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SvN Team Part of Anthology Publication on Housing Affordability

House Divided: How the Missing Middle Can Solve Toronto’s Housing Crisis is a citizen’s guide to making the big city a place where we can afford to live.

Published by Coach House Books and edited by Alex Bozikovic, Cheryl Case, John Lorinc, and Annabel Vaughan, the book is an anthology that unpacks Toronto’s housing crisis and offers innovative ideas for creating housing for all ages and demographic groups.

SvN Principals John van Nostrand and Drew Sinclair, as well as Senior Planner and Urban Designer, Blair Scorgie have contributed chapters.


Blair Scorgie’s three-chapter contribution includes:

Supply, Demand and Demographics, highlighting the key economic, demographic, social, regulatory, and political issues which are contributing to the housing affordability crisis;

Dissecting Official Plan Amendment 320, which examines the cumulative impacts and potential unintended consequences associated with Toronto’s recent Neighbourhood Land Use policy amendments; and,

The Affordability Case for Transition Zoning, which offers the concept of Density Transition Zones as one potential component of a broader solution to the housing crisis.

John van Nostrand and Drew Sinclair in conversation with John Lorinc wrote a chapter entitled, Vertical Subdivisions, which describes a new condominium development located at 468 James North, by Parcel Developments (formerly John van Nostrand Developments). This innovative project comprises an eight-storey, 92-unit, mixed-use building in Hamilton, where potential owners can purchase 1, 2, 3 or 4, 250-square-foot parcels to create a studio, 1-, 2- or 3-bedroom home. These will be delivered to the purchaser in either ‘basic’ – with simply a bathroom and start-up kitchen – or ‘turnkey’ – fully finished – condition. The idea is to provide moderate-income families (earning from $25, – 125,000 K) with access to the ‘personal economy’ that home ownership provides. The units are flexible, and allow new owners the opportunity to adapt one’s home to changes in their evolving household composition over time – including the ability to sublet part of their unit.

The chapter contextualizes the evolution of this project as an idea tracing back to pre-1950 Canadian cities where 45-55% of households had built their own homes. By 2000, this number had dropped to less than 2%.


Purchase your copy at: Coach House Books

Listen to Metro Morning interview with Editor Alex Bozikovic: CBC – Metro Morning

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