City of Toronto partners with universities on COVID-19 research

The City of Toronto is tapping local universities and colleges for essential research support as it responds to the ongoing pandemic and looks ahead to the region’s recovery.

Along with federal and provincial partners, the city this week announced a new, long-term partnership model with eight Toronto universities and colleges – including the University of Toronto – to lead research related to the pandemic.

In U of T’s case, that includes examining low-income communities’ access to the internet, necessary for online schooling and to receive essential services, and COVID-19’s impact on air quality.

“We welcome the City of Toronto’s collaborative approach to these pressing issues,” U of T President Meric Gertler said in a statement. “The University of Toronto is very pleased to contribute to this initiative, applying our research, leveraging our expertise, and harnessing the creativity of our faculty, staff and students to tackle some of the city’s biggest challenges.

“Strong universities support strong cities, and vice versa.”

The partnership comes as the city faces a second wave of COVID-19 and the province posts record-high daily case numbers. It creates a new avenue for faculty and students to become involved in COVID-19 research and allows the city to leverage world-leading expertise at Toronto’s universities and colleges. Research funding will be provided by the city and Mitacs, a national, non-profit research organization that fosters growth and innovation.

Eight projects have been announced to date, with more to follow. They will be completed between December 2020 and September of next year.

By Geoffrey Vendeville

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