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  #1  
Old Posted Feb 18, 2012, 4:10 PM
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Sprawl continues it's reign in Canada

TORONTO — Nearly all of Canada's population growth over the past five years occurred in the suburbs, according to a new analysis of the 2011 Census data by an urbanist who says government policies are driving people out of the city — and that isn't necessarily a bad thing.

While the downtowns of Canada's six largest metropolitan areas made modest gains, urban cores have been "dwarfed by the scale of suburban population increases," which made up 93 per cent of the nation's growth, Wendell Cox, principal of Demographia, a St. Louis, Mo., demographics and urban policy firm, wrote in an analysis this week posted on the website NewGeography.com.


http://www.edmontonjournal.com/techn...070/story.html
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  #2  
Old Posted Feb 18, 2012, 4:28 PM
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At least our urban areas aren't dying like they are south of the border.
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  #3  
Old Posted Feb 18, 2012, 4:43 PM
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I equate sprawl with poor planning more than suburban growth. The garbage replacing the vacant industrial along Warden Ave. between St Clair and Eglinton (deep inside the 416) is the apex of sprawl.
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  #4  
Old Posted Feb 18, 2012, 6:00 PM
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Here is a map of rates of growth across the Montreal CMA. The highest growth is occurring in the far-flung north shore suburbs.

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  #5  
Old Posted Feb 18, 2012, 6:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhipperSnapper View Post
I equate sprawl with poor planning more than suburban growth. The garbage replacing the vacant industrial along Warden Ave. between St Clair and Eglinton (deep inside the 416) is the apex of sprawl.
Agreed. It's no big secret that greenfield growth will always outpace infill and intensification. Anyone who thinks otherwise is a bit delusional. The trick is making sure it's done in the correct manner - which aside from a few examples isn't really happening.

Some of the 416 infill replacing viable employment areas is simply egregious though. There are far too many examples of this, another being the garbage on St Clair West near Weston (both residential and commercial). Spitting distance from working fat rendering plants and only a short walk from the historic Junction strip.
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  #6  
Old Posted Feb 18, 2012, 6:30 PM
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Originally Posted by niwell View Post
Agreed. It's no big secret that greenfield growth will always outpace infill and intensification. Anyone who thinks otherwise is a bit delusional.
I thought that was the whole point of the Placers to Grow Act - so that cities in the GGH can't continue to sprawl.
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  #7  
Old Posted Feb 18, 2012, 6:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldrsx View Post
While the downtowns of Canada's six largest metropolitan areas made modest gains

Modest gains? The downtowns of Toronto and Vancouver (not sure about the other cities) are growing considerably faster than their suburbs are.
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  #8  
Old Posted Feb 18, 2012, 6:38 PM
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^ i would be surprised if that is true.

if it is, it is only as a percentage but represents a tiny proportion compared to suburban growth.

as an example, winnipeg's downtown population has grown by 30% in 5 years, the rest of the city 6%, but 95% of the growth is still suburban....which is pretty typical for all cities....even the big ones.

'fastest growing' is the statistic for losers....its like 'most improved'...doesnt mean good.

Last edited by trueviking; Feb 18, 2012 at 7:21 PM.
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  #9  
Old Posted Feb 18, 2012, 6:41 PM
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Downtown Edmonton had 16% growth versus a city avg of 12% this census
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  #10  
Old Posted Feb 18, 2012, 7:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CCF View Post
I thought that was the whole point of the Placers to Grow Act - so that cities in the GGH can't continue to sprawl.
Yes, but it doesn't prohibit greenfield growth. The aim is both for a more sustainable form of greenfield development mixed with a higher proportion of infill/intensification in key areas. 40% of growth from the plan's inception in 2006 to 2031 is to occur through intensification. The remaining 60% is on greenfield land.

Of course one can very convincingly argue that the blanket goal of 50 persons and jobs per hectare in general growth areas isn't all that effective. Milton meets these targets unfortunately.


Back to the topic at hand - approximately 1/5th of growth in the GTA during the last census period occurred within the City of Toronto. All through infill (of varying quality), and particularly in central areas. This isn't exactly insignificant.
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  #11  
Old Posted Feb 18, 2012, 7:28 PM
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Originally Posted by MonkeyRonin View Post
Modest gains? The downtowns of Toronto and Vancouver (not sure about the other cities) are growing considerably faster than their suburbs are.
Where'd you hear that? Between 2006-20011, Vancouver proper increased by 25,000. Greater Vancouver grew by 200,000, albeit mostly in brownfield development. Toronto proper grew by 100,000; Greater Toronto grew by half a million.

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  #12  
Old Posted Feb 18, 2012, 8:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dleung View Post
Where'd you hear that? Between 2006-20011, Vancouver proper increased by 25,000. Greater Vancouver grew by 200,000, albeit mostly in brownfield development. Toronto proper grew by 100,000; Greater Toronto grew by half a million.

See:

Quote:
Originally Posted by J. Will View Post
According to my calculations (assuming I didn't leave out or double count any census tracts), the following roughly 4.5 square miles of downtown Toronto increased from 132,434 in 2006 to 175,064 in 2011. That is a whopping 32.2% increase over 5 years.

http://i1092.photobucket.com/albums/.../dttoronto.jpg


Downtown Vancouver had 99,233 people in 2011:

[compared to 87,975 in 2006, or a 12.8% increase]

http://i1092.photobucket.com/albums/...population.jpg

In comparison, Toronto's suburbs grew by 13.7% and Vancouver's 11% (total CMA growth was 9.2% and 9.3% respectively).
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  #13  
Old Posted Feb 18, 2012, 8:45 PM
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Suburban growth is not a bad thing IF it is properly planned. In most cases in Canada, suburban growth is very poorly planned and you end up with massive expanses of low-density residential with what urban planners call "shopping nodes". That is a growth model that does not create a sense of community, does not create a sense of place, and encourages people to drive everywhere.

Where I used to live in suburban London, within a 15-minute walk, the only things other than houses were a couple of elementary schools, a couple parks, and a ski club. The nearest variety store was a little more than 15 minutes away. Everything else, you had to drive to. The nearest place selling hardware-related items was a 14-minute drive away. The nearest place selling clothes was about the same distance. And everything is corporate - there's virtually no local businesses owned and operated by your neighbours. The street I lived on for over 25 years was dead - lots of people living in the houses, but never seen outside except when shovelling snow or cutting grass. Some of my neighbours I only ever saw after snowstorms, and I never knew most of the people on my street. Nobody except next-door neighbours ever talked to each other. There were almost never kids playing outside. A very dull place I could never go back to.

I now live in the northern suburbs of Mexico City, but it is not a suburb in the Canadian sense. Within a 10-minute walk there's a laundromat, supermarket (with a real bakery, not what passes for a bakery at Metro), several variety stores, several restaurants, elementary school, park, police detachment, car repair shops, soccer fields, tortilla shops, hair salons, hardware store, dental clinic, medical clinic, and extensive public transit. On Mondays there's a farmers' market on one of the nearby streets. You can easily buy local. Most of these establishments are operated by your own neighbours, and you don't have to live in the area very long to become a regular customer and get to know them. You don't have to drive 15 minutes to the corporate Home Depot to buy a light bulb, you can buy it in your own community from your own neighbours. There are no backyards here; if you want to go outside you go to the front of your house, and you get together with your neighbours. In this suburb there is a strong sense of place and a sense of community like I've never seen in a Canadian suburb. If you want anything even remotely resembling this in a city like London, you have to live in the older central part of the city. At least Downtown Toronto has everything.

There is no reason why new Canadian suburbs have to continue being cold places where you have to drive everywhere and never see your own neighbours. But, as long as new developments continue to be built by corporate interests whose "market research" shows that "today's families" want to drive long distances to buy the basics and only buy from major corporate retailers, drive long distances to get to the hockey rink, use drive-thrus exclusively to avoid having to deal with real humans at Tim Hortons, avoid human contact with others on their street, and hide in their backyards where they can't be bothered by those pesky other humans. I will never live in a North American suburb ever again.
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Last edited by manny_santos; Feb 18, 2012 at 9:02 PM.
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  #14  
Old Posted Feb 18, 2012, 8:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dleung View Post
Where'd you hear that? Between 2006-20011, Vancouver proper increased by 25,000. Greater Vancouver grew by 200,000, albeit mostly in brownfield development. Toronto proper grew by 100,000; Greater Toronto grew by half a million.

Vaughan


Brampton


Markham


Richmond Hill
And we all thought Calgary was bad....
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  #15  
Old Posted Feb 18, 2012, 9:55 PM
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Old Posted Feb 18, 2012, 9:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manny_santos View Post
The street I lived on for over 25 years was dead - lots of people living in the houses, but never seen outside except when shovelling snow or cutting grass. Some of my neighbours I only ever saw after snowstorms, and I never knew most of the people on my street. Nobody except next-door neighbours ever talked to each other. There were almost never kids playing outside. A very dull place I could never go back to.
It's not really a suburban thing, it's more of a North American attitude problem. I live in a townhouse complex, which is fairly dense with people in much closer proximity to each other than they would be out in Herp Park. After 2 years I know an equal number of people: my neighbour on one side, and a classmate who also lives in the complex. Most people (even students- who make up about 1/3 of the complex's population) live their entire lives inside their units. Reaching out to them is a waste of time because you're usually met with a cold rebuke.

The same thing happened to my old neighbourhood in North York. I noticed that as a lot of the older (usually Jewish) owners moved out, the newer owners made every effort to avoid interaction with others. At first I was tempted to treat it as a cultural issue (they were mostly from Hong Kong), but I think it has more to do with the fact that people don't have established roots in a community and thus don't really care for the place or the existing residents. A friend of mine who lives near Mortimer and Woodbine in East York is beginning to complain about the same thing- as the place gets "yuppified", the newer folks are much less inclined to interact with the people already there.

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And we all thought Calgary was bad....
Yup. Not only are those houses all miserably squashed together on tiny lots, but the developer is giving little or no thought to commercial zones.
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  #17  
Old Posted Feb 18, 2012, 10:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by niwell View Post
Back to the topic at hand - approximately 1/5th of growth in the GTA during the last census period occurred within the City of Toronto. All through infill (of varying quality), and particularly in central areas. This isn't exactly insignificant.
The story is slanted. 20-30% growth is not a "modest gain". There has been a large and significant resurgence in infill construction in many Canadian cities during the last census period. The article is also framed in a misleading way -- it is perfectly natural that cities will use some additional land as they grow. That was the case even before modern suburban sprawl existed. It's also possible for old suburbs to become new candidates for infill decades later, particularly if rapid transit is built. City (some existing sub-area) vs. sprawl (any greenfield construction) is a false dichotomy.

It isn't realistic to expect most new construction to be downtown condos, but it is easy to imagine a future where a city like Toronto will diverge considerably from the path it was on in the 1980s and 1990s. Going from 5-10% infill (or whatever it was) to 40% is very significant. Presenting this change as a continuation of late 20th century patterns of sprawl is wrong.
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  #18  
Old Posted Feb 18, 2012, 11:33 PM
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Most of Canada's suburban development is sprawly, but also not sprawly at the same time.
Our suburbs are approaching the density of most inner city neighbourhoods. If you look at the new suburbs going up in Toronto, those subdivisions have housing that would fit right in, down in the Beaches area of Toronto, or other areas. In fact I think the inner city may have more grass and backyard space than lot of these new subdivisions.

Where the sprawl comes into play, is the way these new areas are designed, and the almost 100% auto dependency, etc.
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  #19  
Old Posted Feb 18, 2012, 11:40 PM
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And we all thought Calgary was bad....

It is... (in comparison)

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Originally Posted by flar View Post
Here's what I'm interested in. Urban area populations (now called Population Centres) and densities:


Geographic name 2011 Pop Land area Density (/km2)
Toronto 5,132,794 1751.5 2930.5
Montréal 3,407,963 1545.3 2205.4
Vancouver 2,135,201 1150.4 1856.0
Calgary 1,095,404 704.5 1554.8
Edmonton 960,015 855.3 1122.4
Ottawa-Gatineau 933,596 501.9 1860.1
Québec 696,946 669.39 1041.2
Winnipeg 671,551 449.8 1492.9
Hamilton 670,580 370.3 1811.1
Kitchener 444,681 313.8 1417.0
London 366,191 221.5 1653.1
Victoria 316,327 277.1 1141.6
St. Cath-Niagara 309,319 378.7 816.8
Halifax 297,943 269.3 1106.5
Oshawa 290,937 164.3 1770.9
Windsor 276,165 175.8 1571.2
Saskatoon 222,035 150.1 1479.0
Regina 192,756 118.9 1620.9

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  #20  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2012, 12:06 AM
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Practically every neighbourhood in this city is postwar suburbia.
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