Are bike lanes getting in the way of condo developments?

Are bike lanes getting in the way of condo developments?

Well, no, it would appear not.

Although it's good news that the province will now tax foreign real estate buyers, that still doesn't solve the ongoing problem of condo construction blocking the bike lanes.

With all the bike lanes (Wellesley, Shuter, Sherbourne, Adelaide, Richmond, St. George - just to name a few) being blocked by construction, and so many people thinking cyclists are scofflaws, the City Cyclist draws attention to the noble developers in his latest video - and reassures us it will all be okay.*

*Please note, this is satire.

From the City Cyclist:

"To sum it up: build a bunch of condos for people who don’t want to live in them, make the developers, real estate speculators and foreign investors rich…while regular, bike riding people who are actually here, can’t afford to live. Makes sense to me!

The majority of new builds in Toronto are condos. Over the past several years, we’ve built an average of close to 20,000 condo units per year. And about 50 per cent** of all new condo units are bought up by investors, who then turn them over to tenants, at reasonable rents, of course. (BTW, as a foreign investor, you still don’t pay capital gains on condos - so buy five units, sell them and pay no tax! Good deal!)

At the same time, just 1,700 rental units for regular people became available. Not sure, but I think they call this ‘affordable housing’. There are about 170,000 families waiting for affordable housing, waiting almost four years on average. But developers and real estate speculators aren’t letting ‘affordable housing’ get in their way.

The developers don’t seem to need to obey any real rules - just like all of the scofflaw cyclists in the city - they just pay a fancy ‘cash-in-lieu of community benefits’ fee.

Has anyone noticed that we already have 5 million people and there are only two subway lines? I guess all of the new condo owners will just drive cars anyway. What could possibly go wrong?"

**The numbers are fuzzy for the actual number of foreign buyers and range from 5 to 50 per cent depending on who you listen to.

Related on

City Cyclist: Construction and bad bike lanes in Toronto

Construction in bike lanes (from 2015)

Heavy Metal in the bike lane: Meet Priya Panda

Behind the scenes of our cover shoot with Mike Ford and Priya Panda



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