Growing Pains – Density in our City

Growing Pains – Density in our City

I may be stating the obvious but cities change, populations grow and how we lived 30 years ago is different than how we live today.  

Cities experience growing pains every day.

I’m a big fan of maps and data.  To me there is nothing cooler than to look at an old city insurance map to see what businesses were where, look at how streets have changed and how more and more houses were built, as more and more people chose to live, work and play in St. Catharines.

Today we are dealing with the same worries and concerns over building and growing as they did in 1906, 1926, 1936, 1946, and on and on.

          • Will these new developments change the amazing parts of our city and neighbourhoods that we love?
          • Who wants to live in such small and different types of housing?
          • Where will they park their cars?
          • How will our schools handle the increase in students?
          • Where will kids play?


Take a look at these images that span 1906 to 1960. It’s quite incredible to see how the number of people living in the same area increased.


I imagine that the conversations we’re having today were the same ones that we’ve had throughout the decades.  

Change is hard.

It’s hard to imagine that for those of us who live in a home with a backyard, that anyone would want to live in a small townhouse or fourplex, on the 9th floor of a midrise condominium, or on the 37th floor of a highrise. But many do.

As a city we need to have more and more people living, working and playing here.  We need to increase the number of people paying taxes so we can maintain and improve the services our city must provide.

It doesn’t mean we approve everything.  

We need to actively go out and bring developers into the city that are willing to work with the city and listen to the neighbours.  

We need neighbours who support developments to come to the table and tell council that they support it.

We need to encourage developers to design and build developments that address climate change, that provide green space for residents and where possible include supportive housing.

We are a growing city, change is inevitable.  We need to work together to make our city Equitable, Liveable and Sustainable.