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Design, Policy and Canadian Cities
Naama Blonder Architect, Urban Designer, Urban Planner | B.Arch, OAA, RPP, MCIP

Vancouver, Ottawa, Edmonton: How 3 cities are tackling the missing middle

Naama Blonder Residential Affordable Housing Toronto / GTA Jul. 7 2021
In Toronto, we talk a lot about the “missing middle” – the concept that there is a lack of housing options falling somewhere in between detached homes and mid-rise and tall buildings. This is an issue in Toronto due in

11 years later: Have Toronto’s mid-rise guidelines stood the test of time?

Naama Blonder Residential Development Toronto / GTA Jun. 2 2021
It’s been just over a decade (May 2010) since the City of Toronto first published its design guidelines for mid-rise buildings on Avenues (an official term for some of the city’s main streets). Therefore, it seemed like the right time

Shadows vs. housing: This debate should be a no-contest

Naama Blonder Residential Development National Apr. 29 2021
Shadows are a recurring concern local communities and members of the public raise in any development project. Believe it or not, we also hear it in our “missing middle” projects that, by definition, are limited to no more than four

A compelling future housing vision – finding the Missing Middle

Naama Blonder Residential Sustainability Toronto / GTA Jan. 28 2021
Most new housing exists on either end of a polarized spectrum; either single, detached houses or high-rise condominiums. Even though demand for Missing Middle housing options exists, they have become difficult to find and even more challenging to build. Zoning

How Toronto’s CityPlace found its sense of place

Naama Blonder Residential Downtown Toronto / GTA Dec. 8 2020
The 45-acre master-planned CityPlace community in Toronto, with 30 residential towers and 18,000 residents, has been transformed from once-disused railway lands into a thriving community. It started as a uniform, bland and unimaginative residential community without any of the attributes

Family-friendly condos in Toronto: Pipe dream or missed opportunity?

Naama Blonder Residential Market Trends National Sep. 29 2020
In the past year, four of our friends started families – and moved to Hamilton from Toronto. Each of them moved from a condo rental unit in the core to a house in Hamilton. As with many others, they wouldn’t

If we want affordable housing, the numbers must work for everyone

Naama Blonder Residential Development Toronto / GTA Sep. 2 2020
Earlier this summer, Toronto Mayor John Tory announced the locations for Housing Now’s Phase II sites. They are part of Toronto’s initiative to increase the supply of new affordable rental housing within mixed-income, transit-oriented communities on city-owned lands. “Housing Now”

Ottawa following tired path in expanding urban boundaries

Naama Blonder Residential Government Toronto / GTA May. 27 2020
(UPDATED with Ottawa council approval on May 27) Ottawa council has approved a plan to expand the city’s growth boundary by almost 1,300 hectares. The moves follows a 10-1 vote a week ago from a combined committee – (including both

There are no backyards in Paris, but you’d love to raise your kids there

Naama Blonder Residential Design National May. 20 2020
EDITOR’S NOTE: Today we introduce RENX’s newest column contributor, Toronto-based architect, urban designer and urban planner Naama Blonder. Naama is the co-founder of Smart Density, and via this new Design, Policy & Canadian Cities column will share her views and

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