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View Full Version : City of Toronto stuggles as surrounding suburbs boom. The Star



miketoronto
Oct 2, 2007, 2:18 PM
I got The Star this morning, and they have a whole special section on how the City of Toronto(416) is stuggling as the surrounding outter suburbs of the 905 are booming and seeing great quality of life.

Some of the basic facts from the special.

-0.9% growth in the City of Toronto population between 2001-06, compared with the surrounding regions that grew 9.2%

-1.6% of jobs lost in the City of Toronto from 2000-06, compared to a 27.8% increase in jobs in the 905 region.

6.6% drop in Toronto public school enrolment. 7.2% increase in private schools enrolment.

-The 905 is doing the growing, while Toronto has stalled.

-Gap between rich and poor is getting wider.


These might be minor things, but if we do not address them, like job growth, then these issues are going to bite Toronto harder in the future.

We must address why Toronto has stalled while the outter regions are booming, seeing great quality of life increases, etc, while Toonto stalls and is actually losing quality of life, income, etc.

When Toronto went through the first suburban boom, the city did not stall. Downtown took up the challange, and grew, and the inner city and suburbs were on the same level field income wise, etc.

Now we are seeing the classic American city gap of a stalling central city, getting poorer, while the outter regions become the places to be.

This is not meant to be an alarmest post. It is just meant to talk about a problem that is there, and that is not being addressed by our city leaders, who think everything is just great.

raisethehammer
Oct 2, 2007, 2:56 PM
Mike - you need to start a new website that looks honestly at the problems and successes of Toronto.
As you well know, the Toronto posters on this site have no interest in looking at any of TO's problems. It's rose-coloured glasses all the way.
I've been watching this trend in TO for years and been quite worried about it.
I want our downtowns and major cities to succeed, not suffer at the hands of the sprawlers.

Cambridgite
Oct 2, 2007, 4:24 PM
Ahh Miketoronto. So freakin' predictable.

I'm not even going to bother anymore :rolleyes: .

WhipperSnapper
Oct 2, 2007, 5:08 PM
another Toronto Star article, another fuckin' miketoronto thread. Yawn

WhipperSnapper
Oct 2, 2007, 5:17 PM
As you well know, the Toronto posters on this site have no interest in looking at any of TO's problems. It's rose-coloured glasses all the way.


We are well aware of TO's issues and problems. The downtown which is booming like never before and suburbia developing their own economic centres is not one of them. And, it's not like new uses aren't replacing the shrinking industrialized areas of the inner suburbs either.

Tony
Oct 2, 2007, 5:59 PM
Mike - you need to start a new website that looks honestly at the problems and successes of Toronto.
As you well know, the Toronto posters on this site have no interest in looking at any of TO's problems. It's rose-coloured glasses all the way.
I've been watching this trend in TO for years and been quite worried about it.
I want our downtowns and major cities to succeed, not suffer at the hands of the sprawlers.

Umm, it's not rose-coloured glasses. It's called perspective and intelligent analysis rather than alarmist screaming. I'd be nice if you didn't generalize all TO posters as being ignorant. Some of us happen to be PRACTICING PROFESSIONAL PLANNERS.

WHISTLERINMUSKOKA
Oct 2, 2007, 6:03 PM
Hey Mike, you live in sprawl town with your parents, why don't you pack up your things and move downtown already? If Toronto was to grow at 9.2% like the 905 where would we put these 450,000 every year? Also with all the condos going up and office tower construction, those stats won't stay the same for long. Also if we're in a population downturn at the moment I really look forward to the construction frenzy we'll see when things rebound.

Poor poor Toronto.

miketoronto
Oct 2, 2007, 7:50 PM
It is the underlying social problems. The population gorwing so little is not the biggest problem. Yes we could grow more, but the issues are the poverty, a city not attracting families, debt, loss of jobs, etc.
Something is not right when the core city is losing jobs and the outter suburbs can't keep up with the job growth.

There are many issues the government and people of Toronto are not addressing.

One part of the article made a great comment, about people moving out of Toronto because there are no jobs. They are heading for the 905 where people know there are good jobs not so much problems.

matt602
Oct 2, 2007, 8:52 PM
Toronto never really looks all that depressing every time I go... I see people jamming up patios, strolling along the streets and carrying shopping bags around downtown. Looks fine to me. Better than any other city in Ontario can say.

LordMandeep
Oct 2, 2007, 9:25 PM
Toronto is wealthy and growing from Downtown along the lake and up Yonge Street and in certain pockets. The areas that border the suburbs are declining rapidly.


downtown is growing and in the report it refers to there being more head office jobs. Downtown and area all along all Yonge Street and the rich area in midtown and in places near Willowdale, Asiancourt and Northeast Scarborough are growing. Due to new condos and homes.


Its the places like Scarborough South of the 401, York, Western North York, North Etibocke. Those area really not growing but declining and are people rather poor. Many people who used to live in these parts have fled to the burbs.

Perspective123
Oct 2, 2007, 10:24 PM
^^Very true. The downtown core and the Yonge St strip is booming right now. It's the post-war suburban areas of the 416 that are sseing the "decline". Poverty has actually slightly declined in the old City of Toronto over the last 20 years, but increased rapidly in Scarborough and North York.

rbt
Oct 2, 2007, 10:30 PM
It's worse than that. I read in the star that half of Toronto students are getting below average marks in their classrooms. Local epidemic!?! Everybody panic!

LordMandeep
Oct 2, 2007, 11:30 PM
i don't have any stats to prove it but it is something that is clearly visible.

miketoronto
Oct 2, 2007, 11:49 PM
It may be a small problem, but if don't address the issues now, they will get worse and then we are in big problems.

There are issues that must be dealt with like

-Making the inner suburbs attractive to new families, so they don't flee to the 905. There are select areas in the inner suburbs that are choice areas and command every high prices. There also many areas with great homes and neighbourhoods that have below average home prices, because people consider then lower class, eventhough they are not. These neighbourhoods must be marketed and revived, or we will have problems.

-The fact that Toronto is housing almost all the poor of the region, and the city is poorer on average then hte 905 suburbs.

-Negative job growth. This is not good in attracting people to our city.

Better Toronto tackle these issues now then latter when it will cost more and we really have a problem.

Many American cities sat on the sidelines and did not address problems, and look what happened. I am not saying we are on track to being the next Detroit. But you get the idea.

Look at Philly for example. They went in 10 years from having over half of regional office space downtown, to something like 20% today, while the suburbs have taken all the growth. This is a direct result of the city sitting by and not addressing issues like taxes, access, etc.

Toronto must stand up and start fixing what needs to be fixed.
You can all go on that its just the inner suburbs. Well the inner suburbs are a big chunk of this city, and we need them to be healthy. The inner suburbs have some great neighbourhoods, and they are the locations we can urbanize more. But its not going to happen if we let them all fall.

And for everyone who thinks things are just great in inner Toronto. Well while things are good, downtown Toronto still has less workers today then it did in 1989, while all the 905 areas have gained back the jobs they lost in the 90's and have more jobs now then in 1989. Downtown Toronto has something like 20,000 less workers now then in 1989. And on the retail front, Downtown Toronto was the only major downtown in Canada to see its percentage of regional retail sales decline, while Montreal, Calgary, Vancouver and other Canadian cities gain more regional sales.

At the same time the inner city is getting so expensive, that families are being pushed out, and Toronto has no bylaws to mandate family housing in downtown condos, etc like Vancouver.

Like the news article says "we can't not afford to have kids in the city".

theman23
Oct 3, 2007, 1:53 AM
Toronto's development is weird. You have the wealthy inner city (downtown), surrounded by poor inner burbs (scarborough), surrounded by wealthy outer burbs (markham), surround by really really poor outer outer burbs (hamilton). What's up with that?

It may be a small problem, but if don't address the issues now, they will get worse and then we are in big problems.

There are issues that must be dealt with like

-Making the inner suburbs attractive to new families, so they don't flee to the 905. There are select areas in the inner suburbs that are choice areas and command every high prices. There also many areas with great homes and neighbourhoods that have below average home prices, because people consider then lower class, eventhough they are not. These neighbourhoods must be marketed and revived, or we will have problems.
Those homes look like ass. So do most new suburban homes, but many of these "low priced" suburban 416 homes are worse and they are getting old too. Their only redeeming quality is many of them have big trees on their property. The only realistic solution here is to raze these communities and build a race track.

miketoronto
Oct 3, 2007, 2:27 AM
They may not be considered great for urbanist on here, but much of the inner suburban neighbourhoods happen to be very nice places. They have their suburban flaws. But the homes are very well built, nice neighbourhoods, greenery, great transit, etc. We should not let them just fall apart.

Photo's thanks to Markland Woods Community Group.

http://www.marklandwood.org/mag_2004_9.jpg

http://www.marklandwood.org/tree_0109a.jpg

theman23
Oct 3, 2007, 2:29 AM
Are you sure those are the lower priced houses? I was thinking about something more like this:
http://images.mls.ca/listings/reb82/highres/1/e12192611.jpg

miketoronto
Oct 3, 2007, 2:35 AM
The picture you posted looks more like an inner city Toronto house in the east end, or a house in South Scarborough in the old industrial areas. Most of the inner suburbs do not look like that though.

The pictures I posted have home prices depending on location. Houses like those in select areas of Scar and North York can go in the 500,000-700,000 or more. But in other areas you can get them for as cheap as $300,000-400,000.

WhipperSnapper
Oct 3, 2007, 3:34 AM
Well while things are good, downtown Toronto still has less workers today then it did in 1989

How do you know? All I know is that my company was never asked to be part of a census of downtown office workers and I doubt the contract workers & consultants would be included anyways. All I know is that the space alloted per worker has shrunk by around 35% and we have roughly 10 million more square feet leased than in 1989. So, how can we possibly have less office workers downtown?


They may not be considered great for urbanist on here, but much of the inner suburban neighbourhoods happen to be very nice places. They have their suburban flaws. But the homes are very well built, nice neighbourhoods, greenery, great transit, etc. We should not let them just fall apart.


What's your point? Are these homes abandoned?



The city is not decllining. The suburbs are merely growing faster than the city as they have for the past 30 years. This is hardly news. However, urban intiatives, encouraged by government, thoroughout the 905 are producing masterplans as urban as those in the city centre is news.

DC83
Oct 3, 2007, 3:54 AM
Houses like those in select areas of Scar and North York can go in the 500,000-700,000 or more. But in other areas you can get them for as cheap as $300,000-400,000.


That's cheap!?!?! In Hamilton (city, not suburb) you can get those style of homes (the larger ones, not that shack haha) for ~225,000 - 250,000!

So I say move to Hamilton... life is cheaper (and just as exciting)! :)

icescraper
Oct 3, 2007, 11:45 PM
Anyone who can remember back to the late sixities early seventies will remember downtown Toronto had TD center, the ROM, city hall and a few large department stores. The rest was shit. Bay steet was filled with Drifters east side with flop houses and the hole place sunk of soy beans and chemicals. Trash covered the streets. Now with Bay street cleaned up the docks and train yards gone. The the west and east sides sporting high end condos I'm having a hard time seeing the city going to hell in a handbasket. True the haydays were in the early seventies thanks mainly to Montreal self destructing and the late eighties with the Hong Kong exodist.

Toronto does have its problems. However most of the things mike has listed are natural occurances when a mega city is created. PS you may find that if the downtown doesn't having massive job and business growth the cost of living in the city might actually decrease.

If I hear one more politician mention something about Toronto being/no being a world class city I think I will go postal. - ice

Cambridgite
Oct 4, 2007, 12:11 AM
That's cheap!?!?! In Hamilton (city, not suburb) you can get those style of homes (the larger ones, not that shack haha) for ~225,000 - 250,000!

So I say move to Hamilton... life is cheaper (and just as exciting)! :)

What, you can get those size houses for that cheap in Hamilton? Then why are commuters moving to Cambridge (further than Hamilton) because they "can't afford Toronto"? Those homes would cost a minimum of $300K here. If anything, closer to $400K. The whole commuting far distances thing is such baloney. You just spend more in gas and lose time out of your day. Just live closer to work and settle for a somewhat smaller house I say.

By the way, I agree. Hamilton is a city. I'm getting sick of people classifying all of Southern Ontario as Toronto and its suburbs.

LordMandeep
Oct 4, 2007, 12:20 AM
those are some good houses....

i prefer brick homes with large trees...

miketoronto
Oct 4, 2007, 3:30 AM
Toronto does have its problems. However most of the things mike has listed are natural occurances when a mega city is created. PS you may find that if the downtown doesn't having massive job and business growth the cost of living in the city might actually decrease.


How is decline in employment levels natural when all other areas are seeing an increase?

It is not normal. NYC is looking addings thousands and thousands of new jobs in Manhattan over the coming years.

Chicago is looking at adding over 100,000 jobs just into downtown in the next 20 years or so.

Even with factory closings, downtown Toronto alone doubled its employment levels, during the first suburban boom.

Infact Toronto is one of the only major cities with declining employment in Canada.

It is not normal. And that is just one issue.

miketoronto
Oct 4, 2007, 3:33 AM
those are some good houses....

i prefer brick homes with large trees...

They are nice homes. But if we don't fix the stigma that many parts of the inner suburban areas of Toronto have, then there could be problems. Actually we know someone who turned down a really nice two story home like the one in the pic above. The house was only 5min from their job, and is on a nice quiet street on a ravine, etc. They turned it down for a house a 45min drive away from work, because Toronto or Scarborough was not as classy as "Maple" on their mailing address.

There is a stigma that needs to be addressed.

salvius
Oct 4, 2007, 8:55 AM
"-0.9% growth in the City of Toronto population between 2001-06"

This would be decline, not growth. A 1% decline would indeed be very bad news.

However, since I'm pretty sure census information for this is available to the public, you can look it up yourself and see that it's obviously false.

Tony
Oct 4, 2007, 11:06 AM
Mike, do you have a link to the "article"? You should by now know the posting rules.:rolleyes:

MolsonExport
Oct 4, 2007, 2:46 PM
Jesus H. Christ. The same can, different label.

Whenever I drive through the CITY OF TORONTO, I am always impressed with the massive amount of development. So what, population growth is not extremely impressive? Not stagnation, but rather the lower number of people per dwelling. Not at all the same thing!


What would you propose to correct this "problem"? Social engineering? Bus routes?

theman23
Oct 6, 2007, 4:33 AM
"-0.9% growth in the City of Toronto population between 2001-06"

This would be decline, not growth. A 1% decline would indeed be very bad news.

However, since I'm pretty sure census information for this is available to the public, you can look it up yourself and see that it's obviously false.

I believe that is just a dash denoting a bullet. It wasn't negative in the paper article.