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evandyk

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Strange column in the Globe today.


Bring on the sprawl! is a strange position to take given everything we're seeing on the climate front these days. I get that in the short and medium term we have to live with the houses we've built over the last 70 years, but who thinks that more of it is a good idea in the long term?

Did you even read what I wrote? I'm more than happy to engage with something that actually discusses the issues.
 

Undead

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I suppose I'm thinking about it from a more abstract perspective. Anyway, sorry for the tangent!
 

calimehtar

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As a homeowner in a part of Toronto most residents of the GTA would call "downtown" I would be happy to do an experiment with as-right multifamily/mixed use/multistory zoning in a large area downtown if doing so would shut up people like Ibbitson who (I would be willing to bet) lives in the suburbs.

My preferred zoning reform would allow the gentlest and most desirable types of infill to be approved without neighbourhood consultations and other red tape.
 

calimehtar

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Transit development in the city of Toronto should be done the same way. No consultation, just do it. I realize people don't have a lot of faith in Metrolinx to do the right thing but haven't we reached the point where delay is worse than the possibility of making mistakes?
 

Northern Light

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As a homeowner in a part of Toronto most residents of the GTA would call "downtown" I would be happy to do an experiment with as-right multifamily/mixed use/multistory zoning in a large area downtown if doing so would shut up people like Ibbitson who (I would be willing to bet) lives in the suburbs.

My preferred zoning reform would allow the gentlest and most desirable types of infill to be approved without neighbourhood consultations and other red tape.

Broadly, yes from me; consistent w/my own position; but I wouldn't apply it to every single block or we would lose more of our limited heritage streetscapes (no not the made-up ones to stop development, the nice stuff), LOL
 

Northern Light

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Transit development in the city of Toronto should be done the same way. No consultation, just do it. I realize people don't have a lot of faith in Metrolinx to do the right thing but haven't we reached the point where delay is worse than the possibility of making mistakes?

I can't go for the zero consult model.

Its worth saying, that most of the 'red tape' around transit has nothing to do with a comparatively small statutory consultation window during the EA process.

Mx chooses to do, in order, a feasibility study (always feasible); a preliminary business case (the vast majority of proposals are endorsed); then the business case; then the TPAP/EA.

Only that last one is statutory and involves mandatory public consultation.

****

Further delays have accrued due to multiple City councils and provincial governments changing their proverbial minds (establishing the obvious, by the way, that the major decisions on all projects are political, not public);
The public consultations, with rare exceptions, are about the minor details (what colour would you like station tile to be; what small community benefit can we offer; pick between 2 tweaks to the neighbourhood bus routes).

****

I hasten to add; for all of our real frustration at delays to critical projects; Toronto, as a region is building more transit than anywhere else in North America.

The Crosstown is a huge project; the SSE is underway, the Finch West LRT is underway, the Hurontario LRT is ramping up, along with multiple GO projects; and the O/L is seemingly not far off from shovels, but we can't count that or
Yonge North just yet.

But all of the above is more than a decade late in arriving, arguably two.
 

dusk

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About 5 years ago I assumed (in hindsight correctly), that around now we would see the level of frustration and obsession with housing prices reach a critical level.

Next prediction: without substantial changes to zoning and other planing practices, we'll see large protests and maybe even a riot or two in the next 5 years.
 

allengeorge

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Next prediction: without substantial changes to zoning and other planing practices, we'll see large protests and maybe even a riot or two in the next 5 years.
Based on what’s been publicly said so far, I don’t think any level of government is taking this seriously enough and no one is willing to make hard calls.

Hard calls include: unlocking plex housing everywhere as of right, removing zoning/planning impedimentsto adding ground-related housing up to 4 storeys, updating the building code to allow only single stairs, adding a lifetime max on the principal home capital gains exemptions like the US, creating an anti-flipping tax, spending more on building and paying for deeply affordable housing, aggressively going after tax cheats, laddering taxes the more homes you/a company owns…

It’s gonna require a suite of changes.
 
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dusk

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Based on what’s been publicly said so far, I don’t think any level of government is taking this seriously enough and no one is willing to make hard calls.

Hard calls include: unlocking plex housing everywhere as of right, removing zoning/planning impedimentsto adding ground-related housing up to 4 storeys, updating the building code to allow only single stairs, adding a lifetime max on the principal home capital gains exemptions like the US, creating an anti-flipping tax, spending more on building and paying for deeply affordable housing, aggressively going after tax cheats, laddering taxes the more homes you/a company owns…

It’s gonna require a suite of changes.
But what about neighbourhood character!!
 

Northern Light

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Based on what’s been publicly said so far, I don’t think any level of government is taking this seriously enough and no one is willing to make hard calls.
Hard calls include: unlocking plex housing everywhere as of right, removing zoning/planning impedimentsto adding ground-related housing up to 4 storeys,

You and I agree on so much, but you are indeed a glass 1/2 empty soul! LOL

Not that I have limitless faith in government, I know all too well the shortcomings of the institution, as I do the private sector as well.

That said, I'm not convinced that a lot of the tough calls so to speak won't be made; many already have; on the supply side.

I'm somewhat more concerned on lack of plans to deal with

A) Demand (population growth/concentration, ownership of multiple properties, commodification of housing etc.


B) The recognition that there in market mechanism to build housing for people earning $20 per hour, never mind $15, never mind on social assistance; and this requires some mix of boosting said incomes
(higher minimum wage, tightening labour supply, raising social assistance rates, and rent supplements); along with the construction of sub-market priced housing.

updating the building code to allow only single stairs

Sure....but in conjunction with mandatory fire suppression systems (ie. sprinklers). That's mandatory in Vancouver, no reason it shouldn't be here.

, adding a lifetime max on the principal home capital gains exemptions like the US

Agree in principle, not sure why we would just wouldn't eliminate capital gains rates entirely. I say that as someone who would be adversely effected by such a change.

But to me, the government should be agnostic about how you (legally) earn your income, and tax equally all types.

, creating an anti-flipping tax

Maybe, though if you ditched capital gains entirely, I think that would stifle an awful lot of flipping. I always like the least complex, effective solution.

, spending more on building and paying for deeply affordable housing

Yes

, aggressively going after tax cheats

Sure
, laddering taxes the more homes you/a company owns…

Why not just cap everyone at 2 SFH properties; an exemption can be carved out for developers who exercise options based on approved demolition/building plans.

But what about neighbourhood character!!

I don't see why multi-plexing has any inherent adverse impact on character.

I don't even see a low-rise apartment as inherently out of step with an SFH community.

Character (at its best) is defined by architectural style, by setbacks, by whether a veranda is the norm etc.

These things can easily be mandated while allowing additional density; they are not in contradiction.
 

allengeorge

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allengeorge

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And, on a related note: as per the latest Statscan data: Toronto’s population dropped by ~16000 people as of 2021.

My guess is sky-high housing prices, remote work, and a drop in immigration. Frankly, given the stratospheric increase in prices and the dragging on of COVID, I’m expecting this outflow to accelerate :(
 

Undead

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And, on a related note: as per the latest Statscan data: Toronto’s population dropped by ~16000 people as of 2021.

My guess is sky-high housing prices, remote work, and a drop in immigration. Frankly, given the stratospheric increase in prices and the dragging on of COVID, I’m expecting this outflow to accelerate :(
IIRC, if not for immigration, Toronto's been losing people for many years to the burbs and other provinces. The Feds speeded up PR applications last year and will probably continue doing so this year along with more arrivals. We're well on track to resume pre-COVID trends.
 

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