Civic Tech Toronto invites you to CodeAcrossTO - a civic hackathon where you can take on public challenges using design approaches. No technical background is assumed nor required.
CodeAcrossTO is a volunteer-run civic hackathon held each year on
Our format? Come for challenges that speak explicitly to Toronto's sustainable future, facilitated by rad folks like Law & Design Colab (working to improve legal accessibility), OPIRG Toronto (environment/social justice research and action group), FreeGeek (educational and reusable tech, and Toronto Environment & Energy (driving Toronto's #TransformTO climate action plan forward).
Attendees can join a challenge that interests them for the day. There are broadly four steps to our hackathon:
1. Research and map our community's diverse needs
2. Think tools, sustainability, technology
3. Build solutions in breakout groups
4. Share progress
Unlike traditional hackathons, we're not expecting a working prototype at the end of the day, but the foundation for a thoughtful solution to the problem at-hand. Think of CodeAcrossTO as a pop-up public process incubator: to build connections and have enough fun doing it that we continue long after the event is done.
This year we're excited to announce our theme:
Toronto's Take on Sustainable Development
Goal 1: No poverty Goal 2: Zero hunger Goal 3: Good health and well-being Goal 4: Quality education Goal 5: Gender equality Goal 6: Clean water and sanitation Goal 7: Affordable and clean energy Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth Goal 9: Industry, innovation, and infrastructure Goal 10: Reduced inequalities Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production Goal 13: Climate action Goal 14: Water resource conservation Goal 15: Biodiversity, forests, desertification Goal 16: Peace, justice, and strong institutions Goal 17: Partnerships
Our Challenges: Going From Local to Global
To get to the above goals, we will tackle challenges that speak to Toronto's sustainable future. Each challenge will allow participants to brainstorm and exchange perspectives, learn new things, and drill down deep on specific solutions. Written in parentheses are some of the work this year's facilitators lead on a day-to-day basis.
Making our built environment more accessible (CNIB)
Expanding access to reliable internet & hardware (FreeGeek Toronto)
Reducing individual carbon footprints (Carbon Conversations, Toronto Environment & Energy)
Reducing waste & utility consumption in our everyday spaces (Toronto Environment & Energy, The Atmospheric Fund)
Legal accessibility: Redesigning the Ontario Standard Form Lease (Law & Design CoLab)
- Facilitating settlement for newcomers in Toronto (iSchool Justice Innovation)
*Some challenges have been modified to reflect facilitator schedule changes.
Location & Accessibility
Artscape Daniels Launchpad is on the 4th floor of the East Tower on 130 Queens Quay East.
The building is a Platinum LEEDS-certified building, is wheelchair-accessible and AODA-compliant. There are accessible, gendered, and non-gendered washrooms. Please scroll down for additional FAQs.
I am not a technologist and I have not attended a hackathon before
Fantastic! Come with your enthusiasm for making Toronto more sustainable. Your input is valuable and we would appreciate having you there. No technical background is assumed nor required for participants.
I have attended a hackathon before
Also excellent! You will likely find CodeAcrossTO to be a non-traditional hackathon based on collaboration and deliberation.
Do I need a team? How prepared should I be?
You do not need a team! Come as you are, though of course we'd love for you to spread the word to friends. We encourage all participants to do two things: 1) maximise the number of strangers in your group, and 2) keep an open mind and try something new.
I am interested in attending but am concerned about barriers to participation
We are 100% committed to making this event as accessible as possible. We are also happy to waive the registration fee to eliminate any financial barriers to participation. Co-chairs, Alex and Laura (firstname.lastname@example.org) are happy to follow up on any specific concerns.
Are there ID or minimum age requirements to enter the event?
No. This will be an all-ages event though please note it is not designed specifically for those younger than high school. All minors must be accompanied by a guardian.
What about food and refreshments?
No one can hack on an empty stomach! We'll provide light breakfast, all-day coffee, lunch, and snacks throughout the day. We'll do our best to acommodate different dietary restrictions. Please reach out if you have specific concerns.
What do I wear?
Anything that's comfortable and will keep you warm on your way in! There will be a self-service coat check.
What are my transportation/parking options for getting to and from the event?
There is underground, third-party parking. The closest subway station is Union Station. From there, the 6 and 72 buses will take you to Lower Jarvis St and Queens Quay East. The stop is right across the street from the building, which is on the north side of the street.
What can I bring into the event?
We encourage you to bring laptops, tablets, chargers, crafting supplies, a reuseable water bottle and anything else you need for a productive day.
How can I contact the organizer with any questions?
Co-chairs, Alex and Laura (email@example.com) are happy to follow up on any specific concerns.