Stroll: Dupont

One of my recent book purchases was Stroll by Shawn Micallef, from 2010, which offers many walks across the city. Following the walks in the book isn’t only a great opportunity to...

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Just Who Can Afford Real Estate in Toronto and Vancouver?

By: Penelope Graham, Zoocasa   It’s not a new narrative that Canada’s largest urban housing markets have been plagued by eroding affordability. However, a new set of data that pits income tax...

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Not Just Simple Supply and Demand: Five Other Places to Look at to Understand What Prevents Us from Achieving Housing Affordability in the GTA

Not Just Simple Supply and Demand: Five Other Places to Look at to Understand What Prevents Us from Achieving Housing Affordability in the GTA We tend to discuss the rising unaffordability of...

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How Does Condo Density Impact the Value of Other Home Types?

By: Penelope Graham, Zoocasa   The City of Toronto is often referred to as a “city of neighbourhoods”, a moniker that came about following its 1998 amalgamation, which saw a cluster of...

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4 of the Most Creative Community Engagement Ideas for City Planners

One of the strongest first impressions I had as a newcomer to Toronto was how passionate the residents are about their city. It was amazing to see how many people, of all...

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If Vancouver’s architectural style is so similar to Toronto’s, why does it feel so different at grade? Review of Vancouver’s Urban Design

I constantly hear my Torontonian colleagues using Vancouver as a benchmark for a well-designed city to emulate. I went on a deep dive to investigate why some of Vancouver’s contemporary developments seem...

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The Yellow Belt – Local Empowerment Gone Wild

Recently, there is finally discussion in Toronto about the Yellow Belt. This brilliant term was coined by Urban Planner Gil Meslin in 2016 to liken the severe restrictions on development in most...

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Master Plans on Spadina Ave

In the last decade Toronto has seen only a few master planned projects. Having no green-field development sites left within the city, opportunities for master planned communities are relatively rare and only occur...

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What is the Naked House concept and how can it help solve Housing Affordability in Toronto?

In search of affordable housing, what are you be willing to give up? Location? It will probably mean a longer commute and a less livable neighbourhood. Land? Smaller or no backyard. (And...

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Balconies that People will Actually Use

It’s incredibly difficult to sell a unit without a balcony — an outdoor space to enjoy with friends and family is at the top of many buyers’ wish lists. But too often...

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Review: Growing Up- Planning for Children in New Vertical Communities

I am often asked about the City’s new study: Growing Up – Planning for Children in New Vertical Communities; what does it mean for development and what is going to change. It...

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King Street, Toronto / Jaffa Street, Jerusalem

Today Toronto started the King Street Transit Pilot, eliminating through-traffic on a section of King Street to allow the streetcars move more quickly. Although the project was scaled down from the ambitious...

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Part 01: Mid-rise Buildings That Work – The Guidelines

Introduction A few years ago, the city of Toronto came up with a new initiative that became a city policy: the Avenues & Mid-Rise Buildings Study. The study identified arterial streets outside...

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Part 02: Mid-rise Buildings That Work – The Problems

Lack of Development Let’s start with the amount of development. In the 4.5 year period between July 2010 and December 2014 (the last date for which the city published data), about 5,323...

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Part 03: Mid-rise Buildings That Work – The Solutions

Until now, we discussed some problems with mid-rise development – now it’s time to propose some possible solutions. Some of the issues cannot be resolved in a simple manner, such as the...

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Part 04: Mid-rise Buildings That Work – Design Alternatives

Building Shape So far, we covered issues and solutions related to general policy, and now can move to share. We’ll start with a more detailed review of some of the rules in...

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Part 05: Mid-rise Buildings That Work –Solve The Deep Units

Possible Approaches to solve the deep units How to deal with the excessive depth and of units and the lack of balconies? One approach is to say that since there are willing...

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