Fu­ture plans for ur­ban fam­i­lies

North Toronto Post - - News -

North Amer­i­can pop­u­lar cul­ture rarely de­picts chil­dren liv­ing in apart­ments. Large fam­i­lies, like those de­picted on shows like Full House, live in houses on TV, but high­rises are typ­i­cally re­served for the twen­tysome­things on Friends.

How­ever, as the de­sire to live near ur­ban ameni­ties has in­creased and the af­ford­abil­ity of sin­gle-fam­ily homes spi­rals out of reach for many in large cities, more and more kids are liv­ing in high­rise com­mu­ni­ties. Given this re­al­ity, how can Toronto trans­form high-den­sity ar­eas to sup­port fam­i­lies with chil­dren?

That’s the ques­tion a re­cently ini­ti­ated City of Toronto Plan­ning study is at­tempt­ing to an­swer. Grow­ing Up: Plan­ning for Chil­dren in New Ver­ti­cal Com­mu­ni­ties will ex­am­ine how new multi-unit hous­ing can bet­ter ac­com­mo­date house­holds with kids.

Grow­ing Up will de­velop strate­gies to help en­sure that new de­vel­op­ments have more fam­i­lyfriendly units, build­ing ameni­ties and pub­lic spa­ces around build­ings.These stud­ies build on the suc­cess of our re­cent Mid­town in Fo­cus pub­lic realm plan, which has al­ready helped se­cure five new com­mu­nity green spa­ces in just the past two years.

In ad­di­tion, ex­cit­ing plans for a Mid­town Hub recre­ation fa­cil­ity at Dav­isville Pub­lic School are mov­ing for­ward, and I was re­cently able to se­cure 52 new af­ford­able child care spa­ces as part of a new de­vel­op­ment for the lo­cal com­mu­nity. The pace of growth should not be al­lowed to con­tinue mov­ing faster than the so­cial in­fra­struc­ture needed to sup­port our kids’ qual­ity of life.

For a link to the Grow­ing Up study, please visit the plan­ning page on my web­site: www.josh­mat­low.ca

Ward 22 coun­cil­lor Josh Mat­low and daugh­ter Molly at a Mid­town play­ground

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