Toronto 2050: Creating a Vision for Toronto

To create a good film, you need a script.

Astra Burka, the founder of Toronto 2050, has extended this concept from the film industry into the realm of city building.

For those of us who have had to apply for permits or work with city bylaws, the Official Plan may sound familiar. It is Toronto’s vision for development—the guiding principles that are meant to create a harmonious city.

However, those who have worked with the city know that it is anything but harmonious. According to Astra, the city is a mishmash of wards with competing interests and fractured visions; while, as a whole, Toronto is still suffering from the effects of an incomplete amalgamation.

Even worse, although we have an Official Plan, Section 37 of the planning act allows the City to negotiate with developers behind closed doors to allow bylaw violations in return for cash and community amenities.

Given these issues, Toronto 2050, aims to bring together these fractured pieces to create a picture of what we want Toronto to look like.

Toronto 2050 proposes three key solutions:

  1. Create one city through true amalgamation
  2. Create a script, a unified vision
  3. Visualize how we want Toronto to look

In order to visualize the City, the project aims to render the city and the Official Plan in three-dimensions. The technology, which was developed to render realistic cityscapes in film, has already been used by the City of Seattle.

To learn more about the project, visit the Toronto 2050 website.

The website provides a rich visual experience—partly because the Toronto 2050 team includes an animator, Pasquale la Montagna and documentary film maker Lisa Ellenwood—that features interviews from city building experts and residents about what this vision may look like.

If you have questions for the Toronto 2050 team or would like to help advance the project, you can contact them here: info@toronto2050.ca

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