Each year, we work with thousands of Canadians to better understand dozens of policy topics. These people aren’t experts. But because of our work, they don’t need to be.

We take the complicated and obscure, and make it understandable and real. We translate difficult concepts into information that people can use.

  • We showed that understanding what actually happens at an airport the size of a city helps people to see it in a new light.

  • We took transit development and made it into playing cards.

  • We untangled an election to help voters make informed decisions with a few clicks of a mouse.  

This is an important part of our next chapter at MASS LBP. We’ll help identify the information people need to have productive conversations about an issue. Then we’ll create materials and methods to spread it.  

People want to learn. Let’s give them the chance.


Project Profile: Metrolinx Big Move

Nearly everyone has an opinion on how to improve transit in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA). Some days, opinions change depending on the length of the morning commute.

In 2013, Metrolinx - the agency responsible for transportation in the GTHA - wanted those opinions. Looking for funding options for a new wave of transit development, they reached out to MASS LBP to collect public input.

MASS designed a Conversation Kit that communicates the choices. Residents can deal out informational playing cards about vehicles, current transit lines, and future projects. They can leaf through a booklet highlighting regional demographics and ridership broken down by community. They can learn about other major transportation systems from around the world, and discover how they’re funded.

MASS took all this information and more, and literally put it in people’s hands. It’s a compact kit, but it got the conversation - and the city - moving.



Project Profile: Greater Toronto Airports Authority

For children, the airport is a thrilling place. They press their faces against the windows of the terminal, watching enormous planes take flight.

Most adults have lost this sense of wonder. But at Toronto Pearson International Airport, there’s so much to be amazed by.

30,000 light bulbs illuminate the runways, lighting the way for 475,000 flights every year.
Those flights carry 15 million passengers. $1.7 billion in diamonds. $79 million in live lobster.  
And it’s all made possible by Pearson’s 50,000 staff members, who could fill the Scotiabank Arena two and a half times over.

Drawing back the curtain to let people know about the scale and significance of Pearson’s operations reveals that it’s a fascinating place, a world unto itself.

MASS is helping the Greater Toronto Airports Authority tell these stories. Together, we’re starting a new conversation about Toronto Pearson.


Project Profile: Toronto Public Library

More than 300 people ran for city council in Toronto’s 2018 municipal election. In a crowd that size, how do you find the candidates who are vying to represent you? And how do you choose between them?

MASS LBP and the Toronto Public Library set out to fix these problems with Know Your Vote T.O., a voter information and public learning website. Thousands of Torontonians used Know Your Vote T.O. to find their Ward, their candidates, and nonpartisan learning materials on issues from housing to transit. Candidates used the platform, too, to share their positions in their own words with the million members of the Toronto Public Library and with voters across the city.

The Toronto Public Library has elected to share the source code for Know Your Vote T.O. with anyone that would like to use it. The possibilities are endless: Know Your Vote L.A., Know Your Vote Mumbai, Know Your Vote Berlin. Because informed voting is for everyone.