Downtown Recovery: What's Next for Toronto's Real Estate Markets?

When and Where

Monday, December 05, 2022 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Desautels Hall
2nd Floor South Building, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto
105 St. George St, Toronto, ON M5S 3E6, CA


Karen Chapple, Director of School of Cities
Nathaniel Baum-Snow, Professor of Economic Analysis and Policy
William Strange, SmartCentres Chair of Real Estate; Professor of Economic Analysis and Policy
Moderator: Aradhya Sood, Assistant Professor, Economic Analysis and Policy Area (UTSC), University of Toronto


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Co-Hosted By: Rotman School of ManagementCentre for Real Estate and Urban Economics

Event Synopsis:

In Spring of 2020, downtown Toronto shut down. Workers were asked to stay home, and businesses were asked to adopt low-contact models. As of Fall 2022, downtown remains far from fully reopened. Some commenters wonder whether city lights have been dimmed, never to fully sparkle again in our lifetimes. This event will explore the forces that have governed the pace of downtown reopening, how Toronto compares to other cities in this regard, and what a sluggish reopening means for business and the economy.

About our Speakers: 

Nathaniel Baum-Snow holds the Premier's Research Chair in Productivity and Competitiveness and is a Professor of Economic Analysis and Policy. He has research interests in urban and real estate economics, labor economics and economic geography. Recent research includes studies about housing supply and affordability, productivity spillovers that operate between firms at hyper local spatial scales and the causes and consequences of neighborhood change. Past research also includes investigations of reasons for changes in the spatial organization of economic activity in U.S. and Chinese cities, reasons for which workers earn more and have more dispersed wages in larger cities, and the consequences of transportation infrastructure investments on urban growth and welfare. He is a Managing Editor at the Journal of Urban Economics.

Karen Chapple, Ph.D., is Director of the School of Cities and Professor in the Department of Geography and Planning at the University of Toronto. Chapple studies inequalities in the planning, development, and governance of cities and regions throughout the Americas. Her recent publications include “Pandemic polycentricity? Mobility and migration patterns across New York over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic” (Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society). In Summer 2022, Chapple launched to track pandemic recovery patterns in North American downtowns. Chapple is a Professor Emerita of City and Regional Planning at the University of California, Berkeley, where she served as department chair and held the Carmel P. Friesen Chair in Urban Studies. She holds a B.A. in Urban Studies from Columbia University, an M.S.C.R.P from the Pratt Institute, and a Ph.D. from UC Berkeley.

William Strange is a Professor of Economic Analysis and Policy at the Rotman School. William is currently Editor of Journal of Urban Economics (with Stuart Rosenthal), and he served in 2011 as President of the American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association. He works in the areas of urban economics and real estate. His research has considered agglomeration, industry clusters, labor market pooling, skills, private government, real estate development and real estate investment.

Moderator: Aradhya Sood is an empirical IO economist with research interests in Urban and Spatial Economics and Applied Microeconomics. Her research has focused on studying historical factors and current policies associated with land, urban development, and education and their effects on growth and social and economic inequality.

Event Logistics:

This event is available to attend in-person or virtually via livestream.

Rotman Events is committed to accessibility for all people. Please contact us no later than 2 weeks in advance of this event if you have any accommodation requirements (, Megan Murphy).

In-Person Ticket Details:

The event will be hosted at the Rotman School of Management (105 St. George St., Toronto, ON M5S 3E6).

Your registration includes a seat at the session and access to a video replay of the session for 30 days.

Livestream Ticket & Book Details: 

Rotman Events will email registrants a link to the livestream. 

Your registration includes access to the livestream and video replay for 30 days. 


30-day Catch-up Viewing: 

Unable to attend the event due to scheduling conflicts? Not to worry. All attendees (in-person or livestream) can access the full recording on-demand for one month after the live event.

Questions:, Megan Murphy

Contact Information