizing and innovating at a micro level, that Senator Omidvar has dedicated her life’s work. It’s only fitting that we confer this award, in the name of a great urbanist, to her.

Ange Valentini, Senior Public Policy Associate for Airbnb presentedSenator Omidvar with the Jane Jacobs Lifetime Achievement Award.


Individual engaging community, government & private sector partners to help regenerate and enhance the public realm in the Greater Golden Horseshoe

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President and Founder of Neptis Foundation

Martha's work with Neptis Foundation has revolutionized the way we make decisions in the Toronto region. Her thinking was that how we build our cities and more importantly, our urban regions mattered.  Neptis focuses on research and education needed for informed decision-making on our built environment.

In addition, previous Urban Leadership Award winner Alan Broadbent, CEO of the Avana Corporation and Chair and Founder of Maytree had this to say about Martha Shuttleworth:

“I think the creation of Neptis is one of the very best acts of philanthropy in Canada. Neptis is very much Martha’s creation from her insight that sprawl and related development patterns needed to be addressed not by rhetoric but by data and analysis, and Neptis has excelled in that regard. It is rare in Canadian philanthropy that a vision is so acute, and an execution so competent, that you have the clear impact Neptis has had. Martha has had good help along the way, particularly by Tony Coombes, but her singular act of philanthropy combined high purpose and benefit to society.”

Bruce Mooney, VP Market Strategies for Loblaw Companies Limited presented  Martha  with the David Crombie Award.


Leader whose bold vision and ability to implement change is improving our communities.

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Head of the Judy and Wilmot Matthews Foundation and urban planner/activist (Mrs. Matthews) and investment banker (Mr. Matthews). 

Judy and Wilmot Matthews are committed city-builders, who believe in the role that not-for-profit organizations and public space play in civic life. They are helping to have helped to realize a variety of initiatives that have enriched Toronto including the revitalization of St. George Street, University of Toronto’s Open Space Master Plan and Harbourfront Centre’s pedestrian piazza and Music Garden. They are also helping Evergreen to develop the Don River Valley Park.  They have also initiated The Bentway, a bold new civic endeavor will repurpose vacant, neglected space under Toronto’s Gardiner Expressway, and turn it into a pedestrian and cycling path, filled with arts and cultural programming that will reflect the openness and diversity of the city.

Laura Dean, associate and a member of Aird & Berlis’ Municipal & Land Use Planning Group presented the Matthews with the City Builder Award.


Emerging leader(s) whose work
is helping improve the health of their community.



Co-Founder and Director of Youth Empowering Parents (YEP)

Agazi mentors, motivates and equips newcomer youth with skills to become mentors to newcomer adults. He is a role model dedicated to improve the lives of those in underserved communities. As co-founder of Youth Empowering Parents (YEP), Agazi helps to provide one-on-one teaching adults, English language and computer skills, starting this program while he was in school. Over 6 years, YEP has grown to 2,500 participants, operating mostly in low-income neighbourhoods across the Greater Toronto Area. More recently the YEP model has been adapted for use in Barcelona, Spain, in a refugee camp in Ethiopia & in rural Niger.

Peter Halsall, Executive Director of the Canadian Urban Institute presented Agazi with the NextGen Award.


Physical project that demonstrates excellence in creativity, relationship to context and community spirit.

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Recognized for its spectacular architectural contribution to the City and outstanding relationship to Toronto's multicultural identity.

In this time of political turmoil the Aga Khan Museum is a meaningful piece of serendipity that we are gathered here to honor. In this time of change, the Aga Khan Museum provides a place of common reflection.  In its location near several dense, urban neighborhoods, it is an invitation to learning. In its representation of unique and influential cultures, it is a place of engagement.  In the diverse scope of its programming, it offers various paths to spiritual rejuvenation. Preparedness is a keystone of my industry as well for if our shared community is to thrive, it needs to withstand not only a changing political culture but a changing environment as well.  If you have not already done so, I urge you to visit the museum. See the beauty of the campus and its collection for yourself.  Be transformed in some small way by the vibe of peace throughout the building and gardens.  Enjoy it as a balance between the somewhat disturbing new reality of our era and the serenity that restores and uplifts.

Sanjay Khanna, Senior Consultant, Strategy, Insurance Bureau of Canada presented Henry Kim, Director & CEO of the Aga Khan Museum, with the Urban Vitality Award