The Intangible City

Just back from India, I’m thinking about the intangible thing that is a city. The thing that makes your neck get all hot and prickly when you read Wallpaper’s take on your city...

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Toronto and the Boring Neighbourhood

Events this week made me think of Tyler Brûlé on Toronto: “He’s got a really nice flat and it’s great that his kids go to a nice school, but shit, it’s boring there.”

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Jane’s Heir?

Urmi Desai in Urban Issues

CBC’s The Passionate Eye recently profiled “The Passionate Prince” – a work I settled down to watch once I was able to verify that it was not about...

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The 'Why' of Home Buying

Given the disastrous effects of the subprime mortgage on the world economy, it is easy to forget that many once saw the instrument as an agent of good.  Under many US...

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What's in a Name? The Leslieville Lofts Saga

Regular readers of this blog will be familiar with my views on names, which is that they matter.  The big names behind the Leslieville Lofts project, Lamb Development Corp and...

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The Scent of a Neighbourhood

I have become a great fan of Andy Barrie.  It happened the morning he reported on the incredible story of brakes being cut on the cars of Toronto-area Liberal party supporters....

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Spotted: School Wars

 

It may go unnoticed by the rest of us, but parents have long made the "right school" the heart of their home buying decisions.  Toronto Life's September issue features lying,...
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Revisiting the Emerging Neighbourhood

A reader recently wrote in to ask me about the Distillery District following an early post.  He's not the only one to wonder about 'emerging neighbourhoods'.  While...

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In the Eye of the Beholder: Smut and the Emerging Neighbourhood

Two Toronto communities are fighting the re-appearance of naughty nudies on their strip.  Residents of New Toronto and neighbouring Long Branch are home to an increasing number...

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The Shopping Mall Revolution

The shopping mall, currently staring as the villain of Leslieville, and frequent associate of the gassy nightmare that is the suburbs, is rarely heralded by urban enthusiasts. ...

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Talking About Toronto's Waterfront

He was a young guy, fresh-faced and eager - to talk to me.  Not necessarily odd, but odd for a dimly-lit subway car after a long work day.  "Is that what you work on?" he...

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Violence and the City: Toronto the Helpless?

Urmi Desai in Urban Issues

It seems that a week in Toronto is no longer complete without that criminal act which appears to define the word ‘senseless’ as we understand it:...

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Is 'Torontoness' the Answer to the Canadian Identity Crisis?

Urmi Desai in Urban Issues

Over the weekend, Tom Kent's widely-read piece on Canadian citizenship, "Canada is much more than a hotel," appeared in the Globe and Mail.  Kent, a...

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How to Get Your House in Order: Expert Panel Reports on Toronto's Financial Situation

Urmi in Urban Issues

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TTC - the Costlier Way? Opening Up Toronto's Transit Debate

Urmi in Urban Issues

Last month, Michael Fenn, CEO of the Metrolinx - the agency charged with overhauling the patchwork of GTA transit systems - had some interesting things...

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Suburban Treasures: Is the End of Richmond Hill's David Dunlap Observatory Near?

Urmi in Urban Issues

Ed. Note:  Thanks to a sharp reader for pointing out that the total area of the David Dunlap Observatory Lands is 190 acres, not 90 acres as...

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Toronto Neighbourhoods Increasingly Defined by Schools

Urmi in Urban Issues, Lifestyle

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Unstoppable Drive: More Canadians Relying on Cars Today

Urmi in Urban Issues, Lifestyle

Stats Can's recent release, Dependence on Cars in Urban Neighbourhoods, reveals that car culture is alive and well in Canada - understandable...

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Measuring Cities: Calgary Most 'Magnetic', Toronto Second

Urmi in Urban Issues, Lifestyle

In case you missed it last month, the Conference Board of Canada issued yet another headline-tailored missive, this one heralding a new report...

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A Winter's Lament for the City

Urmi in Urban Issues

I am grateful for the holidays, however bittersweet, and that all too brief opportunity to catch-up with a bright, wandering tribe I call my friends and...

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Toronto Moving Tips: Regifting, Reusing and Recycling Clutter

Urmi in Lifestyle

This week, I find myself having to confront old demons to prepare for a big move.  The New Year will find me simultaneously downsizing and upgrading to share...

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The Distillery District: Historical Toronto or EuroArt Disneyland?

Urmi in Toronto Neighbourhoods, Urban Issues

I particularly enjoyed reading Jesse's take on the history and future promise of the Distillery District this week, since I've been...

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Toronto Revisits Development Fees to Pay for City's Needs

Urmi in Toronto Real Estate News

Nice to know that my spidey-sense is more than a caffeine-induced health emergency.  At the start of this week, I was curious as to why...

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Editor's Inbox: More on Toronto's New Land Transfer Tax, HomeOwner's Energy Audits

Urmi in Toronto Real Estate News 

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Bejeweled Phantoms: Will Foreign Investors Accelerate Gentrification in Toronto?

Urmi in Urban Issues, Toronto Real Estate News

A Bay St. heavyweight's startling prediction for Toronto's real estate market will worry HomeBuyers looking to become a part of...

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Targeting (Some of) Toronto: Why David Miller’s “Fair Tax Plan” Falls Short

John and Urmi in Urban Issues, Toronto Real Estate News, Home Buying 

With a major tax vote just around the corner, Mayor David Miller hasn’t exactly convinced Toronto that...

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What Would Jane Jacobs Think? Expanding Toronto's Underground PATH

Urmi in Neighbourhoods, Lifestyle, In the News

Plans are underway to expand Toronto’s PATH system.  Developers and planners would like to extend the network of underground...

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A Room of One’s Own: Moving Private Pursuits into Shared Spaces

Urmi in HomeBuying, Lifestyle

In order to write great fiction, Virginia Woolf opined back in 1928, a woman must have “money and a room of her own.”  In observing the limited...

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Is the Real Estate Industry Coming to Terms? The Fake or Phantom Multiple Offer in Toronto

Urmi in HomeBuying, Money, Toronto Real Estate News, In the News

No wonder consumers are confused when it comes to HomeBuying – apparently, they are not the only ones.  Departing...

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Dreaming the Big Dreams in Toronto: New Urbanism, Smart Growth and High-Density Development

Urmi in Neighbourhoods, Lifestyle, Condos, In the News

Urban planning enthralls me, like so many others, because it holds out that tantalizing promise of agency, that assertion...

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Is Toronto the Most Successful Multicultural City in the World?

Urmi in In the News, Neighbourhoods, Lifestyle

Humans, it seems, can never get enough of parlour games—Monopoly, Scrabble, Name the Most Successful Multicultural City in the...

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Credit Score 101 for Adventurers and Other Miscreants

Urmi in HomeBuying, Money

For the longest time, I put off one of the first steps any potential HomeBuyer is advised to take: get one with your credit score or rating.  For most...

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South Annex: Toronto Neighbourhood Explorer

Urmi in Neighbourhoods, Neighbourhood Explorer

Ed. Note.  Kicking off a day of free celebrations at Bathurst and Bloor this past Sunday, Mayor David Miller officially declared...

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Branding Toronto’s Neighbourhoods

Urmi in HomeBuying, Neighbourhoods, Lifestyle

“So,” Paul concluded, pausing to swirl his caesar-with-extra-horseradish, “I believe I live in the Upper Upper West Annex.” ...

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The Land Transfer Tax: the Toronto We Want?

Urmi in HomeBuying, In the News, Toronto Real Estate News

Thanks to council's decision not to decide, heated discussions about David Miller, Millerites (the crew not the brew) and...

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Media Rankings: Best Cities and Toronto Neighbourhoods

Urmi in Neighbourhoods, HomeBuying, Lifestyle

Being a bit of a news wire junkie, provocative headlines tend to catch my eye: “Ottawa ranked best place to live in Canada.”  Before...

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The Young, Urban and Carless…HomeOwner?

Urmi in HomeBuying, Lifestyle

I have long been committed to low-rent, public transit, downtown living in the belief that having low overhead (no home maintenance, no car, no...

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