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GGRB05H3 Study Guide - Ottawa City Council, Sheppard East Lrt, Urban Geography

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Denisse Macaraig

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How did we get here? (4 Reasons)
We have a congestion problem
Average daily Toronto commute is 80 minutes
No room for new roads but we will have more commuters as
population grows
Congestion is a PEOPLE thing not a CAR thing
We have a funding problem. Our funding is limited
Toronto‟s cancelled vehicle registration tax raised $40M/year
Toronto‟s Land Transfer Tax raises about $300M/year
Subways cost $350/km to build
We have an approval problem
1910: Referendum passes on a Queen St subway; Toronto Mayor
refuses to approve
1954: Yonge subway opens
1966: Bloor-Danforth subway opens
1992: Scarborough RT extension to Malvern proposed
1994: Toronto City Council refuses SRT extension due to required
tax increases
1994: Premier upgrades Eglinton busway (“BRT”) plan to a
1995: New Premier cancels Eglinton subway
2002: Sheppard subway opens
2006: Ottawa City Council approves O-Train expansion; New
Ottawa Mayor cancels it
2007: Toronto Mayor and Council approve 120 km (7 lines)
Transit City plan
2009: Province announced tentative funds for 63 km (4 lines)
2010: Province provides confirmed funds for only 52 km (4 shorter
So how do we fix it?
We reduce future congestion by increasing mobility for Ontario:
Expanded transit coverage
Increased transit frequency
Depoliticize transit by creating predictable, stable, dedicated fund:
Move transit funding out of general revenue
Create named revenue sources targeted at specific needs
LA County‟s “Measure R”. generates 1.3B.year, costs average
resident $25/year. Expires 30 years into the future.
We stick to our plans, and stop waving in the wind
Ontario has 4 rapid transit lines in operation
Ontario has 6 rapid transit lines in design/construction
Ontario has 10 cancelled rapid transit lines since 1994
What we are doing now isn‟t working. “Ignore it” is not an option.
1% transportation fund tax. HST + 1% = $1.5B/year

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LRTS not quite as fast or large as subways, but cheaper and better for the
cost. Carry 3-5 busloads.
Some LRT is being built. Sheppard East from Don Mills to Morningside.
Replace aging Scarborough RT. New LRT from McCowan Station to
Sheppard, partly elevated & partly underground. New LRT on Eglinton to
Common Concerns
Political Economy
Housing is also intimately linked to the political economy of region. (i.e.,
local, regional, and national areas)
Housing is linked to the political economy, broader economy of the area,
link between government and business. Linked to local, regional and
national. Tight relationship between political economy and housing.
Trigger for urban change.
Sociopolitical views may also not reveal the broader political economy in
operation in a given region, or nation state
Actual capital is important and like in other markets capitalism will
inevitably produce inequalities
The stress here is on the importance of the logic of capital accumulation in
structuring norms and values
Housing will only built at a profit (i.e., will be economically rational)
Evidence of the significance of how inequalities can be formed can be
witnessed in the creation and need for public housing (most obvious post-
The city as a generator of wealth???
A new house is not just a new house, it is a new taxbase. And it equals
jobs and supplies that are needed to build and maintain the house. There
are housing bubbles.
City of a generator of wealth? Excess capital = reinvest in the city.
Generator of wealth. Surplus cash.
Residential Location
Fictitious commodity, cannot just build more, need land
Residential Mobility
Life cycle events, completion of secondary/tertiary education and/or
training, marriage, family growth, children move out, employment change
or retirement, death of a family member
Mobility can be voluntary or forced, political (anarchy), environmental
Personal choice: developed/undeveloped land, urban/suburban,
suburban/countryside, danger/safety, own/rent, high-rise/low-rise,
Neighborhood Change
Since housing is a major land use, it directly impacts the built form
Ageing housing stock (and the occupants) may lead to decline and the
emergence of slums
Large areas of N. American are what we can consider 'mature suburbs‟

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Approaching 40 years old
Lack of new investment leads to other issues (I.e., children for schools and
Neoclassical economics and demography
Economists analyze housing in terms of supply and demand, which places
a focus on consumer demand
Sellers vs. buyers
With a focus on „buyers‟ there is also a focus on demography
With a focus on demography then in Canada immigration plays a role
This focus on economics results in a „hidden hand‟ of relating consumer
supply and demand
In this case government intervention may mask actual prices and distort
Consumer, demand.
Sociopolitical views
While economics can show us some aspects of pricing it actually neglects
how the housing market is different from other commodities
Housing is immobile and land is finite
Consumers may lack complete information about their purchase
Therefore supply-side factors have much more importance than in some
other markets
Different stakeholders all have a vested interest
institutions, developers, lenders, landlords, and governments (at all levels)
all exhibit some degree of economic and political power that ultimately
affect supply and demand
Supply factors. Drives prices high.
Housing Tenure
Owner occupier
Majority of housing in Canada (63%) is owner occupied
Most of these are single family detached or semi-detached houses.
Condominiums are also increasing rapidly
Greatest government housing financial support in UK and US for
home ownership is via mortgage interest tax relief, in Canada it is
through lower property taxes
Key advantages: security, capital gains in rising property markets.
As your house increases in value, you‟re not paying tax on that
increase until you sell or buy a new house.
Private rental
In nearly all MDRs there is a reduction in the number of private
rental units
This is the result of rent control policies that reduce the profits of
building rental housing
Also a consequence of government subsidies to (favour) ownership
In Canada, private investment in the building of rental units
declined rapidly in Canada after the 1970s
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