smably

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Jun 26, 2009
Messages
1,557
Reaction score
4,004
Zoning bylaws emerged at the beginning of the 20th century to a large extent for health reasons given that the most economically disadvantaged members of society (such as recent immigrants) were reduced to living in tenements with almost zero setbacks from adjacent buildings, windowless rooms, no views or sunlight and minimal air circulation.
OK, maybe in New York, but this is a pretty selective reading of the history of zoning. Almost a decade before New York brought in their zoning regulations, LA was using zoning to separate housing from industry -- and also to prevent proliferation of Chinese laundries. Lots of other cities were using zoning for even more explicitly racist purposes. Race and class have always been intertwined in zoning policy, and modern zoning is largely about preserving the sanctity of single-family low-rise neighbourhoods that have become enclaves of the wealthy. "Neighbourhood character" as enshrined in zoning was never just about the physical form of development. How else can you explain the barriers to converting a single-family-home into a duplex or triplex or prohibitions on secondary suites with doors that face the street?
 

DavidCapizzano

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Jan 12, 2017
Messages
1,163
Reaction score
4,190
References to renters vs. homeowners or rich vs. poor are meaningless. The focus should be on built-form, good architecture and design excellence.

Sorry but you absolutely can't have one conversation without having the other. Yes, we should be focusing on design excellence, but we can't ignore how policies in Toronto are stacked in favour of those who have wealth or land.
 

thecharioteer

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Jun 17, 2009
Messages
3,480
Reaction score
2,280
Sorry but you absolutely can't have one conversation without having the other. Yes, we should be focusing on design excellence, but we can't ignore how policies in Toronto are stacked in favour of those who have wealth or land.
However.....when one looks at the maps in the Official Plan (https://www.toronto.ca/city-governm...elines/official-plan/official-plan-maps-copy/), the swath of yellow for Neighbourhoods is the same yellow used in Rosedale, Forest Hill, the Annex and Lawrence Park as the yellow used in "priority neighbourhoods". While the wealthiest neighbourhoods certainly have more ability to fight development, the planning principles within the OP regarding Neighbourhoods are (I believe) applied equally throughout the city, particularly when they are in a more non-political environment such as the OLT.

What is ironic in this discussion is the fact that most of the big development fights of the 1970's that resulted in the current thinking of neighbourhood "preservation" were those involving poorer neighbourhoods fighting demolition for "high-rises", such as North St. Jamestown, the "Hydro Block" on Henry Street or Trefann Court. Also remember that post-war, Rosedale itself was seeing many homes demolished for low-rise apartment buildings, and large houses converted to rooming houses. In fact, when one refers to planning policies "stacked in favour of those who have wealth and land", how does one explain the mini-expressway known as the Clifton Road extension that cut a swathe through the heart of Rosedale in order to connect Mt. Pleasant (at that time only running north of St. Clair) to Jarvis Street?

article4.jpg
 

xy3

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Feb 5, 2021
Messages
142
Reaction score
153
The design sorely lacks in inexpensive blue spandrel and exposed concrete balconies /columns.

Arches? Stepbacks? Windows with real mullions? rubbed bronze lanterns? How dare you , AUDAX. You're trying too hard. I want a big wall-o-glass at the street level . There is no other way to flatter a heritage structure. Send it back to the drawing board.
 
Last edited:

junctionist

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
May 1, 2007
Messages
8,923
Reaction score
2,609
However.....when one looks at the maps in the Official Plan (https://www.toronto.ca/city-governm...elines/official-plan/official-plan-maps-copy/), the swath of yellow for Neighbourhoods is the same yellow used in Rosedale, Forest Hill, the Annex and Lawrence Park as the yellow used in "priority neighbourhoods". While the wealthiest neighbourhoods certainly have more ability to fight development, the planning principles within the OP regarding Neighbourhoods are (I believe) applied equally throughout the city, particularly when they are in a more non-political environment such as the OLT.

What is ironic in this discussion is the fact that most of the big development fights of the 1970's that resulted in the current thinking of neighbourhood "preservation" were those involving poorer neighbourhoods fighting demolition for "high-rises", such as North St. Jamestown, the "Hydro Block" on Henry Street or Trefann Court. Also remember that post-war, Rosedale itself was seeing many homes demolished for low-rise apartment buildings, and large houses converted to rooming houses. In fact, when one refers to planning policies "stacked in favour of those who have wealth and land", how does one explain the mini-expressway known as the Clifton Road extension that cut a swathe through the heart of Rosedale in order to connect Mt. Pleasant (at that time only running north of St. Clair) to Jarvis Street?

View attachment 339863

Thanks for bringing some valuable historical nuance to the discussion. I think the discrepancy between your observations and those who now say that zoning protects wealthy landowners comes down to a growing inequality in wealth since the 1960s in the city and growing demand for housing.

It used to be common for lower middle class and middle class people to afford houses in the city. They did enjoy some protection with zoning, even though planning policies were still filled with prejudice back then (for instance, a belief that walkable Victorian neighbourhoods were inferior and worthy of wholesale redevelopment).

Nowadays, it’s difficult to buy a house without a household income of $200,000+. Condos have become small, expensive, and impractical for many (e.g. working class families) due to size constraints. The situation reflects the fact that the city has grown and demand is now on a more metropolitan scale. We’re facing a much different reality today than 60 years ago socially speaking.

Today, there’s not enough land to meet demand, even across a huge urbanized area. The people who can afford land are more uniformly well off. Zoning hasn't really responded to these social problems the way it did in the past when planners decided not to allow people to build houses next to toxic industrial plants (and vice versa) or when planners prohibited low-quality construction over fears that slums would proliferate. Those were progressive ideas at one point.

Zoning is a major factor today as to why housing construction is unaffordable for many and supply doesn't reflect a lot of people’s needs.
 

WislaHD

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Sep 21, 2013
Messages
9,729
Reaction score
8,699
The design sorely lacks in inexpensive blue spandrel and exposed concrete balconies /columns.

Arches? Stepbacks? Windows with real mullions? rubbed bronze lanterns? How dare you , AUDAX. You're trying to hard. I want a big wall-o-glass at the street level . There is no other way to flatter a heritage structure. Send it back to the drawing board.
Please submit your application to the following: https://www.toronto.ca/city-government/planning-development/outreach-engagement/design-review-panel/
 
  • Like
Reactions: xy3

Top