I just finished going through my list of 2017 goals. I didn’t accomplish everything I wanted to, but I did manage to check off a number of professional and personal goals.
Some of the remaining goals have been pushed to 2018. But there are also items that I have since realized aren’t worth pursuing and so I have dropped them from the list.
All that said, it was a great year. Here is a rapid-fire summary of 2017 told through posts from this blog.
- The province of Ontario rejected Toronto’s proposed road toll plan. The plan wasn’t perfect, but it was a step in the right direction. Unfortunate short-sightedness.
- Honest Ed’s – a Toronto landmark – said farewell. Certainly the end of an era for many people in this city. I just went to the farewell party.
- Toronto continued to demonstrate that it is a terrific place for tech and startups. Top Hat announced a $22.5 million (USD) Series-C funding round.
- I went heliboarding, which is something that had been lingering on the bucket list for far too long. Easily one of my greatest life experiences.
- Snapchat Spectacles became more broadly available. Highly promising, I thought, but then Instagram ripped off Stories. Product ended up bombing. Still, we had a riot playing with the glasses in Whistler.
- Designing for families in high-rises became a priority here in Toronto. And there’s evidence that the market is starting to respond. We are certainly trying to.
- Studio Gang Architects announced their first project in Toronto and in Canada.
- I followed through on my personal goal of returning to photography as a hobby.
- Autonomous vehicles received even more discussion and debate. Relevant video here. Relevant post here. The post is a good summary of the possible impacts of autonomy. Do not assume that the notion of a “car” will remain the same.
- My fascination with Berlin and techno music continued.
- Ontario’s Fair Housing Plan was announced. Coupled with changes to the way development applications get appealed, it was a year of significant change for the real estate and development industry. Next is inclusionary zoning.
- We discovered that population density actually impacts how people vote.
- Opendoor continued its mission of trying to reinvent the way homes are bought and sold. By May 2017 they were selling 300 homes per month.
- Americans continued to follow the sun and sprawl and relocate to warmer southern cities.
- Meaningful progress was made with respect to laneway housing in Toronto. But we’re not quite there yet. The city refused my laneway house in the summer. Significant community opposition. 2018 will bring further positive change.
- The mania around Hamilton (Ontario) kicked into high gear. Hamiltonians got grouchy about the increase in Toronto expats. Slate acquired a retail plaza / development site and hosted a “pre-design community meeting.”
- Amazon bought Whole Foods for $13.4 billion. A big deal as they clearly work to figure out online grocery.
- I participated in an interesting design charrette organized by B+H Advance Strategy about the “mall of the future.” Everyone is trying to figure out the future of retail right now.
- Everyone and their grandmother started buying Bitcoin. Small Swiss canton continues to try and establish itself as “Crypto Valley.”
- Slate and Globizen introduced Junction House.
- I hit the 4 year mark on this daily blog.
- 2017 became the year of the condo in the Greater Toronto Area. Or at least that’s what I used in the headline.
- Amazon announced need for second HQ. Every city in North America goes nuts. I predicted that Toronto would win (even before Sidewalk Labs made its Toronto announcement). We’ll see what happens in 2018. Though, I still think Toronto is winning this.
- The “night mayor” finally crossed the pond with New York City Council voting to establish the Office of Nightlife. Toronto should have moved on this sooner.
- We announced new Buca concept and unveiled Ravine Bench at Yonge + St. Clair (Toronto). #SitTO
- Tony Seba predicted that 2021 will be the year that the economics flip for autonomous electric vehicles. Internal combustion engine and individual car ownership to be disrupted.
- Singapore capped vehicle growth at 0%.
- London released a new Plan in draft form. Strong emphasis on optimizing housing density and on going car-free.
- King Street Transit Pilot launched in Toronto. Streetcar speeds increased overnight. Some concerns that it could be impacting businesses along the street.
- Developer Urban Capital published Volume 7 of its annual Site Magazine. I penned article about their pan-Canadian mission to build from coast to coast.
Thanks for reading. Onward my friends.