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Stories

The best information to help you turn bold ideas into innovative solutions

Housing & Social Services

Article

The people the suburbs were built for are gone

A new book documents the “retrofitting” of obsolete suburban malls, box stores, office parks, parking lots, motels, and more.

Blog post

Nationwide response to Round One of the Housing Supply Challenge

123 teams from across Canada propose solutions to tackle housing supply challenges.

Article

How Data Is Key to Addressing Canada’s Housing Crisis

Canadian housing data is often outdated, inconsistent and not openly available. What can we do about that?

Blog post

Partnering for success: a teamwork approach to breaking down housing supply barriers

Six tips to find the right partner to advance your housing supply solution.

Article

How Rethinking Affordable Homes Connects with the Climate Fight

Experts in Canada and beyond see overlapping solutions to two crises: housing affordability and climate change.

Article

Toronto wants to add garden suites to neighbourhood housing options

Toronto wants to add garden suites to its expanding tool kit of options for boosting the supply of homes in established neighbourhoods that are rich in amenities such as schools and transit but don’t have much in the way of affordable or rental housing.

Article

Toronto laneway houses are the new rental alternatives to condos and apartments

Toronto is on track to have about 100 new laneway houses this year and the newest builds are a creative way to increase rental housing options in the city.

Resilience Planning Series - Taking a Data-Driven Approach to Affordable Housing

The role of the planning professional in a sustainable, affordable, and equitable housing policy and design is more critical than ever. When people are not able to afford to live in the community in which they work, it can result in undesirable sprawl in surrounding communities, and even with an excellent transit system, increased traffic on roadways.

Opinion

The resilient city: Why Canadian metropolises will thrive despite the pandemic

Urban dwellers have been fantasizing about escaping to the suburbs and countryside since the COVID-19 pandemic hit. But while the virus is reshaping our cities, they will still be centres of growth and vibrancy in the years to come.

Blog post

CUG+R and NAIMA Launch Online Training for Construction Industry

In partnership with the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association of Canada (NAIMA Canada), the Centre for Urban Growth + Renewal has developed an online training resource to help workers in the construction industry become more familiar with retrofitting in occupied buildings.

Blog post

Tower Renewal: A Field Guide to Retrofits in Occupied Buildings

The Centre for Urban Growth + Renewal has released a new “Field Guide” designed to assist apartment owners, the construction industry and apartment residents navigate retrofit construction projects in Canada.

Article

Preserving older buildings and low rents: a growing movement to rehab rather than build new

Could preserving older buildings be an effective affordability strategy?

Article

New initiative designed to build net-zero housing will help meet nutritional needs in remote communities as well

Besides drastically improving the affordability of living in remote communities, the initiative is also expected to provide numerous jobs for community members.

Article

‘Tiny Townhomes’ Could Fill Empty Lots across Vancouver, Says Builder

A Vancouver builder is urging the city to take a look at building what he calls “tiny townhomes” on small vacant lots throughout the city as one possible solution to rising homelessness and persistent tent cities.

Article

Vancouver company leads the way in innovative home deconstruction

An innovative Vancouver company is trying to change the way houses are torn down by salvaging every last scrap of reusable material — and it turns out to be good for not only the environment, but also the bottom line.

Article

Supporting Affordable Housing for Canadian Seniors Living in Rural Communities

This Policy Lab report outlines policy options to facilitate access to affordable and adequate housing for seniors living in rural areas, with particular attention to low and middle-income seniors.

Study

Affordable housing is not just a big city problem

58 per cent of people living in Atlantic Canadian cities report that their neighbourhood is less affordable compared to five to 10 years ago.

Article

Remote communities are turning to renewable energy systems

Communities pivot away from fossil fuels for heat and electricity generation.

Opinion

Tech - Yes, Tech - Can Solve The Root Issues Of Homelessness

Apps and digital platforms have solved everything from how we hail rides to find dates. It can also be leveraged to address root causes of homelessness. Here are some solutions working today.

Insight

Could co-operative housing be a solution for greener, sustainable living?

See examples of co-operative, intentional living working in urban and rural communities.

Article

A proven way to end homelessness in Canada

5 Canadian cities test the emerging Housing First model and help over 1,000 people move into safe, stable and affordable housing, with many remaining a decade later.

Opinion

We Need a New Deal for Affordable Housing

The current crisis makes it clear - if there was ever a moment to seize in advocating for the building of more affordable housing, this is it.

Opinion

Let’s Fill Our Cities With Taller, Wooden Buildings

Planting trees to ponder carbon dioxide is a known strategy, could the next step be wooden buildings ?

Opinion

Indigenous Architecture in Canada: A Step Towards Reconciliation

Using architecture as a tool for reconciliation could lead to social change when engaging in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission calls to action.

Article

5 design trends that will shape future cityscapes

A new Gensler report anticipates how urban challenges like climate change, health care and airport traffic will influence future city designs.

Opinion

Can a city solve homelessness with an app?

As cities deploy community-facing apps to alleviate homelessness, questions linger around who the tech is intended to benefit.

Opinion

Emotional response to city design could guide urban planning

Scenario-testing models are being built to help urban planners and architects to see the impact of their designs.

Presentation

The ‘parasitic’ homes that could change cities

As urban centres face housing shortages and skyrocketing prices, parasitic structures could open the door to a whole new way of living in cities.

Article

Indigenous Homes Innovation Initiative

The Indigenous Homes Innovation Initiative is based on the idea that the best solutions come from those who live the problem every day. The Initiative aims to tap into this understanding and inspire Indigenous peoples to propose and develop effective solutions. 

Opinion

Low-tech solutions to smart city challenges: Addressing social isolation in our cities

Social isolation is a growing challenge with real economic impacts. It is even linked to higher rates of mortality – about the equivalent of smoking 15 cigarettes a day.