What does Toronto need most? This was the question posed to three panelists at the “Toronto Idea Jam” – the latest in the Star Talks public conversation series. Speaking to a packed house, Jennifer Keesmaat – Toronto’s Chief Planner – said the night was “all about thinking boldly about our city”.
Along with Keesmaat, the audience heard from Seema Jethalal – Managing Director of the Daniel’s Spectrum in Regent Park – and Shawn Micallef – writer for the Toronto Star. There was no shortage of great ideas, many of which came from the audience, including: public art, youth empowerment, celebration of diversity, creating walkable communities, affordable housing, and maintaining the “grittiness” that has come to define many of Toronto’s streets (think: Yonge Street between Dundas and Gerrard).
When Keesmaat took the stage, she made the case for midrise development. Noting that Toronto has become “a city of highs and lows”, she advocated that mid rise condominium development is exactly what the city needs to “gently densify” areas in which the current population does not fully utilize existing infrastructure. Midrises built along Toronto’s underdeveloped avenues, Keesmaat argued, will create livable communities for live, work, and play.
It was also a nice surprise to see a rendering of our recently approved condo project in Birch Cliff Village make an appearance in Keesmaat’s presentation. We’re very excited to be bringing this project to the neighbourhood, and proud of the role we play in building the city, and supporting vibrancy in local communities.