Transcript: An Urban Future for Innisfil | Jan 13, 2020

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a blue suit, white shirt, and spotted blue tie.

A caption on screen reads "An urban future for Innisfil. @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says DRIVE 60 KILOMETRES
NORTH OF ONTARIO'S CAPITAL CITY
AND YOU'LL FIND THE TOWN OF
INNISFIL.
IN TERMS OF AREA, IT'S ROUGHLY
THE SIZE OF MISSISSAUGA, BUT
WITH LESS THAN ONE-TWENTIETH OF
THE POPULATION.
LATE LAST YEAR, A NEW GO STATION
IN THE TOWN GOT ITS FUNDING, AND
WITH IT, AN OPPORTUNITY TO BUILD
SOMETHING INNOVATIVE - AND TO
REDEFINE WHAT INNISFIL LOOKS
LIKE.
HERE TO OUTLINE THE NEW "ORBIT."
PROJECT, WE WELCOME: LYNN
DOLLIN, MAYOR OF INNISFIL...

Lynn is in her late forties, with shoulder-length straight blond hair. She's wearing a red blazer and a black blouse.

Steve continues AND JASON REYNAR, THE TOWN'S CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER.

Jason is in his late thirties, clean-shaven, with short blond hair. He's wearing glasses, a black suit, white shirt, and blue plaid tie.

Steve continues NICE TO HAVE YOU BACK HERE AT TVO.

Lynn says THANKS FOR HAVING US.

Steve says LET US JUST FOR
THOSE WHO DON'T KNOW SHOW
EVERYBODY WHERE INNISFIL IS.
WE SHOULD JUST DO A LITTLE
HISTORY HERE.

A satellite view of Ontario pops up, highlighting the location of Innisfil, north of Newmarket and south of Barrie, directly north of Toronto.

Steve continues THE NAME INNISFIL COMES FROM THE
IRISH, AN ANCIENT MYTHOLOGICAL
NAME FOR IRELAND.
I DID NOT KNOW THAT.
ANYWAY, THAT'S WHERE INNISFIL
IS, JUST SOUTH OF BARRIE, ABOUT
AN HOUR, IF YOU'RE LUCKY WITH
TRAFFIC, NORTH OF HERE.
AND WE WANT TO TAKE A LOOK, AND
I'M GOING TO ASK OUR DIRECTOR,
SHELDON OSMOND, TO BRING UP A
SERIES OF PICTURES TO DESCRIBE
THE ARTISTS' RENDERINGS OF WHAT
YOU GUYS HAVE PLANNED OVER THE
NEXT DECADE OR SO.
WHY DON'T YOU TAKE US THROUGH
THIS?
MAYOR DOLLIN, GET US STARTED.
WHAT ARE WE LOOKING AT HERE?

Coloured renderings flash by on screen. The first shows two parallel train tracks heading towards a sleek set of glass buildings surrounded by greenery.
The second image shows an aerial view of a futuristic city covered in green, including the rooftops of buildings, with few but wide roads.

Lynn says SURE.
YOU'RE LOOKING AT A CONCEPT OR
VISION THAT WE HAVE BEEN WORKING
ON FOR OUR MOBILITY ORBIT THAT
WE'VE DUBBED "THE ORBIT."
WE WANT TO CREATE A FUTURE-READY
COMMUNITY, CUTTING EDGE, WITH
THE DENSITY AND AN URBAN...
WALKABILITY THAT CREATES HEALTH
AND WELLNESS, SUSTAINABLE
DEVELOPMENT, RIGHT IN THE HEART
OF OUR COMMUNITY, SURROUNDED BY
A GO TRAIN STATION.

The third image shows a satellite view of land near a lake, divided in concentric circles, with abundant greenery.
The fourth image shows a city scene with circular streets, small self-driving vehicles, people biking up and down bicycle lanes, and low-rising buildings with large windows and lots of plants.

Steve says AND WHAT'S THERE
RIGHT NOW IN ALL OF THAT SPACE?

The caption changes to "Jason Reynar. Town of Innisfil."
Then, it changes again to "'The orbit.'"

Jason says NOT A LOT.
JUST SOME FARM FIELDS, WHICH
GIVES US THIS CHANCE, STEVE, TO
START WITH A BLANK SLATE, WHICH
I THINK IS A UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY
THAT NOT A LOT OF MUNICIPALITIES
GET WHEN THEY'RE TRYING TO SORT
OF REIMAGINE WHAT THEIR
COMMUNITY WILL LOOK LIKE 50
YEARS, 100 YEARS DOWN THE ROAD.

Steve says AND THE ARCHITECTURE
FIRM YOU'RE PARTNERING WITH ON
THIS IS PARTISAN?
IS THAT THE NAME OF IT?

The caption changes to "Lynn Dollin. Mayor of Innisfil."

Lynn says THAT'S RIGHT.
IT'S PARTISAN.
WHEN IT WAS AN RFP FOR AN
ARCHITECT AND WE CREATED THROUGH
BOTH STRATEGIC PLAN OF OUR
COUNCIL AND ALSO RESIDENTS, WE
CREATED OUTCOMES THAT WE WANTED
THROUGHOUT THIS PROJECT AND
THINGS THAT WE WANTED INCLUDED,
AND WE WERE VERY EXCITED TO
PARTNER WITH PARTISAN AND WORK
ON SOME OF THE CONCEPTS THAT
THEY'VE COME UP WITH.

Steve says SHELDON, IF YOU
WOULD, GO TO A WIDE SHOT?

A wide shot of the studio shows Steve, Lynn and Jason sitting at the table, as a large wall screen behind them shows the rendering of how the futuristic city would look like as seen from space.

Steve continues YOU CAN SEE BEHIND US HERE IT'S
CALLED ORBIT BECAUSE OF THE
CONCENTRIC CIRCLES THAT CREATE A
KIND OF, YOU KNOW, ORBIT, IF YOU
LIKE, PLANETS ORBITING THE SUN,
IF YOU LIKE.
WHEN I SAW THE PRESENTATION TO
COUNCIL THAT WAS MADE, ONE OF
THE WORDS THAT CAME UP TO
DESCRIBE IT WAS WHIMSICAL.
NOW, WHIMSICAL IS NOT A WORD
THAT ONE OFTEN HEARS DESCRIBED
IN THE PLANNING PROCESS OF NEW
URBAN SPACE.
WHAT'S WHIMSICAL ABOUT THIS, IN
YOUR VIEW?

The caption changes to "Lynn Dollin, @LynnDollin."

Lynn says SO
WHIMSICAL IN THE SENSE THAT
WE'RE STILL VERY MUCH IN THE
CONCEPT STAGES AND THAT WE WANT
TO LOOK AT THINGS VERY
DIFFERENTLY AND HAVE THE
OPPORTUNITY TO EMBED IN THIS
EXACTLY WHAT WE WANT IT TO BE.
WE WANT THE DENSITY, BUT WE
DON'T WANT THE BIG BRICK WALLS.
WE DON'T WANT LIKE THE SHADOWS
IN THE BACK YARD.
WE WANT LOTS OF PUBLIC SPACE SO
THERE'S LOTS OF SOCIAL FRICTION
IN THOSE SPACES, AND WE WANT THE
TERRACING EFFECT SO THAT
EVERYBODY DOESN'T FEEL PENNED
IN, THAT THERE'S STILL LOTS OF
GREEN SPACE IN THE AREA.
IT WAS REALLY IMPORTANT TO OUR
RESIDENTS THAT WE HAVE... WE
KEEP INNISFIL THE WAY INNISFIL
IS NOW, BUT AT THE SAME TIME
ABSORB THE GROWTH IN THIS PART
OF THE COMMUNITY WHERE THEY'LL
HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO WALK TO
A GO TRAIN STATION, AND AT THE
SAME TIME THEN ALLOW OTHER PARTS
OF INNISFIL TO RETAIN THAT RURAL
FEELING AND ALSO HAVE LOCAL FOOD
AND LOCAL AGRICULTURE.

Steve says WELL, LET ME PICK UP
ON THAT WITH YOU, JASON.
BECAUSE, OF COURSE, IN ONE OF
THE VIDEOS THAT I SAW, A LOT OF
PEOPLE MOVE TO INNISFIL BECAUSE
THEY WANT TO GET AWAY FROM
DEVELOPMENT.
AND NOW YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT
PRETTY SIGNIFICANT DEVELOPMENT
IN A PLACE THAT UP UNTIL NOW HAS
BEEN, YOU KNOW, I DON'T THINK
IT'S SUBURB BUT EX-URBAN.
IS THAT THE BEST WAY TO DESCRIBE
IT? IN ANY EVENT, HOW CONCERNED
ARE YOU THAT BY INVITING ALL
THIS DEVELOPMENT, YOU ARE GOING
TO LOSE WHAT PEOPLE ACTUALLY
MOVE THERE FOR IN THE FIRST
PLACE?

The caption changes to "Connect with us: Twitter: @theagenda; Facebook, agendaconnect@tvo.org, Instagram."

Jason says THAT'S A GREAT
QUESTION. I THINK THE FOCUS IS
AROUND THE SIZE. AS MUCH AS IT
LOOKS LARGE, IT'S ONLY 800
METRES FROM THE GO TRAIN
STATION.
SO THAT'S NOT A LOT OF DISTANCE.
YOU CAN WALK IT IN 10 MINUTES,
LESS THAN 10 MINUTES.
SO IT'S A LOT OF DEVELOPMENT IN
A CONCENTRATED SPOT, AND OUR
HOPE IS THAT, IF YOU ARE LOOKING
FOR YOUR BACK YARD AND YOUR
SINGLE FAMILY DWELLING HOME, YOU
KNOW, I DON'T KNOW IF WE HAVE
WHITE PICKET FENCES, BUT THAT
CONCEPT, WE HAVE THAT TOO, BUT
WE WANT TO OFFER THE ALTERNATIVE
THAT SAYS I DON'T WANT TO SHOVEL
MY DRIVEWAY, I WANT THE BENEFITS
OF URBAN LIVING WHERE I CAN GRAB
MY ESPRESSO AND WALK TO WORK IN
A COMMUNITY THAT RIGHT NOW, YOU
KNOW, HAS 80-KILOMETRE-AN-HOUR
ROADS AND NOT A LOT OF SIDEWALKS
AND A LOT OF DITCHES, RIGHT?
HOW DO WE OFFER THAT ALTERNATIVE
BUT AT THE SAME TIME PRESERVE
THE TRADITIONAL INNISFIL LIFE
TOO.

Steve says WHAT ABOUT FARMLAND?
HOW MUCH FARMLAND GETS LOST AS A
RESULT OF THIS?

Jason says I THINK WE DID A STUDY, AND I
CAN'T REMEMBER THE EXACT NUMBER,
STEVE, BUT IN ORDER TO PROVIDE
THE DEVELOPMENT THAT WE'RE
TALKING ABOUT IN THE ORBIT, IT
WOULD BE HUNDREDS OF ACRES OF
FARMLAND THAT WOULD HAVE TO BE
LOST, IF NOT THOUSANDS OF ACRES
AS YOU START TO SPREAD OUT
SINGLE FAMILY DWELLINGS INSTEAD
OF CONDO DEVELOPMENTS.
WE CAN DO ALL OF THAT IN 800
METRES AND ACTUALLY PUT MOST OF
OUR GROWTH IN THAT AREA OVER THE
NEXT PROBABLY 30 YEARS, WITHIN
THAT 800 METRES.

Steve says I HEAR THIS
DESCRIBED AS WELL AS A SMART
CITY PLAN.
WHAT'S SMART ABOUT IT?

Lynn says SO THE
SMART CITY CONCEPT IS THE FACT
THAT YOU'RE STARTING WITH A
BLANK CANVASS.
SO WE'RE INVITING INNOVATIVE
TECHNOLOGY, WE'RE HOPING TO WORK
WITH NOT-FOR-PROFITS, WE'RE
HOPING TO WORK WITH ACADEMIA, TO
COME AND HELP US TO EMBED THE
TECHNOLOGY THAT'S REQUIRED RIGHT
FROM THE GET-GO AS OPPOSED TO
TRYING TO RETROFIT SOMETHING
THAT'S ALREADY THERE.
THE CONCEPTS THAT WE'RE LOOKING
FOR, SOME OF THEM WE DON'T KNOW
EXIST YET.
WE DON'T KNOW WHAT WE DON'T
KNOW.
BUT WE'RE INVITING PEOPLE WHO
KNOW MORE THAN US TO COME AND
HELP US BUILD THIS CITY OF THE
FUTURE.

Steve says YOU'VE HEARD A LOT
OF THE CONTROVERSY AS IT RELATES
TO SIDEWALK LABS IN TORONTO AS
THEY'RE TRYING TO BASICALLY
DROP, IN SOME RESPECTS, DROP A
NEW CITY I GUESS AT THE
WATERFRONT OF THE EXISTING CITY.
ANY OF THOSE ISSUES COME UP IN
INNISFIL?

Lynn says SO FAR NOT.
WE HAVEN'T... WE'VE GOT THROUGH
A VERY FOCUSED GROUP RIGHT NOW
THAT WE'RE WORKING WITH, BUT
DEFINITELY THE CONCEPT NOW THAT
WE'VE LAUNCHED THE VISION IS TO
GO DEEPER INTO PUBLIC
ENGAGEMENTS, BOTH FROM INSIDE
THE MUNICIPALITY AND OTHER
STAKEHOLDERS THAT WANT TO WORK
WITH US, AND WE WANT TO HEAR
THAT KIND OF FEEDBACK AND WHAT
THEY WANT TO SEE COMING.
THE ALTERNATIVE, I GUESS... I'VE
HAD SOME PEOPLE WHO DON'T... YOU
KNOW, AREN'T KEEN ON THE KIND OF
JETSON LOOK OF IT.
I THINK I'VE DATED MYSELF BY
USING THAT TERM.
BUT WE'VE NEVER HAD ANYBODY WHO
HAS SO FAR SPOKEN AGAINST THE
IDEA OF THE CONCEPT.

Steve says IF YOU CALL IT THE
ORBIT, PEOPLE ARE GOING TO MAKE
COMPARISONS TO THE JETSONS, AS
YOU JUST DID.
FOR THOSE WHO DON'T REMEMBER OR
ARE TOO YOUNG, THAT WAS A
CARTOON MANY MOONS AGO WHERE
PEOPLE DROVE THROUGH SPACE.
THEY AREN'T GOING TO BE FLYING
CARS AS PART OF THIS, ARE THEY?

Lynn says NOT YET.

Steve says BUT MAYBE.

Jason says MAYBE SOME
DRONES.

[LAUGHTER]

Steve says TIMELINE ON THIS.
WHEN DO YOU EXPECT THIS IS ALL
GOING TO BE DONE?

Jason says SO THE FOCUS NOW IS ON THE
STATION, SO WE WANT THE GO TRAIN
STATION UP AND RUNNING, SO THAT
DESIGN IS BEGINNING IN EARNEST
NOW.
OUR HOPE IS THE STATION IS UP
AND RUNNING BY THE END OF 2022,
AND CONCURRENTLY WITH THAT WE'LL
PROBABLY SEE SOME INITIAL
RESIDENTIAL MULTI-USE, YOU KNOW,
RETAIL, THAT KIND OF THING,
STARTING UP AS WELL.
OUR HOPE IS TO ATTRACT
BUSINESSES INTO KIND OF
INCUBATION SPACE AS WELL.
SO WITHIN THE FIRST FEW YEARS
YOU'LL SEE LITERALLY THE ORBIT
START TO COME OUT OF THE GROUND
AND WITHIN 10 YEARS IT'LL BE A
FULL-FLEDGED COMMUNITY FOR SURE.

Steve says NOW, YOU CAN'T PLUNK
SOMETHING THIS BIG AND THIS
AMBITIOUS IN THE MIDDLE OF
NOWHERE WITHOUT, I IMAGINE, JUST
SIGNIFICANT COSTS TO PUT IN
HYDRO LINES, TO PUT IN ROADS, I
MEAN, I'M SURE THE PROPERTY
DEVELOPERS ARE GOING TO PUT UP
THE BUILDINGS BUT THE TOWN IS
GOING TO BE ON THE HOOK, I
PRESUME, FOR ALL OF THE SERVICES
THAT GO ALONG WITH IT.
HOW ARE YOU GOING TO AFFORD ALL THAT?

Lynn says TO
ANSWER THAT QUESTION I JUST HAVE
TO STEP BACK A BIT.
WE HAVE BEEN ADVOCATING FOR A GO
TRAIN STATION FOR MANY, MANY
YEARS, AND WE WERE SUCCESSFUL
UNDER THE FORMER GOVERNMENT WITH
MINISTER DEL DUCA AT THE TIME TO
BE ONE OF A BUNDLE OF GO TRAIN
STATIONS THAT WERE GOING TO BE
BUILT AND WE WERE VERY EXCITED
ABOUT THAT, UNTIL WE FOUND OUT
THAT WE WERE PART OF A BUNDLE,
AND WHEN WE SAID, NO, WE REALLY
WANTED TO CUSTOMIZE OUR DESIGN
AND... NOPE, THIS IS IT, THIS IS
WHAT YOU'RE GETTING.
BUT THE GOOD THING WAS THAT THE
PROVINCE WAS PAYING FOR IT.
WITH THE NEW GOVERNMENT, A NEW
DIRECTION WAS THAT THEY WERE NO
LONGER PAYING FOR GO TRAIN
STATIONS, WHICH TOOK US ABACK AS
A CHALLENGE FOR A BIT...

The caption changes to "Watch us anytime: tvo.org, Twitter: @theagenda, Facebook Live, YouTube."

Steve says WHAT'S THE COST ON
THE GO TRAIN STATION?

Lynn says SO THE COST ON THE GO TRAIN
STATION, THIS ONE, WILL BE
TWENTY-ISH MILLION DOLLARS, AND
THE IDEA ALONG THE LINES OF THE
DEVELOPER, WHO IS GETTING THE
AIR RIGHTS OR THE INCREASED
DENSITY, SO MORE PROFITABILITY
TO FOOT THE COST OF THE ACTUAL
GO TRAIN STATION.

Steve says SO THE TOWN WILL NOT
PAY FOR IT?

Lynn says THE TOWN IS NOT PAYING FOR
THE GO TRAIN STATION.

Steve says CORDALUCCI IS PAYING
FOR IT.

Lynn says WE HAVE OTHER DEVELOPERS IN
THERE TOO AND WE'VE WORKED HARD
WITH THE CORTEL GROUP, AND THE
OTHER DEVELOPERS, ON BUILDING A
VISION THAT EVERYBODY IS JUMPING
ON BOARD WITH.
BUT IT'S REALLY IMPORTANT THAT
WE WILL ALSO GET DEVELOPMENT
CHARGE CREDITS FOR THINGS THAT,
YOU KNOW, ARE WHAT YOU'RE
TALKING ABOUT BEFORE, LIKE ROADS
AND WHAT WE NOW BUILD FOR.
AND THE CONCEPT OF BUILDING A
MORE CONCENTRATED DEVELOPMENT IS
WAY LESS EXPENSIVE THAN THE
SPRAWL THAT WE'RE BUILDING NOW.

Steve says SURE.
INTENSIFIED DEVELOPMENT, YEAH,
IS CHEAPER IN THAT RESPECT.

Lynn says IT'S CHEAPER TO BUILD AND
IT'S CHEAPER TO MAINTAIN INTO
THE FUTURE.

Steve says LET ME PICK UP ON
THAT BECAUSE OF COURSE CITIES
AND TOWNS ALL OVER THE PLACE,
JASON, ARE TRYING TO FIGURE OUT,
WE NEED SPACE FOR CARS, WE NEED
SPACE FOR PEDESTRIANS, WE NEED
SPACE FOR BICYCLES, NOW THERE'S
GOING TO BE NEW, WHATEVER THOSE
THINGS ARE...

Jason says SCOOTERS?

Steve says E-SCOOTERS THAT
WE'RE IN THE MIDDLE OF A
FIVE-YEAR PILOT PROGRAM ON NOW.
YOU'RE STARTING FROM SCRATCH AND
TRYING TO FIGURE OUT HOW
EVERYBODY IS GOING TO SHARE THE
SPACE.
HAVE YOU FIGURED THAT ALL OUT
YET?

The caption changes to "Building up."

Jason says NO.
WHAT WE HAVE DONE AND YOU'LL SEE
THE IMAGES IS THERE'S A REAL
CONCERTED EFFORT NOT TO HAVE A
LOT OF PARKING SPACES.
YOU KNOW, THE ONE COMMENT I'VE
RECEIVED ON THE STATION IS, YOU
KNOW, IT LOOKS LIKE A BEAUTIFUL
STATION, BUT WHERE'S THE
MALL-SIZED PARKING LOT THAT YOU
EXPECT AT A GO TRAIN STATION.
AND OF COURSE THAT'S THE VISION
THAT I THINK EVERYBODY HAS, THAT
WE'RE GOING TO MOVE AWAY FROM,
YOU KNOW, THE RELIANCE THAT WE
HAVE ON CARS, PARTICULARLY IN
URBAN CENTRES, AND BE ABLE TO
FREE UP THAT SPACE FOR GREEN
SPACE, FOR CYCLING, FOR ACTIVE
TRANSPORTATION, AND THE BEAUTY
OF DEVELOPING A COMMUNITY OVER
800 METRES, YOU CAN GET AROUND
WHETHER IT'S AN E-SCOOTER OR
BIKE.
WE'VE PURPOSELY DONE THAT.
TIME WILL TELL.
I THINK A NUMBER OF PEOPLE
PROBABLY EXPECTED IN 2020 WE
MIGHT BE IN FLYING CARS BY NOW.
I'M NOT SURE EXACTLY WHEN THAT'S
GOING TO HAPPEN.
THERE WILL BE A PHASED APPROACH
TO THIS.
THE IDEA WITH STARTING WITH THE
FUTURE VISION IS WE CAN
FUTURE-PROOF THE INFRASTRUCTURE.
SO WE DON'T HAVE TO GO BACK AND
RETROFIT EVERYTHING EVERY 10
YEARS BECAUSE ALL OF A SUDDEN
THE TECHNOLOGY HAS SHIFTED.

Steve says BUT DOES IT MAKE
SENSE, MAYOR DOLLIN, TO TAKE A
PEDESTRIAN-FIRST APPROACH, WHICH
AS YOU POINTED OUT, THAT'S THE
IDEA, YOU WANT PEOPLE TO BE ABLE
TO WALK ALL OVER THE PLACE.
DOES IT MAKE SENSE TO TAKE A
PEDESTRIAN FIRST APPROACH WHEN
PROBABLY EVERYBODY WHO LIVES...
NOT EVERYBODY.
PROBABLY EVERYBODY WHO LIVES IN
INNISFIL HAS A CAR.
THAT'S HOW YOU GET AROUND NOW:
YOU HAVE A CAR.

Lynn says THEY
HAVE A CAR AND A BOAT AND
SNOWMOBILE AS WELL.

Jason says BUT THEY USE
TRANSIT.

Lynn says THEY DO.
THE IDEA OF BEING ABLE TO START
WITH A BLANK SLATE.
I KNOW THAT ANY MUNICIPAL
POLITICIAN COULD AGREE WITH ME
THAT TRYING TO RETROFIT AN OLD
STREET LIKE WE HAVE, SOME OF
THOSE OLD COTTAGE ROADS IN
INNISFIL THAT HAD NO SIDEWALKS
AND OPEN DITCHES AND NOW PEOPLE
ARE DEMANDING PEDESTRIAN SPACES
AND TRYING TO ACQUIRE LAND AND
GO THROUGH ALL OF THAT BUSINESS
TO DO THAT, HAVING THE ABILITY
TO START FROM SCRATCH WHERE WE
KNOW THAT WE CAN KEEP THE ROAD
ALLOWANCES TO THE SIDES WE NEED
AND WE CAN PLAN FOR THESE THINGS
AND TO PLAN IT IN A SPACE WHERE
WE AREN'T INFRINGING ON OTHER
PEOPLE.
IF I BUILD... IF THE TOWN HAS AN
APPLICATION FOR EIGHT INFILL
HOUSES THAT BACK ONTO A DOZEN
HOUSES, THAT COUNCIL CHAMBER IS
FULL THE NIGHT OF THE PUBLIC
MEETING.
EVERYBODY COMPLAINING ABOUT
THOSE EIGHT HOUSES.
IF I BUILD 500 HOUSES WHERE IT
DOESN'T IMPACT OTHER PEOPLE,
NOBODY SHOWS UP TO THE PUBLIC
MEETING.
SO IT'S MUCH EASIER TO BUILD IT
WHEN IT'S NOT IN ANYONE'S BACK
YARD THAN IT IS TO TRY TO FIT IT
IN A SPACE THAT'S ALREADY
OCCUPIED.

Steve says YOUR POPULATION
RIGHT NOW IS ABOUT 35,000?

Lynn says WE'RE GETTING ONTO FORTY IF
YOU COUNT FRIDAY HARBOUR.

Steve says WHEN THIS IS DONE,
WHERE DO YOU SEE IT GOING?

Lynn says 150,000?

Steve says HUGE INCREASE.
RIGHT?

Lynn says IT IS A HUGE INCREASE.
BUT IF YOU THINK OF 50 YEARS
AGO, WHEN YOU THINK OF WHERE
MARKHAM WAS 50 YEARS AGO OR
VAUGHAN OR MISSISSAUGA 50 YEARS
AGO AND HOW MUCH FARMLAND THEY
HAD, YOU KNOW, WE'RE AT A POINT
NOW, WE CAN REACT TO DEVELOPMENT
AS IT'S HAPPENING TO US, BECAUSE
WE KNOW IT'S GOING TO HAPPEN TO
US, OR WE CAN PLAN FOR IT AND
PLAN IT IN A WAY THAT WE WANT IT
AND IN A WAY THAT OUR RESIDENTS
THAT ARE THERE NOW WANT IT TO
HAPPEN.

Steve says BUT YOU ARE
BASICALLY TAKING THE CITY OF
BARRIE AND PLUNKING IT DOWN
RIGHT ON TOP OF INNISFIL.
THAT'S THE PLAN, RIGHT?

Jason says OVER 800 METRES.

Steve says OH, THE ENSUING YEARS.
THIS IS NOT GOING TO BE WITHOUT
FRICTION, DIFFICULTY, PROTESTS,
WHATEVER, RIGHT?
YOU GUYS ALL READY FOR THAT?

Jason says NO.
BUT WE WILL BE.

[LAUGHTER]

Lynn says IT BEATS
THE ALTERNATIVE.
I THINK IT'S THE BEST OF TWO
WORLDS.
THAT IT'S HOMOGENOUS
DEVELOPMENT, IT'S SINGLE FAMILY
DWELLING THAT EATS UP A WHOLE
BUNCH OF SPACE.
THE NEXT TIME WE TURN AROUND,
THERE'S NO MORE FARMLAND OR
RURAL INNISFIL.
RIGHT NOW WHEN PEOPLE MOVE TO
INNISFIL, THE ONLY THING THEY
HAVE OF CHOICE IS A TOWNHOUSE OR
SINGLE FAMILY DWELLING.
IF YOU GET TO THE POINT IN YOUR
LIFE WHERE YOU'D RATHER HAVE A
CONDO AND LOCK IT AND MOVE TO
FLORIDA FOR THE WINTER, YOU HAVE
TO MOVE OUT OF INNISFIL.
IF YOU'RE A LONG PROFESSIONAL,
LIVE IN TORONTO, YOU COULD LIVE
IN THE ORBIT AND HAVE A SMALL
SPACE AND MORE AFFORDABLE SPACE,
LIVE IN THE CITY, AND STILL HAVE
A 10-MINUTE WALK TO THE LAKE AND
LOTS OF GREEN SPACE.

Steve says OKAY.
THAT'S THE PERSONAL PITCH.
I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU THE
BUSINESS PITCH, BECAUSE RIGHT
NOW WHEN PEOPLE WANT TO SET UP
BUSINESSES THEY'RE LOOKING AT
MARKHAM, THEY'RE LOOKING AT
VAUGHAN, THEY'RE LOOKING AT
RICHMOND HILL, THERE ARE SOME
OTHER COMMUNITIES, YOU KNOW, IN
THE NEIGHBORHOOD BUT CLOSER TO
TORONTO.
WHY WOULD THEY COME TO YOUR
PLACE?

Jason says I THINK TWO
REASONS, STEVE.
ONE IS WE'VE CREATED AN
INCUBATOR FOR ENTREPRENEURS TO
ACTUALLY BE SUPPORTED.
SO YOU CAN GET A MENTOR, YOU CAN
GET CONNECTED INTO THE ECOSYSTEM
WITH A NETWORK, PEOPLE GET
ACCESS TO CAPITAL.
AND OF COURSE BIG CITIES LIKE
TORONTO AND OTHER PLACES HAVE
THOSE INCUBATORS.
BUT YOU'RE COMPETING AGAINST
LITERALLY TENS OF THOUSANDS OF
PEOPLE WHO ARE INTERESTED IN
DOING THE SAME KIND OF THING.
YOU KNOW, IF YOU'RE OPENING UP
YOUR TECH SHOP IN INNISFIL,
YOU'RE PROBABLY THE ONLY PERSON
WHO IS DOING THAT SPECIFIC NICHE
PRODUCT OR SERVICE.
SO THERE'S A REAL OPPORTUNITY TO
GROW THE BUSINESS IN AN
ENVIRONMENT THAT GIVES YOU A
LIFESTYLE THAT, YOU KNOW, IS
REALLY SECOND TO NONE IN ONTARIO
FROM OUR PERSPECTIVE, AND WE'RE
LEARNING THAT MORE AND MORE
PEOPLE WHO ARE WANTING TO MAKE
THAT LEAP INTO STARTING THEIR
OWN BUSINESS, THEY WANT TO DO
THAT BUT THEY WANT TO DO IT IN
AN ENVIRONMENT THEY CAN ALSO
RAISE THEIR KIDS IN, AND ENTER
INNISFIL.

Steve says GOTCHA.
I WANT TO MAKE SURE I UNDERSTAND
THIS PROPERLY.
MOST CITIES AND TOWNS, WHEN A
DEVELOPER COMES AND SAYS "I WANT
TO PUT THIS BUILDING HERE," YOU
TELL THEM, "HERE'S THE MAXIMUM
YOU'RE ALLOWED TO BUILD."
ARE YOU GUYS SAYING, HERE'S THE
MINIMUM YOU HAVE TO BUILD?
IS IT DIFFERENT?

Lynn says IN THE ORBIT, YES.
YOU KNOW, ALL OF OUR POLICIES
WILL BE DEVELOPED AROUND THAT.
WE'VE ALREADY HAD IN OUR
OFFICIAL PLAN WE HAVE NOW, WE
HAVE HIGHER DENSITY AROUND THE
ORIGINAL GO TRAIN STATION.
BUT WHAT WE WANT TO CREATE IS
DEFINITELY AND A BUY-IN FROM THE
DIVISION, FROM THE DEVELOPER IN
THE FIRST PLACE, AND WE WANT
THEM TO CREATE... OR AGREE TO US
THAT THIS IS WHAT WE WANT TO SEE
IN THE FUTURE, AND I HAVE TO SAY
TO STAFF, THEY'VE BEEN REALLY
GOOD IN OUR ORGANIZATION ABOUT
BEING ABLE TO... I WANT TO SAY
FLEX AND PIVOT ON IDEAS, YOU
KNOW, WE'RE A FAIRLY FLAT
ORGANIZATION, SO WHEN WE DO
SOMETHING DIFFERENT, WE DON'T
HAVE TO GO THROUGH LAYERS AND
LAYERS AND LAYERS OF BUREAUCRACY
AND WE CAN WORK AND TWEAK OUT
THE PROGRAM.
SO IF THE DEVELOPMENT COMES AND
WE COME TO A HITCH IN IT, I'M
SURE WE CAN THREW OUR
ORGANIZATION SWITCH IT...
THROUGH OUR ORGANIZATION SWITCH
IT AND SO EVERYBODY IS IN
AGREEMENT WITH THE NEW FORMAT.

Steve says I WANT TO MAKE SURE
I UNDERSTAND.
YOU'RE GOING TO BE TELLING
DEVELOPERS, "YOU MUST BUILD AT
LEAST THIS MUCH."
THERE ARE MINIMUMS.
WHAT'S THE THINKING BEHIND SORT
OF A COMPLETELY OPPOSITE
APPROACH THAN MOST PLACES?

Jason says GOOD
QUESTION, STEVE.
WE'RE THINKING ABOUT DYNAMIC
ZONING.
TYPICALLY THE HEIGHT AND THE
DENSITY IS SET EVERY 5 YEARS
THROUGH THE OFFICIAL PLANNING
PROCESS, FOR MOST MUNICIPALITIES
IN ONTARIO.
WHAT WE'RE ACTUALLY SUGGESTING
IS THAT THE POLICY BAKES IN A
DYNAMIC SHIFT AS THE COMMUNITY
STARTS TO DEVELOP.
SO, FOR EXAMPLE, YOU KNOW, YOUR
PLOT OF LAND MAY HAVE A MAXIMUM
HEIGHT OF EIGHT STOREYS AND A
MINIMUM HEIGHT OF FOUR IN A
PARTICULAR AREA, BUT YOUR
NEIGHBOUR BUILDS 12, SO THE
DYNAMIC ZONING WOULD SHIFT YOUR
RIGHTS, AS OF RIGHT,
AUTOMATICALLY TO 12 STOREYS AND
A MINIMUM OF EIGHT.
SOMETHING LIKE THAT.
SO THE POLICY HASN'T BEEN WORKED
OUT AND WE'RE INVITING PARTNERS
ON THE ACADEMIC SIDE AND PROFIT
SIDE, TO DEVELOP THIS.
AS FAR AS WE KNOW THERE'S
NOTHING LIKE THIS IN ONTARIO.
BUT THE CONCEPT SEEMS TO BE
ATTRACTIVE IF YOU'RE TRYING TO
CREATE A COMMUNITY THAT'S
FUTURE-PROOFING ITSELF SO YOU'RE
NOT DOING WHAT OTHER
MUNICIPALITIES ARE DOING NOW,
WHICH IS SAYING, HOW DO WE
REINVENT OURSELVES OR CREATE A
DOWNTOWN IN AN AREA WHERE THERE
WAS NO DOWNTOWN BEFORE OR HOW DO
WE PRESERVE THE SMALL PIECE OF
FARMLAND THAT'S LEFT, NAME YOUR
GTA PERSONALITY.
I DON'T WANT TO PICK ON ANYBODY.

Steve says YOU'RE THE TOWN
RIGHT NOW, RIGHT?
IT'S THE TOWN OF INNISFIL.
ARE YOU EXPECTING WHEN THIS IS
ALL DONE YOU'RE GOING TO BE THE
CITY OF INNISFIL?

Lynn says I
HAVEN'T REALLY THOUGHT ABOUT
THAT BEFORE, AND IT REALLY
DOESN'T MATTER WHAT WE CALL
OURSELVES, EXCEPT THAT WE
CONTINUE TO INNOVATE AND CREATE
SPACES THAT PEOPLE WANT TO LIVE
IN.
WE WANT TO CREATE OUR OWN
DESTINY.
WE WANT INNISFIL IN 50 YEARS,
100 YEARS, TO LOOK THE WAY THAT
WE DECIDED IT WAS GOING TO LOOK,
NOT THE WAY THE OMB OR THE LPAT
DECIDED IT WAS GOING TO LOOK.

Steve says GOTCHA.
IN OUR LAST MINUTES, I WANT TO
REMIND PEOPLE THAT THE LAST TIME
YOU WERE HERE, WE WERE HERE TO
TALK ABOUT THE FACT YOU WANTED
TO CREATE A DIFFICULT PUBLIC
TRANSIT SYSTEM BECAUSE YOU
WEREN'T GOING TO BUY A WHOLE
BUNCH OF BUSES AND YOU WEREN'T
GOING TO BUILD A SUBWAY, BUT
YOU'RE MAKING A DEAL WITH UBER.
AND I GUESS I WANT TO KNOW HOW
THAT'S GOING.

The caption changes to "Innovative solutions."

Lynn says IT'S
GOING TREMENDOUSLY WELL.
WE'VE BEEN ABOUT TWO AND A HALF
YEARS NOW.
WE'VE DONE SOME TWEAKS, AND
AGAIN, THAT'S ONE OF THE
BENEFITS OF THIS.
THE LATEST THING WE DID WAS WHAT
WE CALL THE FAIR TRANSIT PLAN.
SO THE PEOPLE WHO NEED IT MOST,
PEOPLE ON LOW INCOME, CAN COME
IN AND REGISTER, AND WHEN THEY
CALL THEIR MUNICIPAL TRANSIT,
THEY'LL GET IT FOR HALF PRICE.
AND THEY ALSO GET A FREE TRIP TO
THE FOOD BANK TWICE A MONTH.
SO WE HAVE HAD OTHER TWEAKS.
WE'VE HAD TO ACTUALLY MAKE
PEOPLE WAIT ANOTHER 3 MINUTES
WHEN THEY CALL.
SO INSTEAD OF 6 MINUTES, THEY
WAIT 9 MINUTES.
THAT ALLOWS US TO POOL MORE SO
WE END UP WITH MORE FULL CARS
THAN WE HAD BEFORE.
AND WE'RE SERVING THE ENTIRE
POPULATION OF INNISFIL.
WE HAD TO PUT THROUGH ONE FARE
HIKE.
WE ARE STILL POLLING ABOUT 70 percent
SATISFACTION RATE FROM OUR
USERS.
AND FOR THE PRICE... THE COST OF
SERVICING WITH THE TRADITIONAL
BUS A QUARTER OF THE
MUNICIPALITY, WE'RE SERVING THE
ENTIRE MUNICIPALITY 24 HOURS A
DAY 7 DAYS A WEEK DOOR TO DOOR.

Steve says AND YOU DIDN'T HAVE
TO BUY BUSES OR STREETCARS OR
SUBWAYS.
HOW LONG IS THE CONTRACT FOR?

Jason says IT WAS A
THREE-YEAR INITIAL PILOT.

Steve says IT'S ALMOST OVER.

Jason says WE'RE COMING TO THE END OF
THAT.

Steve says WHAT ARE YOU GOING
TO DO?

Jason says WE'LL PROBABLY HAVE TO RFP
AGAIN SO WE PROVIDE THE
OPPORTUNITY FOR DIFFERENT
PLAYERS IN THE MARKET TO
PARTICIPATE.
BUT UBER HAS BEEN SUCH A GOOD
PARTNER IN TRYING TO CUSTOMIZE
AND TWEAK THE SYSTEM TO MAKE IT
WORK IN A SMALL TOWN LIKE OURS
THAT THEY'LL HAVE A PRETTY GOOD
APPLICATION, I SUSPECT.

Steve says SO YOU ANTICIPATE
REUPPING, I WOULD IMAGINE.

Jason says I THINK SO.
WE'RE LOOKING AT THE DATA AND
TRYING TO ANALYZE IF THERE ARE
HIGH CAPACITY ROUTES... HIGHER
CAPACITY ROUTES THAT WOULD MAKE
A LOT OF SENSE.
FOR EXAMPLE, GETTING TO THE GO
TRAIN STATION THAT'S CURRENTLY
IN BARRIE BUT WILL ONE DAY BE
SOON IN INNISFIL.
DOES THAT MAKE SENSE TO HAVE A
HIGHER CAPACITY SMALLER BUS OR
THAT KIND OF THING.
BUT RIGHT NOW, YOU KNOW, THE
CONVENIENCE IS SO HIGH FOR
PEOPLE THAT, YOU KNOW, AND THE
POPULARITY IS SO GREAT AND THE
ABILITY FOR PEOPLE TO GET AROUND
AT ANY TIME, AS THE MAYOR SAYS,
IT'S HARD TO EVEN CONTEMPLATE
GOING BACK TO A HALF OR, YOU
KNOW, TWO OR THREE PEOPLE ON A
BIG BUS DRIVING AROUND.

Steve says YOU DO KNOW THAT IF
YOU'RE A TOWN OR CITY OF
2,015,000 PEOPLE, YOU'RE
PROBABLY GOING TO HAVE TO BUY A
BUS AT THAT POINT.

Lynn says WE WOULD
HAVE TO LOOK AT THAT FOR SURE.
WE'VE DONE SO MANY REALLY
INNOVATIVE THINGS.
WE'RE THE FIRST MUNICIPALITY IN
CANADA TO ACCEPT CRYPTOCURRENCY
FOR PROPERTY TAXES.

Steve says IS THAT RIGHT?

Lynn says WE DO.
IT'S BITCOIN.
WE'VE HAD PEOPLE MOVE TO THE
MUNICIPALITY JUST FOR THAT
REASON.
THIS IS PART OF THE REASON WE
THINK WE WILL BE ABLE TO ATTRACT
MORE HIGH-TECH IN THE INNOVATION
AND USE IT AS THE IGNITER FOR
OUR ORBIT AND WE'VE PARTNERED
WITH ROVER AS WELL TO SOLVE SOME
ISSUES WE HAVE AROUND PARKING IN
OUR LAKESHORE.
SO WE'VE GOT A GREAT STAFF AND
WE'RE WORKING HARD AND COUNCIL
IS VERY MUCH ON BOARD WITH
LOOKING AT OTHER WAYS WE CAN
MAKE LIFE BETTER FOR OUR
RESIDENTS.

The caption changes to "Producer: Cara Stern, @carastern."

Steve says WE WILL CONTINUE TO
WATCH THIS WHIMSICAL PROJECT
WITH FASCINATION AND INTEREST.
WE WANT TO THANK BOTH THE MAYOR
OF INNISFIL, LYNN DOLLIN, AND
JASON REYNAR, THE CHIEF
ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER OF THE
STILL TO THIS DATE TOWN OF
INNISFIL, BUT YOU NEVER KNOW,
FOR COMING DOWN TO OUR
HEADQUARTERS HERE AT YONGE AND
EGLINTON IN THE MIDDLE OF THE
CENTRE OF THE UNIVERSE.
THANKS A LOT, YOU TWO.

The caption changes to "Subscribe to The Agenda Podcast: tvo.org/theagenda."

Jason says PLEASURE.

Lynn says THANKS, STEVE.

Watch: An Urban Future for Innisfil