City Space

City Space

How do we make our cities more livable? We want them to be more affordable, walkable and meet the needs of a tech-powered society. So, how do we actually reach those ideals? City Space is an urban living podcast from The Globe and Mail that seeks to answer those questions. Join host Irene Galea as she speaks to global experts and those close to home to learn what our cities are doing right and what we could do better. From accessibility to housing to transit, episodes will consider what truly makes a city run well, look to our global neighbours on what they’re getting right and deliberate on how to make the best cities we can.

Episodes

May 23, 2024 32 mins
Earlier this month, the City Space team met Prime Minister Trudeau for a sit-down interview to get his thoughts on the biggest challenges facing our cities: housing affordability, a labour shortage, population growth and the need for densification. Trudeau and the Federal Liberals unveiled a new housing policy in April of this year, a plan that they say will help solve the housing affordability crisis in Canada. As the prime minist...
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The men’s 2026 FIFA World Cup is coming to Canada. Out of 106 games, Toronto will host just six. The city is facing a bill of $380 million or more for things like security and a stadium expansion. Huge sporting events like this are sold as being good for the hosts, boosting tourism and local business while also leaving a legacy of better transit. So does hosting a successful sporting event mean accelerated city building? What kind ...
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Canada’s largest Chinatown has been under siege for over a century: first by race riots, then by poverty and most recently by the threat of development. We’re telling the story of why Chinatown, Vancouver, is one of Canada’s most resilient neighbourhoods, forced to evolve and adapt in the face of horrific racism. The future of Chinatowns everywhere should be in the hands of the people who live, work and find community there. So wha...
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At the turn of the 20th century, a murder, a bar brawl and a sermon led to a 100-year ban on booze in Toronto’s Junction neighbourhood. The Junction was Toronto’s last “dry” neighbourhood — meaning no alcohol was allowed to be sold — until 2000. While other nearby areas saw business booming as bars and restaurants opened, The Junction declined and became known as “The Junkie Junction.” We’re telling the story of the Junction’s proh...
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On August 18, 2021, downtown Halifax made international news when the city erupted in a sprawling protest against the removal of illegal homeless shelters from a park. Compared to other Canadian cities, Halifax’s homeless population has tripled in the last three years. Emergency shelters aren’t doing enough. Building new housing takes time. It takes policy changes — and money. Until that’s in place, is leaving people to camp in par...
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The Van Horne Mansion was a classic greystone house in Montreal’s Golden Square Mile. It was the home of Sir William Cornelius Van Horne, the man who built the Canadian Pacific Railway. Despite public outcry, the mansion was demolished in 1973. This lit a fire amongst conservationists, thus initiating the heritage conservation movement in Canada. Today, heritage conservation is an important part of city planning. But what tradeoffs...
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The Spadina Expressway was one of five urban highways that were nearly built in Toronto in the 70s. The plan would have bulldozed neighbourhoods so that suburban commuters had a direct route to drive downtown. But campaigners like Bobbi Speck and Jane Jacobs stopped it, saving iconic neighbourhoods like The Annex. Today, Toronto is one of the worst cities in the world for traffic. Should the expressway have been built anyway? We te...
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January 23, 2024 1 min
Who decides what progress means to a city? In the new season of City Space, join host Irene Galea as she delves into the stories of changing cities and how they're holding on to their identities in the face of 21st century problems. Season 4 will tell stories of progress and preservation — and look for common ground in city spaces across Canada.
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June 20, 2023 30 mins

Festivals can transform cities by making space for overlooked people and cultures. Cities all over the world are facing major crises — from mounting inequalities to climate emergencies. And arts and culture have a surprisingly critical role in tackling these urban challenges. How do we make sure festivals remain authentic and true to their communities? In this episode, we hear from Mischka Creighton, the CEO of the Toronto Caribbea...

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City Space is now in its third season and we’d really love to hear how you feel about our show and what we can do to make it better. Visit cityspace-survey.ca and fill out the brief survey to give us more info. As a token of our thanks, you’ll be entered into a draw to win one of three online retailer gift cards worth $100. 

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Last year, the federal government set an ambitious new immigration target — to bring in half a million permanent residents a year by 2025. While the country is already dealing with a pretty profound housing crisis, it’s likely everyone will feel the housing crunch even more as a record number of immigrants move to Canadian cities in the near future. Where will all these newcomers live and whose job is it to make sure the country is...

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Whether we really think about it or not, cities are habitats for animals. Beyond a flock of pigeons or dogs on a leash, cities are home to all manner of wildlife - depending where you are, you might have bats, coyotes or even bobcats roaming around. How can cities better accommodate the land we share with our beastie brethren and what might be some potential benefits if we get better at it?

 

This episode we’re joined by Peter Alagon...

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We’re now in our third season and we’d really love to hear how you feel about our show and what we can do to make it better. Visit cityspace-survey.ca and fill out the brief survey to give us more info. As a token of our thanks, you’ll be entered into a draw to win one of three online retailer gift cards worth $100.

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Burning hours in an ER waiting room has long been a fact of Canada’s public health care system, but that wait time is starting to spike. Now, in Ontario it hovers at around 20 hours on average. And our cities, home to more people and more various determinants of health than anywhere else in the country, bear the brunt of it. In this episode, we’re looking at some issues that impact the growing hospital emergency room wait times: Wh...

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The smart city movement — driven by the idea that we can leverage data and technology to optimize life in our cities — is attractive for many reasons. But critics say that smart cities may not be so wise, and in some cases, they’ve proven to be dangerous for democracy. In the first episode of season three, we’re doing a deep dive into this very concept: What are smart cities, and who are they for? Where has smart-city technology he...

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March 29, 2023 53 secs

Canadian cities are evolving – and quickly. City Space, The Globe and Mail’s future of cities podcast, is back for another season to make sense of it all. Join host Adrian Lee over the course of six episodes as he speaks with global experts and those close to home as we learn what our cities are doing right and what can be improved. Up this season: the pros and cons of a smart city, what we can do about our overwhelmed ER departmen...

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If we want great cities, people from all walks of life need to be able to live in them. But even with experts predicting that rising interest rates will drive national housing prices down by as much as 23 per cent by the end of this year, most of us would still consider those adjusted prices totally unaffordable. While most of the housing crisis  conversation has centered on supply — just build build build — there’s a lot more goin...

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With e-commerce largely replacing brick-and-mortar stores, how we shop is having real, physical effects on how our cities work. So in this episode, we’re looking at all things retail: As consumers, have we become addicted to convenience? How are businesses able to offer us even quicker delivery times than ever before, sometimes within even 15 minutes – and what is that doing to our main streets? What is the “last mile,” and why is ...

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If you’re a white-collar worker, chances are your office setup looks different than it did before the pandemic. After our two-year-long  global experiment with remote work, many employees say there’s lots to like about it, with a number of companies now  offering hybrid workplaces. All that empty office space is going to have an effect on the rest of our cities.  In this episode, Jennifer Barrett, a senior planner with The Canadian...

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Cities are filled with seemingly endless options when it comes to food. But we’re also increasingly disconnected from what we eat and how it makes its way to our plate. In this episode, we’re taking a look at how the pandemic has given us the opportunity to rethink our relationship with food, both in terms of the restaurant industry and farmed food that fills our fridge. Adrian speaks to Corey Mintz, a food writer and critic about ...
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