stats
globeinteractive.com: Making the Business of Life Easier

   Finance globeinvestor   Careers globecareers.workopolis Subscribe to The Globe
The Globe and Mail/globeandmail.com
Home | Business | National | Int'l | Sports | Columnists | The Arts | Tech | Travel | TV | Wheels



Search

space
  This site         Tips

  
space
  The Web Google
space
   space



space

  Where to Find It


Breaking News
  Home Page

  Report on Business

  Sports

  Technology


Read and Win Contest


Print Edition
  Front Page

  Report on Business

  National

  International

  Sports

  Arts & Entertainment

  Editorials

  Columnists

  Headline Index

 Other Sections
  Appointments

  Births & Deaths

  Books

  Classifieds

  Comment

  Education

  Environment

  Facts & Arguments

  Focus

  Health

  Obituaries

  Real Estate

  Review

  Science

  Style

  Technology

  Travel

  Wheels

 Leisure
  Cartoon

  Crosswords

  Food & Dining

  Golf

  Horoscopes

  Movies

  Online Personals

  TV Listings/News

 Specials & Series
  All Reports...



Services
  Where to Find It
 A quick guide to what's available on the site

 Newspaper
  Advertise

  Corrections

  Customer Service

  Help & Contact Us

  Reprints

  Subscriptions

 Web Site
  Advertise

  E-Mail Newsletters

  Free Headlines

  Help & Contact Us

  Make Us Home

  Mobile New

  Press Room

  Privacy Policy

  Terms & Conditions


GiveLife.ca

    

Saturday, Feb. 4, 2006
space

PRINT EDITION
Life on the edge a satisfying affair
space
space
space
By JENNIFER LEWINGTON
URBAN AFFAIRS REPORTER
  
  
Email this article Print this article
Wednesday, March 13, 2002 – Page A7

When Ted and Susan Spence moved to Markham, Ont., last year, they got their wish list: a smaller house, a lot with mature trees in a historic quarter, and an easy walk to shops, the library and local pub.

Ted Spence, by Louie Paul, The Globe and Mail
For Ted Spence, Markham offers a mix of local amenities as well as easy access to his cottage and to Toronto. Photo: Louie Palu/The Globe and Mail

Sounds urban? Increasingly, the answer is yes for Canada's fast-growing suburban communities, perched on the perimeter of the country's biggest cities. The suburbs are drawing people, industry and amenities with an urban feel, even as they grapple with transportation and social problems familiar to a big city.

According to census data released yesterday by Statistics Canada, the population of Markham, on the northeast edge of Toronto, jumped 20.3 per cent to 208,615 in 2001 compared to the last census count in 1996. By contrast, the city of Toronto grew by 4 per cent, to 2,481,494, last year over 1996.

"These are citifying suburbs," said Raphaël Fischler, a professor of urban studies at McGill University. "They are old enough and dense enough to be urban in character."

Other examples are the city of Longueuil, near Montreal, with a population of 128,000, and Surrey, B.C., now the 11th-largest city in Canada, with 347,800 people.

Urban economists say the maturing suburb trend in Canada differs from the U.S. phenomenon of "edge cities," where fast-growing suburban communities in the 1990s sucked jobs and people from the downtown core.

"You don't have an edge-city phenomenon comparable to the United States, where you have a new downtown being created in the suburbs," observed Mario Polèse, an economist at the University of Quebec's Institut national de la recherche scientifique.

While Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Calgary are not growing as fast as their immediate neighbours, Canada's big cities are still attracting people and new kinds of employment into the downtown core.

What's more, Prof. Polèse says, the economic and social fabric of big cities and their suburban regions is becoming more interwoven, with areas of industrial specialization and new commuting patterns. In addition to the traditional rush-hour flow of traffic from the suburbs into downtown, some commuters now travel between suburbs or from their city residences into the outlying region for work.

For Mr. Spence and his wife, who both work at York University, Markham offers a mix of local amenities, including quick access to a toll highway and gradually improving transit between Markham and the university and from their home to the cottage. But they also have easy access to culture and other aspects of big-city life in Toronto.

"We're getting a very pleasant, mature neighbourhood with a lot of the services we want," said Mr. Spence, whose home is tucked in with century-old houses in old Markham.

Even for successful communities such as Markham, which brands itself as Canada's high-tech capital and last year added 10,000 new jobs and 6,000 new residents, growth comes at a price.

The biggest challenge, said Markham Mayor Don Cousens, "is the shortage of money for the infrastructure to build roads and transit."

And, echoing his big-city counterparts, Mr. Cousens says towns like his do not have enough fiscal tools -- such as a share of federal or provincial gas taxes -- to pay for the growing demand for transportation and other services.

Notably, in a recent poll conducted for the town, 62 per cent of Markham residents surveyed said they would pay more taxes to improve local infrastructure.


Back to Census Home Page

Subscribe to The Globe and Mail
Sign up for our daily e-mail News Update
 
Email this article Print this article

7-Day Site Search
    

Census home



Today's Weather
space

Inside

Michael Posner
Ethnic laugh lines
Jeffrey Simpson
Health care: Do we know better than everyone else?

Paul Knox
The rise of anti-anti-Americanism




space


space  Advertisement
space

space
Statistics Canada
2001 Census links

•  A profile of the Canadian population - main page 
•  Public consultation 
•  Content of the questionnaires 
•  The 2001 Census questionnaire (PDF) 
•  Reasons why the questions are asked 
•  Collection 
•  Data processing 
•  Data release dates 
•  2001 Census Preview of Products and Services 
•  Privacy 
•  Confidentiality 
Links will open in a new browser window

Home | Business | National | Int'l | Sports | Columnists | The Arts | Tech | Travel | TV | Wheels
space

© 2003 Bell Globemedia Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Help & Contact Us | Back to the top of this page