Toronto Housing Market Analysis

This report tracks 24 key housing indicators, among many others, that provide insight into Toronto’s housing market and the considerable housing challenges that residents face under current and projected conditions. It was commissioned by the Affordable Housing Office of the City of Toronto in 2018 and will inform public and stakeholder consultations as part of the City’s work in preparing the Housing Opportunities Toronto (HOT) Action Plan 2020 -2030, the City's new long -term housing and homelessness action plan.



2018 Ontario Excess Soil Key Themes

CUI convened this second annual Symposium to support the beneficial reuse of the 25 million m3 of excess soil that is generated in Ontario each year. This was an opportunity to advance the dialogue and ideas around properly managing excess soil to mitigate impacts on communities and the environment and reduce risk on land development projects. The key themes that emerged from the discussions are captured in this summary report.



AllAccess Toolkit

This Toolkit is a collection of resources to be used by planners, landscape architects, designers, and anyone working with DoPS. It has been designed as a set of individual tools and resources for practitioners to support their understanding and application of the DoPS Standard. Each of the resources is available separately, or combined in the  Toolkit. Take what you need. 





Commercial Fill Operations - Options for Policy and Regulation (Final Study)

The Canadian Urban Institute was retained to conduct this study to assist the Town of Caledon in developing policies and regulations to manage commercial fill operations. The study included research and interviews to assess the issues, emerging trends, policies and regulations related to the management of excess soil and commercial fill operations and an open house to receive community input on the regulation of commercial fill operations in Caledon. The study informed a description of best practices for the management of commercial fill operations and recommendations for policy development.



What is the Missing Middle?

The term “missing middle” is increasingly used to describe one of many solutions to our pressing housing challenges. But what exactly does the missing middle mean in the Toronto context? This brief, produced by Evergreen and the Canadian Urban Institute, brings clarity to the concept of the missing middle, lays out how it might be able to address specific housing challenges, and identifies areas to explore solutions for increasing the supply of missing middle housing in Toronto.



Weston TAP 2.0

The ULI Technical Assistance Panel (TAP) is a high-profile industry program that brings together the finest expertise in the real estate, planning and development fields to collaborate on complex land use and redevelopment projects. Weston TAP 2.0 was organized by ULI Toronto with the aim of exploring the evolution and potential of the Weston neighbourhood and developing a vision for its retail environment. This report includes a series of ideas and recommendations for Weston around four main themes: retail, public realm, infrastructure and programming.


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Resilient Toronto Part 2 - Outcomes Summary 

The second Resilient Toronto +PlaceMaker event was designed to create a unique space and approach to civic discourse around the question of how to achieve inclusive climate resilient growth. Several key themes emerged from the dialogue exploring the question of: what inclusive climate resilient growth can and should look like in Toronto, and are captured in this outcomes summary.



Smart Planning Our Smart Cities Guide

This is a practical guide intended to assist municipalities, provinces and solution providers in developing Smart City Master Plans for communities across Canada. It outlines key strategies for plan development, along with examples of global best practices. 



Smart Planning Our Future Cities

This research was conducted as part of the LSNetwork program, which  has supported the transition to networked LED streetlights for over a decade and is now also helping communities effectively design and deploy Smart City Master Plans to improve quality of life at work, home, and play. This paper was produced as part of Evergreen's 2018 Mid-Sized Cities Research Series.



Visualizing Density and The Drivers of Complete Communities 

Visualizing Density is a pilot project created to help planners, designers, elected officials, residents’ groups and private sector builders better understand density in the context of the growth in their own communities. This paper was produced as part of Evergreen's 2018 Mid-Sized Cities Research Series and summarizes the methodology and key findings from Visualizing Density (



Downtown Moncton Evaluation

CUI worked with the City of Moncton Economic Development Department and the Downtown BIA to evaluate the impact of the downtown on the City. CUI converted available data into maps, graphs and infographics to tell the story of how investing in the downtown impacts the overall success of the City. It is helping the City of Moncton and its partners to measure the value of its past initiatives and make strategic decisions about future investments.



Downtown Community Services and Facilities Strategy

CUI and its team completed the first area-wide Downtown Community Services and Facilities Strategy (CS&F) in 45 years as part of Toronto Planning’s TOcore initiative. The CS&F Strategy supports the implementation of the new Downtown Plan by informing the Complete Community Assessment and other requirements as part of the Planning Rationale for development applications. It identifies growth related community space and facility needs and priorities to support infrastructure investment in child care centres, libraries, schools, recreation facilities and human services.



Ontario Excess Soil Symposium Outcomes Summary

We convened the Excess Soil Symposium to discuss solutions and areas of further development required to support beneficial reuse of excess soil in Ontario, with a focus on soil receiving sites. Over 20 speakers (including the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario) and 270 attendees participated in the full-day session in Caledon. This outcomes document summarizes key findings from each session.



Laneways as Bikeways Opportunities Report

Laneways as Bikeways was created to understand whether laneways could be used as alternatives to bike lanes in Toronto. The project included research and consultation with cyclists, non-cyclists and stakeholders to assess whether laneways could be used safely by cyclists to move around the city. This report presents the key findings and outlines the potential roles that laneways can play in Toronto’s cycling network.




Resilient Toronto Part 1 (Define the Focus Areas) - Outcomes Summary

On September 26, 2017 the Canadian Urban Institute, in partnership with the City of Toronto, and with the support of Mott MacDonald, hosted the first in a three-part Resilient Toronto Event Series to track the development of Toronto’s new Resilience Strategy. The first event featured an update from Toronto’s new Chief Resilience Officer, Elliott Cappell, on the Preliminary Resilience Assessment (PRA) as well as a moderated discussion with a panel of experts.



Waterfront Toronto Resilience and Innovation Framework for Sustainability

CUI led an expert team to develop this Framework, which is designed to be the foundation upon which Waterfront Toronto will deliver on its mandate for Environmentally and Socially Responsible Prosperity. It represents a commitment to educating, inspiring and attracting the world to Toronto through developing a 21st century Complete Community. 



Scaling Up Affordable Ownership Housing in the GTA

This paper demonstrates what needs to be done to produce ownership housing that is within reach of middle class households, millennials, New Canadians and those working to join the middle class. It argues that it is appropriate and possible for governments to support scaling up affordable ownership housing production – without the need for ongoing financial subsidies.



Visualizing Density

Visualizing Density is a pilot project created by the Canadian Urban Institute to help planners, designers, elected officials, residents’ groups, and private sector builders design more complete communities and adapt existing communities over time. We selected 5 very different communities in the GGH and calculated their density in terms of people and jobs per hectare at the neighbourhood and block scale, so that people can understand what the neighbourhood built-form looks like in relation to density targets set out in the Provincial Growth Plan. The visuals and analysis in the 5 case studies also encourage users to look beyond buildings and consider the attributes that work with density to make complete communities.


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The Resilient City Outcomes Report 

CUI hosted a +PlaceMaker event to discuss the importance of addressing interdependencies in urban resilience planning. This report captures the panels responses to questions about the cross-sectoral approaches that are needed to improve the resilience of the Toronto region and how these can be implemented when resilience planning doesn’t always align with political boundaries.



Building Intelligent Communities with Advanced Streetlighting

This primer provides an introduction to how networked streetlighting employing light-emitting diodes (LEDs) can be used as an expandable platform for intelligent communities. It is intended to as a resource for building capacity, overcoming barriers and guiding implementation for creating connected smart communities. 



The Realized Results of LED Streetlights: Seizing the Opportunity

This document provides information on how light-emitting diode (LED) streetlighting has evolved, specifically in Canada, lessons learned from early adopters and the realized results; it is intended to help accelerate adoption of LEDs with those who have not yet converted.  




TOcore Community Services & Facilities Study - Phase One: Taking Stock

The Community Services & Facilities (CS&F) Report, Phase One - Taking Stock is an assessment of community services and facilities in the 16 defined neighbourhoods comprising Toronto’s Downtown. This study engaged key internal and external stakeholders to examine needs and gaps in the community services and facilities sector, including: recreation, child care, libraries, schools, human services and public health. It identifies 13 strategic actions to increase capacity, innovation and collaboration and 27 opportunities to secure new facilities or improvements to existing facilities. A summary table and map of these identified opportunities can be found in Sections 8 and 9 of this report.



Canadian Infrastructure Report Card: Informing the Future

This project results from the shared conviction that assessing the health of municipal infrastructure is necessary if Canada is to ensure that the services, quality of life and economic growth provided by this infrastructure can be sustained over the long term. CUI worked with representatives from 18 professional membership organizations from across Canada to develop the survey and analyze the results to assess the condition of public infrastructure.



City of Toronto – Urban Design Policy Development

The City of Toronto’s Urban Design Policy Development Background Research consisted of five separate research components designed to gather feedback on the current Urban Design Official Plan policies and to solicit ideas on how to strengthen new policies related to public realm, walkability, built form, public spaces, etc. CUI undertook a detailed research and consultation program – including a jurisdictional scan, interviews and discussions with internal and external stakeholders – in order to provide the City with the information required to inform updates to the urban design policies in the Official Plan. The built environment, walkability, safety, accessibility and creating exceptional public realm were key topics of the report.


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Quantifying the Value of Canadian Downtowns: A Research Toolkit

This toolkit is a ground-breaking effort to provide a downtown data standard, a common set of data and processes that will help Canadian place management organizations, such as BIAs/BIDs, establish and sustain evaluation and compare progress among downtowns. While this toolkit is geared towards Canadian downtowns, it also is of value for urban districts outside of Canada who are looking to move toward data standardization and data best practices. In the toolkit, organizations will find directions and insights on collecting, organizing, storing, and presenting downtown-specific data to make the case for continued investment and support. 



Excess Soil By-Law Tool

CUI developed a tool to provide sample by-law language and advice based on the MOECC guideline Management Excess Soil – A Guide for Best Management Practices and consultation with municipalities, construction associations, government, Qualified Persons and NGOs. 18 key issues are addressed that municipalities are facing when managing excess soils at receiving sites through municipal by-laws. Users of the Tool can also access over 70 municipal by-laws and conservation authority regulations from Southern Ontario jurisdiction. 



Toronto Ward Boundary Review - Final Report: New Wards for Toronto

Toronto’s current ward structure, developed approximately 15 years ago, has become unbalanced. This impacts voter parity (similar but not identical population numbers among wards) not just at election time, but every time City Council votes. This report presents a recommendation for new wards for Toronto that achieves the principle of effective representation, can be implemented for the 2018 municipal election and will last until the 2030 municipal election.



Mid-Rise Database 

This tool was developed to explore spatial patterns and information about mid-rise developments in the Greater Golden Horseshoe.



Vaughan Ward Boundary Review

In April 2016, the City of Vaughan engaged an independent consultant team to carry out a comprehensive ward boundary review. This is in line with a Council approved direction, and the review is to be completed in early 2017 for implementation in the 2018 municipal election. This Options Report presents three options for re-aligning Vaughan’s wards for public discussion.



2015 Canadian Urban Forum: Core Themes & Action Plan

On October 8, 2015, in Toronto, the Canadian Urban Forum convened 125 representatives from the private, public, social enterprise and academic sectors to develop the agenda for achieving INVE$TABLE CITIES. This document summarizes the core themes that came out of the discussions and will be incorporated into an action plan for creating some of the necessary public and private changes in Canada moving forward.



LED Lighting for Parking Facilities

This primer provides a practical guide for parking lighting managers for converting their lighting to light emitting diodes (LEDs). It outlines the reasons to consider converting to LEDs relative to incumbent technologies, the factors to address in a business case, design standards, the importance of an in-house champion, the technical aspects of procurement and commissioning and options for financing, including incentives. The lighting options covered are LED linear tubes and low bay canopy lamps for parking garages and outdoor parking area lighting. The issues related to adaptive controls are also included.



Toronto Ward Boundary Review - Options Report

This report lays out five options to ensure ‘effective representation’ within the ward structure of the City of Toronto. The purpose of presenting the options is to engage Toronto’s public, stakeholders and Members of Council in a discussion of the possibilities for a re-aligned ward system for the 2018 municipal election.




Adaptive Controls for Roadway and Parking Lighting

This primer is designed to introduce lighting managers to the issues relating to integrating adaptive controls into parking and roadway lighting systems in order to reduce energy consumption, while ensuring safety for vehicles and pedestrians. It outlines what adaptive controls do, factors to consider in making an implementation decision, system configurations, functions of the components and examples of existing installations. Although the content has been primarily derived from information applied to roads and streets, the concepts apply equally to parking lots and garages.



Toronto Ward Boundary Review - Round One Report: Civic Engagement & Public Consultation

This document summarizes the results of Round One of the civic engagement and public consultation process of the Toronto Ward Boundary Review (TWBR). The TWBR is to bring a recommendation to Toronto City Council on a ward boundary configuration that respects the principle of “effective representation”, as defined by the Supreme Court of Canada and the Ontario Municipal Board.



Toronto Ward Boundary Review - Background Research Report

As a result of significant growth in the City over the past several years there are some wards that have considerably higher populations, and some lower, than the average ward population. This means that the equity of representative democracy across wards has been compromised. The Toronto Ward Boundary Review is looking at the size and shape of Toronto’s wards in order to address this inequity and ensure that all Toronto residents are fairly represented at City Council. This report was developed to provide the Toronto Ward Boundary Review consultant team, as well as the general public and city staff and council, with information that will help the team to make informed decisions and recommendations about changes to Toronto’s ward boundaries.



Our Humboldt Culture-Led Strategic Plan

This document provides an overall framework for decision making in the City of Humboldt over the next 5-10 years. It includes a vision, strategies, directions and action areas that will help decision makers prioritize the things that need to be done and decide what strategic investments will deliver value to all residents. It also includes a set of indicators that City staff can use to measure and report on the City’s progress.



Supporting the Big Shift with Age Friendly Development

How will the aging of Canadian society affect our communities: transport, housing, employment, services, institutions? The Canadian Urban Institute surveyed the available research on population aging in relation to transit and searched for relevant case studies on how municipalities are implementing transit-friendly policies and building transit infrastructure. Through a second set of case studies, CUI researchers looked at housing forms designed to appeal to seniors and assessed their potential for supporting transit use.



The Value of Investing in Canadian Downtowns

This ‘living’ project is the first of its kind – examining 17 downtowns across Canada to assess changes in attitudes, perceptions, functionality and performance over time. This project is envisaged to act as a resource for city builders, compiling evidence-based research that illustrates the importance of investing in downtowns. 



2013 Canadian Urban Forum Summary

More than 170 delegates attended the 2013 Canadian Urban Forum to compare experiences and discuss innovative solutions for getting urban infrastructure built at a time when the need far exceeds current budgets. This report comprises: the Forum position paper authored by University of Ottawa’s Centre on Governance and the Canadian Urban Institute (CUI) – revised to reflect input and commentary from the conference; a summary of the discussions; and links to videos and individual presentations.



Global Outdoor Led Trials: Analysis for Lighting Managers

Lighting is undergoing the kind of technological revolution that only occurs once a century. Semiconductor light sources called light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, are taking the place of incandescent, fluorescent, and high-intensity discharge lamps that have dominated lighting over the last hundred years. This analysis summarizes results from the first comprehensive global outdoor LED trial, called LightSavers.



A Step Towards Sustainable Infrastructure

Infrastructure is vital to our global competitiveness, delivering everyday needs and enabling people, goods and services to move and interact effectively. The purpose of this discussion paper is to provoke thought on the need to identify new models for sustainable infrastructure, with the ultimate goal of generating discussion, an exchange of ideas and the formulation of a meaningful contribution from Canada to the UN Habitat’s World Urban Forum to be held in Medellin, Columbia in 2014.



Rethinking Surface Parking for Pedestrian Friendly Office Development

The automobile has an important role to play in the urban transportation system. As a result, parking is an essential piece of infrastructure in the built environment. Yet, cities are continually challenged to find ways of integrating parking into their fabric that are efficient, compact, attractive and ecologically sensitive. This research aims to not only outline best practice strategies to attract high density parking options that could facilitate office growth, but also provides an overview on how these strategies could be optimally applied in a range of urban contexts (established downtowns, emerging downtowns, office parks and individual developments).



Greater Toronto: Region in Transition

This study tackles the problem of connecting the way people live and work to a new way of planning the Region. In the next 30 years, the GTA is expected to create one million additional jobs, most of which will be housed in buildings that have not yet been built. The quality of life for those one million workers will be dramatically impacted by where those buildings are built and the transit and road improvement decisions we make now. Getting it right is the focus of the solutions presented in this ground breaking work.



Advancing Integrated Community Energy Planning in Ontario - The Primer

This primer is designed to help municipalities understand how they can work within the regulatory framework to plan their communities’ energy future. It provides a rationale for why municipalities play a key role in integrated energy planning in Ontario, how municipalities can get started planning an integrated energy future and how to engage local partners.



Mississauga Living Green Master Plan 

The Living Green Master Plan (LGMP) prioritizes Mississauga's policies and programs into actions to meet the environmental objectives of the City's Strategic Plan. It identifies 49 actions for the City and its partners to implement over the next 10 years. 




The New Geography of Office Location

This study makes recommendations aimed at facilitating a more competitive environment for GTA office employment across all four submarkets defined in the report, and the development sector that supports it. 



Municipal Policy Options Guide for Advanced Outdoor Lighting

This report looks at the use of advanced lighting technologies in Ann Arbor, Michigan; Los Angeles, California; Toronto and Ottawa, Ontario; and Vancouver, British Columbia. All these cities have started to use LEDs in municipal streetlights and traffic lights and three have introduced adaptive technologies for municipal lighting. The report concludes with 14 actions that municipalities can take to promote the use of energy-saving lighting technologies, from using pilot projects to demonstrate the benefits and win public acceptance to developing comprehensive lighting policies that promote greater uptake of the technologies.



Integrated Energy Mapping for Ontario Communities – Lessons Learned Report

Integrated Energy Mapping for Ontario Communities (IEMOC) was a collaborative initiative that set out to analyze the impacts of population and employment growth; land-use and transportation planning decisions; and building and transportation energy efficiency measures on energy consumption for four Ontario municipalities –Guelph, Hamilton, Barrie, and London. This report was prepared to document the energy mapping process that was used on the IEMOC project, to outline challenges encountered during the process, and to provide lessons learned from 3 these challenges so that Ontario communities can repeat and improve the process.



Indicators & Performance Measures Municipal Cultural Planning

The purpose of this guidebook is to provide municipal staff and other interested parties with a set of indicators that they can use to measure and evaluate the inputs, processes and outcomes of Municipal Cultural Planning (MCP) in their communities. The guidebook provides a menu of over 70 indicators that municipal staff can use to choose what they want to measure in their community.



Repositioning Age-Friendly Communities

The Division of Aging and Seniors of the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) retained the Canadian Urban Institute to prepare this research report to determine the extent to which the concept of Age Friendly Communities (AFC) complements or is consistent with other mainstream planning concepts such as Smart Growth and Healthy Cities.  The goal is to identify ways to help move AFC into the mainstream of planning‐related discourse.



An Action Plan for Growing District Energy Systems Across Canada

The 200 stakeholders that participated in this study, widely agreed that the District Energy (DE) solution was a sensible, if not essential, element to the future of Canadian energy systems. This research provides insight into future visions for DE, better understanding of the perceived and existing challenges to developing or expanding DE systems and views on the most effective means of overcoming these challenges.




Building Momentum: Made in Hamilton Infrastructure Solutions

This report assesses the long-term infrastructure requirements for the City of Hamilton, and suggests priorities for investment in infrastructure projects by identifying and analyzing existing and proposed community assets.



Hamilton B-Line: Vale Planning, Uplift and Capture Study

In 2009-2010 the Canadian Urban Institute (CUI) worked with its partners at Infrastructure Ontario and the City of Hamilton to produce a report titled Building Momentum: Made in Hamilton Infrastructure Solutions. The purpose of the report was to assemble, in a single document, a longterm integrated investment strategy to reinvigorate private investment in the City. This study is a continuation of the Building Momentum work and focuses on determining the potential of the east-west (B-Line) LRT to accelerate development along the corridor and advance the city’s investment strategy.



State of Local Economic Development in the Philippines

This report draws from the institutional mapping of Local Economic Development (LED) policies, programs, and services in the Philippines, from an agribusiness and tourism context. The mapping shows the need for local governments to create a
business/entrepreneurship climate that is in support of existing national policies and for business development or retention in their local communities. This is in view of the urgency of LED in alleviating poverty.



Mid-Rise Symposium Summary: Breaking barriers, building confidence: Making Mid-rise Work in Ontario

On December 8, 2009, a range of midrise development stakeholders met in Mississauga to identify province-wide challenges and work towards solutions. Participants identified a set of strategic directions that governments, communities, architects, developers, and builders could adopt to help accelerate public and institutional acceptance, and improve economic feasibility of midrise projects. In this document, midrise issues and strategic directions are explored though three main foci: challenging assumptions, breaking policy barriers, and building confidence.



Mississauga Culture Master Plan

The Mississauga Culture Master Plan provides a framework and a longer‐term vision that identifies key opportunities and strategies that the new Culture Division can implement over the next five years to help transform Mississauga into a culturally significant Canadian city. The Plan recommends key actions to build financial stability and increase the organizational capacity of cultural organizations, strengthen cultural infrastructure at the neighbourhood level, strengthen the flow and access to information about cultural resources and activities and leverage public works and private sector development to enhance cultural resources and create artful, livable communities.



Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Understanding the Foundations of Ontario's Built Future

Aggregates are explicitly acknowledged as an essential resource in the Provincial Policy Statement of the Province of Ontario not only because of their vital economic importance, but also because southern Ontario contains many high-quality deposits of sand, stone, and gravel. In this report, we review the economic and environmental benefits and costs of aggregate extraction in light of the province’s policy that aggregates should be protected (just like other natural resources in Ontario), and its policy promoting the extraction of sand,  stone,  and gravel close to where they will eventually be used.



Apartment Licensing in Toronto: A solution in search of a problem?

The City of Toronto is currently considering a new Multi‐Residential Apartment Buildings Regulatory Strategy, which consists of 10 policy options. Two of those options involve licensing either apartment owners or apartment units. This report, prepared for the Greater Toronto Apartments Association, provides an evaluation of some of the likely costs and benefits of licensing rental apartments, based on the experiences of other North American cities that have licensing programs, as well as data on housing quality in those cities and comparisons with cities that do not license rental apartments.



Mississauga Office Strategy Study

Over the past 25 years, the City of Mississauga has become the dominant player in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) office market outside Toronto, having added an average of 1 million sq. ft. (92,900m2 ) of office space a year. The City now contains almost one third of all the office space in the 905 and in the past five years Mississauga has captured almost half (46%) of new office growth in the 905.  This study was commissioned by the City to determine how best to build on its competitive advantage as an office location. It recommends a package of fiscally responsible strategies and innovative official plan policies designed to address key challenges.



Options for Homes Assessment

The focus of this study is the model used by Options for Homes Non-Profit Corporation (Options for Homes or OFH) and Home Ownership Alternatives Non-profit Corporation (Home Ownership Alternatives or HOA) to market and build housing units that people of low and moderate income can afford to buy. It examines and evaluates the Options for Homes model (‘Options’ model) in terms of what it offers to individual purchasers and what housing needs and markets it addresses in the context of programs used to provide affordable housing.



Business Competitiveness in the GTA: Why Toronto is Losing Ground

There are many wonderful things happening in Toronto, but commercial office development is not one of them. This report, commissioned by the Toronto Office Coalition, which represents the interests of owners and tenants that account for the majority of Class A office space in the City, provides an analysis of the impact that current tax inequities between Toronto and the surrounding 905 have on the competitiveness of offices in Toronto.



The Ontario Food Terminal: A Unique Asset in the Central Ontario Economy

The Ontario Food Terminal is a unique asset, not just in the Toronto region, but in Canada. It plays a central role in the food industry, which is one of the major manufacturing sectors in central Ontario, and supports grocery stores, restaurants, caterers, and florists in eastern Canada and in some American states. Yet the Terminal is facing challenges. This report was written to explain the importance of the Food Terminal in the local and provincial economy, identify and analyze threats to the Terminal, and suggests ways to ensure the survival and growth of this important resource.