A great post from SCI Research Director Alex Aylett. Alex is a Montreal-based urban sustainability researcher and consultant. He has worked on urban sustainability in Canada, the United States, Europe, and Africa. He is a Trudeau Scholar in the Department of Geography at the University of British Columbia. Check out his blog “Openalex : Cites and Sustainability: Reinventing the Good Life”.
Has Toronto lost its way? That’s been the word on the street, and pretty much everywhere else, since Mayor Ford took office a little less than a year ago.
But as colourful as his first 11 months have been, it’s a bit disingenuous to lay all the city’s woes at his feet. In this month’s issue of The Walrus, John Lorinc has written a detailed piece on the roots of T-dot’s troubles. Beginning in the early 1970s, Lorinc tells a story of dysfunctional municipal/provincial relationships and “race-to-the-bottom” competitions between municipalities in the GTA. Above all, he argues, Toronto suffers from a culture of cheapness that has prevailed over municipal decisions for decades holding back necessary investments in transit, parks, urban design, and the public realm more generally.