I just discovered a new alliance of non-partisan, non-profit resident and ratepayer groups in the Greater Toronto Area that have come together in opposition of what they see as “unregulated overdevelopment and the lack of sensible growth vision for the GTA.” If you’d like to read through their public letter to the Premier of Ontario, Doug Ford, you can do that over here.
In it you will learn that the Toronto region is vying desperately for the title of the most densely populated place on earth by trying to compete with already established locales like the slums of Mumbai and Monk Kok in Hong Kong. One has to admire ambition.
But what is not clear to me is what exactly “sensible, balanced, affordable, and livable developments” should look like. Should we quash our low-rise “Neighbourhood” designations (the majority of our land area) and instead blanket the region with mid-rise buildings similar to Paris? This is one option and, by the way, Paris is far denser than Toronto (relevant reading here and here).
Or should we maintain our low-rise “Neighbourhoods” exactly as they are and simply reduce overall housing supply by limiting height and/or density at our transit stations? Is this the ask? I’m not sure. But this is a good question for city builders: What should sensible, balanced, affordable, and livable development look like? Is the 33-storey building that I live in sensible?