News related to Rural Planning and Development

The Future of Rural Ontario and the Role of Immigration

For much of rural Ontario, there is a struggle to retain existing population numbers.  With low birth rates, outmigration and an aging baby boom population there is a significant risk of population loss (and in many rural communities this is already happening).  The opportunity for rural communities is to increasingly attract immigrants.  Recent research identifies success stories from across the province and establishes best practices that can help rural communities to succeed in stabilizing, and potentially growing their population.

SEDRD Students Experience Colonial History from an Indigenous Perspective

Graduate students from the Rural Planning and Development and Master’s of Landscape Architecture programs took part in an interactive exercise to learn about the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada, and the implications of the evolving relationship and colonial policies.  The activity was offered as part of the newly developed Contemporary Aboriginal Issues course offered by Dr. Sheri Longboat in the Rural Planning and Development program. 

RPD Students Help Seaforth Community Members with Ideas for Downtown Facelift

Rural Planning and Development graduate students are currently working on a project for Professor Wayne Caldwell's Advanced Planning Practice course to help Seaforth community members with ideas for downtown facelift.

View of main street in downtown Seaforth, Ontario
View of downtown Seaforth, Ontario (picture courtesy of Huron Expositor).

New SEDRD Director Named

Prof. Sean Kelly has been appointed as the new director of the School of Environmental Design and Rural Development (SEDRD) effective January 1, 2017.

 “I cannot think of a more exciting time to undertake this leadership role for SEDRD,” shares Prof. Kelly. “This school has some of the most reputable programs in Canada and it’s anticipated that the next five years will bring some unprecedented changes with faculty, curriculum and facilities.” 

Winter 2017 GTA Applications Due November 22, 2016

The Winter 2017 SEDRD Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA) positions have now been posted. The deadline for applications is November 22nd, 2016. In order to be considered for a position, you must apply online at

Rural Talks to Rural

Professors Al Lauzon and Wayne Caldwell in the School of Environmental Design and Rural Development were quoted in the recent article in The Western Producer called “Rural residents, gov’t need to adopt positive attitudes”

This article brings a rural lens to important community issues.  It also speaks to the opportunities that exist for rural communities.



Gibson presents to Swedish Government on Canada’s Rural Policy Experience

On September 12, Dr. Ryan Gibson presented to the Swedish Agency for Growth Policy Analysis in Stockholm. The workshop brought together researchers from England, Finland, Norway, and Canada to discuss how governments can ensure the perspectives of rural residents are incorporated before new policies and programs are created. The Swedish Agency for Growth Policy Analysis is mandated to strengthen Swedish competitiveness and to grow the Swedish economy through job creation and business growth. 

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