Comment 28554

By Rusty (registered) - website | Posted February 09, 2009 at 13:52:08

There are so many under utilized downtown neighbourhoods - in Hamilton and Toronto. In Toronto some of the challenges to the transit friendly, QoL neighbourhoods include an over abundance of affordable housing. Areas like Moss Park and St Jamestown are in great locations, but you can never attract more diverse residents when there is so much concentration of one income bracket in one place.

It's such a waste of potential. You have to start scaling back the proportion of housing - Regents Park style - to start re-defining the neighbourhood and providing viable housing options for other income brackets.

A couple of blocks up from my house is a gigantic Sally Army hostel. It takes up about a quarter of the block, on a residential street. What good can come of this? How can you 'integrate' other income housing into such an out-of-whack design? The hostel effectively kills off any potential the immediate area has to create wealth through alternative income housing on the back of the transit line, streetwall, availability of amentities benefits of the neighbourhood. Essentially all that potential wealth evaporates.

Good neighbourhoods are like good meals. They need a base of accessible location, transit, and QoL amenities and then a light sprinkling of all different types of housing. This choice of housing also helps to address gentrification problems. If you have a healthy mix of high-end housing options as well as regulated affordable housing (e.g. Co-Ops)then you can reign back the gentrification effect.

It's not easy but if you apply at least one general principal - don't build too much of the same thing - then you can go a long way to creating a healthy mixed neighbourhood.


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