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

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!   1. Superior to Conventional The modular industry has changed significantly […]

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 provide a hub of resources […]

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 someone who walks to the office. On the other […]

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 […]

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 of the area of the GTA, in all areas designated as “neighbourhoods” (coloured in yellow in the municipal official plans), to the restrictions […]

Dutch Urban Design – What can Canadian cities adopt? When it comes to urban design, the Dutch seem to get it right. Cities in the Netherlands are livable and vibrant. Single-family housing is not common and their streets are not designed for the car. Canadian cities experience unprecedented growth and a housing shortage at the same time, how can we get it right? […]

An Immigrant’s Thoughts on Housing

Happy Newcomer Day, Canada! Earlier this year, we received our Canadian Citizenship and I would like to offer some thoughts about Housing – by one of Canada’s newest citizens. In almost any large city, families who live in central areas live in condos and apartments. In fact, outside of North America, it is very rare […]