6-story apartment buildings soon to be built near you? | Toronto housing crisis

6-story apartment buildings soon to be built near you? | Toronto housing crisis
6-story apartment buildings soon to be built near you? | Toronto housing crisis

The face of Toronto’s main roads, such as Kingston Road or Dufferin Street, could soon change. The city will decide this week whether it will allow the construction of six-story apartment buildings on these roads when they pass through a residential neighborhood.

The housing committee, not without opposition, adopted a series of main street densification measures earlier in May. The proposed zoning modification affects areas where there are mainly single-family and semi-detached houses.

The proposed zoning changes:

Permission to build buildings of a maximum of six floors and 30 units on main roads (major streets“,”text”:”major streets”}}”>major streets) and townhouses on main streets in all residential areas of Toronto.

Councilman Brad Bradford, who is a member of the housing committee, hopes the city council will agree. To end the housing affordability crisis, he says, Toronto must make it possible to build different types of housing.

Over time, the streets targeted by the changes have not become more dense, analyzes Brad Bradford, due to restrictive zoning regulations from Toronto.

The former mayoral candidate even hopes that the City will be even bolder. At his request, the interim planning director will present a report during the council meeting on the advantages of allowing the construction of 60-unit buildings.

Fierce debate?

Increasing the number of permitted apartments is not a foregone conclusion, however. Several councilors expressed their reservations about the officials’ proposals during the housing committee meeting.

By Brad Bradford’s own admission, the discussions at the housing committee meeting earlier in May probably give a foretaste of those that will take place at the municipal council meeting this week.

Considering negative reactions among neighborhood residents, the councilor Scarborough twice sought to reduce the scope of the changes during the committee meeting, without success.


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The main streets of Toronto, called “major streets” by the City of Toronto, are numerous in the Queen City.

Photo: City of Toronto/Radio-Canada

For example, he proposed studying the possibility of implementing the changes in several stages, depending on public transport services on main streets. The suggestion earned him a resounding no from the committee chairman, Gord Perks.

But resistance is not limited to the east of the city. The Federation of North Toronto Residents Associations (FoNTRA), which represents 250,000 Torontonians, wrote a letter to the mayor denouncing, among other things, the lack of consultation regarding the changes.

Civil servants, the co-president of FoNTRA said in an interview, Geoff Kettelpropose a universal solutionwhile according to him it would be preferable to further evaluate the repercussions of the changes in each district.

Thoughtful changes, according to an architect

Mohcine Sadiq, from the Toronto architecture firm Smart Densitydoes not think the proposed changes will solve the housing crisis, but they represent a not extremely important in housing supply.

According to Mohcine Sadiq, the proposed changes do not have an incredible impact on the quality of life of residents and on the contrary provide a certain urban quality reminiscent of small European towns or Montreal.

To Torontonians more skeptical regarding the suggested changes, Mohcine Sadiq offered to consult the details. The maximum height of six stories is not extremely important, he notes. The footprint, or the surface area that the building occupies on the ground, is also limited to 50% of the land, he adds.

The City of Toronto, which currently has a population of approximately 3,025,000, expects to welcome at least 700,000 new Torontonians by 2051. Current and future residents will need a variety of housing types to thrive, writes the City to justify the changes.



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