Urban Forum logo

Upcoming Urban Forum Lecture

The Rise of On-line Shopping and the Future of Brick and Mortar Retailing

Wednesday, January 17, 2018 @ 7:00pm

Champlain Room, Ottawa City Hall, Heritage Building, Second Floor,  110 Laurier Ave. West

On-line shopping:  it’s easy, convenient, and there are great deals to be had!  But do we really understand the potential impacts of this emerging reality? What are the challenges and opportunities faced by the brick and mortar retail industry? What will be the implications for the social fabric and the built environment of the cities?

Join Professor Ian Lee and a panel of experts for a discussion about online shopping. Using local and international empirical data, Professor Lee will provide insights into how this paradigm shift is unfolding and where this is taking us, and lead our panelists us in brainstorming how we adapt to this.


Ian Lee, PhD, Associate Professor, Sprott School of Business, Carleton University

Dr. Lee has 30 years of teaching experience at the Sprott School of Business with research interests at the intersection of business strategy and public policy. He has taught in Poland since 1991 and China since 1997 annually and published extensively.  He has testified on numerous occasions before House of Commons and Senate committees and has been in every federal budget lockup since 2008 as an expert advisor to Global TV. He is a frequent analyst in the media including CBC Power and Politics and On the Money, Global TV, CTV News, and BNN TV.  Prior to academe, Ian was previously a Loan and Mortgage Manager for 9 years in financial services.


Barry Nabatian, Director of Market Research, Shore-Tanner & Associates

Mr. Nabatian is an urban economist and a financial advisor with over 40 years of experience serving a wide variety of private, public and non-profit organizations. He specializes in real estate market consulting including retail market, consumer research, lifestyle trends and impact of social change on residential, commercial and industrial markets. He has appeared before the Ontario Municipal Board and Assessment Review Board as an expert witness, and is frequently interviewed by various media on real estate developments, economics, and social trends.

IBK Ajila, Director of Retail Engineering, Shopify

Mr. Ajila is the Director of Retail Engineering at Shopify where he leads the development of the Shopify POS mobile apps as well as Shopify’s retail hardware and payments solutions.

Stephen Willis, General Manager, Planning, Infrastructure and Economic Development, City of Ottawa.

Mr. Willis is a Registered Professional Planner and Professional Land Economist with more than 20 years of experience in the public and private sectors.  Mr. Willis’ mandate is to increase the City’s economic viability through long-range planning, development approvals, infrastructure initiatives, as well as implementing a new economic development strategy to create new growth and prosperity in the Ottawa area.  As General Manager, Mr. Willis is responsible for a $102 million operating budget and a $500 million capital budget, primarily related to the City’s non-P3 infrastructure projects such as the Ottawa Art Gallery expansion, the Combined Sewage Storage Tunnel and the new main branch of the Ottawa Public Library.


In 1997, the Ottawa chapters of the Ontario Professional Planners Institute (OPPI), the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects (OALA), the Ottawa Regional Society of Architects (ORSA) and the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) joined forces to present Urban Forum, a lecture series for their members as well as elected officials, students and the public at large in the Ottawa area. Four times per year, internationally known speakers and local experts address topics that reflect the challenges faced by the associations’ combined membership.

Since its inception, Urban Forum has hosted lectures on a wide variety of topics. Some lectures went on a road trip to other Cities such as Urban Diversity: Planning Multicultural Cities, What Makes Great Streets and Shaping Our Cities by Design. Given that Canadian cities face similar issues and can benefit from learning from each other, Urban Forum is taking a more national focus by partnering with its national counterparts to host lectures in major Canadian cities.

The objectives of the lecture series are to:

The lecture series has been successful in encouraging an ongoing dialogue between professionals, engaging elected officials, government staffs and the public to discuss new ideas and raising the profile of the professional associations. The free public lectures bring together people from different background to discuss issues of community interest. The audience tends to change with topics. The sponsors also vary with the topics. Each lecture contributes to a community debate that generates incremental and positive changes.

Register for Event Updates

  • * = required field

  • Arrow

    past lectures - more

    urban forum flickr group

    email us - admin at urbanforum.ca