Jun 16 - Growth plan only as good as its implementation

June 16, 2006

City, suburbs will never be the same

June 16, 2006

Toronto- The Greater Toronto Home Builders' Association congratulated public infrastructure minister David Caplan on today's release of the Greater Golden Horseshoe growth plan while cautioning that the key to its success is in the implementation.

"If the greenbelt is about where we can't grow, and the growth plan is about where we can grow, then let's get on with it," said GTHBA president Desi Auciello.

Auciello defined four criteria for successful implementation:

  • A solid ongoing commitment by the provincial government to invest in roads, transit, sewer and water services; 
  •  Much more streamlined development approvals in the areas slated for growth;
  • A healthy balance of housing affordability and choice including single-detached homes;
  • Flexibility to make adjustments to the plan based on land supply and housing prices.

"The McGuinty government certainly took a sizeable first step in the right direction with the infrastructure investments announced in the recent provincial budget," Auciello noted, "but it can't stop there."

As for development approvals Auciello expressed his hope that the growth plan will usher in a new era of greased lightning, if not as of right approvals in areas slated for development. "Every home builder I talk to these days complains about the development approvals process which seems to have become an end in itself rather than a means to an end," Auciello asserted.

"The growth plan relies very heavily on intensification, and we are supportive of that," Auciello continued, noting that more than 40 per cent of new home sales over the past several years have been high-rise condominium suites. "There's no question that we need to see more high-rise condominium development in the 905 municipalities, and that has begun to occur and should continue. However, we expect that the provincial government will stand behind its plan by working with the building industry to overcome some of the typical resistance to more intense forms of development."

Auciello expressed his compliments to Minister Caplan on a very open, transparent and lengthy consultation process befitting change of such magnitude. "David Caplan is as good a listener as he is a talker, and we did lots of both throughout this process. At the end of the day, Caplan has brought forward a bold and visionary plan for growth in the Greater Golden Horseshoe. We said at the beginning of the process that the city and suburbs will never be the same and our view hasn't changed."

With more than 1,400 members, the GTHBA is the voice of the residential construction industry in the Greater Toronto Area. Established in 1921, the association is comprised of land developers, home builders, professional renovation contractors, sub-contractors, suppliers, service, professional and financial firms. We are proudly affiliated with the Ontario and Canadian Home Builders' Associations.

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Suzanna Cohen
Director of Communications

Stephen Dupuis
Executive Vice-President