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The negative externalities of Toronto’s “yellow belt”

My friend Randy Gladman, of Colliers Strategy & Consulting, recently published this important opinion piece in Urbanize Toronto. In short, it is about how little of our land we dedicate toward high-density housing (about 5%), what that results in, and why it should change:

TenBlock’s efforts are appreciated; more homes are desperately needed in Toronto, especially near transit. Intensification in all forms should be welcome. But there should be a better way to create the homes we need that minimizes demolition of the ones we have. We don’t have a shortage of low-density land near transit infrastructure in our city. Rather, we have a shortage of the political will needed to combat the calcified forces aligned against intensification. Looking at the development process in Toronto, we can see just how inefficient and confused our system of land planning has become when we consider how we treat low-density areas compared to the very small percentage of the city where greater density is accepted. 

I think there’s growing awareness in this city and others about why this approach to land use needs to be modernized. And there is certainly positive change underway. But there’s still work to be done. So I’m happy that Randy decided to write about it.

For the full article, click here.

1 Comment so far

  1. Nancy Cohen

    So many things wrong with this happening. Not being able to densify elsewhere is just the tip of the iceberg

    – It’s incredible that any developer is permitted to demolish rental housing and replace it with condos.
    – The carbon footprint of demolishing a high rise and replacing it with a high rise would not be neutral and should not be permitted. Architects should refuse to do this work.


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