Comment 33339

By rusty (registered) - website | Posted September 10, 2009 at 10:21:27

While Toronto is not as affordable as Hamilton, it's wages are generally higher than 'cheaper' cities (at least for the moderate to high income jobs). For sure there is a dearth of affordable housing, and many areas are ghettos of either rich or poor, but A Smith's point about rising house values is valid.

When I lived in Hamilton I barely broke even. My 6 year 'investment' didn't pay off. This was a huge consideration for me and my family when we chose to relocate back to TO. Quite simply, all other things considered, we couldn't afford to stay in the Hammer.

While we were living there the Toronto house we'd left behind almost doubled in value (it was in the Pape/Danforth area).

I have often thought that municipal politicians should look at property value changes as a yard stick of their success. After all, their job should be to increase the property values of city residents. More well paying jobs, a more livable city, all these factors will force house values to rise - a good thing for any city. Obviously there should be a balance, so that affordable housing is available, but in terms of the house value discussion here, the trend for a successful city should be up.

Interesting point about Quebec City not being 'livable'. While we were there we learned that over 90% of Quebec City's population resides outside of the downtown area, in what is apparently mostly sprawl neighbourhoods. Quebec appears to be a tale of two cities in this regard: very visitable and geared for tourists on the one hand, and not all that livable on the other.

I don't want to suggest in any way that a city should be developed to cater for tourists alone (or to pander to any one industry). The needs of the residents should always come first. Ideally, what works for one stakeholder/target consumer will work for the other too.

Cheers

Ben

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