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Blake Wellington underneath her advertisement, displayed on the big screens at Yonge Dundas Square, in Toronto on June 19, 2021. Wellington's project was part of an initiative organized by It's My Future Toronto, for BIPOC youth between eight and 10 years old.Tijana Martin/The Globe and Mail

Eight BIPOC youth premiered advertisements they developed that promote their ideas for a better post-pandemic Toronto at Young Dundas Square on Saturday.

The youth are participants in It’s My Future Toronto (IMFTO), a program lead by OCAD University that gave BIPOC kids aged eight to 12 an opportunity to come up with ideas to improve the city. They built skills around design, journalism, public policy and advertising via online workshops, videos and even Minecraft.

The youth came up with ideas that include automatic mask dispensers, portable homeless shelters, solar-powered gadgets that curb littering, apps that beep when less than six feet apart, an alarm for being online too long, websites about biodegradable plastic, and snow-melting systems using hot water pipes instead of salt.

The advertisements are part of IMFTO’s goal to raise $50,000 by July 1 to fund prototypes of the kids’ designs to share with the City of Toronto.

“The dream of this initiative is for the youth to tangibly see their impact in the city,” says Dori Tunstall, Dean of Design at OCAD University and the director of IMFTO.

Adrian Lu reacts to seeing their advertisement displayed on the big screen.Tijana Martin/The Globe and Mail

Kealon McGregor points toward his advertisement.Tijana Martin/The Globe and Mail