Improve Development | Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics

Improve Development

residential photo of highway

As a city councillor, alumnus Sergio Morales is using his education in real estate and housing to implement sustainable infrastructure development that effectively supports growth in his community.

For Sergio Morales, there was more to his real estate degree than case studies and projects. It was also applying his learnings to the real world as a city councillor in Barrie, Ontario. While an undergraduate business student, Sergio travelled between Barrie and Guelph balancing his studies and a municipal campaign.

Real-world application

“In a development class, we were studying how to host a public meeting,” says Sergio. “One day I had to leave that class early because I had to drive back to Barrie and lead a public meeting for a real development.” From understanding infrastructure development and sustainable growth to learning effective real estate management, his education in the real estate and housing program proved invaluable as a candidate and councillor.

In 2014, he was elected to Barrie City Council in a field of 3 candidates with 51.63% of the vote, being the only candidate in the Barrie election to defeat an incumbent. In the 2018 municipal election, Sergio was the only councillor to be acclaimed to the 2018-2022 Barrie City Council, becoming just the third councillor candidate acclaimed to Barrie City Council in 21 years.

Education and Experience

  • Bachelor of Commerce, Real Estate and Housing (B.Comm. '16)
  • Ran for Barrie City Council in 2014 while an undergraduate student
  • Elected as city councillor for Barrie's Ward 9.
  • Leasing Specialist

Values and Background

  • Born in Colombia
  • Moved to Canada at the age of 7 and to Barrie, Ontario at the age of 9
  • ​Saw an opportunity in municipal politics to create positive change in his community
  • "I didn't see public service as something to be watched from the sidelines. I saw it as a calling."

Active Learning

  • Balanced his business studies with the responsibilties of a municipal councillor for the City of Barrie, commuting between Barrie and Guelph multiple times a week. 
  • Applied course material he learned in the classroom to real-life situations as a councillor.
  • Serves as a council appointee to City of Barrie's Infrastructure, Investment and Development Services Committee, using his degree to solve complex issues in zoning, development, urban growth and infrastructure investments.