Archived columns and blog posts by Matt Elliott

Matt Elliott: The not-so-magical answer to Toronto's housing crisis

Regent Park is one of the many neighbourhoods in Toronto that has benefited from past City Hall-led pushes to build affordable housing. A little over a decade ago, in the midst of a frustrating hunt for a decent Toronto apartment, my girlfriend and I went to see a two-bedroom place up for rent in the Annex. The $1,600-a-month rent would stretch our budget, but we thought we could swing it. But...

Matt Elliott: What we can learn from the tale of Penny's pool

Penny Oleksiak, shown here at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, trained at a Leslieville pool that almost got the budget axe. A year ago, a rallying community and a personal appeal from Olympic gold medallist Penny Oleksiak were not enough to save the pool at S.H. Armstrong Community Recreation Centre from the budget axe. Citing low program registration numbers and other swimming facilities in the...

Matt Elliott: Toronto's dangerous, icy, slushy sidewalks have got to go

Two people brave slushy sidewalks for a walk near High Park. Call it the pedestrian’s dilemma. It happens every winter. On days when the snow has started to melt away, large swaths of sidewalk become covered in slushy ponds — especially near intersections. These ponds are a terrible mix of water, snow and slush, with slippery ice lurking underneath. Trying to walk through the city, you have two...

Matt Elliott: Opposition to Annex homeless shelter might be peak NIMBY

Backlash to a new homeless shelter in The Annex reveals is a telling part of Toronto's shelter crisis, Matt Elliott says. The city has acquired 348 Davenport Rd. in the Annex neighbourhood. It will be used as a winter respite site — a place for people to stay warm — starting this week and will open as a full-service shelter once renovations are completed. Here’s the bad news: the NIMBYs are...

Matt Elliott: Museum of Toronto is an idea long past due

A plan being pitched this week could turn Old City Hall into a city museum. This city has a history. It goes back hundreds of years. The stories range from triumphant to terrible. But they’re ours. Toronto’s past includes the stories of the Mississaugas of New Credit First Nation, the Haudenosaunee, the Huron-Wendat and other Indigenous peoples, whose land we took and whose traditions we tried to...

Matt Elliott: Don’t let business complaints derail transit improvements on King Street

Streetcar travel times are 33 per cent more reliable on King Street than they were before the transit-priority pilot launched, according to city data. Average vehicle travel times on most streets around King, meanwhile, have changed by less than a minute. I got an email the other day from someone I’m working with on a project: “How quickly can you get to King and Spadina?” he asked. It was one of... Archived columns and blog posts by Matt Elliott


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