FInals Essay Question #2, 5

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Andre Sorensen

QUESTION 2: Introduction: The present-day physical landscape of the Toronto region is a direct reflection and composite of many years of intense planning policies, initiatives and debates (Sewell, 1993; Sewell, 2009; Frisken, 2001). Initiatives for improving and or producing a better city in the early twentieth century, marked the beginning and launch of planning in the Toronto region (Sewell, 1993, p.4). From the early twentieth century (particularly after the Second World War) onwards, the Toronto region has experienced a lot of planning-related measures fostering great influence on the social physical, environmental and economical makeup of the Toronto region (White, 2007, p.8; Frisken, 2001; Bourne, 2001). Regional planning first appeared in Toronto during the WW2, but there were thoughts of planning dating back to WW1 (White, 2007). Without question the major event of the 1950s and 1960s was the 1953 establishment of the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto (METRO) a regional government which encompassed thirteen municipalities (most of the then urbanized territory plus ambient rural lands (Filion, 2000). Research Initiative: The focus of this analytical response will centre of investigating many different dimensions of the creation of METRO (1953) by answering (1) why was it established and (2) in what ways was it thought to be successful. The essay will close with an examination of the criticisms and or bad things that occurred in Toronto regional planning, in the post-metro creation. Why was it established? A)History: A historical account is important in order to view the chain of events that have led to the creation of METRO -Toronto was a prosperous city in the early twentieth century and major growth in the first half of the 1940s (Sewell, 2009). At the end of the WW2, the Toronto urban area was dense and compact (Sewell, 2009). -The three urbanized municipalities (The City of Toronto, Borough of East York and Township of York) were extremely dense (Sewell, 2009). The growth pressures in Toronto following WW2 were substantial, but also was the continuing growth of the suburbs (Sewell, 2009). -The extreme population growth in Torontos three urbanized municipalities, meant that growth sought ought land just outside the built-up area, in areas such as North York, Scarborough, and 1 www.notesolution.comEtobicoke (which were considered suburbs at the time in early-to-mid-twentieth century) (Sewell, 2009). The province was worried about low quality development in the suburbs without proper infrastructure such as sewers and roads. All the growth (population) required water and sewage services that these farming communities were unable to provide, at that time North York was very rural for example with a population of less than 40,000. -the Toronto and York Planning Board, with responsibilities for the city and a broad area around the city, noted that these municipalities (the outer suburbs) had been unable or unwilling to attract the non-residential development needed to produce substantial property tax dollars to pay for these services (residential properties alone did not generate enough tax revenue (Sewell, 2009). -it was recommended that the municipalities amalgamate into one body -Toronto had been well-served by large sewage treatment plants (Ashbridges Bay) in the east and in the west in the (Humber River) one along the Don River in Todmorden Park, but the problem was sewage plants that lay beyond those borders (Sewell, 2009). -The Gore & Storrie report estimated that the population in the areas outside Toronto, York and East York would increase to an intense amount by 1970 of 550,000 people (Sewell, 2009). -the report also noted that North York township (suburbs) already had severe servicing problems and that in places such as North York and Scarborough that water services were equally limited -Scarborough was made to with two small water supply plants on the lake, generally all water quality on the lake, heavily polluted with sewage -there were also problems with regards to infrastructure in these rapidly expanding communities, one was the need for a vastly expanded system to provide water and sewage services to the growing area (Sewell, 2009). -a need to create a comprehensive system from the hodgepodge of disconnected facilities -the report also suggested in response to the need for a comprehensive system the sooner a unified control is established over the whole area, the more efficient and economical will be the results in the end (Sewell, 2009). Specifically it recommended what it called a Metro Area Authority to cover all thirteen municipalities which made up the Toronto urban area and its immediate hinterlands in the late 1940s (Sewell, 2009). -Richard White concluded (one of the key contributors to the Neptis Foundation-the many readings for the class) that the report (Gore and Storrie Report) was a powerful incentive for 2
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