Day 1 | Opening: Setting the Stage and Why Downtowns Matter to the Canadian Economy

Downtowns are the heart of a city—and having a healthy downtown is essential to having a strong city and region. Canada’s downtowns generate a huge percentage of our country’s economic wealth and cultural vitality. Canada’s eight largest metropolitan areas generate 55% of Canada’s GDP and are hubs of activity for commercial, cultural, educational and civic institutions. What are the key challenges facing downtowns as we recover? And what actions need to be taken to address them?