Yet another municipal election is nigh. In my new piece for The Local, I analyze six top mayoral candidates’ housing platforms, which range from ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ to an ambitious return to the days of government-built mixed-income social housing on a large scale.
Just the numbers (this table is in the article, too):
AMR = Average Market Rent. In 2023, AMR in Toronto is $1,538 for a one-bedroom and $1,811 for a two-bedroom unit.
City Building Fund (existing)
City Building Fund increase
Property tax increase, reserve funds
Cancelling Gardiner East, freezing police bucget
At least 16,000 (as in original Housing Now plan)
HousingTO targets, provincial mandate of 285,000
At least some units in developments on city-owned land
33% of housing on under-utilized city-owned land, 20% in office conversions
40,000 affordable rentals and 4,000 affordable ownership by 2030
At least 7,500 at 80% AMR, 2,500 at 30% AMR
5,660 at AMR, 3,468 at 80% AMR, 2,108 at 40% AMR, 6,135 affordable ownership
45% affordable rental (30% at AMR, 10% at 80% AMR, 5% rent geared to income, or at 30-40% AMR); subject to consultations
It’s that time of year again: the CBC has changed the streaming URLs for Radio 1 and CBC Music, so I’ve updated the gist. Ici Première, Ici Musique, and the MP3 version are unaffected. For more information about why and how to use these, see the original post.
The municipal election is nigh. I’ve been working behind the scenes, contributing research for The Local’s Candidate Tracker. Check it out—you can read up on Council candidates’ backgrounds, see where they stand on issues like shelter, affordable housing, and police funding, and compare them to incumbent councillors’ voting records.
Yesterday afternoon, after the rain stopped, I made a quick trip to the Oculus—the long-abandoned space-age modernist pavilion near the foot of the Humber Trail. And within a minute’s walk along the trail in either direction, I found more spider diversity than I ever find in my usual sites! Continue reading Field journal: Spiders of the Oculus
To the casual observer, many mites are just mysterious little red dots. Gardeners and farmers will be familiar with the spider mite family, Tetranychidae. These mites are plant-eaters, and many are major agricultural pests worldwide.
But there are so many other kinds of mites—more than you know. More than I know! More than even acarologists (mite scientists) know. They have described about 50,000 species, but they think there are probably at least a million in total.1 If you take a closer look at the little red dots running around, you can find many different kinds, occupying many different ecological niches, all unique and delightful to watch. Continue reading Know Your Little Red Mites: A Guide
Note: This post is very old. I don’t recommend many of these servers any more, and many new ones have sprung up, too many to keep track of. Instead, read my new post on how to choose a Mastodon/Fediverse server.
This winter I have tried to get into the habit of getting a coffee and a pastry at the White Squirrel and going for walks around Trinity-Bellwoods, just to get out of the house. There haven’t been bugs, but there are sometimes Fancy Birds: finches (house or purple, I’m not sure), woodpeckers, and once a Cooper’s hawk. Today it was quite nice and to my surprise there were flies and midges in the air, red velvet mites crawling in the soil, and the first spiders out and about! Continue reading Field journal: First spiders of spring in Trinity-Bellwoods
This issue is not just a nice round number, it also marks City Hall Watcher’s three-year anniversary, so it’s free for everyone! For this one, I talked to folks about how winter and the pandemic are pushing Toronto’s shelter system to its limits (and, yes, crunched some numbers). I also have a preview of the upcoming City Council agenda, including SafeTO, golf, moths, an Integrity Commissioner investigation, and the first 16 inclusionary zoning…zones.