Model City Hall
To make Canadian municipal politics accessible to all youth.
– Model City Hall’s Mission Statement
Creating Future Leaders in Politics
Model City Hall is a federally registered Canadian non-profit (986688-4) dedicated to encouraging youth involvement in local politics. Our non-profit is well-known for organizing the Model City Hall Conference, the first conference in Canada to simulate municipal politics for youth at no cost. We hold conferences in the City of Toronto and City of Hamilton. We also host Youth Speak Up events during federal and provincial election campaigns and give youth a forum for their voices to be heard outside the context of the annual conference.
The Model City Hall conference gives students from the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area the opportunity to assume the role of councillors, trustees, and health practitioners to debate municipal topics and collaborate to craft and pass motions. These resolutions are submitted to City Hall officials, creating a dialogue between the decision makers of today and tomorrow. Participating in these committees allows student to experience municipal politics from a hands-on perspective. Students learn about policymaking and sharpen their leadership, critical thinking, and public speaking skills.
Why we got started
According to the City of Toronto, voter turnout during the 2014 municipal election was approximately 54.67%, with eligible voters aged 18 – 24 comprising the bulk of abstentions. There are many factors associated with a lack of turnout, but the problem still stands: youth are disengaged from local politics.
Although opportunities to improve civic engagement among youth such as Model Parliament and Model UN are available, many are cost-prohibitive and focus on international, federal, and provincial politics. Model City Hall aspires to attract youth from all walks of life, including youth from low socioeconomic neighbourhoods and other marginalized backgrounds.
What Does Model City Hall Do?
Free Conferences & Events
We host annual, free conferences where students will play the roles of councillors, trustees, and health practitioners to debate and craft resolutions. We also host in-person and online Youth Speak Up events for youth to engage in local politics.
We welcome students from low-income communities and other identities and marginalized backgrounds. Model City Hall aims for diversity and inclusivity.
We partner with universities, school boards, and non-profit organizations and charities to enable groups to host conferences and create opportunities for students to learn about political and policy processes.
Connecting Youth and Leaders
We help facilitate the creation of resolutions that are submitted to City Hall officials with the goal of creating a dialogue between the decision makers of today and tomorrow. In addition, invite prominent politicians, trustees, journalists, and non-profit leaders to our events and empower students to directly engage with community leaders.