The following article is in response to a CBC article entitled:
Growth in urban Canada is fast, both for suburbs and older more established parts of cities.
The big story in the recent census information is that the centres of cities, are growing; and rapidly. One of the outcomes of this growth is that real estate values are getting pushed to all-time highs.
Rural Canada’s population is being gutted, and local government there is getting more expensive, on a per capita basis, to operate. Larger urban centres are growing, and getting more expensive to operate, but for very different reasons.
Local government is reluctant to charge its residents for the full cost of operations and would prefer to discriminate against commercial property owners by charging them higher tax rates.
High commercial tax rates can drive commercial development to low tax communities like Mississauga which saw development at the expense of Toronto. Discriminatory tax policy is unfair, but quite predictable, as residents vote and outnumber commercial property owners.
One answer for the financial dilemma may be to charge new homebuyers the full cost of capital improvements needed to support new subdivisions, and recover this through appropriate development charges.
Providing services, particularly transit services to new suburban areas always will be a challenge but as population densities increase, traffic problems will too. Demand for, and the viability of transit will follow. Transit viability will depend on politicians making right decisions, see my article on this. http://theclarkreport.com/2012/01/nuts-to-the-environment/ As long as urban planners make provision for future transit corridors in new suburban areas, future transit demand should be met.
Here is the link to the original CBC article.