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Humans have a long history of relying on natural and man-made pathways to connect cities, communities and far off places. As soon as we had a reason or a way to get somewhere, that path was charted, shared and learned. Urban planning uses a number of different strategies to create pathways in the most useful way - sky trains or subways to use a more direct route without disrupting traffic, over and under passes for cars, bike lanes, high rise sidewalks, and more!

Recently there’s been a move towards using green spaces to connect pathways which encourages the use of more eco friendly ways to travel. These also connect communities with safe communal spaces to hold events, festivals and more with your neighbours and neighbouring communities.

There’s also an exciting movement to reduce the number of cars in cities, or partial downtown neighbourhoods like these examples around the world. The movement is bigger than reducing pollution alone, though it’s still a political driving force behind the change. Cities with less cars are safer, and tend to have a more engaged population that care about reducing litter, getting fresh air, preserving the city’s history, and the general enjoyment of the outdoors. This trend of embracing natural pathways through a city, as well as mandating new green space for new builds, has engaged many different sectors in Canada from the Provincial Government to not-for-profit organizations.

We expect to see this trend grow and here at Exp Ossington Office, we wholeheartedly embrace the idea of healthier, more accessible cities. As Toronto grows into greening trends ,and moves into their long-term plan of redeveloping unused brownland spaces to create useable, and enjoyable public spaces; we hope this example gives more cities a peek into what a healthy, growing, metropolitan city can look like in a new urban landscape. Get on board, and we’ll grow our city together!

-EXP Ossington Team


Market Snapshot - March 2022


Transit Oriented Communities

Transit oriented development (TOD), also called transit oriented communities (TOC) merge land use and transport in city planning. It's a way to ensure a safe and seamless way of living where there are different modes of transit such as rail, light rail, bus, and pedestrians - who are given the highest priority. One of the biggest benefits of this type of planning helps to limit the use of cars, taxis and app services. It also lowers overall energy usage for both transit and development. Intensive development around such transit is understood to be mixed-use, where everything you need is available just outside your door, and in your community. Toronto has been exemplary in the development of TOCs. The city has partnered with the province to bring nine new TOCs next to five of the new stations along the much anticipated Ontario Line. As top priority, the City will be the inclusion of affordable housing and community services to serve new and existing residents. While some residents view these developments as just more condos taking over and changing the quality of citylife, there is the potential for a “complete city” to be right at your door. Overall, the development of TOCs can help better connect people with their neighbourhood, and ensure the healthy growth of a city long-term.


Solving the Transit Issue

Cities’ downtown areas are cultural, business, and community hubs so it’s no surprise they attract population density. People like to be close to the action, as well as career opportunities, and the convenience of having everything you need at your doorstep. Unfortunately, many cities were grown naturally around a ‘hub’ like a port, trade route, commodity, or even a single prosperous 'lord of the land' back in the day. City planners in the past had little to no part in this organic growth, so we’ve had to retrofit modern amenities around these obstacles with some creative solutions!

One major retrofit that’s been getting some public attention of late is transportation solutions. The topic ranges from where highways are situated, to public transit routes, and bike lanes, to safe parks with walkable paths, and mini transportation options such as car, bike and scooter sharing. Population needs have grown and changed with the modernization of cities around the world, and we’re finally finding creative ways to catch up. Here are a few exciting initiatives to check out around the world that are leading the charge, and acting as a roadmap for the future.

Images left to right:

Top Row: Image 1: Amsterdam's Bicycle Initiative. Image 2: Brazil's Integrated Rapid Transit Bus Lanes. Image 3: Canada's Active Transportation Initiative.

Bottom Rom: Image 4: Fossil Fuel-based Vehicle Bans Worldwide. Image 5: Scooter Sharing Initiatives. Image 6: Smart City Mobility Solutions.


Urban Sprawl

In Toronto and many other cities around the world, urban sprawl has been happening for a number of years. Urban sprawl occurs when the boundaries of a city expand outwards, typically due to the development of rural areas into suburban communities. These neighbourhoods are usually residential with low-density population, and require a car to get access amenities. This development trend has been happening worldwide since personal cars became popular. As our city’s population grows more housing is needed, however, this style of building has many implications on how we live and the environment. Some of the risks of urban sprawl include; a negative impact on the environment, lower quality of life, and feeling separated from communities. Environmental impact is related to people living in car-dependent communities, with poor walkability, and terrible access to public transit.

Policies and plans to increase the densification of urban areas are great ways to lower the risks without stopping the city from growing. We can implement policies to encourage sustainable development, resulting in new spaces which are designed to support people and are more sustainable for the environment. Some local policies guide development in more sustainable ways, for example; one of the policies that limits Toronto’s urban sprawl protects the Green Belt around Toronto and the region along Lake Ontario. This is a provincial policy to preserve forests and farmlands, as well as geographically contain Toronto’s sprawl.

Another method used to limit sprawl is increasing the density in urban areas or by supporting the development from low-density areas to higher density. An example in Mississauga is that they are promoting downtown-style walkability in the Downtown21 project in the Square One Mall area. Urban sprawl is tricky and having housing for everyone is important. Luckily there are many ways we can mitigate the risk while still supporting our growing communities.

Reducing urban sprawl is important for our communities because when we have more close walkable communities people are healthier. When people need to spend more time driving than walking or commuting it lowers the quality of life. Another impact of living more spread apart is that building a feeling of community is more difficult because there is a greater disconnect. Urban sprawl is tricky, especially because having housing for everyone is important. Luckily there are many ways we can support our growing communities.


Carl's Corner Office

Most houses in Toronto have some kind of backyard. In fact, there are fairly new regulations for development of laneway and garden suites that mandate a certain percentage of one’s backyard remain ‘soft’ cover, IE: permeable to precipitation. One reason for this is to cut down on runoff which can create flooding. But for me, the important parts of this are plants and soil.

Depending on the direction you move, there’s anything from at an hour to multiple hours before one can get to ‘nature’ as you run from Toronto’s cement-centric surfaces. Sometimes it irks me when I see people covering their property with cement, and even worse, 'watering' their cement yards. I’m guilty of pressure-washing the floor of my garage once a year, but that’s to get the road salt and dirt out, or so I rationalize.

We homeowners have had to spend a lot of time at home the last couple of years along with everyone else. Due to this, I’ve personally been working on making my yard a peaceful, calm, and beautiful green space. Being in the city also means dealing with sound pollution: cars, streetcars, sirens, people yelling incoherently, the neighbour up the block who’s laugh is both terrifying and infectious. To control the audio-environment I’ve installed some tongue-in-groove cedar planks behind, and across from, our sitting area on both sides of the privacy fence. It cuts the decibels down, looks lovely, and also keeps some of the mosquitos away when it’s damp, providing a lovely cedar smell to boot! Check out my very Canadian use of hockey sticks to keep the rain downspouts from falling as I finish it up in the photo below. In conclusion, plant some green things, avoid covering everything in cement, and have a peaceful, and gorgeous April!

Sincerely, Carl

-Carl Laudan, REALTOR®, EXP Ossington Office Manager


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40 Argyle Place, Ossington Village, Toronto


2 Bedrooms | 2 Bathrooms

Excellent and rare live/work laneway house for creative professionals! Great location and potential for future development. 2bed, 2 bath, mixed zoning. Drenched In natural light, this detached 2-Storey Victorian carriage house from 1890 has been turned into a cozy creative live/work space in the most exciting and fun place in all of Toronto: Ossington Village! The radiant-heated floor keeps the ground level inviting as a gigantic living room for you to work, relax or play. 40 Argyle Place, Toronto, ON.

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