Eligibility, Expectations and How to Apply



The Planning Program at the University of Toronto invites applications from accomplished practitioners and scholars who wish to spend a period of professional leave on campus contributing to the pedagogical and research activities of the Program.


The John Bousfield Distinguished Visitor in Planning was established through a major donation and a matching grant by the University of Toronto. In addition to honouring a distinguished Canadian urban planner, the visitorship enables the Planning Program to bring to the University accomplished individuals who can teach, give public lectures, and participate in collaborative research projects with students, faculty as well as the broader community beyond the University on issues of immediate concern. Located in one of the most diverse and forward-thinking cities in North America, the Planning Program offers its students a dynamic blend of critically engaged theory and pragmatic methodologies.

The position is intended to offer the visitor an opportunity for research, writing and reflection, while also enhancing the learning experience of students in the Program in Planning, providing diverse and innovative perspectives on contemporary planning issues, and enhancing connections between the Planning Program and the community at large. Topics and issues should address any of the Planning Program’s five areas of specialization: social planning and policy, urban planning and development, economic development planning, environmental planning, and urban design. We encourage applications from those whose work aligns with the Program’s commitment to humane city-regions, healthy environments and social well-being for everyone (especially, for those who have been historically marginalized through traditional development practices); we strive to foster places that are livable, equitable, and sustainable (see our mission statement for more).


The Planning Program invites applications from accomplished practitioners and scholars of any citizenship and all backgrounds who have substantial planning experience in public, private, non-profit or community organizations, in local, national and/or international venues. The program especially encourages applications from those whose backgrounds and viewpoints are currently underrepresented within planning. Visitors are expected to contribute to the Planning Program through [a] teaching a course or workshop, [b] expanding or developing collaborative research, and/or [c] extending or developing a collaborative planning project. Visitors will also be invited to give one or more public lectures or other type of public presentation.

The period of residency and the amount of funds are flexible to accommodate the varied schedules and needs of applicants. The length of stay must be concentrated enough to enable each visitor to become involved in the teaching and related activities of the Program, and to provide meaningful opportunities to interact with faculty, students and local community stakeholders. For those residing within the GTA one or two days a week in the Planning Program might be combined with ongoing responsibilities to a place of employment. The Planning Program can support the visitorship with a stipend of up to CDN $50,000 depending on available funding, the duration of the visit, and the intensity of the period in residence at U of T. Additional funds may be available to offset some of the costs associated with conducting research and/or dissemination of findings.

Applications consisting of a curriculum vitae and a 2 page plan of the individual’s proposed activities should be sent by email attachment to the Director of the Planning Program and Chair of the Department of Geography and Planning, Michael Widener (chair@geog.utoronto.ca and or michael.widener@utoronto.ca) by April 5, 2024. Please address inquiries to the same email address.