Tower Renewal Blog

Chief Planner’s Rountable: Toronto’s Modern Suburbs

Chief Planner Jennifer Keesmaat, Councillor Peter Milczyn, and panel participants.

Photo by Garry Weiler, City of Toronto

On Sept. 30, 2013, ERA’s Graeme Stewart participated in a City of Toronto Chief Planner’s Roundtable, hosted by Jennifer Keesmaat. The Roundtable, entitled “The Shape of Toronto’s Suburbs,” is the first of three sessions devoted to critical thinking about the history, evolution, and future of the GTA’s suburbs. Participants included John van Nostrand, Leo deSorcy, Pamela Blais, Laurie Payne, and Leona Savoie.

The panel raised a number of issues, including employment, distance, transit, private vs. public investment, small-scale and large scale intervention, and zoning reforms that are about to change the way things are done in some communities.

Though the situation is far from simple, the sense coming out of this Roundtable is very positive: Toronto has an enormous resource in its suburbs (and in the apartment neighbourhoods that make up so much of their fabric). New design and policy approaches can help remove the false dichotomy of ‘suburban’ vs. ‘urban’, and help us imagine a healthy, vibrant metropolis for the entire region.

To watch the entire Roundtable, please see Rogers online.