Complete Neighbourhoods – a mix of elements
So what exactly is a “Complete Neighbourhood”? We use the term to refer to a neighbourhood where you will find:
- A variety of livable, dignified housing options – including homes of varying sizes to serve the needs of individuals, families and households large and small; non-ownership options to support the needs of renters, owners, co-op and co-housing members; and a variety of types of buildings – such as apartments, duplexes, and townhouses.
- Shops and services – ensuring grocery stores, coffee shops and corner stores, pharmacies, restaurants, and other things that enable people to access their daily and weekly needs. It also means enabling more accessible goods and services for the city’s diverse communities.
- Social, cultural and recreational amenities – providing key services, such as schools, childcare and playgrounds, health services, seniors programs, settlement services, neighbourhood houses and community gardens. It also includes cultural venues and public art. The needs of each neighbourhood will vary, but the need to ensuring that residents are looked after fairly and equitably does not.
- Public spaces – including parks, plazas, and other gathering areas that will safely support the needs and comfort of the city’s full diversity of residents. This means trees and natural areas, seating, bathrooms and water fountains, diverse programs, individual and community activities – from picnics to quiet walks, from hopscotch to pickle ball, patios, cultural activities, and community markets.
- Safe, direct and convenient connections – including pathways and sidewalks, greenways and bike routes and easy access to reliable public transit. It means making sure travel to and through our neighbourhoods prioritizes walking, rolling and biking – and is comfortable and enjoyable for all ages, identities, backgrounds and abilities.
It is clear that some neighbourhoods are more complete than others. Some areas of the city are well-served by connections, while others are not. Some have different types of housing, but no stores close by. Other areas have a decent mix of stores, but don’t provide a good mix of housing, sufficient community services or public spaces. Still other areas have limited housing options, limited shops, and limited services.
Planning for complete neighbourhoods is an opportunity to strengthen all areas of the city – for the benefit of everyone.