TORONTO, July 19, 2012 - A comprehensive
study released this week outlines key policies that would help
improve the livability of Ontario's communities, reduce sprawl and
traffic congestion, and enable people to live where they work, go
and play every day.
Live Where You Go: encouraging location-efficient
development in Ontario recommends five new tools to make it
easier and more affordable for developers to build in locations
where homebuyers prefer to live. The proposed changes also would
address many of the downsides of urban sprawl, such as traffic
congestion and long commute times.
Location-efficient homes - the opposite
of urban sprawl - are a convenient distance from workplaces,
amenities (such as stores and urban hubs) and/or rapid
"It's not about downtown versus the suburbs," said Cherise
Burda, Ontario policy director at the Pembina Institute and lead
author of the study. "It's about building more affordable,
family-friendly homes in mixed-use, walkable communities with good
access to rapid transit throughout the Greater Golden Horseshoe
A survey released earlier this week indicated that more than 80
per cent of residents in the Greater Toronto Area would give up a
large house and yard to live in a neighbourhood where they could
have the option to take rapid transit or walk to work and other
destinations. However, the survey found many people can't afford to
live in these preferred locations.
"Our recommendations would help increase the supply of
affordable homes in location efficient neighbourhoods,
places our research suggests many Ontarians want to
live," explains co-author Travis Allan, a partner
at Zizzo Allan Climate Law LLP.
Location-efficient development means making it possible for
people to live near workplaces, amenities and commercial hubs that
are accessible by walking, biking or rapid transit.
Residents in Ontario and elsewhere
increasingly say they would give up a large house and yard and a
long car commute in favour of location-efficient
Research indicates that location-efficient communities can be
cheaper to service, more affordable to live and do business in, and
offer residents a higher quality of life and more environmental
benefits than the current model of sprawling suburban
"Ontarians want to live in location-efficient homes once they
realize it helps them save money and pollute less, and frees up
time to spend with their families instead of sitting in traffic,"
adds co-author Theresa McClenaghan, executive director of the
Canadian Environmental Law Association.
"As Ontario's population continues to grow, we are facing a
unique opportunity to re-think urban sprawl and make policy changes
today that will allow us to design and build communities where
Ontarians really want to live, work and play," explains co-author
Dr. Anastasia Lintner, economist and staff lawyer with
Live Where You Go identifies five policy tools that
could be put in place now to encourage more location-efficient
development in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region - creating more
affordable choices for homebuyers to live where they go, work and
Download the two-page summary.
Download the main report.
Learn more: Live Where You Go:
encouraging location-efficient development in Ontario