April 18 / 2019


During these past few months I have been helping students plan their next chapter in life, and there is a lot of excitement in the hallways. All 50 graduates have received university acceptances to some exceptional programmes from some of the world’s most selective post-secondary institutions and programmes.

At the same time, it is a challenge to prepare them for a future where many of the jobs that will likely employ them do not yet exist. Manager of A.I.? Low-Orbit solar energy technician? Underwater tidal turbine engineer? Sounds interesting but what are they?

Next week is Eco-Week at The York School so this is a good time to look at future trends and how they relate to the future vocations and the skills our world needs.

There are two mega trends currently that offer opportunity and challenge.

The Urbanization Century

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There are now 7.5 billion people living on earth. 50% live in cities. Over the next 75 years an additional 3.5 billion people will move to cities and everything is going to change. NYC will have a population of 30m, Hong Kong 11.4,, Mumbai will be over 67m, Toronto will be 8.3m. Many more cities in the world will double in size..

Price Waterhouse Cooper projects that the global smart cities market is expected to grow to $ 757.75 billion by 2020. The same report asserts that $8 trillion in infrastructure spending will be needed in NY, Beijing, Shanghai and London in the next 10 years. (Interestingly, I have re-connected with 3 alumni - a lawyer, a planner and an entrepreneur each of whom are engaged in the city-building sector. )

During that same period, environmental pressures will double, and many will tip and collapse (climate change, fisheries, toxins, fresh water...). This future will unfold in our lifetime and be the reality of our children.

The future is developing along two distinct story lines. One positive and one negative. The positive story is being expressed by growing prosperity, political transparency, improving global health and happiness, technological leaps that engage more and more people in meaningful ways, and the accelerating movement if ideas. The other story, the darker one, is about increasing economic disparity, corrupt systems, strained financial markets, exploding urban populations, and deeply declining environmental conditions.

As our socio-economies transition, our role as educators must also change. As we guide our students into this future, there are key skills they will need to lead through the challenges.

Critical thinking, curiosity, collaboration, and creative problem solving will bring about the adaptations we need to make to realize the cities – and world - we want.

The Royal Bank of Canada recently published a report called “ Humans Wanted: How Canadian Youth can Thrive in the age of Disruption”. It is a very important document to read to understand the future job climate.

Six Things our students need to know about the future of work:

1. Analytics are trending
2. Math is unavoidable
3. Firms want adaptable workers
4. Digital fluency is non-negotiable
5. Communication, collaboration and critical thinking will serve you well in every career choice
6. Mobility is a thing - your professional life will involve unexpected twists and turns.

Because we are international, urban and innovative, The York School graduate is well poised to take on the world.

So buckle up Yorkies and grab the handlebars (take the wheel).

David Hanna
Director of University Counselling

ECO-WEEK 23 - 26

(be like John Lennon and ride a bike!)

(be like John Lennon and ride a bike!)


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Did you know you can swim in Lake Ontario? Lake Ontario Waterkeeper works hard to create a swimmable, drinkable, fishable future. #SWIMDRINKFISH . Learn from Shane Schofield of LOW about what you can do to protect your water

Citizen science - When people around the world are saying: “what can I do to help?” LOW established a citizen science program for water sampling.

Swim Guide is a beach information service to answer the question “Where can I swim?”  Swim Guide provides up to date water quality information for over 7000 beaches in 5 countries. Over 1 million people use Swim Guide to find clean places to swim.


Challenge - ‘The average Torontonian spends 80 minutes a day commuting’ the 2nd worst commute time in North America next to L.A.


Learn how to oil a chain, fix your gears, tighten your brakes, replace a cable, repair a flat!

For Eco-Week, The York School Eco-Team invites you to come to the Courtyard with your bike for a Bike clean and maintenance clinic where a staff of trained student bike mechanics from CultureLink will help you spiff up your bicycle for a relaxing summer of riding glory!  

Room for 25 bikes a day so sign up fast and show up with your bike! (No bike? No problem! Skills learning available even if you don’t have the wheels).  

April 25 - For EcoWeek!
11:30  - 3:30

April 26 - For EcoWeek!
11:30  - 3:30

Cost? FREE!!! CultureLink will have 6 bike stands at the ready and the cloths and the oil and the tools and the know-how.

Replacement parts, such as flats, fenders and cables will cost extra.   
No time yourself? Leave your bike behind and get it back squeaky clean for smooth riding!   

Bike donations are also welcome.

Bike Clinic generously provided by The York School Fund.



CultureLink is a settlement and community organization with 30 years’ experience in developing and delivering services to meet the needs of diverse communities. Passionate about providing innovative services, we adapt to changes and create new programs that best respond to and address our clients’ specific needs.

CultureLink launched Bike Hub, an organization that supports local cyclists and fosters a culture of repair and reuse. We help people fix their own bicycles, and provide bike repair workshops on-site and in the neighbourhood.

IMPACT REPORT 2018 - 2019


Have you seen the VR video rendering of our new Junior School Playground? Come see what the children will be playing on in September 2019!

Coffee Connects - Youth & Technology Use: Navigating Rocky Terrain

Last week the YPA welcomed Lisa Pont, an expert in the area of youth and technology use, to share her insights and knowledge around the issues of screen time, social media, online security and more. Find her presentation here.

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