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Facing change and guiding Ontario into the next quarter century
As has been the case for some time now, Toronto is growing. We welcome 40,000 new residents every year on average, including 77,000 in the last year alone, and the GTA is expected to grow to nearly 10 million people by 2041. However, this unprecedented growth has not been experienced evenly across the city or region and this unevenness is a feature of our provincial growth picture as well. How do we continue to build livable, complete communities in this new growth context? How can we, as planners, remain focused contributors to positive city-building? Given the pace of change, particularly in Toronto, acknowledging the relationship between action and positive city-building is critical.
Across the province, planners are at the forefront of issues affecting people in their every-day lives. We are uniquely suited, and frankly, uniquely responsible for recognizing inequity and engaging with community on solutions, but also well-positioned to confront challenges related to growth with action. Planning and implementing a form of city that responds more directly to the lenses of affordability, mobility and resilience – you might call them our collective values – is already part of Toronto's "story", even as people's experiences with growth vary greatly. Consistently connecting these values to our actions will help us soften the edges of growth right now while keeping us accountable to our future citizens.