Interesting read about how zoning for apartment buildings created problems for residents due to misguided notions about the future. And how a change in zoning code proposes to fix past misdeeds.

Zoning changes give new life to Toronto's ‘apartment neighbourhoods’:
Hundreds of apartment highrises in Toronto were built with assumption that residents "would drive where they wanted to go, so services weren’t necessary”

Though it seemed a good idea at the time, it’s clear now that the zoning regime that created countless “apartment neighbourhoods” around Toronto was deeply flawed.

Based on misguided notions about how we would live in the future, residents of these highrise suburban communities have instead been trapped in a failed vision of modern life.

But what planning takes, it can give back. The city’s recently implemented Tower Renewal Program, adopted after 10 years of effort, has changed zoning rules that rigidly forbade any use except residential. New regulations mean that the green space that surrounds these apartment buildings, which comprises as much as 90 per cent of a site, can now be used for small shops, daycare facilities, doctors’ offices, markets, gardens and the like.

“The original zoning was very restrictive,” explains Lauralyn Johnston, project manager with the city’s Tower and Neighbourhood Revitalization Initiative. “They could have tennis courts, but not tennis clubs. Not even ATMs were allowed. There was an assumption that there would be lots of cars and that people would drive where they wanted to go, so services weren’t necessary.”

The starting point was a desire to avoid the messiness of the city and make suburbia neat and tidy. Every human activity — living, working, playing, shopping, praying — had its own separate space, all connected by highways. That was the basis of the “tower in the park” model, replicated countless times in the older neighbourhoods of Etobicoke, Scarborough, North York and beyond. Johnston points to towers on St. Dennis Dr. in Flemingdon Park as ideally suited to the program.
Full article at: https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/201...oods-hume.html