TVO.org daily: Monday, August 12

The baby-boomer blockage, Canada’s best places to live, and what Peterborough’s tent cities say about the housing crisis
By TVO Current Affairs - Published on Aug 12, 2019
Ashburnham Bridge in Peterborough
Peterborough has the highest proportion — 53.6 per cent — of renter households in core housing need in the country. (iStock.com/Orchidpoet)

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Good morning, Ontario.


Here's what we're following


Is Burlington the best community in Canada?

Easy commutes. Lots of activities for families. Access to nature. Those are a few of the reasons Burlington ended up on top in Maclean’s inaugural ranking of Canada’s best communities. “It’s that combination of world-class attractions as well as a 10- to 15-minute drive from agricultural farming, hiking, skiing,” local resident Meed Ward told the magazine. Ontario locales took the top five spots on the chart — but to find the most affordable community on the list, you’d need to travel to British Columbia. (The second most affordable — Russell, Ont., east of Ottawa — is considerably closer.)


Meet Sudbury’s professional garbage sniffer

What to do when a local landfill is causing a stink at nearby businesses? In Sudbury, they’ve designated one solid-waste specialist to walk around the dump and surrounding neighbourhood to gauge the level of malodorous scents. “Sometimes when you're standing right beside a fresh compost pile that's been baking in the sun, it will smell, naturally. It should smell, it is waste," Kelsey Huffman told the CBC.


Canada’s good, but mostly business-as-usual economy

A recent special report in The Economist finds Canada is having some success going beyond its traditional resource-driven economy. In 2017, for example, Toronto created more technology jobs than Silicon Valley, Seattle, New York, and Washington, D.C., combined. But the magazine also says that to sustain growth, Canada’s economy and business culture will need to become more innovative and entrepreneurial — or, as the report puts it, “more American.”



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The Life-Sized City: Tel Aviv

Few modern cities incite as much division as Tel Aviv, with its reputation as a laid-back party town in a hotbed of conflict and turmoil. The rising cost of living, ailing public transport, and development conflicts are often put aside in the face of religious and cultural struggles that have marked the Israeli city’s complex history. But, as this episode highlights, people from both sides of the political and cultural divide are working together to create a more functional and united Tel Aviv.


Lowdown Tracks

Filmmaker Shelley Saywell and singer-activist Lorraine Segato document the music and stories of those who live on the margins of society and bare their souls through song on the streets of Toronto. They follow abandoned tracks, look beneath bridges, and into rooming houses and alleyways to find people who, despite their circumstances, still find vibrancy and meaning in music.



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What Peterborough’s tent cities say about Ontario’s housing crisis

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s shelter-to-income ratio indicates that a household is considered to be in “core housing need” if its housing costs make up more than 30 per cent of its before-tax income. Peterborough has the highest proportion — 53.6 per cent — of renter households in core housing need in the country. In this final instalment of articles about the state of housing in the province, Eastern Ontario Hub reporter David Rockne Corrigan reports on the closure of a Peterborough shelter, and the fallout.


Waiting for baby boomers to die is not effective housing policy

According to a recent Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation report, GTA residents aged 65 and older are staying in their homes longer. When it comes to housing supply, TVO.org’s John Michael McGrath points out, that’s a problem. With traditional housing policy, “the plan was that the ‘demographic shift’ of baby boomers aging into their autumn years would free up the homes they’re currently occupying. But that hasn’t happened,” he writes. What to do when the traditional plan doesn’t work? “We’re going to need aggressive policies from all three levels of government — policies substantially more aggressive than anything we’ve seen to date.”



Tonight on TVO


8 p.m. — The Agenda in the Summer: Art of diplomacy

Bruce Heyman held the post of U.S. ambassador to Canada throughout the Harper and Trudeau governments. He and his wife, Vicki Heyman, join Nam Kiwanuka to discuss their book, The Art of Diplomacy: Strengthening the Canada-U.S. Relationship in Times of Uncertainty.


8:30 p.m. — Brilliant Ideas: The Tenacious Alchemy of China’s Cao Fei

Cao Fei is a Beijing-based artist whose work provides a glimpse of what it’s like to be a young person in China today. Considered one of the most groundbreaking artists of her generation, she uses new technologies to explore themes of escapism, consumerism, and the effects of economic change in China



From the archive


2002 — Teens who volunteer

“I've been pretty much been volunteering forever,” says Jasmin. “My parents have instilled values in me that if I have something that I can give to someone else, to be selfless and just help people who are need.” When this short video called Teens Who Volunteer was broadcast in 2002, Jasmin was an 18-year-old student who, along with several friends, formed The Route, a charitable organization that provided meals for people living on the streets of Toronto. As they prepare sandwiches, members of the group explain why it’s important for them to be involved.

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