Drivers of Suburban Growth

Despite many years of having been warned about the perils of suburban living, the message still does not appear to have been heard. Smart Growth proponents and a number of city planners have been consistent in their message: suburban living is not only expensive in terms of infrastructure and creating …

Ontario Government Shoots the Messenger

The Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) has been in existence in one form or another for over a century. In its most recent incarnation, it has been a quasi-judicial body responsible for enforcing government planning and land use policies. The Board ruled on a wide range of commercial and industrial conflicts …

A Failed Housing Plan for Ontario

The homebuilding industry across Canada has been heavily focused on influencing government policy affecting housing affordability for the past 5 years. The Canadian Home Builders’ Association’s annual housing advocacy day took place on Parliament Hill, March 7th when members from across Canada held over 75 meetings with MPs. Some very …

Yes, in my backyard

As Municipal leaders work hard to implement Stage 1 of the LRT project we sense widespread optimism for Ottawa’s future. With Stage 2, and potentially Stage 3, our communities will connect from Parliament Hill to the suburbs.  The LRT project will connect us all socially, physically and environmentally but as it unfolds, …

We’ve come a long way…New homes keep on getting better

Earlier this winter, I was driving my car in the middle of one of Ottawa’s heavy snowstorms.  It was very cold, with poor visibility. I was relieved to be driving a fairly late model vehicle complete with snow tires, a very efficient heating and defrosting system and windshield wipers that …

Ontario Municipal Board Reform

The provincial government has commenced a review of the scope and effectiveness of the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB), an important part of the province’s land use planning system. The OMB is a quasi-judicial administrative body that acts as a court of appeal and renders decisions based on planning documents which …

The Importance of Low Rise Infill Solutions

Development in existing neighborhoods has been a hot topic for quite some time. As long as there have been mature neighborhoods, there have been people looking to build new projects within them.  This has led to countless discussions –some heated- about what should and should not be done, and as …

Concrete Cracks in New Homes

Every year the Greater Ottawa Home Builders Association office receives calls of concern about cracks that have appeared in the basement walls or floors of a new home. This column is intended to explain some of the basic principles of concrete performance and educate new home owners on how to …

The Changing Face of Housing

Canadians often talk about the accelerating pace of change in today’s world and speculate about where it’s all going to end. The integration of mobile phone technology and computers is probably the best example to date and the next big one could well be driverless cars. Although these advances bring greater convenience …