(660) Arrival

welcome to canadaDoug Saunders, in Saturday’s Globe and Mail, pretty much nails it.

“…immigration and poverty are both now almost entirely suburban phenomena. And the suburbs aren’t as well suited to be the bottom rung on the ladder: they lack the population density, access to consumers, rapid transportation and small-business opportunities of the old arrival cities.”

Time to repopulate Canada’s arrival cities

(655) Faster than ever

Marie-Antoinette,_1775_-_Musée_Antoine_LécuyerSince forever, Canada’s rich have gotten richer.  Now, it’s the speed of it all.  Even America, the original home of all things zillionaire-ey, is behind us.  Wealth-X and UBS put this, and not a few other findings, in their new global report on ultra high net worth people.  There’s thought to be just under a quarter of a million such individuals worldwide and their status rests on $30-trillion in assets.  In 2008 and 2010 there were reports on Canada’s fast-movers, so the trend is looking quite solid.

The rich are getting richer — and faster than you think
Linda McQuaig in iPolitics

Canada’s rapidly growing wealth gap remains off the political agenda. Why?
Linda McQuaig on rabble.ca

image: Marie Antoinette by unknown artist via Wikimedia Commons

(652) One small look at poverty in Greater Toronto

redditA reader sent us a link to a thread on Reddit that gives an uncensored view of poverty in Toronto.  Some of the squalid force that creates suburban poverty is seen in this thread where housing, ill health and mental health difficulty have converged in one individual’s life.  Hopefully this works out for the people involved.

How the hell do the poor survive in this city?

(637) Divide

2skid rowA new report
looks at where three emerging classes stand in twelve city regions half a decade after the big crash.  A much reduced number of blue collar workers, the so-called creative class and service sector employees all need to get along and get around.  When they step out their doors in the morning they are finding different things.  Inequality dictates much of what they will encounter.  This divide is seen in place of residence and mode of transportation and will have a determining effect on economics and politics and the manner of living of tens of millions.  The report comes from Richard Florida and the Toronto-based Martin Prosperity Institute.  It’s focus is American but the trends identified are applicable in the Greater Toronto Area.  It will be an amazing and powerful story to see which places get this right and a horror to see the ones that do not.  The author asks us to take a more complex view of cities and suburbs and their needs going forward.

The Divided City. Just as they’ve started to revitalize—attracting industry, investment and people—our cities are threatened by new and more vexing divides

image: Stephen Zeigler via Wikimedia Commons

(635) It’s a roomy GTA [Report]

wellThe Wellesley Institute released a report last week tying the hyped up real estate market in the Greater Toronto Area to illegal suburban rooming houses.  In our opinion this issue really got going in the 1980s – the depth and extent of it must be nothing less than awesome now.

Toronto’s affordable housing shortage sparks growth of illegal suburban rooming houses theglobeandmail.com

Toronto suburban rooming houses: just a spin on a downtown “problem”?
Wellesley Institute

(605) Ferguson

Ferguson-missouri-350x282Last week mass media made the connection between suburban poverty and the ongoing disturbances in Ferguson, MO.  Hopefully this deepens the discussion.

Brookings Institution’s Elizabeth Kneebone wrote a piece on Ferguson which seems to have provided background to much of the coverage.
Ferguson, MO, emblematic of growing suburban poverty

We liked Karim Abdul Jabbar’s words on the matter as well:
The coming race war won’t be about race: Ferguson is not just about systemic racism — it’s about class warfare and how America’s poor are held back

Looking around Ferguson on Google Street View reveals it to be an unremarkable place.  It’s arterial roads are lined with fairly typical American roadside fare: muffler shops, bars, shopping plazas convenience stores.  Not a lot of people walking or enoying outdoor community life.  Plenty of motor vehicles and places to park them.  The aesthetics are practical at best, a little shop worn.  It’s hard to imagine anybody feeling real love for Ferguson.  Going forward that may have to be acknowledged as a major part of what is wrong with how Americans go about building and inhabiting communities.