ULI Toronto presents Electric Cities, a podcast about land development and planning across the Toronto region. Hosted by Jeremy Warson, the podcast features conversations with the industry's most prominent leaders. With Seasons 1-4 now complete and Season 5 underway, there are plenty of interesting topics to choose from, such as trends in the condo, retail and office markets; stories of Toronto's success as a rapidly emerging global city and discussions on housing affordability, municipal governance and transit oriented development, to name just a few.
S7 Episode 3: Local Ratepayer Response to Missing Middle Housing
Enabling missing middle housing as an as-of-right housing type in low-rise residential neighbourhoods has become a hot topic in recent months as a possible solution to address the housing affordability crisis. And it is has gained the support of provincial policy makers and industry representatives. But not everyone is fully on board, particularly many local residential ratepayer associations. For this episode, Jeremy spoke with Cathie MacDonald, co-chair of FONTRA, a prominent and well-organized not-for-profit organization that represents 35 ratepayer association from across midtown Toronto. Cathie shares her views on missing middle, ‘nimbyism’, and her concerns with many of the recommendations proposed in the Province’s Housing Affordability Task Force report.
S7 Episode 2: The Push for Missing Middle Housing
For this second episode on the housing affordability crisis, Jeremy spoke with Craig Ruttan, Policy Director for Energy, Environment and Land Use with the Toronto Region Board of Trade and author of their recent report urging the Province to eliminate exclusionary zoning on missing middle housing as a means to increase the housing supply. Our interview was recorded on Feb 9th 2022, just one day after the Province released its Housing Affordability Task Force report.
S7 Episode 1: An Overview of the Housing Affordability Crisis
In this first of a series of episodes on the housing affordability crisis, Jeremy spoke with Frank Magliocco, National Real Estate Leader at PWC Canada. Frank provided an excellent overview of the key factors contributing to the crisis, along with suggested ideas and related challenges to address the problem. The podcast was recorded in November 2021, shortly after ULI and PWC released their Emerging Trends in Real Estate report.
Intro to Season 7: Series on Housing Affordability Crisis
“A day doesn’t go by without reading a news story about the soaring cost of housing, and the impact it’s having on the long-term composition and prosperity of our city region. Everyone knows this is a complex issue that neither governments nor community groups, nor the private sector can address overnight. But it has become a major topic on most peoples’ minds, and there’s a growing sense of urgency to come up with some much needed solutions, while trying to overcome so many big challenges that seem to stand in the way. Because of its complexity, I’ve decided I cannot cover this topic in just one episode, there's just too much to unpack. Instead, I’m going to cover it over several episodes, starting with an overview of the problem and possible solutions, then onto the hot topic of missing middle and exclusionary zoning, followed up with the perspective from a local residential ratepayer association.
So stay tuned! There’s lots of interesting discussions coming your way. The first episode to be launched very soon. Hope you enjoy.”
S6 Episode 4: ULI 2021 Hines Student Competition: An Interview with the Winning Team from 3 Toronto Universities
Each year, the prestigious ULI Hines Student Competition attracts graduate student teams from all over North America to tackle complex urban design and development challenges.
This year’s competition was won by a team of 5 graduate students from 3 Toronto universities, the first time the annual competition has been won by a team outside the United States.
Jeremy sat down with the 5 graduate students and their 2 academic supervisors to learn more about this demanding competition, their fabulous submission, and what it took to capture the grand prize of $50,000 USD.
His 5 student guests were Frances Grout-Brown (Ryerson), Leorah Klein (Ryerson), Ruotian Tan (University of Toronto), Chenyi Xu (University of Toronto), and Yanlin Zhou (York University).
Professors Steven Webber and Victor Perez-Amado, both from Ryerson University’s School of Urban and Regional Planning, also joined the discussion.
S6 Episode 3: Homelessness in Toronto - A Growing Crisis
With close to 10,000 homeless in Toronto on any given night, this city continues to face a homelessness crisis that has only become worse during these pandemic times. And it's a crisis with no easy solution. On March 26th, 2021, Jeremy interviewed Cathy Crowe, one of Canada's first street nurses and a long-time activist advocating on behalf of the city's homeless.