Real Insights by Christopher Hume

Christopher Hume

Architecture And Urban Affairs Specialist

Areas of Expertise

  • Architecture
  • Urban Design
  • Urban Affairs
Christopher Hume, former architecture critic and urban affairs columnist at the Toronto Star, left the paper in 2016 to pursue other interests. He is currently working on several documentary projects and writing a book about the political history of 21st-century Toronto.
Hume With a View

After Years Of Neglect, Cities Raising Taxes Shouldn't Be A Surprise

Thanks to a series of factors – COVID-19, the housing crisis, chronically weak provincial leadership and sky-high immigration rates — cities in Canada have been left holding the bag for any number of costs they don’t have the means to cover.

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Densifying Suburbia Is Necessary To Address Our Housing Crisis

Given the spatial generosity of traditional suburban planning, it’s appropriate that any attempt to deal with the dire lack of accommodation across Canada should focus on the suburbs.

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The Well Is The Mall Of The Future, Is That A Good Thing?

Even before it’s finished, The Well is being hailed as the “mall of the future.” Whether or not that’s desirable at a time when malls everywhere are dying, it’s clear the multi-use complex aspires to much more than mere malldom – past, present, or future.

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Ford's Developer Antics Left Their Stink On 2023

Virtually nothing Ford has done since first being elected in 2018 has passed the smell test. Indeed, the stench emanating from the Pink Palace in 2023 became overpowering.

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From Suffragette Rallies To Encampments, Allan Gardens Tells Toronto's History

"The board understands that Allan Gardens is a ground zero for issues facing the city. It always has been. What we’re learning now is what kind of role we can play in the future."

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In A City Unsure Of Its Identity, Worsening Transit, Traffic, And Housing Is No Surprise

In Toronto, driving has never been more frustrating, the TTC has become unreliable, and property taxes have been kept unsustainably low. The City is in need of strong civic leadership to help it find itself.

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Love Park A Heartening Symbol For Toronto's Public Realm

Surrounded by drab, dense office towers, Love Park carves out a slice of peace, quiet, and whimsy in the midst of the sort of traffic madness that now characterizes Toronto.

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Europe Has Figured Out Transit, Why Can't We?

From cars to public transit to protecting — and prioritizing — pedestrians, European cities are riddled with success stories that Canada could stand to learn from.

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The Nicknames 8 Iconic (And Infamous) Toronto Buildings Deserve

Buildings in major cities all around the world have nicknames, from London's Big Ben to Beijing's Bird's Nest, so why doesn't Toronto? Here are a few suggestions for building nicknames from the notorious ICE Condos to UofT's Robarts Library.

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The Greenbelt Review Is A ‘Pudgy Middle Finger’ To Ontarians

Ford’s stated goal of building 1.5 million homes over the next decade has nothing to do with the Greenbelt except to make its presence more vital than ever to the province’s environmental health.

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If Developers Won’t Build Affordable Housing, The City Of Toronto Has To

With developers opting to build more profitable condos and market-rate rentals, the City of Toronto needs to take some notes from other major metropolises that have successfully built affordable housing en masse.

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Not Just Toronto: Canada’s Major Cities Can’t Get Public Transit Right

From Toronto and Ottawa to Edmonton and Montreal, safe, convenient and reliable mass mobility eludes us. That needs to change, and so does our perspective.