University of Toronto

Innis Alumni & Friends

Brad Doner

Class of 2013 – HBA, Innis, USP

Brad Doner, a mature student currently completing a double major in Urban Studies and Human Geography at Innis College, is a self-described Post-Punk Renaissance Man.

Brad is a mature student currently completing a double major in Urban Studies and Human Geography at Innis College. During this time, Brad has actively volunteered his time both on campus as a three-year executive member of the Urban Studies Student Union (URSSU) where he has served as President, VP, and Communications Director, and off campus through various community and city building organizations. Music, travelling, and year round cycling are also major passions.

A self-described Post-Punk Renaissance Man – Brad’s previous life experience has been full of many ‘What am I going to be when I grow up?’ moments. Over the last twenty years Brad has managed independent bands, promoted shows, acted in a couple of indie shorts and music videos, worked for three NDP candidates, written music reviews, and even had a couple of poems published. All of these pursuits being subsidized by jobs in the service industry. However, it was through a now eight-year involvement with Active 18 Community Association that provided the main catalyst for a return to school in search of new career opportunities.

Active 18 is a citizens, residents and business-owners association located in city council Ward 18 that engages the neighbourhood in discussions with the city, planners, and the developers for a shared vision for future development of the area. Brad as a longtime Steering Committee member has been on the frontlines of highly publicized urban planning battles/accomplishments in his Parkdale/West Queen West neighbourhood since October 2005. In this time Brad has spoken at a press conference, participated in two design charrettes, held meetings with developers, lobbied politicians, and given numerous public presentations on citizen participation in city planning,  – the first one as the academic seminar guest speaker for the Urban Studies Student Union (URSSU) at Innis on gentrification issues concerning WQW.

In March 2012, Brad co-coordinated a well-attended “giant Active 18 neighbourhood warming party” for residents, developers, and city councillors at the historic Great Hall, in an effort to get newer residents more engaged in their neighbourhood. You couldn’t ask for a better internship into urban planning and city politics then what Brad has experienced over the past few years.

Brad also volunteers for the West End Food Co-op/Sorauren Farmer’s Market from making coffee, washing dishes to community outreach, and has been traffic marshalling for Pedestrian Sundays in Kensington Market since 2011. With two classes to finish in the winter term, Brad is currently working at the Innis Cafe, while seeking school related work and exploring college graduate school options building on his university education to encompass a broader range of skills. Long and short term goals include ongoing community and city building work, and advocating for better bike infrastructure through volunteering while finding a graduate program with guaranteed work placements.


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