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Housing policy in three city blocks

April 29, 2013

What are the policy solutions that could keep downtown Toronto affordable for the next generation?

That’s the topic of my Jane’s Walk, Where will the next generation live?”  It’s a two-hour tour along the street I live on, and a couple of others – ordinary, working class streets that are rapidly becoming unaffordable to anyone making less than $100,000 a year.

Are there answers on the street?

They’re hidden in plain view: second suites and apartments above stores; co-ops and non-profit housing; preserving old buildings and introducing affordable units in new ones.

And the public policy decisions that will keep these options alive? That’s what I hope to talk about.

I don’t pretend to be an expert. But I’m willing to share what I know, and pose the questions in hopes that someone on tour will know the answer. That someone might be you!

Come and join us.

The tour starts this Sunday, May 5th, 1 pm in front of Roden School, 151 Hiawatha Road, just north of Gerrard, between Coxwell and Greenwood.

And for a different angle on a similar topic, you might enjoy Saturday’s Jane’s Walk  Revitalization or displacement? A critical look at the idea of mixed income neighbourhoods. I plan to attend.


One Comment leave one →
  1. May 5, 2013 9:45 pm

    Thanks for doing this walk. I enjoyed seeing how much diversity of approaches were in proximity, but I guess that’s one of the features of Toronto’s older neighbourhoods,

    The reason I choose this walk is because I’m presently searching (not as actively as I should be) for a new place to live, and a week ago I realized that the Gerrard/Coxwell might be an area I should consider for affordability. I’m not so much concerned about where the next generation will live as where I’ll manage to live myself. This was touched on at the second last stop on the tour, across from the former hellhouse, when talk turned to shared accommodation for older people. I’ve heard lately that one of the biggest groups in poverty is single people between 45-60, people who have been displaced from work, or like me never seemed to manage to settle themselves in the first place. Isolation and loneliness are also big problems for this group. In my search for a place to live I often look at rooming situations (I’m in one now, in Scarborough). At least in theory I think some sort of shared accommodation would be best for me. But when I look I often find that property owners specify there places, even very spartan places, as suitable for “students or young professionals”. As someone in his early 50s, I fear any prospective landlord will look at me and wonder what’s my problem that I’m looking for 20-something style housing solutions when I’m my age.

    Anyway, I thought of speaking up at that time during the walk but hesitated. Just wanted to add my voice to the concerns about housing single people in middle and late middle age. At one point we stopped across from a very rough looking building on the south-east of Gerrard and Woodfield. I noticed that many of the people there looked elderly, and were properly long-time residents.

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