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About the Seminar:

Alain Bertaud, in his recent book "Order without Design: How Markets Shape Cities", makes the case for a revolution in land use planning regimes around the globe. By applying the theories of urban economics to the practice of urban planning, Bertaud argues we can improve the productivity and welfare of citizens in urban regions like the GTA.

His presentation focused on a number of issues. These included the purpose of urban regions; the role of politicians and planners; the need to rely more on market forces to spatially allocate employment and housing, urban transport strategies and affordable housing; and how planners and economists can work better together to improve the management of urban regions and municipalities.

His presentation was followed by commentary by a panel of land use planners before the session was then opened for attendee questions, moderated by Frank Clayton, the Senior Research Fellow for the Centre for Urban Research and Land Development.

Panelists: 

Matthias Sweet
Assistant Professor
School of Urban and Regional Planning
Ryerson University

Russell Mathew
Partner
Hemson Consulting Ltd.

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About the Seminar:

Government housing agencies have recently been leveraging public land to build or rebuild social housing units. The Centre for Urban Research and Land Development (CUR) hosted a seminar which presented three case studies showcasing how this is being undertaken internationally. In Toronto’s case, the Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) has used this innovative approach to redevelop Regent Park and other sites. The Boston Housing Authority (BHA) is now undertaking a similar approach to aid in the redevelopment of several of its aging housing projects, including One Charlestown and McCormack. In South Africa, the City of Cape Town is working with the Development Action Group (DAG), an NGO, to leverage public land to build social housing in the Woodstock Community.

Speakers involved in the Toronto, Boston and Cape Town initiatives compared their experiences and offered lessons learned from their perspectives. The floor was then opened for a general discussion moderated by the Director of the Centre for Urban Research and Land Development, David Amborski.

Panelists: 

Vincent Tong
Chief Development Officer
Toronto Community and Housing Corporation (TCHC)

Joe Bamberg
Director of Planning and Development
Boston Housing Authority (BHA)

Adi Kumar
Executive Director
Development Action Group (DAG)

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View the Seminar >>>>

 

About the Seminar:

On April 16th, CUR held a seminar to discuss the potential of developing housing along Ontario's major transit corridors, further building on the findings of its recent report "Transit Nodes in Ontario Have Untapped Development Potential". The panel was composed of a number of knowledgeable representatives from jurisdictions that have undertaken policies to encourage TOD. The discussion which followed focused on what policies have been successful in implementing TOD and on the lessons learned.

Following the presentation, the floor was opened for questions for a discussion moderated by the Director of CUR, David Amborski. 

Panelists:

Jason Thorne
General Manager, Planning and Economic Development
City of Hamilton

Amanda Kutler
Manager, Development Planning
Regional Municipality of Waterloo

Robin van de Lande
Urban Planner, Planning, Infrastructure and Economic Development Department 
City of Ottawa

Greg Tokarz
Program Manager, Transit Implementation, City Planning 
City of Toronto

Ed Sajecki
Partner and Co-founder 
Sajecki Planning

View the presentation >>>

View a recording of the event >>> 

 

About the Seminar:

In her new study, prepared with The Neptis Foundation, Pamela Blais detailed the hyper-concentration of GTA core job growth occurring in downtown Toronto at the expense of the 905 regions. Moreover, she predicted that this concentration of jobs in the downtown at the expense of the suburbs will continue.

The Centre for Urban Research and Land Development and the Local Economic Development Certificate Program at the G. Raymond Chang School at Ryerson University invited Dr. Blais to present her empirical findings and to engage with a panel of economic development professionals from the 905 regions to discuss the implications of this report for their regions. The panel also discussed the strategy shifts the 905 regions are contemplating in dealing with this new employment reality.

Following the presentation, the floor was opened for questions. A discussion moderated by Frank Clayton, Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Urban Research and Land Development, followed.

Panelists: 

Simon Gill
Director, Economic Development and Tourism
Regional Municipality of Durham

Doug Lindeblom
Director, Economic Strategy
Regional Municipality of York

John Davidson
Director, Economic Development
Regional Municipality of Halton

Moderator:

Frank Clayton
Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Urban Research and Land Development, Ryerson University

 

View the Seminar >>>>

View Pamela Blais' Presentation >>>>>

Read the study >>>>

 

About the Seminar:

Housing in the GTHA is a regional challenge which needs to be addressed to ensure social and economic growth in the years ahead. In this light, CUR brought together a number of experts to share their latest research on this pressing challenge.

Speakers:

Matthew Cory, Principal, Malone Givens Parsons, "The Future of Housing in the GTHA: The Impact of Land Use Policy."

Michelle German, Senior Manager, Policy and Parnerships, Evergreen Foundation, "What is the Missing Middle? A Toronto Housing Challenge Demystified."

Paul Smetanin, President, Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis, "The GTHA's Unbalanced Housing Stock: Benchmarking Ontario's New LPAT System."

Moderator:

David Amborski, Director, Centre for Urban Research and Land Development (CUR) Ryerson University

View the presentation >>>>>

Watch a video of the presentation >>>>>

 

 

About the Seminar:

On Friday, November 30, Ryerson University's Centre for Urban Research and Land Development (CUR) hosted a seminar. This seminar, entitled "Getting Serious about Tackling the Housing Affordability Challenge in the GTA," featured an in-depth examination of the issue by CUR researchers Diana Petramala and Frank Clayton. This was followed by comments by an expert panelists and sparked a number of discussions on the part of those gathered.  

Expert Panelists: 

Sean Gadon, Director, Affordable Housing Office, City of Toronto

Robert Hogue, Senior Economist, RBC

Neil Rodgers, President, Dumara Projects Limited


Moderator:

David Amborski, Director, Centre for Urban Research and Land Development (CUR) Ryerson University

 

View the Seminar Presentations >>

 

About the Workshop:

On Monday, February 26th, guests gathered for a workshop organized by Ryerson University's Centre for Urban Research and Land Development (CUR). The topic of the workshop was "Evaluating the Province's Proposed Methodology for Land Needs Assessment for the Greater Golden Horseshoe." CUR researchers, David Amborski, Diana Petramala and Frank Clayton covered 4 main topics in their presentations:

  • Ways to build a comprehensive land needs methodology (best practices) 
  • Assessing how the provisions of the Province's proposed methodology relate to best practices
  • Discussing economic and market impacts resulting from the more limited scope of the Province's methodology
  • Discussing ways to make the Province's proposed methodology more cognizance of economic and market realities, minimize undesirable negative impacts and still achieve Growth Plan objectives.

The workshop sparked debate and discussion among attendees. Following the workshop, CUR made a submission to the Province regarding its proposed methodology for land needs assessment for the Greater Golden Horseshoe.

View the workshop presentations>>  

Watch a video of the workshop>> 

 

About the Seminar:

On January 10th, 2018, Ed Sajecki, Commissioner of Planning and Building at the City of Mississauga, shared his insights on planning in the Greater Golden Horseshoe at a seminar organized by Ryerson University’s Centre for Urban Research and Land Development (CUR) in partnership with the Ontario Professional Planners Institute (OPPI). This seminar comes as he retires from a long and accomplished career in Ontario public service at both the municipal and provincial levels. After his presentation, a panel discussed lessons from Mr. Sajecki’s career, as well as the future of planning in Ontario.

Panelists:

Lindsay Dale-Harris

Partner
Bousfields Inc. 

Allan Leibel
Counsel
Goodmans LLP

Read more about this event >>

 

December 7, 2017

Read about the event >>

Watch video of the event >>

Participants:

Matthew Taylor U E 
Research Assistant, Centre for Urban Research and Land Development
Ryerson University

View Matthew's presentation >>

Mike Czestochowski
Executive Vice President, CBRE Limited, Real Estate Brokerage
Advisory and Transaction Services

Pete Schut
Vice President, Acquisitions and Development, Brookfield Homes Limited

Diana Petramala
Senior Researcher, Centre for Urban Research and Land Development
Ryerson University

View Diana's presentation >>

Moderator:

Frank Clayton
Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Urban Research and Land Development, Ryerson University

 

On Tuesday, November 21st, 2017, the Toronto Association of Business and Economics (TABE) and Ryerson University’s Centre for Urban Research and Land Development (CUR) hosted a discussion on housing affordability in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) for National Housing Week 2017.

An expert panel discussed the future of home prices and the opportunities and challenges the GTA faces in providing affordable housing. 

Expert Panelists:

Stephen Punwasi
, Co-founder, Better Dwelling

Bryan Tuckey, President & CEO, Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD)

Frank Clayton, Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Urban Research and Land Development (CUR) Ryerson University

Michelle German, Senior Manager of Policy & Partnerships, Evergreen

Moderator:


Brian DePratto
, Senior Economist, TD Bank

 

Stimulating Businesses and Jobs in Urbanizing Communities: Innisfil as a Case Study

Thursday, November 2nd, 2017 
10:30 am - 3:00 PM
Alumni Lounge, 4th Floor, Mattamy Athletic Centre, 50 Carlton Street, Toronto 

The Town of Innisfil typifies many smaller municipalities experiencing rapid urbanization with lots of residential growth but little employment growth. The quality of life of its residents is challenged by the need to spend considerable time each day commuting to jobs outside the town. There is an urgent need to transform municipalities like Innisfil into more complete communities by attracting businesses and jobs which is a key thrust of the Province of Ontario’s land use planning initiatives. The desire may be there but the implementation is missing.

This workshop looked at the Town of Innisfil as a case study for other communities in Ontario. The workshop entailed two parts: background and situational analysis on the Town of Innisfil by Innisfil consultants and staff and an independent expert panel discussion.  

This workshop was organized by Ryerson University’s Centre for Urban Research and Land Development (CUR) and the Chang School’s Local Economic Development Certificate Program in partnership with the Town of Innisfil.

 

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Understanding Ontario's Housing Affordability Challenge:
A Big Data Evaluation

On May 23rd, 2017, the Centre for Urban Research and Land Development (CUR) in partnership with RESCON, CANCEA, OCS, OAA and RCCAO, held a conference which brought together thought leaders in Canada’s housing sector to discuss the findings from the Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis' phase-two housing affordability research.

About the Conference

The Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis (CANCEA) has examined the complex demand and supply factors affecting housing affordability in Ontario. Led by Paul Smetanin, the CANCEA team’s ground-breaking “big data” housing analysis examines the multiple forces working together to influence the housing market. Their agent-based research framework more broadly identifies and connects the high-profile and the lesser known factors affecting housing availability.

This research has been commissioned by the Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON), the Ontario Association of Architects (OAA), Ontario Construction Secretariat (OCS) and the Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario (RCCAO).

Download the full CANCEA Report here>>


Agenda


Presentation by Paul Smetanin, President & CEO, CANCEA

Panel Discussion on Housing Affordability

  • Ana Bailao, City Councillor & Chair, Toronto's Affordable Housing Committee
  • Jan De Silva, President and CEO of Toronto Region Board of Trade (moderator)
  • Jim Murphy, President & CEO, Federation of Rental-Housing Providers of Ontario
  • Diana Petramala, Economist, Real Estate, TD Economics
  • Sean Speer, Munk Senior Fellow, Macdonald-Laurier Institute

GTHA Mayors Panel on Housing Affordability

  • Mayor Bonnie Crombie (Mississauga)
  • Mayor Linda Jeffrey (Brampton)
  • Mayor Jeff Lehman (Barrie)
  • Mayor Steve Parish (Ajax) 
  • Dwight Drummond, CBC News Toronto (moderator)


Video Links:

Presentation by Paul Smetanin:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWzWaTvk4b0&t=1555s

Expert Panel on Housing Affordability:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYQD54zLg4M&t=1s

GTHA Mayors Panel on Housing Affordability:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=192bnEQSExI&t=2474s

 

Hazel McCallion, Mayor of Caledon, David Amborski and Mayor of Markham

Land-Use Planning in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area - Let's Get It Right

May 8, 2017

About the seminar:

Hazel McCallion, the former Mayor of Mississauga, along with panelists Caledon Mayor Allan Thompson and Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti gathered at Ryerson University on May 8th for a seminar organized by the Centre for Urban Research and Land Development entitled “Land-Use Planning in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) – Let's Get It Right.”
 
Ms. McCallion, Mayor Thompson and Mayor Scarpitti discussed their concerns regarding the proposed draft Growth Plan and the economic impact on municipalities and the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area as a whole. Ms. McCallion spoke about the contributions of the individual municipality to the vibrancy of the GTHA, a region that she describes as the economic engine of Canada.
 
A report was written and submitted to the Province based on the deliberations at the Summit of Mayors and Chairs held in September 2016. Ms. McCallion presented five key findings from the report:

  • There needs to be more discussion and consultation between the Province and the municipalities;
  • Do not impose the intensity targets and intensification minimums;
  • Consider the financial capacity to support the proposed plan and the resulting economic impacts;
  • Implement transition measures from the current Growth Plan to the new Growth Plan;
  • Implement a clear and transparent process for Greenbelt adjustments, refinements, removals, and additions to boundaries and designations.

Presentations by Mayor Thompson and Mayor Scarpitti addressed specific concerns stemming from their respective municipalities. Their comments were representative of many of the Mayors from the Summit (the majority signed support for the report).
 
The report concludes that the draft amendments to the Growth Plan go beyond the recommendations found in the Crombie Panel, the draft amendments are of an unachievable “one-size-fits-all” nature and ultimately if the proposed Growth Plan is adopted, it will negatively impact the affordability and livability of the GTHA.
 
Ms. McCallion stated, “It’d be much better for [the Province] to not rush it and to get it right...it is our opportunity to get it right and to realize there’s nothing wrong with density in the right location with the necessary services to support it.”

Download Mayor Thompson's presentation >>

Download Mayor Scarpitti's presentation >>

Watch a video of the seminar

 

Why is the supply of serviced land not responding to the market demand for housing in the GTHA?

May 2nd, 2017

About the seminar:

Don Given had good news for households now living in low-density homes in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) and bad news for households dreaming of a ground-related home with a front door and a small yard or patio. He stated that any relief on housing prices would require a significant change in Provincial Government land-use policies and, even then, would not provide relief to the low density market for many years. Given, President of multi-disciplinary Malone Given Parsons, was keynote speaker at today’s seminar organized by Ryerson University’s Centre for Urban Research and Land Development entitled “Why is the Supply of Serviced Land Not Responding to the Market Demand for Housing in the GTHA”. Malone Given Parsons has been at the forefront of measuring land supply availability and status throughout the GTHA for many years.

Given’s presentation covered the factual realities of the land supply, the consequences of the Province’s land-use policies embodied in the 2006 Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (the Growth Plan), and the faulty information and logic behind the proposed changes to the Growth Plan.
 
According to Given, the larger disparity between those who proclaim there is more than an ample supply of residential lands in the 905 Regions to accommodate low-density growth to 2031 and beyond and the current shortage of serviced sites on which to build new homes is the result of two factors: (1) Over stating the greenfield land supply by about 50% because the land is either built on or is close to occupancy; and (2) a multitude of constraints including cumbersome, unpredictable and lengthy approval processes, municipal phasing policies, municipal financial capacity to support growth and uncertainties created by the draft proposed Growth Plan.
 
The Province’s proposal to raise the average density on greenfield land development from 50 persons/employment per hectare to 80 is especially damaging to the future supply of low density forms of housing especially single-detached and semi-detached houses, according to Given. 
 
Panelists at the seminar included Michael Bissett, a partner at Bousfields Inc., Katarzyna Silwa, a partner at Dentons Canada LLP and Frank Clayton, Senior Research Fellow at Ryerson University's Centre for Urban Research and Land Development.

Download Don Given's presentation >>

Watch a video of the seminar

 

Economics and Land Use Planning in the
Greater Golden Horseshoe


On Friday, October 28th, 2016, Ryerson University's Centre for Urban Research and Land Development (CUR) held a seminar on land use planning in the Greater Golden Horseshoe. Professor Paul Cheshire, London School of Economics, delivered a keynote presentation on planning impacts from a British perspective followed by presentations by Dr. Frank Clayton, Senior Research Fellow, CUR, and Michael Brooks, CEO, REALpac. Following these presentations there was an expert panel discussion.

Expert Panelists:

Dr. Enid Slack
Director, Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance
Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto 

Jeannette Gillezeau
Senior Director, Economic Consulting, Research, Valuation & Advisory, Altus Group Limited

Don Given
President
Malone Given Parsons

Read more about this seminar  

Panelists

WHEN WILL THE TORONTO REGION'S HOUSING BUBBLE BURST?

On Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016 the Centre for Urban Research and Land Development brought together a panel of experts to debate, educate and answer questions about the housing market in Toronto.

Read more about this seminar



flyer for policy seminar

DENSITY BONUSES: IMPLEMENTATION ISSUES IN ONTARIO, SECTION 37 AND BRITISH COLUMBIA

About the Seminar
On Monday, March 7th, 2016, CUR held a policy seminar on density bonuses. Thank you to all the panelists.

Please click the link below to view a video of this seminar as well as presentation slides.

Speaker & Moderator

David Amborski
Director, Centre for Urban Research and Land Development
Professor, School of Urban and Regional Planning

Panelists

Patrick Devine
LSUC Certified Specialist in Municipal Law
Devine Park LLP  

John MacKenzie
Deputy City Manager, Planning and Growth Management 
City of Vaughan

Jeff Fisher
Vice President & Senior Policy Advisor
Urban Development Institute,Vancouver, British Columbia  

Read more about this event >>

Group photo

THE ESCALATING CHALLENGE OF HOME OWNERSHIP: CAUSES, COSTS & RISKS

On Wednesday, December 9th, 2015, housing industry leaders, government officials and academics gathered at the Ryerson University to discuss the ground-breaking new research report by the Canadian Centre for Economic Analysis (CANCEA) examining the Causes, Costs & Risks that are making it harder for families to purchase a home.

This event was co-hosted by the Centre for Urban Research and Land Development and the Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON). Thank you to everyone who participated.

Click the link below to view videos and presentation slides from this event.  

Read about the event

Dr. Chris De Sousa Presents

CUR POLICY SEMINAR: OVERCOMING BARRIERS AND FACILITATING BROWNFIELD REDEVELOPMENT IN THE GTHA

Speaker & Moderator: 

Dr. Chris De Sousa
Director, School of Urban and Regional Planning
Ryerson University

Panelists: 

George Boire 
Senior Vice President, Environment/Sustainability
Marsh Canada 

David Harper 
President
Kilmer Brownfield Equity Fund

Tara Tran
Policy Planner & Project Manager
City of Brantford

Read about the event

 

panel discussion in Atrium

CUR POLICY SEMINAR: IS INCLUSIONARY ZONING A NEEDED TOOL FOR PROVIDING AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN THE GREATER GOLDEN HORSESHOE? 

On Monday, October 26th, 2015, guests gathered in the Sears Atrium for an informative panel discussion on Inclusionary Zoning in the Greater Golden Horseshoe.

Speaker:

Geoff Schwartz
Researcher, Centre for Urban Research and Land Development, Ryerson University

Panelists: 

Patrick Maier
Executive Director, Innovative Housing Institute (IHI), Baltimore, MD

Richard Drdla
President, Richard Drdla Associates, Toronto, ON

John Brodhead
Special Advisor to the President of the University of Toronto

Moderator:

David Amborski
Director, Centre for Urban Research and Land Development, Ryerson University 

Read about the event

David Amborski presents

CUR POLICY SEMINAR: UNDERSTANDING THE GTA HOUSING MARKET UNDER THE CURRENT PLANNING SYSTEM

On Monday, June 1st, 2015, guests gathered in the Peter Bronfman Learning Centre for an informative panel discussion on understanding the GTA housing market.

The panel was moderated by Ben Dachis, Senior Policy Analyst, C.D. Howe Institute.

Panelists included:  Professor David Amborski, Director, Centre for Urban Research and Land Development (CUR), Russel Mathew, Partner,Hemson Consulting Ltd. and Dr. Frank Clayton, Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Urban Research and Land Development.

Read about the event

Seminar Aprl 7

CUR POLICY SEMINAR: HOW CAN THE GTA EXPAND THE SUPPLY OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING AT A TIME OF LIMITED GOVERNMENT SUPPORT?

On Tuesday, April 7th, 2015, guests gathered in the Sears Atrium for an informative panel discussion on Affordable Housing in the GTA.

Panelists included: Mark Conway, Senior Partner, N. Barry Lyon Consultants Limited; Hanita Braun, Executive Director of Project Management, Planning & Development, Verdiroc Development Corporation and Heather Tremain, Director, Planning & Development, Options for Homes. This panel discussion was moderator by CUR Director, David Amborski.  

Read about the event

Hemson Lecture

INAUGURAL RAYMOND J. SIMPSON LECTURE OF THE HEMSON SIMPSON PUBLIC LECTURE SERIES

On Thursday, February 26th, 2015, the School of Urban and Regional Planning at Ryerson University in association with the Centre for Urban Research and Land Development (CUR) held the Inaugural Raymond J. Simpson Lecture of the Hemson Simpson Public Lecture Series. This lecture featured Dr. Arthur C. Nelson, Professor of Urban Planning and Real Estate Development at the University of Arizona. Dr. Nelson’s lecture, “Reshaping Metropolitan America” was based primarily on a book he authored of the same name.

Dr. Nelson explored how changing demographic and economic trends and preferences will reshape America’s metropolitan areas. Specifically, Dr. Nelson looked at themes such as the rise of Megapolitan America, the sweeping demographic changes happening in the US and in Canada, what surveys tell us about emerging housing preferences and finally the implications of these changing preference patterns.  

Through an analysis of housing surveys, Dr. Nelson deduced that Americans prefer attached housing (i.e. townhouse, condo, apartment) in a walkable community to any other housing alternative. In the US, the supply of attached housing is less than the demand and the supply of conventional lots is greater than the demand. The implications of this is that in approximately 60% - 70% of American metropolitan areas, the larger lot market is continuing to erode in value relative to alternatives within the same metropolitan area. Dr. Nelson suggested that the future of the housing demand in the US is in attached and small lot housing. 

Read Dr. Nelson's presentation

Seminar Jan 26

CUR POLICY SEMINAR: WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR ONTARIO'S MUNICIPAL WATER AND WASTEWATER UTILITIES AND HOW THEY FUND GROWTH RELATED INFRASTRUCTURE?

On Monday, January 26th, 2015, guests gathered in the Sears Atrium for an informative panel discussion on the future of Ontario's municipal water and wastewater utilities and how they fund growth-related infrastructure.

Read about the event

policy seminar

CUR POLICY SEMINAR: ISSUES AND IMPACTS OF THE DEVELOPMENT PERMIT SYSTEM IN TORONTO AREA MUNICIPALITIES

On Monday October 20th, 2014, a capacity crowd gathered at Ryerson University’s Sears Atrium for a robust discussion concerning the issues and impacts of the Development Permit System for Toronto area municipalities.

Read about the event

Opening Gala

GALA OPENING RECEPTION OF CUR, NOVEMBER 20, 2013

The first research centre of its kind to study the economic aspects of urban policies in the Greater Golden Horseshoe area was officially inaugurated with enthusiastic support.

Read about it:

Ryerson News showcases Gala Opening  

Yonge Street Media writes about the new centre and the possibilities

Urban Toronto News discusses launch and CURLD's focus on economic impact of urban policies

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