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Another real estate bubble?

  • Last Updated:
  • Dec 17th, 2013 5:22 pm
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Poll: Are we in a 2nd real estate bubble?

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Deal Addict
Jan 16, 2009
3919 posts
1527 upvotes
Toronto
VivienM wrote:
Sep 3rd, 2009 8:18 am
But most of Paris, residential-housing-wise is apartments.... sure, maybe not 40-story apartment buildings, but apartments nonetheless. Lots of 5-6 story 1860s-era apartment buildings, and lots of taller, newer ones (15-20 stories maybe?).

How do you think they have the ability to sustain ~20 subway lines (while Toronto barely has 3) with hundreds of stations, if not by having higher density than most of Toronto?
+1

If Toronto is out of lands, we would be converting those houses/town or town houses into high rise apartments.

Our population density is low compared to asia even Vancouver.
Deal Expert
Mar 23, 2009
16982 posts
3846 upvotes
Toronto
The populations of Paris and Toronto are similar (with Toronto slightly more populated), but Toronto is way, way bigger geographically.

The population density of Toronto is around 4000 per square km.
The population density of Paris is around 25000 per square km.

To put it another way, I'd estimate if you took the entire population of the amalgamated Toronto and stuffed them all into the area bounded by...

Dufferin on the west side
Coxwell on the east side
The lake on the south side
Lawrence on the north side

...then the density of Paris and Toronto would be about similar.
Deal Expert
Mar 23, 2009
16982 posts
3846 upvotes
Toronto
Ceryx wrote:
Sep 3rd, 2009 9:42 am
If Toronto is out of lands, we would be converting those houses/town or town houses into high rise apartments.
Interesting you should mention this, because Toronto is sort of doing this. While they are converting some low density residential to medium density residential, it seems the bigger push is to convert pure commercial/retail areas to mixed-use medium-density residential with commercial/retail.

The effect of this is two-fold.

1) It cleans up the bleak-looking low-rise pure commercial/retail developments, while still maintaining commercial/retail in the same areas.
2) It increases residential density without displacing other residential neighbourhoods, and increases the tax base for the City of Toronto.

Obviously, it's quite a bit easier to rezone commercial areas into mixed-use, because doing so doesn't mean you're kicking people out of their homes. Furthermore, a lot of these commercial areas are reasonably large swaths of land, perfect for significant mid-rise residential development.

For example, this is what the City of Toronto is trying to accomplish, via rezoning of several areas which currently do not allow residential development:

Image

Image

Commercial/retail is limited mostly (but not always) to the ground floor or bottom two floors of these buildings (which is OK because most of the original buildings in these areas are only 1-2 storeys to begin with), and residential is built upwards. Sunlight on the street and a non-claustrophobic look (for pedestrians) is maintained through the use of stairstepped building designs. An example of this is at Kingston Road and Fallingbrook.

Image

When you're walking past this building on the sidewalk, it looks like a 3-4 storey building, so it doesn't feel like you're being boxed in by vertical rectangles. You really only see the other storeys once you cross the street.

Another future example is this one:

Image

As far as I know, this general area hasn't been rezoned yet, although the rezoning is supposed to happen soon. Perhaps the owners already petitioned the city for change in zoning for this particular piece of land before the actual entire region was rezoned. If that's the case, I'm sure the city wouldn't argue too much, since they're likely gonna rezone this whole area anyway.

Our population density is low compared to asia even Vancouver.
Well, I don't have firm numbers to back this up, but my guess is the core of Toronto has higher population density than Vancouver.

Vancouver on paper has one third higher density than Toronto, but that's because Toronto is an amalgamated city. Whereas "Toronto" includes places like Etobicoke, North York, and Scarborough, "Vancouver" doesn't include places like Richmond, Burnaby or North Vancouver. If "Vancouver" did include those surrounding areas, its population density would be way, way down.

FWIW, I've lived in both, and Toronto downtown feels more bustling than Vancouver downtown. (I live in Toronto now and lived in Vancouver years ago, but have visited Vancouver within the last year.)
Member
Nov 14, 2007
332 posts
1 upvote
VivienM wrote:
Sep 3rd, 2009 8:18 am
But most of Paris, residential-housing-wise is apartments.... sure, maybe not 40-story apartment buildings, but apartments nonetheless. Lots of 5-6 story 1860s-era apartment buildings, and lots of taller, newer ones (15-20 stories maybe?).
First, Paris has a ban on high rise building for 30 years... you can hardly find any 5 or six story buildings, most of the buildings are similar to downtown Toronto, 2 -3 floors duplex.
And again, why are you stuck with this argument, what matters is the density. the type of building distribution does not matter.
VivienM wrote:
Sep 3rd, 2009 8:18 am
How do you think they have the ability to sustain ~20 subway lines (while Toronto barely has 3) with hundreds of stations, if not by having higher density than most of Toronto?
That's just in your head, Toronto can sustain more subway lines, it has similar density to London which sustains way better tube (>270 stations) than the laughable Toronto 3 lines subway.
People don't use it because it is very limited, I for one don't take it because it does not service my area and even if it did I can only go to Bloor st or Younge st university or Sheppard.... that's the most ******** subway system ever.
Member
Nov 14, 2007
332 posts
1 upvote
EugW wrote:
Sep 3rd, 2009 10:55 am
Well, I don't have firm numbers to back this up, but my guess is the core of Toronto has higher population density than Vancouver.

Vancouver on paper has one third higher density than Toronto, but that's because Toronto is an amalgamated city. Whereas "Toronto" includes places like Etobicoke, North York, and Scarborough, "Vancouver" doesn't include places like Richmond, Burnaby or North Vancouver. If "Vancouver" did include those surrounding areas, its population density would be way, way down.
Here are 8 years old numbers for the old city of Toronto
http://www12.statcan.ca/english/Profil0 ... =35&B1=All

old city of Toronto: 6961 /km2 (2001 figure probably up a bit now)
Vancouver: 5,039.0/km2 (2006 figure)


2006 figures:
Van Metro: 735/km2
new city Toronto: 3,972/km2
Deal Fanatic
Aug 27, 2004
6596 posts
189 upvotes
Toronto, ON
albatman wrote:
Sep 3rd, 2009 11:18 am
First, Paris has a ban on high rise building for 30 years... you can hardly find any 5 or six story buildings, most of the buildings are similar to downtown Toronto, 2 -3 floors duplex.
And again, why are you stuck with this argument, what matters is the density. the type of building distribution does not matter.
Uhm.

If you compare
a) lots of 5-6 story apartment buildings
b) lots of single-family houses, with a bunch of high-rises thrown in
... it may very well be that the city with layout a) is much higher density than the city with layout b).

Density is directly a function of the type of housing there is...
Deal Fanatic
Aug 27, 2004
6596 posts
189 upvotes
Toronto, ON
Ceryx wrote:
Sep 3rd, 2009 9:42 am
+1

If Toronto is out of lands, we would be converting those houses/town or town houses into high rise apartments.
Toronto is converting industrial lands (factories that moved to Mexico/China) into lofts, townhouses, condos, and other residential uses...

Have you been to Liberty Village lately? Or one of the other projects whose names escape me?
Deal Addict
Jan 11, 2004
4886 posts
466 upvotes
Victoria
Troodon wrote:
Sep 3rd, 2009 12:19 am
The entire subsidy to GM is about 7.4B. 7.4 billion dollars is enough to pay 148,000 people $10/hour, 40 hours per week, 50 weeks per year for 25 years. In other words, if GM had only 14,000 employees all the government needed was 740 million dollars or 1/10 of what was paid to GM to ensure employment for the people working at GM.

In other words, only 1/10 of the bail-out towards GM actually went to protecting the employees.
Not sure what any of this has to do with the current real estate bubble in Canada but GM should never have been bailed out and most people who don't work in the auto industry agree with that.
Not a political sig
Jr. Member
User avatar
Dec 12, 2001
179 posts
12 upvotes
Kid A wrote:
Aug 30th, 2009 10:36 pm
... personal ad-hominem attack on pitz ...
Kid A, your baseless personal attack on pitz is not appreciated.

Pitz has rock solid logic and common sense.
Attacking the messenger is a sign of weakness.
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Banned
User avatar
Jul 16, 2003
10398 posts
1464 upvotes
Toronto
pitz wrote:
Aug 30th, 2009 8:56 pm
Yeah, but where the h*ck does income inflation come from, unless there are corresponding improvements in productivity in the economy?

That's the question I ask everyone, especially in that 'other' forum on RFD, when they think that its "okay" for Engineers to be underutilized, underpaid, and under-appreciated, relative to their actual contributions to society. Where will the income growth come from, in real terms, without growth in productivity and efficiency? How will [North] Americans be able to compete and grow their incomes, when most run-of-the-mill jobs these days can be outsourced, thus suppressing income growth?

The root of this entire mess has been the failed transition from an engineering, researching, producing, and exporting economy, to one that is based on 'services', blowing bubbles, fraud, etc.
I could swear that I heard that before...
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