Maps and Spatial Information

Key insights:

Close is an innovative tool that maps walkable, bikeable, and transit-friendly neighborhoods block by block across the entire US. It is a useful travel time map for people who want to be near the amenities that matter most to them.

On it, users can filter by access to amenities like grocery stores, schools, doctors’ offices, and coffee shops.

Close is built and maintained by Henry Spatial Analysis. For full access to the map, click here.

Key insights:

This report investigates the potential for infill development in Mississauga to accommodate the region’s population growth projections and ensure that new development does not infringe on the urban greenbelt.

The report outlines:

  • Mississauga could add approximately 174,000 new residential units (at an average unit size of over 1,000 sq.ft.) via low- and medium-density intensification.
  • Through this approach, Mississauga could accommodate 435,000 new residents.
  • This is enough housing to support Mississauga’s growth projects, and to also accommodate approximately 85% of Peel Region’s assigned growththrough to 2041.
  • This housing can be delivered without the consumption of new greenfield land, reducing the need to encroach into the Greenbelt

This report is authored by Graham Haines and Brianna Aird of Toronto Metropolitan University.

This research paper examines Detached Accessory Dwelling Units (DADUs) from an affordability lens, addressing both affordability for renters and whether or not DADUs are affordable to build.

Cities across North America are facing unprecedented challenges related to housing affordability, climate resilience and economic sustainability. In many cities, infill housing policies are being adopted in response to these issues. This research focuses on one particular type of infill housing – Detached Accessory Dwelling Units (DADUs). DADUs, also known as laneway homes, garden suites, or carriage houses, are independent rental units typically built in the backyards of single-detached homes.

Key insights:

  • DADUs offer opportunities for downsizing, age in community, multigenerational living, additional rental income, and adaptable housing across the lifespan, often considered as a form of affordable housing.
  • A policy comparison across nine municipalities in Canada and the United States identifies DADU best practices and common characteristics among municipalities with high DADU uptake.
  • A secondary analysis of Edmonton’s DADU permitting data explores the spatial distribution of DADUs concerning affordability.
  • A survey of DADU owners and prospective builders in Edmonton uncovers barriers to development, excluding tenants from the survey.
  • Policy recommendations from the comparison include reducing regulations for flexibility in DADU size, height, and orientation. This involves eliminating parking minimums, owner occupancy requirements, location restrictions, and contextual regulations tying DADU dimensions to the primary dwelling. Such measures aim to foster a successful DADU market.

Research paper authored by Ashley Salvador, University of Waterloo (November 11, 2020).

The Housing Needs Assessment tool, developed by Housing Assessment Resource Tools (HART) & University of British Columbia provides a framework to compare housing needs across Canada.

Key insights:

  • The tool leverages census data to define the cost of affordable housing and the percentage of households with a core housing need for each area median household income category.
  • The tool additionally articulates the total affordable housing deficit in a given community based on income level and household size.
  • Households with a core housing need are further broken down by priority population (e.g., single mother households, Indigenous households, etc.).
  • Users can explore trends at the national, provincial, regional, and municipal level.