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. At some point you simply have to start delivering change, and if done incrementally and well, people will realize that the sky isn’t falling and it’ll slowly become a non-issue.

My emphasis.

When let bad builders, build badly, and bad architects design badly, whether that's absurdly small investor box units, too few elevators, buildings that stand out to neighbours in the worst possible way and/or are downright ugly to 90% of the population we change so much more challenging than it ought to be.
 
In a second, closer reading of the article I realized that I was reacting to this quote:

“About 60 per cent of Canadians say they support increasing density in cities across the country, according to polling data published today by Pollara Strategic Insights, a market research group. However, when asked how they would feel if a single-family home on their block was converted into a triplex, only about 20 per cent said it would be a “good thing.”” (emphasis mine)

I will point out that your reading is more hopeful than mine. Assuming that we take that 20% as the ceiling for homeowners (it’s likely that the actual percentage is lower) what we have is something like:

Impression of triplexes replacing a SFH on your block by homeowners:

Good thing: 20%
Don’t know: 30%
Bad thing: 50%

That’s a clear NIMBY attitude among homeowners. The mushy middle will go either way, and those who think it’s a “bad thing” are, by human nature, incentivized to fight.

Regarding the rest of your post, I largely agree with your points. FWIW, I do think education and outreach is only useful to a point. At some point you simply have to start delivering change, and if done incrementally and well, people will realize that the sky isn’t falling and it’ll slowly become a non-issue.
It’s too late for incrementalism. Maybe 30 years ago we could’ve settled for incrementalism.

But the housing crisis means that more drastic actions have to be taken to densify our cities and provide more housing for people right now.
 
The City of Toronto is currently reviewing the accessible parking and bicycle parking standards in the city-wide Zoning By-law (569-2013). This is a continuation of the work reported to Planning and Housing Committee on December 15, 2021 which removed most minimum parking requirements (https://secure.toronto.ca/council/agenda-item.do?item=2021.PH29.3).

Public meetings to introduce this second phase of work and to gather initial feedback are being held November 20 and 21. More information is available on the project website: www.toronto.ca/parkingreview.
 
Dougie's buddies are in Woodbridge.

But MTSA zoning is in fact proposed for even the most tony areas. And I believe the City was studying this because the Province is forcing higher density around transit stations.

Yes there's higher density zoning coming for major transit station areas (MTSAs), including around OL stations:
1694966769792.png


Source

Though Bloor-Danforth strikes me as conspicuously missing.
 
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It’s too late for incrementalism. Maybe 30 years ago we could’ve settled for incrementalism.

But the housing crisis means that more drastic actions have to be taken to densify our cities and provide more housing for people right now.

Again, for the hundredth time; you could remove all zoning entirely and not one additional unit will be built in the GTA in the next 5 years over what was already happening.

Zoning reform is fine, I'm certainly a proponent, not an opponent, but using the 'housing crisis' as a reason is intellectually and morally incorrect, since the action will do nothing to resolve the latter.

Crews are maxed out, and that will get worse, not better, tons of retirements are coming.

Additionally, the current interest rate environment will likely reduce what's in the pipeline in the near term.

****

If you want an immediate reduction in rent and market price, there are only 3 actions that can make a difference in three years or less.

1) Slash the number of foreign students in Canada; limit them only to University programs, no community college/diploma mill, cap the number at 300,000 nationally. You will cut the GTA's rental demand by more than 100,000 units and that will lead to a double-digit rent reduction.

2) Slash the number of TFWs in Canada. Just limit them to jobs that pay $100,000 per year or more, or agriculture. No retail, security, warehouse or factory jobs.

3) Ban short term rentals, Canada-wide. There are at least 10,000 of these in Toronto; if you removed them from the 'hotel room' supply business, the majority would convert to long-term rental.

Between the above, you could easily achieve a 25% reduction in rents, and maybe as much as 40%; you would also have a ready-made supply of well over 100,000 units in the GTA newly available to occupy.
 
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Again, for the hundredth time; you could remove all zoning entirely and not one additional unit will be built in the GTA in the next 5 years over what was already happening.

Zoning reform is fine, I'm certainly a proponent, not an opponent, but using the 'housing crisis' as a reason is intellectually and morally incorrect, since the action will do nothing to resolve the latter.

Crews are maxed out, and that will get worse, not better, tons of retirements are coming.

Additionally, the current interest rate environment will likely reduce what's in the pipeline in the near term.

****

If you want an immediate reduction in rent and market price, there are only 3 actions that can make a difference in three years or less.

1) Slash the number of foreign students in Canada; limit them only to University programs, no community college/diploma mill, cap the number at 300,000 nationally. You will cut the GTA's rental demand by more than 100,000 units and that will lead to a double-digit rent reduction.

2) Slash the number of TFWs in Canada. Just limit them to jobs that pay $100,000 per year or more, or agriculture. No retail, security, warehouse or factory jobs.

3) Ban short term rentals, Canada-wide. There are at least 10,000 of these in Toronto; if you removed them from the 'hotel room' supply business, the majority would convert to long-term rental.

Between the above, you could easily achieve a 25% reduction in rents, and maybe as much as 40%; you would also have a ready-made supply of well over 100,000 units in the GTA newly available to occupy.
At the risk of going well off topic, I would underline the need for TFW’s in Agriculture. But I would also argue that we need a better path to allow these workers to gather points or credits as they gather related skills in order to allow them to successfully apply for permanent residency after 4 years or so. It’s a bit of a problem currently under the points system set up.

And I would consider giving the number of TFW‘s to the unemployment rate - perhaps by sector, region or nationally. We are at 5.7% unemployment rate currently and that seems very high to be allowing large numbers of TFW’s into the country. The USA is at 3.9% and has been under 4% for some time.
 
@AlexBozikovic has a piece on retiring Chief planner Gregg Lintern and the type of person he imagines the City needs as a successor.


He gives Gregg some of the credit he deserves, but misses key items, including the significant relaxation of the Angular plane and while mentioning the need for as-of-right apartment buildings he omits that that work is substantially complete and was initiated under Gregg as well; and that it will come back to Council for approval in 2024.

In point of fact, Planning's proposal for 6 storeys as-of-right on main streets went further than many anticipated, and the only real shortcoming was the 30 unit limit, which was selected, at the time, because it coincided with the requirement for a Type G loading space.

Subsequently, that loading space requirement was shifted to 60 units and that should bump this proposed change accordingly.

Frankly, I don't agree w/unit cap here, I understand the problems Type G loading spaces would cause if you ended up w/curb cuts up and down the street, it would be a terrible pedestrian experience; but I think the rule should then be amended to consider whether the loading could be provided via a laneway or sidestreet, existing or new.

The final form of the new change will not be approved on Gregg's watch, but will likely be written, so we'll have to see what comes out the other end.

****

On a potential successor in general, I certainly support the general idea of someone with a clear vision, and one that I could get behind. I don't recall Maurice Cox who Alex mentions having produced such a vision. (nor has anyone else I'm aware of who might be considered); frankly, I wouldn't mind seeing that be part of the process for a replacement.

Invite a large pool of candidates, to apply in a first round, and weed them down to a top 5 or so; then give them design competition type money, say $200,000 each, and 90 days, to articulate and render key projects and ideas they have for Toronto. Then let the public weigh in a on whose vision they are compelled by. I would still let the City decide who to hire; but I think a Mayor and Council would be pressured by a clear public favourite who would have their own mandate.

I'm not necessarily sold on Maurice Cox, his tenures in Detroit and Chicago were relatively short, his delivery of concrete change, fairly limited.

I agree with much of what he advocates for, in theory, but I'm not entirely sold on his ability to deliver. He's also 64 years old; while I oppose ageism, that would hardly be the mark of generational change. I'd still throw in the mix though for my competition idea.

I'd like to see several department heads decided this way; I think it would make clear what the public can get behind and who can lead the City in the right direction.

Vision is part of the game, but ability to communicate/sell it and get buy-in is another.
 
We shouldn't be developing farm land, that's just insanity.
The reason you zone something as farming is for it to be used for farming. I agree that farm land should be used for farming. All of Toronto was farm land or wilderness before it was a city. Current farm land should be zoned as farm land. There should be no profit in zoning farmland for other uses.

The discussion was about developments not moving forward and the underlying issues. That specific comment was related to zoning and taxation regimes being combined to not reward property speculation. Right now, if you manage to get land rezoned, you can sell it for more. How did this landowner improve the property... zero. Property value is crazy right now such that empty lots or underutilized lots sell for a value that is purely spéculative and is already unaffordable to would be homeowners. An empty lot in the middle of the city should be cheaper than it is because without improvements it has no utility.

If properties were immediately taxed for their full potential based on zoning and other factors, not based on the improvements to the property, then some of the land speculation would go away. Why do I think this? First, you can't sell a property at a price related to a potential it isn't zoned for because there is no guarantee you will get the zoning change and rezoning takes time. The real value of a property is how you can use it now. Second, if a property is zoned for something more intensive than it is currently used for, the taxation at that potential will force the owner to make improvements to reach that potential because it wouldn't be profitable to leave it unimproved.

Land should be valued for its current utility, and the current utility is the improvements (buildings, upkeep, landscaping, etc). We need to get back to where if you want to sell a property for more, you need to build or improve something.
 
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He gives Gregg some of the credit he deserves, but misses key items, including the significant relaxation of the Angular plane and while mentioning the need for as-of-right apartment buildings he omits that that work is substantially complete and was initiated under Gregg as well; and that it will come back to Council for approval in 2024.

Thanks for sharing, @Northern Light. But to be clear, I’m calling for as of right apartment buildings everywhere.

The “major streets” policy that’s now being considered is not that. It’s perhaps 1/1000 of that.

This is the problem..
 
Thanks for sharing, @Northern Light. But to be clear, I’m calling for as of right apartment buildings everywhere.

The “major streets” policy that’s now being considered is not that. It’s perhaps 1/1000 of that.

This is the problem..

I'm for legalizing purpose-built rental everywhere, but I am not in favour of 6s on every side street..... near transit stations sure. But I think what's been put in place for multiplexs, is broadly reasonable for interior areas.

The infrastructure in both the urban and suburban context is not set up to withstand that kind of density, and retrofitting it would take decades. (I'm in favour of many of said upgrades, but most aren't even a planning gleam in anyone's eye, but mine).
 
The reason you zone something as farming is for it to be used for farming. I agree that farm land should be used for farming. All of Toronto was farm land or wilderness before it was a city. Current farm land should be zoned as farm land. There should be no profit in zoning farmland for other uses.

The discussion was about developments not moving forward and the underlying issues. That specific comment was related to zoning and taxation regimes being combined to not reward property speculation. Right now, if you manage to get land rezoned, you can sell it for more. How did this landowner improve the property... zero. Property value is crazy right now such that empty lots or underutilized lots sell for a value that is purely spéculative and is already unaffordable to would be homeowners. An empty lot in the middle of the city should be cheaper than it is because without improvements it has no utility.

If properties were immediately taxed for their full potential based on zoning and other factors, not based on the improvements to the property, then some of the land speculation would go away. Why do I think this? First, you can't sell a property at a price related to a potential it isn't zoned for because there is no guarantee you will get the zoning change and rezoning takes time. The real value of a property is how you can use it now. Second, if a property is zoned for something more intensive than it is currently used for, the taxation at that potential will force the owner to make improvements to reach that potential because it wouldn't be profitable to leave it unimproved.

Land should be valued for its current utility, and the current utility is the improvements (buildings, upkeep, landscaping, etc). We need to get back to where if you want to sell a property for more, you need to build or improve something.
This is land value tax. Most economists would agree it is a very efficient form of taxation, and it has the benefit of discouraging speculation on the appreciation of land values and the endless corruption stemming from same.
 

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