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An old saying rings true today, more than ever: drive till you qualify. But with the suburbs gaining speed in price appreciation, how far is too far?
More than half the planet's people now live in urban areas. The need to supply food, shelter, fresh water and energy to billions of urban residents is resulting in loss of farmland, forests, wetlands and other ecosystems, as well as the critical ecological services they support, like providing food, clean air and drinking water. growing number of jurisdictions have responded by enacting strong land-use policies to protect farmland and green space through sound urban planning
The bulldozing of landscapes and older areas of cities Arthur Erickson viewed as an act of aggression against one's fellow humans only exceeded by warfare itself. Instead of freeways the answer he proposed was denser urban cores and, instead of high rises, vertical real estate in diverse layers with services at every level.
Today, close to 70 per cent of all Canadians live in suburbs. Most bought homes early in their adult life. Most raised families. And many are now living alone or with an aging spouse in houses designed for four to six people. The kids have grown and left, so nearby schools are unsupportable, too. Even the strip malls are failing as old neighbourhoods hollow out -- as young buyers head to ever-more distant points in search of the latest "cheap" development.
If we value local food and want to maintain the critical benefits that nature provides, we must put food and water first. That's why we're calling on municipalities and provincial governments to redouble their efforts to protect our remaining farmland and green space from costly, polluting urban sprawl.
Canada's environmental laws are under attack by both the federal and Ontario governments. In Ottawa, the government introduced Bill C-38 to implement far-reaching measures announced in its budget. The 420-page Bill C-38 will gut a raft of federal laws passed over the years to ensure that our air, water, and most vulnerable wildlife populations are protected.
The lack of affordable housing in Toronto drives demand for suburban housing and this threatens the implementation of the Growth Plan. To prevent social and environmental collapse, we need to link sprawl-related environmental issues with affordability.
For 32 years, my family has looked forward to our annual trip toward the Okanagan Valley to pick cherries. Now, much of that land has been converted to accommodate big houses. We have to make sure we don't sacrifice the very things that made a community attractive in the first place.