Author: Neptis - Sat Dec 1, 2007

Dr. Frisken describes the institutions and policies that were put in place at different times to provide region-wide services and assesses the extent to which they achieved the objectives of effective regional governance. She argues that while the provincial government responded sporadically and often reluctantly to regional population growth and expansion, its interventions nevertheless contributed to the region’s most noteworthy achievement: a core city that thrived while many other North American cities experienced population, economic, and social decline.

This comprehensive examination of the evolution of a metropolitan region is essential reading for city and regional planners, officials at all levels of government, urban historians, and those teaching and researching in this field.  This retrospective view is especially timely, as the Ontario government is once again advancing regional plans, policies, and institutions for the Toronto metropolitan region.

Dr. Frances Frisken is Professor Emerita and Senior Scholar, Division of Social Science (Urban Studies), at York University, Toronto

The research, writing and publication of this book has been supported by The Neptis Foundation.  To order the book please contact the publisher directly here:

Author: Neptis - Tue Aug 28, 2007

Author: Neptis - Wed May 2, 2007
  • Closely co-ordinate the planning of UGCs.
  • Attention should be given to the different nature of the areas intended to become the cores of UGCs.
  • Connecting development (landuse) and transit

This report analyses policies in the Ontario government's Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (Places to Grow) relating to Urban Growth Centres (UGCs) and transit corridors. These are defined as mixed-use, high-density, and public transit-oriented developments that are to provide a focus for employment and population growth in the region. The report surveys the history of the policy, and examines several existing centres and transit corridors to determine how well they meet the goals of the UGC policy and what barriers prevent their further development. The report concludes with recommendations to support the policies and foster the development of UGCs.

Author: Neptis - Sun Jan 1, 2006

Economist Will Dunning describes the effects of long-term business cycles on population growth and housing demand, and how housing prices and workforce participation rates affect where people settle and the kind of housing they choose. In particular, the higher the employment rate, the higher the rate of net migration to Greater Golden Horseshoe, especially the Inner Ring. Also, the higher the cost of housing in the GTA, the lower the rate of net migration into the Inner Ring, since higher GTA housing costs "deflect" people to the Outer Ring.

Author: Neptis - Sat Jan 3, 2004

This study provides an inventory of the extent and distribution of designated Greenlands in south-central Ontario, and an assessment of the likelihood that they will persist in the future. The authors assigned each individual greenland area in the 14 single- or upper-tier municipalities in the region to one of four levels of protection (full, general, partial, or no protection), on the basis of policy and recent precedents, and mapped the results in detail. The report also contains four case studies that illustrate different approaches to protection and highlight current policy issues: the Trafalgar Moraine, the Pickering-Richmond Hill Land Exchange, the Oro Moraine, and the Cameron Ranch.

Author: Neptis - Fri Jan 2, 2004

Author: Neptis - Thu Jan 9, 2003

This paper surveys the current state of agriculture in the Toronto region and its contribution to the Ontario economy. Agriculture currently competes for land with urban development, recreational land uses, transportation corridors, and aggregate extraction, and thousands of acres of prime farmland are lost each year. Walton argues that maintaining agriculture means more than preserving land; it requires support for the industry as a whole, including tax reform, research funding, ways to resolve land use conflicts, public education, and measures that ensure long-term financial security for farmers. Margaret Walton is a partner at Planscape.

Author: Neptis - Wed Jan 8, 2003

Ogilvie's paper argues for an approach to air, water, and soil conservation that goes beyond "no net loss" of quality or function to "net gain." That is, changes to the environment should, over time, bring about improvements in the quality and function of air, water, and soil in the Central Ontario Zone. The principle requires monitoring environmental indicators, and the paper suggests 10 potential indicators that could be used. Ogilvie also looks at major trends in air, water, and soil quality, their current and long-term effects, and proposes solutions for each area.