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Dārayavauš

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The greenbelt certainly has a distortionary negative impact on the the GTA housing market that reduces supply by artificially limiting the highest and best use of the lands impacted, thereby driving up costs. It also fuels further sprawl in outlying communities generating additional commuting that would not occur otherwise - negating any positive environmental impact. It's a great example of a well-meaning policy that completely misses the mark due to a widespread lack of economic education in our society.
The problem is actually restrictive zoning that is harming Ontario. The Greenbelt is just an easy scapegoat for the fact that they will not allow any sort of densification at all across enormous swathes of the cities neigbourhoods.
 

UrbanRED

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The problem is actually restrictive zoning that is harming Ontario. The Greenbelt is just an easy scapegoat for the fact that they will not allow any sort of densification at all across enormous swathes of the cities neigbourhoods.
It's a mix of both. Greenbelt = no suburban development, NIMBY = no urban development. No development of any kind = insane prices for housing
 

Silence&Motion

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It's a mix of both. Greenbelt = no suburban development, NIMBY = no urban development. No development of any kind = insane prices for housing
They’re not equivalent. One of those policies protects a vulnerable ecosystem and some of the best farmland in the country. The other policy protects McMansions. And the protections around the McMansions have proven far more effective than those around the farmland and forests.
 

UrbanRED

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They’re not equivalent. One of those policies protects a vulnerable ecosystem and some of the best farmland in the country. The other policy protects McMansions. And the protections around the McMansions have proven far more effective than those around the farmland and forests.
Did I say they were equivalent? I only said that they're both contributing to the problem, which is true
 

Silence&Motion

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Did I say they were equivalent? I only said that they're both contributing to the problem, which is true
Apologies if that came off as accusatory. It was merely a defence of the Greenbelt in general, since it has come under fire on this message board.

Growing up in the GTA, I spent my entire life seeing this get turned into this. Meanwhile quality of life had declined precipitously as people spend an ever increasing portion of their day sitting in a car in gridlock on the completely overwhelmed 400-series highway system.

Canadians are going to have to come to the realization that they do not have a God-given right to live in a metro area of over 7 million people AND have their own massive front and backyards, two-car garages, 4 or 5 bedrooms, etc. I full support blocking greenfield development until Ontario gets its sh*t together in terms of land use planning. However, my prediction is that Ontario continues to chip away at the Greenbelt, building the same car dependent subdivisions and power centres they always have. Continuing to drop 50-storey condominiums along the sides of highways and 7-lane arterial stroads. Continually drawing up new mass transit maps but not actually building anything. And the stations they do build will be placed next to highways, surrounded by parking garages and do nothing to increase the actual capacity over the already overburdened transit system. None of this will actually reduce real estate prices, though. The only real solution is to give Toronto Barcelona-level density. (End rant!)
 

artvandelay

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I have a few projects on the go in Southern Ontario, and the amount of bureaucratic red tape you need to endure even for simple projects is staggering. Zoning is incredibly restrictive: almost every significant project requires a rezoning and bylaw amendment, the municipalities are incredibly slow at providing review comments, there are multi-level municipalities reviewing most applications (eg. region of Peel etc.), conservation authorities have jurisdiction over areas that are completely illogical - I could go on...

All of the these issues, plus the greenbelt, have created the mess they are in down there. It's such a disaster that I don't even know where they would start to fix the problem.

They’re not equivalent. One of those policies protects a vulnerable ecosystem and some of the best farmland in the country. The other policy protects McMansions. And the protections around the McMansions have proven far more effective than those around the farmland and forests.
You could argue that a portion of it is is a vulnerable ecosystem - the Niagara escarpment, the river valleys etc. but the vast majority of protected lands are unremarkable farmland that has been cleared of forest and cultivated with crops for hundreds of years. There's no valid rationale for protecting farmland - it's a naïve idea that sounds good to the layperson uneducated in urban land economics. There is no shortage of farmland, and agricultural yields have been continuously improving and are forecast to continue to do so - more than offsetting the miniscule loss of production from farmland that is consumed by development.

If the highest and best use of the land is for agriculture, then it will be agricultural land.
 

Surrealplaces

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Apologies if that came off as accusatory. It was merely a defence of the Greenbelt in general, since it has come under fire on this message board.

Growing up in the GTA, I spent my entire life seeing this get turned into this. Meanwhile quality of life had declined precipitously as people spend an ever increasing portion of their day sitting in a car in gridlock on the completely overwhelmed 400-series highway system.

Canadians are going to have to come to the realization that they do not have a God-given right to live in a metro area of over 7 million people AND have their own massive front and backyards, two-car garages, 4 or 5 bedrooms, etc. I full support blocking greenfield development until Ontario gets its sh*t together in terms of land use planning. However, my prediction is that Ontario continues to chip away at the Greenbelt, building the same car dependent subdivisions and power centres they always have. Continuing to drop 50-storey condominiums along the sides of highways and 7-lane arterial stroads. Continually drawing up new mass transit maps but not actually building anything. And the stations they do build will be placed next to highways, surrounded by parking garages and do nothing to increase the actual capacity over the already overburdened transit system. None of this will actually reduce real estate prices, though. The only real solution is to give Toronto Barcelona-level density. (End rant!)
That's what is coming down the pipe. Outside of places in the US (which have the same issues with sprawl), most places in the world that have 7 Million people are built differently. We're already seeing some transition here in Calgary and other Canadian cities, as multi-family apartment/townhouse is becoming much more prevalent. As time goes on the large SFH with the two car garage will become increasingly expensive. At some point new development will be more like it is in Europe, etc..
 

Silence&Motion

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There's no valid rationale for protecting farmland - it's a naïve idea that sounds good to the layperson uneducated in urban land economics. There is no shortage of farmland, and agricultural yields have been continuously improving and are forecast to continue to do so - more than offsetting the miniscule loss of production from farmland that is consumed by development.

If the highest and best use of the land is for agriculture, then it will be agricultural land.
Actually, I'm a lot less optimistic about the global food supply in the coming decades, and we really should be prioritizing robustness of the system rather than specialization and efficiency (especially in places with reliable access to water). But even if food supply wasn't an issue, there are still all kinds of terrible outcomes that come with replacing farm fields with suburban subdivisions. Namely, dumping that many more cars onto the road network, greatly increasing GHG emissions, etc. And it may sound naive, but the loss of natural beauty is an actual thing to consider. We may consider it superficial, but how many times do we curse previous generations who destroyed wonderful places and replaced them with ugly, desolate landscapes.
 

artvandelay

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Actually, I'm a lot less optimistic about the global food supply in the coming decades, and we really should be prioritizing robustness of the system rather than specialization and efficiency (especially in places with reliable access to water). But even if food supply wasn't an issue, there are still all kinds of terrible outcomes that come with replacing farm fields with suburban subdivisions. Namely, dumping that many more cars onto the road network, greatly increasing GHG emissions, etc. And it may sound naive, but the loss of natural beauty is an actual thing to consider. We may consider it superficial, but how many times do we curse previous generations who destroyed wonderful places and replaced them with ugly, desolate landscapes.
I don't disagree that most of the GTA is a dump, but I think your gripe is more with the form of greenfield development in general (which I agree is terrible).
 

RolleyMakr_168

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