Cities Centre became official on November 15, 2007 with approvals from the Council of the Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design (FALD), as well as from Arts and Science, Applied Science and Engineering, and SGS. The Centre reported through FALD to a Committee of Deans from the participating faculties. As of November 20, 2007, administration of the existing Centre for Urban and Community Studies (CUCS) was transferred from SGS to Cities Centre. The Centre is housed at 455 Spadina Ave.

The Centre for Urban and Community Studies was established in 1964 as a research unit of the School of Graduate Studies. Its research associates include professors and graduate students from a dozen different disciplines and professionals from a variety of organizations.