Pickering is committed to intelligent community development to create a more connected, engaged, inclusive, and sustainable City. Advancing our broadband and information and communications technology will enhance the quality of life for those who live here, and play a critical role in generating economic growth and employment opportunities for Pickering.

Intelligent Community Awards  

The Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) has recognized Pickering as a Smart21 Communities of 2023, 2018 and 2017. The award program recognizes the world's leading municipalities that are successfully leveraging the power of technology to develop inclusive and prosperous communities.

Visit intelligentcommunity.org for more information on the Intelligent Community Forum and the Intelligent Community of the Year awards.

ICF released a comprehensive ranking of intelligent communities grouped by population, naming Pickering Top 10 by population of 50,000-100,000.

Some of Pickering's smart initiatives include:

Broadband Strategy / Accessible and Affordable Internet

Durham Region and the City of Pickering are focused on driving broadband availability throughout the region and creating a digitally connected community. This includes ensuring equitable and affordable broadband access in all of our rural communities. Broadband availability is now vital, not only in delivering the City’s services and interacting with residents, but as an essential tool for citizens and businesses as they connect, communicate and contribute to our community.

To deliver on this initiative, the Region is preparing to launch a survey coordination to residents and businesses to learn more about their current broadband situations. We hope the responses will shed further light on the exact trouble areas and the specific nature of the problem. Watch durham.ca for more information on the survey.

In the meantime, we are increasing co-ordination and communication with all stakeholders. This includes studying ways of streamlining processes and removing barriers for service providers to reach our rural communities.

The following projects aim to provide residents with equitable access to internet:

  • The City is pursuing a Broadband Implementation Strategy to help plan for the development of infrastructure required to provide affordable and accessible internet throughout Pickering. View the Durham Region Broadband Strategy document.
  • Our Dig Once Standard was adopted by Council in 2016 and means that any future City road construction will include an additional conduit to accommodate fibre optic cable (internet).

  • In addition to traffic, environmental, and other studies normally required to support new real estate projects, developers are now required to provide an Information and Communications Technology Implementation Plan that shows how internet connectivity and communications technology objectives will be met. 
  • Official Plan Amendment No. 31 (approved by City Council, June 2018) means that information and communications technology considerations are now part of the development approval process.

  • Pickering Public Library Connects (PPL Connects), is an outreach program that offers free access to internet and technology skills training. The Library also loans out laptops and portable hotspots for those in need.
  • Access Pickering features 50 permanent wireless access points across the City, which currently sees over 7,500 residents connecting every month.

Digital Skills Training

The City aims to bridge the digital skills gap by providing free education on the skills needed to be successful in today's technological environment.

The Library's iHelp Service Desk offers free one-on-one advice and training, and is open 7 days a week, assisting over 17,000 clients per year.  

The Library also offers free instructor-led and online learning opportunities ranging from basic computer skills to more complex topics, such as Computer Security, 3D Printing, and Circuits and Robotics.  

With a library card, residents can also take part in online learning through partners such as:

  • Lynda.com - covers the latest in commercial software, creative and graphic arts, and business skills
  • Gale Courses - provides interactive, instructor-led courses including business, accounting, healthcare and technology
  • Mango Languages - provides an intuitive and easy way to learn languages.

Furthering our Sustainable Pickering Journey

  • The City's Celebrating Sustainable Neighbourhoods Program facilitates community-led projects that support Pickering's 55 indicators of sustainability. Through the program, winning groups collaborate with City staff on a community enhancement project valued up to $10,000.  
  • Measuring Sustainability Report
    Tracking indicators and reporting the community’s progress toward becoming a more sustainable City – environmentally, socially, economically.

Community Engagement and Education

  • The City's Downtown Intensification Study incorporated community engagement to develop the vision for a bold, vibrant, and liveable downtown. The final document, Downtown Pickering: A Vision for Intensification and Framework for Investment, consists of computer modeling and illustrative imagery; policies and guidelines regarding land use, mobility, public realm, and built form; as well as recommendations on phasing and priorities for capital projects. The document establishes a guiding framework that allows City staff the adaptability to respond to opportunities for development or investment in the Downtown.
  • The City is committed to building a culture of community engagement, to provide residents with a greater sense of agency, purpose, connectedness and responsibility. As such, in 2016, it offered its first annual Pickering 101 - Your City. Right Now.; a free, 8-session course designed to help residents understand how their local government works.
  • The City has leveraged the power of technology to promote transparency, accountability and participation in local government through its Open Data and Maps Portal. Access City-maintained data sets, a development activity map, ward boundaries, points of interest, public art, parks and facilities, and more. 

  • Pickering Public Library Makerspace - With communal access to 21st century tools and learning styles, you can test your concepts, design, create and build with a community of makers, and bring your ideas to life.

  • Visit our YouTube channel to watch our Smart City video.