At least you are thinking. Individual responsibility has it's limits. Do you expect people that had to take the jab to work and then got severely disabled to house themselves? Also you are not considering how Toronto will almost certainly have to operate with less energy going forward. If North Korea is any indication, when elevators don't work reliably, the upper floors of our high rises will become very unattractive. https://energyskeptic.com/2023/skyscrapers-a-bad-idea-as-energy-declines/ With less energy many other aspects of our ability to support Toronto's current population levels will become problematic.

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This article. like I find all your articles, is very well written! Being a libertarian at heart "maybe government just needs to get out of the way" resonates with me.

Unfortunately, as you have shown time and time again your stubbornness (refusing to play "the game") is what is preventing your message from reaching out to a wide audience. Hopefully one day you'll put aside what's holding you back, which will inevitably result in more people hearing your POV.

Anyways, a well throughout article I hope some Torontonians read.

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May 10Liked by Sarah Climenhaga

Hi Sarah. I would love to be able to talk to you about issues within our city. Do you take phone calls?

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Sarah - Nick wrote about your piece above, and I felt I had to respond. I am also running for mayor and what you propose makes abosolutely no sense whatsover.

Yes, government can't house everyone - this isn't socialism but a mixed market economy and is the "affordable housing" crisis a crisis of housing prices, or is it really a problem of low incomes and increasing inequality. A UBI would address a lot of this. But even then - so people have the right to live in places where the market price for housing is high? Even with a UBI, people would be spending >30% of income to live in Toronto unless the government gives people more money to live here.

Building "affordable" housin really means either subsidies, or else having landlords/developers charge some people more to provide a subsidy to a few people deemed needy - but there is the issue of horizontal equity where people in same situation get different levels of help, leading tothe problem where someone in the middle class paying taxes paying martket rates for housing ends up worse off/less disposable income than someone who has not worked hard, gone to school etc.

The problem is not one of lack of land zoned for housing - particularly high density condos. We have 200,000 units approved int he last 5 years and unbuilt, and then another 400,000 in the pipleine - like all along Eglinton East - when the 416 has been building under 20,000 a year - so that is 30 years worth of units ar current rates, or even 20 years if we could boost cosntruction by 50%.

But in 2022, the 416 was up to 50% of completions in the GTA, when it was under 25% in the 1990s. Look at the 2022 Planning Department Pipeline report.

Deregulation is not the answer - it just means stable neighbourhoods end being sold off and land assembled - so a homeowner is Cabbagetown will suddenly get a windfall and 130 year old homes will be bought up at a premium.

Condo rezonings take about 3 years - but then it takes 3 years to get 75% presales to get financing. Now, building permits maybe could be sped up by hiring a few more. Site Plan approval too - mainly this is hiring a few more staff, not really by throwing out rules.

You are going to just increase speculation and hoarding - and of course taxation of capital gains is FEDERAL law. So for example, the City passed the avenues policy around 2010 - prices of 2 storey retail properties went up to reeclt potential redevelopment as midrise properties - then sometimes rezoned and flipped - but in many cases landlords want higher rents to refelct paying more and assessments have gone up... making vacancies worse.

Zoning limits on density were originally to do things like ensure there were adequate, sewers, water, electrical gris, schools, fire stations - and roads and transit. But we got away from that with the OMB and cities granting density for free instead of buying and selling existing density amound noehgbourhing properties. Our city planners no longer worry about such things - so they had to cram an electrical station into the back of the roundhouse downtown, for example. Oops.

My background is architecture, finance and real estate and I sudied RE appraising. Taxing just th eland alone is a crazy idea. We have current value assessment based on sales with adjustments - this is complicated enough. Valuing just the land is even more arbitrary and time consuming and depends on the improvements - and often the income or leases in place. Try to value the land under the Skydome - do you assume the skydome is demolished or someone has to pay for it to make the land vacant? What if there is a heritage building?

Toronto's housing and other problems exist because we have 3 levels of government working at cross purposes... immgration being the key one. Trudeau is doubling immgration between 2015 and 2025 - far beyond what the 2005 provincial Growth Plan ever anticpated - and we already had sprawl and housing issues then because Mulroney had changes/increased immigration in 1990 - leading tot he 90s 905 sprawl, then the Greenbelt etc.

We do have to get government policy right. Trudeau seems to have bought into a plan for canada to have 100 million in 2100 - about double what had ben projected in recent years. The Century initiative would see the GTA go from 9 to 33 million.

See my op-ed at https://www.thestar.com/opinion/contributors/2023/05/10/the-real-cause-of-torontos-traffic-congestion-and-housing-crisis.html

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Aside from the usual point that euphemistically-called "government solutions" (aka. violent coercive ones) always make things worse, there is also the bigger picture question about whether we even want more people living in the city - too often it's just assumed that that's a positive goal. The more tempting we make it for people to live in Toronto, the more overcrowding there will be. Similar to adding more lanes to highways - it doesn't solve the traffic problem, it makes it worse. Currently almost a quarter of Canada lives in this one mega-city. (Which imho is already way too big and sprawling.)

We should question why so many people flock to Toronto - it's probably hurting those other places they're coming from - brain drain. I'd much rather live in an ancap town, but the evil federal gov doesn't allow those. It also doesn't allow towns to exist without roads (like Toronto Island, which is the unique grandfathered-in exception). If people were free to build their own style of community, there would be more competition between cities/citadels, thus relieving the load on the one mega-lowest-common-denominator-city, that receives preferential treatment by govs as a result of it's disproportionate "political influence", thus exacerbating the problem.

Also, we shouldn't punish "speculators/hoarders" - they're just a symptom of the problem of inflation/money-printing. Nobody wants to bother with property management and problematic tenants, or gamble in stock markets, but they're currently forced to because their savings are constantly being eroded away by money printing, as govs bribe their key donors.

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