It’s Cool to be Smart: How Ontario’s Growth Plan can Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions
March 21, 2017
March 21, 2017
It’s Cool to be Smart examines the climate benefits of Ontario’s Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH). The Growth Plan normally brings to mind efforts to reduce land consumption, protect natural capital and agricultural space, and increase density in communities across. But it has the potential to do more. By increasing the density of our existing communities, planning for more residents near transit, and building more complete, walkable and transit-friendly communities, the Growth Plan could reduce greenhouse gasses and contribute to Ontario’s Climate Change Action Plan.
March 13, 2017
This paper shows that the primary determinants of Toronto’s high housing prices lie on the demand side, and that the element of foreign investment has been under-appreciated by various public authorities to this point. The case for supply-side reform is overstated and would not address the immediate challenges facing the city. This paper also presents demand-oriented policy options that would help tackle the affordability problem in Toronto, including a foreign buyer tax.
February 22, 2017
The City of Toronto is redesigning downtown Yonge Street so it better serves Torontonians in the 21st century. How can Yonge Street accommodate more pedestrians, improve the public realm, and balance higher density with the public needs of the neighbourhood?
January 31, 2017
In this submission, It's Time to Introduce Road Pricing in Toronto, we present a rationale for moving forward with road pricing in Toronto. Road pricing will not only generate revenue, but it will also help the City achieve strategic short and long-term goals including reducing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
The Premier of Ontario recently rejected the City of Toronto's proposal to implement road tolls on the Don Valley Parkway and Gardiner Expressway. The decision disappointed many GTA residents and policymakers. CBI Research Manager Graham Haines explores what this means and where we can go from here in his blog titled Time to get road pricing right.
November 22, 2016
In 2015, City of Toronto staff embarked on a study to determine future uses for Old City Hall, a beloved landmark in the heart of Canada’s largest city. The study will focus on accommodating a city museum and designing a public space that contributes to Toronto’s cultural identity and civic life.1 As part of this process, the City will consult with stakeholders and the public to gather input and ideas on Old City Hall’s future programming.
This report, A New Life for Old City Hall, does not put forth recommendations, but intends to spark creative thinking and inspire a public discussion around future uses for Old City Hall by presenting inspiring case studies, found locally and across the globe.
September 20, 2016
The "last mile" is the trek commuters make between home and a major transit station or from station to workplace. This problem will affect more people as the GTHA grows by an estimated 3 million over the next 25 years.
Join the the Ryerson City Building Institute for a Meet-Up that brings together leading city builders, transit experts and the public to discuss the last mile.
September 7, 2016
Two of the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area's biggest challenges are mobility and housing affordability. At this intersection lies an opportunity for the province to create the conditions for optimizing residential and commercial development in our urban and suburban centres, particularly around new transit infrastructure. This report by the Ryerson City Building Institute and the Ontario Home Builders' Association outlines four steps the province can take to get Toronto’s suburbs and surrounding municipalities “on track” for the future.
May 12, 2016
CBI and TVO's Steve Paikin hosted a lively discussion on driverless cars, on-demand ride-sharing, and the impact both will have on the future of the Toronto region.
May 10, 2016
Background: read our previous blogs and reports:
April 26, 2016
CBI welcomed former NYC Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan to speak to a sold out crowd of city builders on the Ryerson campus. A leader in the movement for safer, more livable streets, Janette shared her strategies for success and her new book, Streetfight: Handbook for an urban revolution. Following her presentation, Janette was joined onstage by former Toronto Star architecture critic Christopher Hume for a lively discussion about how to make it all happen in Toronto.
Coinciding with the City’s deliberations on the Bloor Bike Lane Pilot, Janette’s visit ignited public discussion on the value and benefits of street safety and inspired a number of media stories, including features by John Lorinc and Urban Toronto.
The following week, Toronto City Council approved the Bloor Bike Lane Pilot, 38-3.
Missed our event? Check out our blog Will Toronto’s Streetfight Begin with a Bike Brawl? for a look at Janette’s ideas in the Toronto context.
April 14, 2016
Following the completion of CBI’s winter 2016 "Retrofitting Suburbia" studio course, Ryerson Planning students presented their final projects to a sold-out crowd at 401 Richmond. The students were then joined on stage by expert panelists Jaclene Begley, Mike Collins-Williams, and Zahra Ebrahim for a lively discussion about the planning, policy, and design strategies needed to transform auto-oriented suburban developments near public transit into more walkable, transit-oriented, and socially vital neighbourhoods.
February 26, 2016
With the Crombie Panel report released two months ago, we are nearing the end of the Province of Ontario's 10-year coordinated land use planning review. The Crombie Panel’s report includes comprehensive list of 87 recommendations for the Province to consider as they are quickly drafting amendments for release early in 2016.
This CBI commentary digests and distills the Crombie Panel report's 87 recommendations into nine key proposals, which we hope the Province hears loudly.
January 22, 2016
Late January, the City of Toronto unveiled another iteration of the Scarborough Subway transit plan. Unlike previous proposals, this plan focused on creating a transit network, trading in two subway stops for an entire LRT line with 17 stations.
CBI’s Commentary, “Getting on board the Scarborough transit plan,” analyzed the new plan, reminding policy makers that a good transit plan needs a strong supporting land use plan.
CBI’s Executive Director, Cherise Burda, appeared on The Agenda with Steve Paikin to explain how we need to plan for density and complete communities to justify the new Scarborough plan. Cherise's analysis of the Scarborough transit plan was also quoted in the Toronto Star and John Lorinc's blog for TVO.
January 13, 2016
In partnership with MASS LBP, Ryerson CBI held a unique public lecture with Susan Chin of NYC's Design Trust for Public Space. Susan delivered an engaging presentation on the design potential of these forgotten public spaces beneath elevated infrastructure. She was joined by Public Work's Marc Ryan for a discussion, moderated by Jane Farrow, on the future of Toronto's highest profile design project, the Under Gardiner.
Missed our event? Check out our blog Underneath it All: How Toronto’s Under Gardiner could be a global model to unlock forgotten spaces for a summary of Susan's visit.
Recommendations for the next generation of Ontario’s planning framework.
October 14, 2015
In an effort to support the Province of Ontario's 10-year coordinated land use planning review, the Ryerson City Building Institute convened subject matter experts to find policy solutions, tools, and approaches to strengthen the links between transit investments and planning. Five priorities emerged from the workshop discussion and are presented in the Ryerson City Building Report, Getting Growth on Track.
Citylinx is a growing database of city building organizations that are involved in research and engagement on urban issues. Citylinx offers a snapshot of the city building landscape, identifying trends and emerging specialties and areas of focus. Check out our recent blog posts to see what's up with city building in the GTHA. These posts examine the university's role in city building and profile Hamilton as an emerging leader for city building initiatives.
Ryerson CBI is continually adding organizations to the database in an effort to connect, monitor, and increase awareness of city building initiatives. To search organizations, add a new organization or update an existing organization, please click here.
May 13, 2015
In a unique public forum held by the Ryerson CBI, three GTA mayors joined urban experts to propose strategies aimed at bridging the growing divides in our cities.
Six interdisciplinary teams presented solutions that would help bridge growing divides in transit, income polarization, immigration and identity, housing affordability, access to services and political culture. The ideas were then field tested a moderated discussion led by Ryerson CBI Director - External, Anne Golden, with mayors Bonnie Crombie (Mississauga), Steve Parish (Ajax) and John Tory (Toronto).