Really sorry, but the GTA is full
How did a city so beautifully planned fall so far behind? by Ron Johnson
Toronto is full. That was the sentiment expressed by Premier Doug Ford and Mayor John Tory to the federal government recently with regards to the refugee situation, and it seems to be playing out in many areas of the city whether it be through the decade-long wait for affordable housing, a shelter system operating overcapacity, the opioid crisis, the high price of real estate or the never-ending crush of cars that is helping to make our streets more unsafe than ever before.
Recently, councillors suggested that midtown is full. And until something is changed and we start to take our infrastructure and our safety and health seriously, we should consider putting the brakes on any further development.
It is indeed shocking to see just how quickly the region around the intersection of Yonge and Eglinton has grown, already exceeding population estimates.
In North York and part of the GTA, schools are overcrowded, subways are perennially operating in sardine mode, roadways are clogged. Even signing up for a recreational program requires precision timing and some luck.
Good Lord, we’ve even traded DeMar DeRozan to the San Antonio Spurs! Is this how it’s supposed to go in a world-class city? I’m not convinced.
While the city squabbles and studies and prepares for an election months instead of concentrating on serious issues, the problems continue to mount and grow.
Perhaps the issues facing the city are too much for the local council. I mean, let’s face it, listening to the petty bickering during a city council meeting over study after study leaves one to question their ability to manage their own lives let alone one of the largest governments in the country.
That it has become possible to even talk about completely shutting down development in a major urban centre to wait for schools and transit and such to play catch-up is a dire warning that something is out of whack.
Will the city freeze development? Of course not. But what kind of message does that send? It’s like waving a white flag and saying enough is enough, we surrender.
We aren’t without our share of successes. We have many reasons to be proud and many opportunities for growth.
But there is the feeling on the streets that something has changed.
There is hope in the upcoming election and the interesting new candidates. And young folks who are organizing campaigns against some councillors who seem slow to respond to pressing issues.
This is likely the most important election the city has faced in a generation.
The city has a growing backlog of issues in serious need of solutions