Planning and the un-planned urban revolution in Toronto's (sub)urban periphery

Authors: Sean Hertel*,
Topics: Urban and Regional Planning, Land Use, Canada
Keywords: Suburbanisation, Urban Planning, Urban Revolution
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/10/2018
Start / End Time: 10:00 AM / 11:40 AM
Room: Studio 8, Marriott, 2nd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The suburbs generally, and densification in the urban periphery more specifically, is often critiqued as an aberrant form of urbanisation and as a denser form of urban sprawl, respectively. While the legitimisation of the suburb and suburbanisation as “city” and “urban” in real time has gained some traction in academia, it still largely eludes the imagination and practice of professional planners. Toronto’s urban periphery, contrary to critique and stereotypes, is the centre of the city’s urban present and future. The inner and outer suburbs are not only urban in terms of built form and land use, but also in terms of ways of life. Realising and harnessing the transformational possibilities presented by the form and urbanity of Toronto’s suburbs – celebrated in song by such “Toronto” icons as Drake and Alessia Cara – is to not only legitimize a place and a process, but to abandon cultural and institutional biases in favour of forging a path to a new urban future through the cultural and economic capillaries of North America’s fourth-largest city. Planning policy and development case studies will illustrate how Toronto’s suburbs have grown up, and are the portals through which urban planners can conceive and achieve the promise that an “urban revolution” can hold.

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