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Aviva Levy

Social Housing Consultant, City of Toronto


Year of Graduation: 2012

Prior Education: McGill University, BA, Canadian Studies

Prior Experience: OLIP Intern, Queen’s Park; Summer Student, Ontario Public Service

MPP Summer Internship: Research Associate, Tower Renewal, City of Toronto

What influenced your decision to attend SPPG?
The reputation of a small, professional, rigorous academic environment that’s situated in the best city in the world.

What is your favourite memory of SPPG?
The quantitative methods course I took in my second year. It was grueling, but when I look back, it was incredibly useful. The class was tiny – no more than 6 of us. We bonded over our struggles to complete the regular problem sets – but the relationships I built among my classmates and with our professor made the course one of the most memorable and rewarding.

What is a typical day like at your current job?
I work on a number of policy files at the City, which allows me to write reports for City council on topics such as housing stabilization programs for clients on social assistance and employment programs for newcomers. I also support the development of our divisional strategic priorities and service integration initiatives.

What advice would you now want to give to yourself on your first day as a MPP student?
Take advantage of the fact that this may be the last time you are a student. Join organizations with student rates. Go to events at two in the afternoon. Explore all the libraries on campus. And eat a lot of free pizza!

What are your favorite Toronto activities, places or restaurants?
I absolutely love local history, so in my spare time I enjoy going on walking tours to learn about our City’s past. I also take night courses at the U of T School of Continuing Education on Toronto’s History. To indulge my passion even further, I’m researching the history of my 88-year-old house at the Toronto Archives.

What have you done or are doing now that you believe has the most impact?
Working at the local level is by far the most impactful work you will ever undertake. My projects have real, tangible and immediate impacts on the residents I serve. I’m proud to work for an organization that so meaningfully improves the lives of my fellow Torontonians.

What book are you reading now?
I just finished “Floating City: A Rogue Sociologist Lost and Found in New York’s Underground Economy.” It’s by one of my favourite authors: Sudhir Venkatesh. His book “Gang Leader for a Day” is probably the best thing I have ever read.