In a recent article by Toronto Life Magazine, titled “Our previous zoning laws excluded people based on race and income.

Multiplexes will help fix that”: A Q&A with Chief Planner Gregg Lintern, the publication delves into the exciting shift in zoning laws in Toronto and its potential impact on the city’s housing landscape. While the interview with Toronto’s Chief Planner, Gregg Lintern, offers some valuable insights, some notable omissions and misconceptions warrant critique.

“Our previous zoning laws excluded people based on race and income. Multiplexes will help fix that”: A Q&A with chief planner Gregg Lintern”


Misleading Title

The article’s title, “Our previous zoning laws excluded people based on race and income.

Multiplexes will help fix that,” presents an overly optimistic view of the potential of multiplexes to address exclusionary practices based on socioeconomic backgrounds and cultural differences.

In reality, the situation is more complex than this title implies.

Oversimplification of Financing and Development

 While these points are valid, the article must comprehensively understand multiplex developments’ intricate financial and regulatory landscape.

The challenges of financing and developing multiplexes highlight the difficulties in qualifying for financing and the importance of accurate financial projections.

Inadequate Examination of Market Dynamics

The interview briefly discusses the need for 4,200 low-rise units over the next 10 years, with little exploration of the actual housing demand in Toronto.

This number, as noted by Toronto Realtor James Fields, appears to be a gross understatement of the housing needed in the city.

Limited Discussion of Socioeconomic Diversity

The article touches on the potential for socioeconomic diversity through multiplexes but needs to delve deeper into the complexities surrounding affordability and the term’s nuances.

As Fields points out, true affordability is a dynamic concept that varies for individuals and families. The article needs a thorough exploration of this issue.


Ignoring Immediate Housing Challenges

The interview acknowledges that multiplexes are not a perfect solution to the housing crisis but does not adequately address the pressing need for immediate answers.

Realtor James Fields emphasizes the importance of addressing tenant and landlord relationships and governmental policies at the federal and provincial levels, which could provide more immediate relief.

Neglecting Infrastructure Concerns

The article needs to address potential infrastructure challenges associated with a sudden spike in population, especially in terms of public schools.

While the chief planner suggests that the density of multiplexes might save existing schools, as Fields notes, many schools in Toronto are already at or near capacity, and expansion can be problematic.

Unexplored Impact on Neighborhood Character

While the interview mentions the desire to preserve the character of neighbourhoods, it does not delve into the potential consequences of uncontrolled development on these communities’ aesthetic and social fabric.

Fields raise a valid concern about how the city’s oversight of privacy, lighting, and other elements has seemingly waned in favour of maximizing rental units.

Overlooking the Role of Citizen Developers

The chief planner’s statement about the rise of citizen developers who can take on multiple development projects needs an examination of the impact on social and economic diversity in Toronto.

Fields points out that such developments might not lead to diverse housing options but could cater to niche and optional markets.

While Toronto Life Magazine’s interview with Chief Planner Gregg Lintern sheds light on the positive aspects of multiplex developments in Toronto, it needs to critically assess the challenges, nuances, and potential drawbacks of these changes.

A more comprehensive exploration of these issues is essential to provide a well-rounded understanding of the impact of multiplexes on the city’s housing landscape.

Toronto'S New Zoning Bylaws For Multiplex Housing Date: August 25, 2023 Author: James Fields

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Our previous zoning laws excluded people based on race and income. Multiplexes will help fix that”: A Q& A with chief planner Gregg Lintern. (Toronto Life)