Tag Archives: Canada

(1020) Taking hits

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Accidents involving walkers and bicycle riders struck by motor vehicles are a troubling, costly aspect of sprawl.  They appear to be  built right into the whole matter of community life structured around automobiles and the infrastructure provided for them.  This bodily damage really has to be stopped.
More than 1000 cyclists and pedestrians hit on Toronto streets since June 1. New statistics show vulnerable road users struck at rate of one every two and a half hours
thestar.com
The morbid and mortal toll of sprawl.  The ‘elephant in the living room’ of rising and preventable US traffic deaths is government funded roads in drive-only places
cnu.org/publicsquare

image: davidd via Flickr/CC

(1014) Peel Living state of (dis)repair

Brampton Map2
The Thursday edition of sister newspapers The Brampton Guardian and The Mississauga News contain reportage of a serious case of neglect in publicly-funded housing.  This is the kind of high-value, socially conscious reporting from the midst of daily life in the region (the unit is in Brampton) that these papers should be all over.  Coasting along on real estate and car advertising is great but to survive in what is pretty much rapidly developing into a post-newspaper world local papers better get their hands on powerful content and keep on proving their relevance.  Fighting for people is one way to do that.

The situation is awful to read about.  Hopefully the coverage, two full pages in the print editions as well as digital attention, will make a difference.   Peel Region is home to some of Canada’s best housed and most privileged citizens.  Spend any time here at all and you come to know that isn’t the case for everyone.

Peel Living begins maintenance review and inspections to determine state of repair

(1010) Homeless & expecting

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At one time, you could be forgiven for thinking of homelessness as mainly about men living rough and drinking.  By the 1980s the definition of homelessness was clearly more complex.  It seems just about anyone is at risk, including in Toronto in 2016, pregnant women.

Homeless and pregnant in Toronto: one woman tells her story. About 120 homeless women give birth in Toronto every year. The challenge is how to help them
cbc.ca

(1007) Bantustanada 2040

Vancouver MapCounterfactual propositions are most times best avoided.  We all are hungry for glimpses of the future, sure.  That part is okay.  There’s just too much risk of distraction in many a creative “what if” scenario, too much room for wild swings of positive or negative projection.  Let’s make an exception today for this dystopic reflection on an imagined socioeconomic existence for Vancouver, BC.  Yikes!  This can’t be a future anybody wants a part of.

How Vancouver’s housing segregation became policy: a 2040 look back. Decades from now, researchers reflect with shock, pity on what led to creation of regional, economically unequal ‘bantustans’
thetyee.ca

image: via basementgeographer.com – CC

 

 

(1005) Housing picture

red houseNobody seems to be an expert when it comes to calling the relative burstiness of Canada’s housing bubble.  And what a bubble it’s been!  Pretty much all of us can agree, however, that the bubble has a harmful side now.  The cost of acquiring and carrying real estate departed the company of Canadian wages a generation ago in Toronto and Vancouver.  Rents have been forced up by the bubble, reinforcing the generalized prejudice of not owning what you live in. Overseas investors are amping up prices and eating supply.  What is to be done?  Some of us remain partial to real estate as a money machine and others are fed up with a machine that seems to exclude them.
Canada’s economy is hostage to the housing bubble. The debate over B.C.’s new tax on foreign buyers exposes how badly the Canadian economy needs ridiculously unsustainable house prices to keep rising
macleans.ca
Jean Swanson: Vancouver’s focus on home ownership neglects plight of the homeless
rabble.ca
Intensification nation. Canadian cities, big and small, are working to densify themselves. It’s far from a straightforward path
corporateknights.com

image: Bill Ward via Flickr/CC

(1004) Grinding around the GTA

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Maybe having a not-so-great-job and travelling to it via public transit is something a lot of us are kinda destined to get stuck with.  Life isn’t always fair.  But that doesn’t mean we can’t do a fair bit better than what transit riders described to Torontoist recently.  The experience of being a second class citizen is acquired in layers and getting to work here is increasingly an encounter with such a layer.
How riding the TTC has affected my mental  health
torontoist.com
See also:
(974) Way too long for too little: complex & expensive trips to work [Study]

image: Andy Nystrom via Flickr/CC