In my earlier piece about demolitions in Grandview, I forgot to mention that the immediate consequences of the trend to demolish old Edwardians and replace them with duplexes are to reduce density and increase housing costs — absolutely contrary to the shrill claims of the build-build-build brigade.
For the block on Venables that was being discussed, we have firm knowledge that the two houses already demolished housed twelve people. They have all been displaced. The four duplex units that will take their place will generally have no more than two people living in each, for a total of, say, 8 people. That is a 33% reduction in density.
The affordable rentals will be replaced by $1 million+plus price tags. If they are put out for rent, I would be surprised if they were offered at less than $3,000 a month — that’s a 100% increase in the cost for someone used to paying $1,400 or $1,500 a month to live in that space.
An earlier example of this same issue happened when townhouses came to Adanac.
We would do a let better by allowing and incentivizing current owners to increase the number of units on their lots, adding internal suites, laneways, etc. This will increase density while retaining the current neighbourhood look, feel, and scale. It will reduce costs both by eliminating the need for land acquisition and reducing the bureaucratic burden (especially for heritage homes) that makes such renos and improvements almost impossible these days. It will increase affordability by creating incentives for rents to remain at income-suitable levels. A further benefit would be an increase in work opportunities for smaller local builders who could handle projects of this size.
Whether you agree with these specific ideas or not, it should be clear we cannot keep doing what we are doing, even with a so-called new Council..