Since Canada's government announced that it was axing the Immigrant Investor Program, there has been plenty of speculation about what that means for the second-most unaffordable property market in the world, where a dumpy bungalow can have almost triple the asking price as a castle on the other side of the country. The average price of a detached home in greater Vancouver? $1,259,775.
The key issue is whether the heart of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside should remain a low-income precinct with a high concentration of shelters, social housing, and community services -- essentially "walled off" from the rest of the city -- or should it become a more normalized community with a broader range of households and housing choices, including condominiums, restaurants and shops catering to the entire city population?
For such a real estate rich city, Vancouverites have some fairly backwards attitudes, witnessed most recently in the vehement and emotional outbursts opposing high-density developments along transit lines. But what's wrong with a 20-storey tower? We need to think bigger and higher because in 20 years, we'll be standing outside the station on Cambie and looking at little 4-storey buildings and asking why we didn't.