Is Toronto growing too fast?
Published Wednesday, August 27, 2014 9:02PM EDT
Toronto council approved nearly 7,000 condo units to be built in the downtown core this week, adding to the already 70,000 that are waiting to be built.
That staggering wave of development is a financial boon for the city that many councillors – especially those seeking re-elections this fall – may find difficult to turn down. But some are also questioning if Toronto's concrete jungle is growing too fast.
"We certainly are (growing too fast) and that is a fact on the ground," Coun. Joe Mihevc told CTV Toronto at City Hall on Wednesday. "Another way of understanding it is seven-and-a-half or almost eight Empire State buildings."
Councillors are meeting for the last time this week before the Oct. 27 municipal election. Over the past two days, they have rubber stamped billions of dollars in new construction projects, including three new office skyscrapers.
Chief city planner Jennifer Keesmaat says these new projects shouldn't alarm anyone. She says Toronto won't reach a "tipping point" as long as the city continues to make investments in infrastructure and public transportation.
"Given the magnitude of growth that we see, we simply cannot afford to pause on the downtown relief line."
Public transportation and infrastructure funding have been a major focus of this year’s Toronto’s mayoral race. John Tory has vowed to relieve the city’s congestion by building a “SmartTrack Line” that would connect Etobicoke, Union Station and Scarborough, mostly through exitsing GO Transit corridors.
Both Olivia Chow and David Soknacki have been pushing an LRT solution, saying that it will be less expensive and serve more people. Rob Ford, meanwhile, says an LRT would be a waste of money and has focused his campaign on subway development.
With a report from CTV Toronto's Colin D'Mello