daily: Wed. March 4

The ripple effect of Toronto’s housing market
By TVO Current Affairs - Published on Mar 04, 2020
The Agenda discusses the financialization of housing in Ontario's cities.



Good morning, Ontario.

Here's what we're following

Metrolinx disinfects GO vehicles to fight coronavirus spread

Amid the news that the number of Ontario cases of COVID-19 has hit 20, the Toronto Sun reports that Metrolinx is in the process of spraying all its GO trains and buses with a disinfectant that lasts up to a year. “This spray will put a coating on it that prevents bacteria from accumulating on the surface,” says Metrolinx spokesperson Anne Marie Aikins. “It’s just one kind of extra thing we did. It’s important to do everything you can.” Disinfecting the entire GO fleet is expected to take a couple of weeks.

Province offers compromise on class size and e-learning 

Education Minister Stephen Lecce announced Tuesday that the government is scaling back its plans for increasing high-school class sizes and will give parents the ability to have their children opt out of e-learning courses, CTV reports. Next fall, high-school class sizes will increase nominally, to an average of 23 students from the current average of 22.9. The province had originally intended to increase average high-school class sizes to 28 students. Lecce described his proposals as “a good deal for parents” and called on teachers’ unions to cancel planned strikes and return to the bargaining table.

Peel Region cancels child-care initiative in wake of provincial cuts

Officials in Peel Region say cuts in provincial funding are forcing them to end a program that provides local families with child-care subsidies, according to CBC News. For the last two years, the program had offered parents with children aged four years and under a subsidy of $12 a day for full-day child care, and $6 a day for partial-day child care. A Ministry of Education spokesperson said in a statement that the government is "committed to building child-care spaces in Peel" and is "investing $390 million for the Ontario child-care tax credit.”

London rejects proposal to house homeless in tents

London city council voted 10-5 against a proposal for a pilot project using Conestoga huts, a kind of wagon-shaped tent, to house the homeless, theLondon Free Press reports. Supporters of the idea said it was a way to get people off the streets and had showed promise in other cities. “I understand the feeling, the urgency to do something… I think funding would be better spent on permanent housing with supports,” councillor Maureen Cassidy said before voting in opposition to the plan. This isn’t the first time that the idea of housing the homeless in tents has been stymied in London.

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The Agenda: The financialization of the housing market

The cost of renting or buying a home seems to go in only one direction lately, and that’s up. While that’s making it tough for many to keep a roof over their heads, it’s providing tidy returns to investors.  The documentary Push(available to stream at  makes the connection between profits and the affordability crisis. To delve into the details the doc brings to light, we welcome economist Benjamin Tal, real-estate analyst Shaun Hildebrand, development researcher Diana Petramala, and Martine August from the University of Waterloo’s School of Planning.

Political Blind Date: The Housing Crisis

Toronto councillors Ana Bailão and Stephen Holyday examine the city’s housing crisis. From multi-residential and laneway housing to rapid densification, these two politicians hold very different views on how to house the city's exploding population.

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#onpoli: The ripple effect of Toronto’s housing market

It's not news that Toronto is an expensive place to live. But as housing prices continue to skyrocket, there is a growing exodus of people from the city, flooding into other parts of the province in search of greater affordability. How are these communities feeling the effects of Toronto's hot housing market?

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Does Ontario actually need a French-language university?

An unprecedented arrangement between the federal and provincial governments means that a new French-language university will open its doors to Ontario students in 2021. “There have been few occasions for Ontario’s francophone community to feel genuinely loved by its provincial government, so the joy at this announcement was both sincere and palpable. But journalists are not cheerleaders. We are supposed to ask the difficult, uncomfortable questions. So, let’s ask the number-one question on that list right now: Do we actually need this?” writes Steve Paikin.

Tonight on TVO

7 p.m. — Impossible Railways: Tracks and the City

From an inverted monorail in Germany, to London's epic Crossrail project — a high-frequency, high-capacity commuter line — discover how ingenious metropolitan-railway engineering helps keep the world’s biggest cities running.

8 p.m. — The Agenda: Pioneering treatment for brain diseases

World-renowned, Toronto-based brain surgeon Dr. Andres Lozano joins Steve Paikin to discuss the progress being in made in treating Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Huntington's diseases via deep-brain stimulation and high-intensity-focus ultrasound. 

From the archive

January 13, 2011 — David Hulchanski on Toronto's three cities 

The housing crisis gripping Toronto — and many other Ontario cities — didn’t come out of nowhere. A 2010 study detailed three very different cities within Toronto: the wealthy city, the middle-class city, and the low-income city. David Hulchanski, author of The Three Cities Within Toronto report, talked to Steve Paikin about how the divide between rich and poor people in Toronto was beginning to cut deeply and provided insights about how to reverse the cycle.

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