Design will make or break a neighbourhood–building height won’t

Have you ever joined a community meeting about a new development? “It’s too tall,” you’ll hear neighbours proclaim. “The shadows will be unbearable!”Others suggest that mid rise and tall buildings “should only be built in the city’s core or near a highway.” Otherwise,they will “ruin neighbourhood character!”Whether the proposed development consists of six or sixty […]

GO Transit is reimagining its rail service, and you might not even know about it

Metrolinx is making it faster, easier, and more convenient to travel across the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area (GTHA) with its GO Expansion project. GO Transit is the GTHA regional transit system consisting of rail and bus services. In its 65-year history, the GO Train network has targeted suburban commuters travelling to and from Downtown Toronto […]

<strong>Helsingborg, I’m Coming!</strong>

5 Reasons I’m Excited about the Urban Future Global Conference After more than two years in Canada because of the pandemic, I’m looking forward to attending in-person events again! In June, I will be attending Helsingborg 22, the Urban Future Global Conference. The conference is an annual gathering of minds in urbanism and city-building. Change-makers, […]

City of Toronto Mandatory Pre-Application

Mandatory Pre-Application | City of Toronto Mandatory Pre-Application Consultation: Proposed Amendments to the Official Plan and to the Municipal Code – Proposals Report May 26, 2021 Website on these Changes here. What is being proposed: The current development review process includes voluntary pre-application consultation. Applicants may request a pre-application consultation meeting with City staff to discuss, among […]

How Other Cities in the U.S. and Canada Implement Missing Middle Policies?

Written by: Misha Bereznyak and Josh Papernick In July 2019, Mayor John Tory and Deputy Mayor Ana Bailão passed a motion that directed the planning department to consider new forms of development in Toronto’s ‘Neighbourhoods’. ‘Neighbourhood’ is a land use designation in Toronto’s Official Plan, that in most cases, limits development to single-family homes. This […]

Policy Review: Expanding Housing Options in Neighbourhoods (Missing Middle)

By Naama Blonder and Josh Papernick Finding and designing development solutions to unlock the City’s “Neighbourhood” areas has been a major focus at Smart Density. I have been a strong advocate for Missing Middle housing and rethinking how the City can take advantage of its land, and was very excited to see this document being […]

10 reasons to choose Modular Construction: Webinar Recording + Summary

10 reasons to choose Modular Construction: Webinar Recording + Summary As part of our Educational Webinar Series, we hosted a special webinar led by Chris Smith, a Project Manager and Temo Cruz, Prefabrication & Modular Coordinator at ED Modular. Below is a summary of the Webinar and 10 reasons to choose Modular Construction!   […]

Financial Incentives for Affordable Housing

Financial Incentives for Affordable Housing Last week, the City of Toronto has released the 2020 Open Door Call for applications. What are the different programs, incentive tools and streams that exist today in order to accelerate affordable housing construction? Here’s a summary of the municipal, provincial and federal tools: Through our Affordable Housing Centre, we […]

12 Little Anecdotes from ‘Happy City’ by Charles Montgomery

12 Little Anecdotes from ‘Happy City’ by Charles Montgomery Written by Josh Papernick 1. A Swedish study found that people who endure more than a forty-five-minute commute were 40 percent more likely to divorce 2. A person with a one-hour commute has to earn 40 percent more money to be as satisfied with life as […]

Infill Development in Apartment Neighbourhoods

Infill Development in Apartment Neighbourhoods The Official Plan provides criteria for infill development within Apartment Neighbourhoods. Compatible infill development may be permitted on sites with existing apartment buildings if they improve the existing site conditions. The major requirements are as follows:  Compatibility Be compatible in scale (height and massing) to the existing buildings on the […]