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Mortgage Broker News | 11 Apr 2016, 08:15 AM Agree 0
Two divergent housing trends in Canada’s two top markets
  • Chris | 11 Apr 2016, 10:54 AM Agree 0
    Try living in downtown Vancouver, particularly the west end - which is the most densely populated area in North America. Over 500,000 people live in an area that is 204 Hectares (for people who can't do the math there are 1000 people per acre, or 6 people per square foot). The amazing thing is that city council wants to add 1000 laneway houses by the end of 2018 and wants to increase the number of condos by over 20,000 by 2020. They want to increase the population of the west end by over 200,000 people.

    There are a couple of issues with this. #1 - there is not the correct infrastructure to support this type of growth and the city has no plans to improve this. This shortfall includes policing, and with the spike in crime rates as the population continues to increase this will only climb. #2 - There is simply not enough parking and the city somehow seems to think that when people move downtown none of them will have cars. #3 - disenfranchising people. There are many seniors that have lived in the west end their whole lives, and they are being pushed out. The city is allowing older rentals to be torn down in favour of 25+ storey buildings. Most people think, hey that is OK so long as there is affordable housing included. The problem is that the city defines affordable as being market rents... $1800 per month for 500 square feet is not affordable.

    To some people they do not see the issue with all of this, and I suppose that for some it is a good thing. For people who have lived in the west end for years, the city is only making a cash grab without any foresight into the livability of the area.

    Yes progress will happen, but at what cost? A city that has a downtown neighbourhood that get no sun between the buildings? Parks that cannot support the number of people using them? Not enough schools and nowhere to build them? Substandard transit with no plan to improve it? and so so much more.

    Toronto is facing similar issues as the city grapples to accommodate the residential growth in the downtown core.

    Both cities are so focused on making more money, that the greed of developers and other industry folk are being short sighted and not considering that what makes any city great is the livability of it. Not just the height of their towers.

    New construction is great, but let's look past the now and make sure that we are creating spaces that are in reality little more than hotel rooms.
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