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Public Works: What Toronto can learn about cohousing from Quebec

When was the last time you asked your neighbour for a cup of sugar? For many city dwellers, the idea of counting on the person next door for a favour (no matter how small) harkens back to another era. But an organization in Quebec City is rethinking the relationship between neighbours, and challenging the definition […]

‘Politicians should be putting more into housing’

Wallace Moore has been living in Toronto since 1980, and waited more than a decade for a subsidized housing unit. He receives income from Ontario Disability Support Program that leaves him well below the poverty line ($19,930 for one person), and visits the Allen Gardens food bank run by Daily Bread. He describes some of […]

Despite Long Waitlists, Co-ops Seen as a Solution to Toronto’s Housing Crisis

When purchasing a home in Toronto is out of the question and rent continues to climb, some young people are looking for alternatives, such as co-operative housing. But unless you got your name on a list years ago, prepare for a long wait. Last month, economic forecasters called Toronto’s housing prices “simply unsustainable,” and “cannot last forever.” Both […]

Priced Out of Toronto’s Housing Market

This article is brought to you by Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation Rachel Lissner would never live in the suburbs as they are today. “Not in a million years,” she tells me. As the founder of the Facebook group Young Urbanists League, her sentiment comes as no surprise. Lissner has an avid interest in the […]

Pushing Back on Skyrocketing Housing Prices in Toronto

Have you ever seen Atlantic salmon swim from Lake Ontario through the streams and rivers of the GTA to make a home for their offspring?  You can watch them in the fall at Étienne Brûlé Park along the Humber River, or the Lower Don River Trail, among other places.  Salmon don’t take the easy route. They […]

Toronto’s New Budget is Bad for Affordable Housing

While one-quarter of children and one-fifth of adults living in poverty in Toronto (the number jumps to nearly half for recent immigrants), the City came up with an optimistically titled initiative in 2015: “TO Prosperity: Toronto Poverty Reduction Strategy.” It proclaims the goal of making Toronto into a “city with opportunities for all” by 2035, and focuses […]

Mayors Work to Secure Housing Funding, But Is it Enough?

Mayor John Tory suffered a political embarrassment at the hands of Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne late last week when she refused his request to institute tolls on two highways. But he seemed to have better luck with the federal government when he, as part of a caucus of Canadian mayors, presented a proposal for housing […]

How Accessibility-Focused Housing Design Benefits Everyone

Public Works looks at public space, urban design, and city-building innovations from around the world, and considers what Toronto might learn from them. As municipal and provincial governments continue to work out what inclusionary zoning will mean for Ontario, another set of regulations is already transforming new homes across the province. Two years ago this month, […]

Now is the Time to Move Forward on Housing

This National Housing Day we have an opportunity for the first time in more than a generation to change direction and move forward with positive actions and a people-focused approach to take action on housing and improve housing for all Torontonians. Over the last couple of years, we have seen a lot of change across […]

When Toronto’s “Affordable Housing” Isn’t Affordable

“Affordable housing” is both a common-sense concept and a policy term. The accepted benchmark in policy is that someone spending no more than 30 per cent of their household income on everything related to housing: rent or mortgage, insurance, utilities. Initiatives like Toronto’s Open Door program and the federal-provincial Investment in Affordable Housing (IAH) seek […]

Affordable Housing Incentives Encourage Development, But Still Fall Short

With a dearth of affordable housing options in the city, municipal administrators have long known they need to do more to ensure that Toronto residents can actually afford to be Toronto residents. In 2009, City Council adopted Housing Opportunities Toronto—An Affordable Housing Action Plan 2010-2020 [PDF]. The ambitious plan called for the creation of 10,000 […]

Housing Advocates Eagerly Await New Federal Strategy

Two stakeholders in the development of a national housing strategy struck a hopeful tone over the federal government’s consultations thus far—a process that could have important implications in how affordable and social housing is funded and supported in major cities like Toronto. Leilani Farha, of Canadians Without Poverty, and Sean Gadon, head of the City […]