Emerging from the clouds on a bright sunny day, emerges a city we’re familiar with but things have changed. For one, there are many larger glass buildings. Many more people walk along city streets. Shops are bustling with people, and the Waterfront is not as we remember it from 30 years earlier. This is Toronto 2050, and while there are images and structures of the past, there have also been significant changes. Toronto of 2050 is now a global city, attracting people, ideas and business from across the globe.
Looking to the future is important for a variety of reasons. For us regular folk, its important to see where shifts will occur and how changes will affect us. Its important to be proactive, informed and prepared for the inevitable growth of our city. That said, lets take a look at the changes are planned and projected over the coming years.
Perspective: Interesting article showcasing the growth of Toronto’s skyline since 1879.
Toronto 2050 will be a much more crowded place. Projections expect city growth by roughly 100,000 a year. This means Toronto could stand to have around 4 million citizens, while the GTA could have up to 10 million. Some projections predicts that Toronto could surpass Los Angeles over time, a prediction I am not entirely against especially when we consider Toronto’s proximity to fresh water and Los Angeles’/California’s water problem.
If you’ve ever been on the City of Toronto’s webpage dedicated to listing approved developments, then you’re aware that we’re in for many more years of building and growth. Besides, it takes little imagination to realize this city is growing like crazy. If you’re downtown, just look up! There are more cranes then we know to count. Sometimes I wonder if there are enough people, cranes and materials needed to fulfill the needs of this growing city. As development continues along Eglinton Ave, and the Crosstown is built, we’ll see increased density along this major artery. Also, development along the waterfront near Lower Don and Port Lands is expected to significantly change the way this city looks, especially from the islands. Parkdale, Wallace Emerson, Dufferin Grove, and more will change significantly as the city core and its density extends beyond its traditional confines. My major question here: will our sewers be able to handle it?
Streets of Toronto
As the city grows, so too will everything else including gridlock, housing prices, and of course TTC fares (although, TTC prices will go up regardless lol). The good news, is that Toronto’s urban planners are making arrangements to make it easier for us to get around, either on foot, bicycle, or city transit. City plans include streets with broader, more walkable sidewalks, and bike lanes to boot especially around Eglinton Ave. Take a look at the website here and get involved here. An interesting point of note is that Eglinton Ave is the only street in Toronto that passes through all of its former boroughs, through residential areas, mid-rise clusters, and more developed pockets around major intersections. “Eglinton exhibits every major form of urbanism found in Toronto,” the preliminary report notes.The more we contribute, the better our city will function for all of us.
As with any large city, as the population continues to grow and the city attracts more talent while also inspiring its own venues will become busier, places like the ROM and AGO will attract art that is currently housed in places like New York and Paris. Festivals will grow and communities will develop stronger internal identities. I can only hope that the coming VR revolution will not result in us staying in most of the time. Im sure there will be shows we can enjoy together, that include VR technology.
Waterfront and Greenspace
Toronto is known for its numerous city parks and greenspace, and unlike most, larger North American cities Toronto has managed the upkeep and attractiveness of these common places. That said, as the city embarks on the provinces plan of intensification it begs the question: how do parks and green spaces fit in? Along the same point, the city is also taking ambitious steps with announcements regarding the Rail Deck Park and its own version of New Yorks High Line Park (yet to be named). Regarding the Waterfront, intensification will abound as proposals continue to be announced, approved, and discussed. Check out BlogTO’s article on this here.
All of this is to say, we’re big now but about to get a whole lot bigger. So, if you thinks prices are high now, we ain’t seen nothing yet.