I co-founded and produced the YIMBY festival for three years (2006-2008) until I started my MA. It continues.

The focus of the YIMBY (Yes, In My Backyard) festival is to create a fair-like atmosphere where people working in or interested in citizen based community development can gather and exchange ideas, strategies and celebrate the achievements of their respective organizations.

The one-day event invites groups to "turn the tables" on policy makers and invite them to see the work that we do outside of the antagonistic dynamics of official meetings.

Christina Zeidler was inspired to start the festival as a result of her work with neighbourhood groups who were responding to wide spread unchecked development in the Queen West Triangle. She realized that many groups are unfairly labeled NIMBY, when so often they are the ones networking, sharing information and making sure that people don't get left behind in the city building process.

Selected Press
2009 Featured in Toronto Star, February 14, 2009. See Tess Kalinowski’s article “Nimby: apt term or slur?” Available online at
2009 Featured in Dandy Horse Magazine, Spring 2009. See Tammy Thorne’s monthly column featuring prominent Toronto cyclists “Heels on Wheels: Magdalena Olszanowski.” Interviewed about YIMBY. Available online at
2008 Featured Segment on “Na Luzie (Laid Back)” on OMNI-TV, about Magdalena Olszanowski and YIMBY Festival, Summer 2008, Toronto.
2007 “Housing advocates work to counter NIMBY stance.” Carolyn Heiman, Dec 13, 2007.