In two previous posts, I include links to two video clips in which Pamela Gough introduces the first two key items, in her campaign platform:
Transcript of Pamela’s first video, concerned with maintenance of neighbourhood character
So I guess the first item is: “Fight over-height development and excessive densities, and maintain neighbourhood character.”
So here in the Royal York and Bloor area, development is just on the horizon. It hasn’t happened here the way it has farther south in the Humber Bay Shores area, for example.
But a number of the low-rise buildings on Bloor Street, between Prince Edward and Royal York, have now been sold to developers, who are in the process of planning their buildings, and have applied for heights that are higher than the six storeys that’s allowed under the Official Plan.
So this is a major concern for our community, because – although the community is not against the six storeys that are laid out in the Official Plan – they are against anything higher than the six storeys.
Because they feel that’s the thin edge of the wedge, and if developers are allowed to get away with eight storeys, for example, they’ll then go for 10. If they’re allowed to get away with 10, they’ll go for 15, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera, and the character of the neighbourhood will change.
The shadowing of the street will change, the traffic congestion will undoubtedly increase – traffic flow is a major concern in the community already.
So my interest is in keeping development to the heights that are stipulated in the Official Plan.
Transcript of second video, regarding housing affordability
So the next item is: “Employ a range of creative housing solutions to tackle Etobicoke’s growing affordability crisis.”
So we know that affordability is a major problem in Toronto. Housing affordability is a really major problem.
A number of the newcomers to Toronto are finding it extremely difficult to find appropriate accommodation that fits their budget.
And many of us, who have the good fortune to already be established in housing, are finding that our children are telling us they’re going to have to move out of town, rather than stay in Toronto, because they simply can’t afford to live in Toronto.
So obviously, affordability is a major, major issue for the city.
And I believe that there are many different ways that we can look at this. There are creative solutions out there.
As we were just discussing [Campaign Item No. 1], densification, within limits – within the limits set out by the Official Plan – is definitely one way we can do it. Densification around the transit nodes, the public transit nodes, makes a good amount of sense. Again, it must be kept within the limits of the Official Plan.
There’s various other ways that affordability can be addressed – for example, the province’s new legislation allowing inclusionary zoning.
So Toronto now has the ability, under that legislation, to potentially stipulate for certain developments – or potentially even for all developments; it depends on what the city wants – that a percentage of those are to be kept at price ranges that are reachable for middle to lower-middle class families.
So that’s another way we can go about it.
So I won’t go into a lot of details, bur definitely we do need to tackle some solutions for increased housing affordability.