[Introduction] If you are fascinated by the city, soulfully inspired by nature, naturally have an intricate mind, and are confused by statistics, then the urban planning major is for you. Different cultural backgrounds, the history of migration, and geographical environments have aided in the development of unique cities. The urban planning major will lead you to explore how residential, commercial districts, communities, public services, and transportation form the unique characteristics of a city, and how to plan future changes and make decisions that are in the public interest. A comprehensive study of cities, involving all their social, economic, environmental, and political complexities, is essential for a sustainable global future.


Introduction to Canadian Urban Planning Major

Urban planning is an interdisciplinary major that combines humanities, social sciences, law, science, and language studies. Graduates of this major will help solve a series of urban problems. Students will learn about the following four related topics: multicultural cities, safe cities, healthy cities, and sustainable cities. The origin of this series of themes is that as the earth becomes increasingly urbanized, cities become more and more crowded. Not only this, but urbanization has also brought about various problems related to sustainability and health. The diverse and complex urban problems faced by cities all over the world have prompted a growing demand for an interdisciplinary approach to the curriculum of this major.

What knowledge and skills do students learn in urban planning majors in Canada?

As a student of urban studies, you will focus on exploring urban dynamics in the larger society. There is a wide-range of courses.

Courses include:

  • Urban Geography
  • Urban Development
  • Neighborhood and Community Planning
  • Transportation Impact Assessment
  • Urban Ecology

Recommended elective courses include:

    • History
    • Environmental Studies
    • Geography
    • Anthropology
    • Political Science
    • Sociology
    • Psychology

Employment prospects for Canadian urban planning graduates

Graduates of urban studies and planning have the knowledge and technical skills required for a career in any field that requires spatial analysis of a built environment to plan changes (from real estate to public policy or administration). No matter what country, region, city, town, or village, planning is essential. This is required in any administrative area. The planning projects can include many, such as town system planning, urban master planning, Zoning, regulatory detailed planning, constructive planning, urban design, etc. Therefore, there is a great demand for talents in this field. China's urban planning profession started relatively late. There are not many talents in this area, so the prospects are decent. The future employment direction of this major is very broad, and the main occupations are distributed in these fields: design institutes, real estate companies, government planning bureaus, and so on.

Job description of Canadian urban planning

  • Development and zoning coordination: Professionals engaged in urban planning design, architectural design, landscape design, and related research in planning institutes, architectural design institutes or design firms. The work involves implementation zoning design and development.
  • Urban Design Consulting: Staff of the real estate consulting and agencies carrying out the prefeasibility studies of real estate development, design and planning of real estate projects, entrust the design and submit applications to the administrative authorities on behalf of the client.
  • Real Estate Analysis: Staff of real estate companies engaged in the feasibility studies of real estate development, real estate project design and planning. Aside from some other responsibilities, they also guide and communicate with design departments.
  • Project Management: Professionals engaged in urban construction management and independent tasks in urban construction management departments such as the Planning and Urban Design Department, Land Management Bureau, Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, construction committees, and other government macro-economic regulatory departments such as the urban planning commission.

Salaries for graduates of urban planning in Canada

What are the decisive factors of income and how much money do they make each year?

The average salary of a Canadian city planner is $112,515 per year or $57.70 per hour. The starting salary for entry-level positions is $41,277 per year, while the annual salary for most experienced workers is $117,818.

List of majors related to urban planning in Ontario, Canada (1-to-4-year programs)

Name of Program School Type of Credential Open to International Students Start Date
Urban Studies Toronto University Bachelor Degree Open September
Urban Studies McGill University Bachelor Degree Open September
Design in architecture,landscape architecture,and urbanism The University of British Columbia Bachelor Degree Open September
Urban Development Western University Bachelor Degree Open September
Urban and regional planning Ryerson University Bachelor Degree Open September
Urban Planning Fanshawe College Diploma Open January
Urban Forestry Technician Fleming College Diploma Open September
Urban Forestry Algonquin College Diploma Open September

Summary: UtoCanada's views on the urban planning major

Throughout history, cities have been economic, political, and cultural centres of innovation, as well as places of trade, science, social, and artistic creativity. Cities today still play these roles and are made increasingly hospitable to the world’s population, who are moving towards metropolitan areas inhabited by millions of people. Usually, as seen in many Canadian cities, these urban areas are characterized by complex social diversity, sharp contrasts between rich and poor, and a series of planning and environmental problems.
As a highly integrated and interdisciplinary major, Urban Planning is fully integrated with knowledge on land and transportation planning to improve the environment of communities and improving developing or highly developed cities for human habitation. On the other hand, applying to this major is not very difficult. The job market for urban planning professionals in Canada has always been very optimistic. In China, the demand for urban planning talents is also growing. The employment prospects of the urban planning major are very broad and have no limitations. There is also a lot of room for personal growth and developing one’s reputation.