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Thread: Books on Canadian Planning?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian geobandito's avatar
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    Books on Canadian Planning?

    So I'm moving to Ontario in July.... and starting my crash course in planning in Canada. Any recommendations for some good basic resources to get started with? I've already downloaded the Planning Act, etc., but I'm looking for some overview type stuff too, planning in general and transportation planning specifically.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    The primary book, that every planner in Canada has probably read or has a copy of is Gerald Hodge's Planning Canadian Communities.

    Others

    Hok Lin Leung - Land Use Planning Made Plain

    Government of Ontario's series of pamphlets for citizens.

    There are a few books that are annotated copies of the Planning Act as well. Don't know what the titles are, but most departments have copies.

    If you are moving to the GTA, let me know, I can probably help you out as I made the move last year.
    Last edited by donk; 25 Apr 2005 at 10:42 PM. Reason: typos
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  3. #3
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by donk
    Th eprimary book, that evry planner in Canada has probably read or has a copy of is Gerald Hodge's Plannign Canadian Communities.
    I don't even know how important this is really (although donk is right that this book is the green book for Canada). If you are a seasoned planner, there really isn't all that much of a difference up here than in the States. The most helpful thing for me so far is 1) take a course on the local enabling legislation through a University extension and 2) the monthly edition of the judicial review. The case law digest up here is quite good and fairly easy to read. I'll edit my response tomorrow when I get to work to get the exact name of the law digest.

  4. #4
    maudit anglais
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    Transportation Planning is pretty generic across North America so I can't think of a good Ontario-specific textbook. I'll try to come up with some links for you to check out - www.mto.gov.on.ca (the Ontario Ministry of Transportation) may be a good starting point for an overview of issues and programs. There are a couple of Canadian-specific software packages (like CCG calc for capacity analysis) that would be useful to know, but HCM is also a standard.

    EDIT - more links:

    Transport Canada - Sustainable Transportation

    Transportation Association of Canada
    Last edited by Tranplanner; 26 Apr 2005 at 9:42 AM.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian geobandito's avatar
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    Thanks, y'all. The Canadian contingent has always been very helpful!

    I had run across Planning Canadian Communities and wondered if it was kind of a standard. I'm going on a longish vacation next month and was looking for one book to take along, so that might be it. I figured that, as two of you mentioned, things really aren't so different here v. there, but I want to make sure I'm speaking the same language. My life has been hectic lately and probably will continue to be so until we move in July, so I feel like I'm not going to have much time to prepare. Luckily, our financial situation isn't dire, so getting a job right away is not an absolute necessity.

    We're moving to Hamilton, so I'd ideally like to find a job there, but I have a feeling I won't be able to be too picky.

    Tranplanner, I checked out some links you referred me to earlier and I get the feeling that transporation planning in Canada is more engineering-oriented than what I've done here.

    Also, being educated in the good old American way, I'm sadly lacking in knowledge of Canadian history, government, urban issues, etc. Being someone who's always been interested in geography and less insular than most of the Midwesterners that I grew up with, I think I'm better off than most. But when faced with the reality of actually moving into the culture, you realize how pathetically little you actually know. I have a lot of catching up to do.
    Last edited by Tranplanner; 26 Apr 2005 at 9:29 AM.

  6. #6
    maudit anglais
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    Quote Originally posted by geobandito
    Tranplanner, I checked out some links you referred me to earlier and I get the feeling that transporation planning in Canada is more engineering-oriented than what I've done here.
    Not necessarily - it really depends on where you end up practicing. I find it is very similar to the U.S. - large urban centres have resources dedicated to "non-traditional" transport planning work, while smaller communities are either still very engineer-oriented or employ jack-of-all-trades type people.

    Very little of what I do is hard engineering-type work (we have tamed engineers for that ). I'm a sort of hybrid urban planner/designer/statistician/engineering tech. If you give me a better idea of what sort of work you're interested in doing I can hopefully provide you with some better direction of where to look. PM me if you prefer.

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    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by geobandito
    I figured that, as two of you mentioned, things really aren't so different here v. there, but I want to make sure I'm speaking the same language.
    Unfortunately, we don't speak the same language and planning language differs from province to province. It will take you a year or two to get all of the lingo down, so don't try to figure it out all at once. I still get caught up on lots of the lingo: gas bars, parkades, eavestroughs, etc.

    Here is one thing that you should learn right now though: don't ever use the word 'code' for an ordinance or bylaw. Code up here means specifically 'safety codes', which is similar to the UBC/UFC in the States. Most other words people can catch onto pretty easily or know the gist of what you are talking about.

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    Cyburbian geobandito's avatar
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    Okay, this is a stupid question, but I'm still having a little trouble with the municipality/region/county thing. So, for example, the Region of Peel is its own entity, employing its own planners, and the individual cities in the Region of Peel - Brampton, Mississauga, etc - also are separate entities with their own planners? Now, as far as Hamilton - I see the "City of Hamilton" website. Is the "City of Hamilton" the same entity as the "Region of Hamilton"?

    I worked for a consultant in New Jersey for 1.5 years doing a little bit of everything -comp plans, bike plans, contributing bits to environmental impact statements. Then I've worked at an MPO for about 4 years doing long-range transportation planning. But it's all been pretty non-techical other than a bit of GIS. So when I see all these adds for transportation or transit planners and they're asking for modeling experience, etc., I'm a little concerned. It's not essential that I stay in transportation planning, though it would be nice to build on what I have done. I don't have a problem, either, with starting at a level lower than where I am now, just to get my foot in the door somewhere and do some learning.

  9. #9
    maudit anglais
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    Quote Originally posted by geobandito
    Okay, this is a stupid question, but I'm still having a little trouble with the municipality/region/county thing. So, for example, the Region of Peel is its own entity, employing its own planners, and the individual cities in the Region of Peel - Brampton, Mississauga, etc - also are separate entities with their own planners? Now, as far as Hamilton - I see the "City of Hamilton" website. Is the "City of Hamilton" the same entity as the "Region of Hamilton"?
    In the first case, yes - the Region of Peel has its own planners, as do the lower-tier municipalities (Brampton, etc.). Think of the Region as a sort of MPO, only with responsibility for service delivery in some areas (water, police, regional roads, social services). Traditionally, the "lower tier" municipalities (the Bramptons, etc.) looked after purely local issues, while the "upper tier" municipalities (the Peels, Haltons, etc.) looked after regional issues. It was a system that worked for quite a while. I worked as a Transportation Planner for Peel for a while...after the system stopped working so well. A lot of conflicts between the lower tier municipalities, who resent regional interference and no clear or logical division of responsibilities (when it comes to planning anyway).

    The Region of Hamilton no longer exists - the constituent municipalities were amalgamated in the "City of Hamilton" about 8(?) years ago now, so there is only one level of government. Halton Region (Oakville, Milton, Halton Hills) works much like Peel.

    Quote Originally posted by geobandito
    I worked for a consultant in New Jersey for 1.5 years doing a little bit of everything -comp plans, bike plans, contributing bits to environmental impact statements. Then I've worked at an MPO for about 4 years doing long-range transportation planning. But it's all been pretty non-techical other than a bit of GIS. So when I see all these adds for transportation or transit planners and they're asking for modeling experience, etc., I'm a little concerned. It's not essential that I stay in transportation planning, though it would be nice to build on what I have done.
    You should be able to find something with your experience. Consulting may be a good bet. Possibly the Provincial government...if they're hiring! There are some TDM associations getting off the ground around the Toronto area, they may be able to use your skills.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian geobandito's avatar
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    Thanks for clearing that up. I didn't get that the lower-tiers were nested within the upper-tiers. That makes much more sense now. (I'm really not an idiot, just a little scattered at the moment. )

    gas bars?

    Thanks again to all of you for your help.

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