Toronto’s population is expected to swell to almost 10m people within the next 15 years. The reality is that there are a limited number of houses in the urban neighbourhoods we love to call home and the vertical world of condo ownership is often the only viable option for people who can’t afford the pricey cost of buying a house.
The joys of living in the suburbs with a cookie cutter backyard might outweigh the hours long daily commute and the exorbitant cost of gas required to fuel this dream of having a white picket fence but this lifestyle would be far from a joyous one for scores of people who choose to live in the city for it’s diversity, cultural offerings and of course employment opportunities.
The city recently opened up legislation to allow for laneway housing but not every homeowner’s situation will allow for this due to a number of restrictions regarding the position of the main home vis a vis the adjacent laneway. Sure, it will help but it isn’t a true solution to the problem.
Much could be done to increase the housing stock in the core if the city were to loosen up its rigid zoning and planning restrictions that serve to stifle growth of urban housing. What’s required is a loosening of these rules in order to allow for the proliferation of low rise apartment buildings and the conversion of existing single family housing stock in older neighbourhoods into multiplex homes.
Here are two solution based articles I found particularly interesting regarding the housing shortage issue. Both were written by The Globe and Mail’s Architecture Critic – Alex Bozikovic who is the author of “Toronto Architecture, A City Guide” and has written numerous articles for Azure, Dwell, Blueprint & Wallpaper Magazine in addition to receiving a National Magazine Award.