Toronto's downtown has become an increasingly desirable place to live with a recent RBC-Pembina poll showing that 81 per cent would choose a smaller house if amenities such as shopping and mass transit were accessible by walking and if commutes to work were short. Are there any lessons here for New Brunswick?
With some time having passed since the municipal elections, there is some space from the euphoria (or disappointment depending on the candidate) of election time to assess what the results mean. Saint John is a city beset by significant challenges -- including a costly pension plan, the need for social housing, cuts to mass transit that hurt the poor and the costs of maintaining city infrastructure.
While the growth of New Brunswick's urban and suburban areas is not on the scale of larger cities in Canada, there are lessons to be learned from these larger centres where, after periods of rapid growth which led to vast landscapes of generic car-oriented sprawl, there has been a backlash and a desire to return to more walkable downtown-like neighbourhoods.