A Study in Contrast: or, Getting Density Right

Two articles appeared in the Globe and Mail this week that offer an interesting study in contrast. The first, by Alex Bozikovic, explores the new Residential Apartment Commercial (RAC) zone designed to breath new life into Toronto’s 1960s and 70s tower-in-the-park communities by making small-scale retail operations legal there. Approved by City Council in 2014 (you can find our City Planning Staff Report here), it is a step in a process designed to help fix the negative consequences of poorly designed density.  The second article, by Marcus Gee, argues that Toronto is squandering its best opportunities for intensification by scaling down development proposals to accommodate NIMBYism. It advocates for density at all costs while ignoring the consequences of poorly designed density that the RAC zone is designed to address.

Towers in St James Town, in Toronto

St James Town, one of Toronto’s original apartment neighbourhoods (image by SimonP at English Wikipedia CC-BY-SA-3.0)

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