Impact of Sound on Accessibility and Sustainability


This interest group focuses on sound, music, and urban space in Toronto. Cities are noisy places and musical sites as well: bustling neighbourhoods and cacophonous streets are the soundscapes of urban social life; musical genres and scenes are born in cites; the sounds of transportation, construction, and sheer density of humans moving through space overlay birdsong and Toronto’s underground rivers. The sonic city includes the sounds made by elements of the built environment, but also voices, natural and human, expressive of identity, community, and protest – voices spoken or musical, celebratory or dissenting, which intersect with and often disrupt city rhythms. In Toronto, as in most contemporary cities, music, noise, and quiet are contested elements produced, preserved, cultivated, shared, managed, bought, and sold by many parties with different agendas. Sustainable and healthful sonic environments are those that ultimately go beyond individual and community noise-abatement concerns to consider the capacity for imaginative acoustic representation, design, curation and caretaking of those spaces in which we live, work, meet and express ourselve – including the built environment and elements of natural environment within and around the city. Approaching sound environment from the varied perspectives of cultural policy, community outreach and social justice, architecture and design, industry, education, music, environmentalism, and more, our core challenge is to develop an understanding of how the principles of sustainability and accessibility can intersect with sound and music in urban spaces.

Team Lead

  • Sherry Lee, Associate Dean Research, Music (UTSG)


  • Farzaneh Hemmasi, Assistant Professor, Music (UTSG)
  • Nasim Niknafs, Assistant Professor, Music (UTSG)
  • Bina John, Assistant Professor, Music (UTSG)
  • Catherine Moore, Adjunct Professor, Music (UTSG)
  • Stephen Scharper, Associate Professor, Anthropology (UTM) 
  • Daniel Silver, Associate Professor, Sociology (UTSC)
  • Joseph L Clarke, Assistant Professor, Art (UTSG)
  • Brady Peters, Assistant Professor, Daniels (UTSG)
  • Sylvia Coleman, Post Doctorate Fellow, SBEPA/Daniels (UTSG)
  • Richard Marsella, Executive Director, Regent Park School of Music
  • Matthew Fava, Ontario Regional Director, Canadian Music Centre
  • Heather Kelly, Founding Director, Bloor Street Cultural Corridor
  • Mike Tanner, Music Sector Development Officer, City of Toronto
  • Joshua Barker, Associate Professor, Anthropology
  • Aditi Mehta, Assitant Professor, Urban Studies (UTSG)

Past Events

May 2019: Sound-sustainability Intersections in Urban Space