Metropolitan Toronto—Planners Dilemma
The Empire Club of Canada Addresses (Toronto, Canada), 11 Jan 1968, p. 242-260
Hermant, Sydney, Speaker
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Item Type
An assessment of the present political structure in Metropolitan Toronto. Some of the problems and dilemmas facing those who are concerned with its operations and planning. Succumbing to the temptation of casting a glimpse into the future. Some of the speaker's personal beliefs. Toronto in 1951, and now. Metropolitan Toronto, as created in 1953, as the first regional government in North America. The role of the Ontario Municipal Board. The Canadian census definition of a Metropolitan area. Some statistics. A description of the Metropolitan Council and its operation. The issue of amalgamation of the whole area, or the retention and expansion of a two-tier system of government. The Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto Act and its assignations of area wide function to the Metropolitan Council, and local functions to local Governments. Other significant changes. The suggestion to unify Education. The Ontario Planning Act. Provision for Planning Boards. The reconstituting of the Metropolitan Toronto Planning Board in 1967. How the Board operates. The Professional Planner and the Professional Developer. Some inevitable conflicts. The future of the Metropolitan Toronto area. Dilemmas to be faced in the future.
Date of Original
11 Jan 1968
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Full Text
JANUARY 11, 1968
Metropolitan Toronto--Planners Dilemma
CHAIRMAN, The President,
Graham M. Gore


It was in 1834 that the garrison town of York, with a population of just over 9,000, was constituted as the City of Toronto. The growth of the city since that time has been rapid and dramatic. Today, the great complex of Metropolitan Toronto extends beyond the original city boundaries to encompass 12 municipalities. Its population totals over two million--a figure that increases markedly each year and includes well over half a million persons from countries other than Canada.

This explosive pattern of growth has been noted in most North American cities. In a book entitled The Regional City, published in 1965, Professor Harold Kaplan of York University states:

"The kind of North American city formed in the latter part of the nineteenth century is now being transformed into a large, continuously urbanized region. The hall-marks of this emerging metropolis are a movement of jobs and people from the older city to the periphery, a relative decline in the importance of the central business area, and a far greater commitment to home-and-car ownership.

"The major transportation flow is still into the central area in the morning and back out in the evening, since most of the jobs, shopping, and entertainment are still focused in the downtown area."

Because growth has out-paced over-all control and design, we are now confronted with certain problems. Grumblings are heard about traffic congestion, over crowded parking facilities, underdevelopment of the downtown area, sterility of suburban life, air pollution, and so on. Civic and municipal authorities are kept busy grappling with the day-today exigencies growing out of these problems. It is obvious, however, that concerted and skilful planning for the long-range control and development of the entire Metro area is of pressing importance.

The evolving of such a plan is a formidable undertaking, and we can readily understand why our speaker today, Mr. Sydney Hermant, has entitled his address: "Metropolitan Toronto--Planners' Dilemma". As a member of the Metropolitan Toronto Planning Board, he can speak authoritatively about the planning, the possibilities, and the pitfalls.

A leading Toronto businessman, Mr. Hermant is President of the Imperial Optical Company Ltd., and a Director of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, of A. J. Freiman Ltd., and of Maple Leaf Gardens Ltd.

He is also an effective contributor to the affairs of our city. In addition to his work with the Metropolitan Toronto Planning Board, he is a member of the Board of Governors of the University of Toronto and a member of the Board of Trustees of Sunnybrook Hospital. Many of you will know him as a Past President of this Club. He is also a Past President of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Toronto. He is a man of many interests. He was the instigator of the Queen's Club in 1958 and is now its managing director. In spite of the many demands on him, he spends much time playing tennis at the Club, a game in which he is an expert.

He also relaxes on week-ends at his Muskoka cottage; the beautiful blue waters in front of his cottage provide, in summer, a setting for his swimming activities and an atmosphere for his reading programmes. I emphasize "programmes", because he has his time fully organized. Mr. Hermant graduated from Upper Canada College and from University College, the University of Toronto. Gentlemen -it is my pleasure to invite him to speak to us--Mr. Hermant.


Mr. President and members of The Empire Club of Canada: It is a great honour, but thoroughly intimidating, to speak to one's fellow members and friends, particularly in the presence of so many who know more about my subject than I do.

I would express particular appreciation to the evertactful Chairman of our Head Table Committee, Mr. Harold Gillingham, for including my oldest son, Peter, who represents the third generation of our family membership in this Club; and I am happy that my other three sons, who are also members, are in the audience. Needless to say, it is a "Command Performance" for them!

The subject of my address today is: "Metropolitan Toronto--Planners' Dilemma".

It is my intention to assess our present political structure in Metro, underline some of the problems and dilemmas facing those who are concerned with its operations and planning, as I see them, and succumb to the irresistible temptation of casting a glimpse into the future. Just as Year Book clearly states, that opinions and views expressed in addresses are those of the speakers themselves and do not carry the endorsement of the Club, nothing I am going to say today carries the approval in whole or in part of the Metropolitan Toronto Planning Board.

There will be nothing very new or original in this talk because, as many of my fellow members will recall, this is, in fact, the 27th speech on this general subject that has been delivered to this Club over a sixty-one-year period. However, I take comfort in the definition of "originality" given by the late Sidney Smith, when President of the University of Toronto, who, after coining a phrase in the Senate of the University, which is one of the finest debating forums I have ever known, was immediately challenged by a professor who accused him of plagiarism, to which the President replied: "I thought my statement was original; and my definition of originality is remembering what I heard and forgetting where I heard it."

I speak to you today as an unrepentant native Tory Torontonian, and the views I express are coloured by my own personal philosophy and political prejudices.

This reminds me when, as an undergraduate, I received an essay back from the late Professor Sydney Brett with the comment: "This is much too general and where it is specific it is wrong"; and the best I can hope for with respect to my text today is that just the opposite may be true.

I believe with all the power of my conviction that we shall enjoy maximum freedom as individuals under the free enterprise system; I am wedded to the old-fashioned idea that sooner or later we have to pay for our standard of living; and I resist completely the ever increasing tendency for both Government and Industry to spend other peoples' money, and to impose their literary and cultural tastes on their fellow citizens at the expense of the public purse and the docile shareholder. I believe that real wealth cannot be created by administrative edict, or by legislation, or by the printing press; and while there may be three levels of government in the taxing field, there is really only one taxpayer.

I would agree with Aristotle's definition that the City should be a place where one comes to live the good life, but I would add that it must also provide the economic climate and facilities for productive work in order to make the good life possible. While we live in a world where the race is to the swift and the battle to the strong, I completely accept the concept that we are, in fact, our "brothers' keepers", as evidenced by the Social Welfare programmes that are now part of our way of life both at home and abroad. And, like so many of you, I am less concerned about the amount of tax I pay, than by what is done with the tax dollar.

The twenty-six speeches on this subject to which I referred, and which are fully recorded in our Year Book, underline the fact that this Club has been interested in the planning and the welfare of our City over a long period. In an address to the Club in 1907, Mr. W. F. MacLean, a Member of Parliament for a Toronto constituency, referred to the need for improved East-West transit lines, and attacked the two-fare system then charged by the Street Railway Company. He made a plea for subways, which he estimated might enable people to travel as fast as thirty miles per hour. He referred to Toronto as no mean City, and predicted that it would become great in commerce and education, and a gracious place for its citizens to live. More than forty years ago, Mr. T. A. Reid of the University of Toronto, and an authority on the history of the City, referred to the real estate boom at the beginning of the century, and quoted specifically the young man who came home and reported in consternation the exorbitant price for land at the corner of King and Yonge, which had just risen to $4.00 per square foot.

In 1929, Mr. R. C. Harris, Commissioner of Works of the City of Toronto, proposed that the City make every effort to acquire property in the general area of Bay- Queen and Osgoode Hall, in order to provide space for a suitable City Square.

Twenty-four years ago, one of our very prominent architects, who was later to be identified with a campaign to save our old City Hall, said in an address before this Club: "There must be few cities in the world with as mean a Civic Centre as Toronto, or as outmoded a City Hall in all its functions, a building that has nothing to commend it, that lacks even the mediaeval picturesqueness of the Hamilton City Hall." And that, fellow Torontonians, was the unkindest cut of all.

Throughout the years there have been constant references to our problem of urban renewal. Speakers have pointed out the necessity for redevelopment in the centre of the City, our need for public parks and squares, and for improved public transportation and expressways. The debate between those who advocated complete amalgamation, and those who preferred the two-tier system of government has been carried on through the years by the public figures of the day. To those who have a continuing interest in this subeject, these talks are "required reading."

In 1951, Toronto could be described not as a City but as thirteen Cities, piled haphazardly on top of each other, like a child's stack of wooden blocks; with thirteen local governments forced to pay exorbitant rates of interest for Municipal Bonds, and facing financial disaster and political stagnation. To paraphrase Lord Durham, there were thirteen local governments warring within the bosom of a single economic and social area, and it was small comfort that this "disease" was common in all of the developing areas on the North American Continent. Today, thanks to the farsighted political leadership of the Provincial Government, we now live in one of the great Metropolitan Cities of the world. When I use the word "City," I come to my first dilemma, because in my view, Toronto really means the whole of the Metropolitan area, which is the thirteenth largest on the North American Continent; and yet to the outside world our area remains unidentified because of a series of postal addresses, all referring to vital and important parts of the whole but not to the whole itself. With due respect to the Boroughs, a letter addressed to Scarborough, or to York, or to Etobicoke, does not really identify this Metropolitan area, and therefore I would take this opportunity of reinforcing the view expressed repeatedly by The Board of Trade that it would seem more logical that the postal address for this area be TORONTO, with the identifying location namely, Scarborough--Toronto; Etobicoke--Toronto; York--Toronto; used for local postal distribution. Thus far this plea has fallen on deaf ears, as far as the postal authorities are concerned, but the logic of the situation seems to be irresistible and the advantage to this whole area incalculable.

Fortunately, we are also Canadians and live in a country that enjoys one of the highest standards of living in the world; a country which, in spite of all our prob lems, is one of the most politically and economically stable; and one which continues to provide unparalleled opportunity for my generation and for my sons', just as it did for that of my father.

The creation of the metropolitan form of government in this area on April 15, 1953, inaugurated the first regional government in North America. And now, 15 years later, it remains the most successful experiment of its kind, and an object of study and even wonderment for elected and appointed officials in local and higher levels of government throughout the world. It is suggested that this has been possible only within a political jurisdiction, that is, the Province, where there existed a quasi-judicial body, The Ontario Municipal Board, which had the power to recommend and even order a rearrangement of political jurisdictions, boundary lines, and traditional governmental functions. The important fact is that the Government of Ontario was willing to use its powers to create an entirely new level of government.

Just last year, an International Conference convened in Toronto, with representatives from forty metropolitan areas around the world. They chose to meet here because of the success of our metropolitan form of government, and following their meetings they selected this City as the location of their permanent headquarters.

In Canada, the census definition of a Metropolitan area requires a population of at least 100,000 persons in the Central City, with an additional population resident in adjacent communities, which together form one social and economic unit. In 1951 there were fifteen such areas; by 1961 there were seventeen, and the number continues to increase. The Royal Commission on Canada's Economic Prospects, published at the end of the 1950s, predicted that by 1980 two-thirds, and by the Year 2000 three-quarters, of all Canadians will live in twenty metropolitan areas. In the case of Toronto, we are dealing with some 240 square miles, in which there were fewer than a million persons in the late 1940s. In 1953 our population had increased to 1,250,000. Today it is approximately 2-million, and is increasing at the rate of 60,000 to 70,000 persons per annum. In the Year 2000, it is estimated, our population will exceed 41/2-million. Toronto has been a City of tradition and change, the centre of English-speaking Canada. Our community was founded mainly by settlers from the British Isles, to whom we owe our priceless heritage of British justice and common law, and has been greatly enlarged since the war by a steady flow of D.P.'s -that is, "Delayed Pilgrims"-from many countries in the world. It is estimated that approximately one-third of all those who now immigrate to Canada eventually wind up within our Metro, thus enriching and adding to the wealth and character of the City. There may be many of us who are nostalgic for the good old days, but the fact is that we now live in one of the world's fastest growing and most exciting cosmopolitan centres. When the Metropolitan Council became fully operational on January 1st, 1954, we had political representation equally divided between the City of Toronto and the twelve Suburban Municipalities. At that time, the City had approximately 60% of the total population, and the same proportion of property assessment. Today the City includes fewer than 40% of the residents of Metro, and the proportional total of assessment valuation is less than 45%. It is not my purpose to discuss the political struggle between the City of Toronto and the Suburban Municipalities, except to say that the Provincial Government, ever conscious of this problem, appointed a one-man Royal Commission to review the structure. Happily, this is one Royal Commission Report that was not pigeonholed but received immediate and thorough consideration, and resulted in some fundamental changes, which were effective on January 1st, 1967. Despite the great pressure for amalgamation from some quarters, the two-tier system of government was retained, but the thirteen municipalities were reduced to six major governments--the City of Toronto and the five Boroughs. The new alignment provided changes in the system of representation. The Council was enlarged from twenty-four to thirty-two members, leaving the City of Toronto with its original twelve representatives, but increasing those from the five Boroughs to twenty, with one to each of the new Boroughs for approximately 50,000 to 60,000 in population. In addition to a reorganization of the governmental structure, the number of School Boards was reduced to six from the previous eleven.

Thus the Province and those concerned recognized the 'inherent political dilemmas created by this situation and by the question: Would our future be best served by total amalgamation of the whole area, or by the retention and expansion of a two-tier system of government? It would seem that we want the best of both worlds--Municipal Government as close to the people as possible, and yet recognition that certain essential services are more economical and effective if unified. In setting up the new system, the Provincial Government suggested that following the third election in Metro, and before the fourth (that is, between 1972 and 1975) the whole matter of representation should be reviewed, as should the whole system of governmental organization. It has therefore been clearly recognized that no system of Metropolitan Government can be expected to work, frozen and unchanged without reassessment, for more than a decade at a time. Since no speech today would be complete without a quotation from Marshall McLuhan, I would say, in his words, that the Government realized that to approach this problem with a fixed and unchangeable point of view would be the "witless repetitive response to the unperceived." It would seem, therefore, that one of the inescapable facts of life is that the best of plans, like machines and highways, are obsolete the day they are created.

In the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto Act of 1953, an attempt was made to assign area wide functions to the Metropolitan Council, and to assign local func tions, insofar as they could be identified and separated, to Local Governments. In other words, Metro became the "wholesaler" and Local Governments became the "retailers" of certain municipal services. Another significant change was the creation of a Metropolitan Assessment Department. In 1957 the responsibility for police became a Metropolitan function with the creation of a Metropolitan Police Commission. It hardly seems credible now, but in the greater Toronto area, prior to the change, the police function remained divided among thirteen municipal jurisdictions, and the officers could not even communicate with each other since their radio systems were not on the same wave length; though criminals and criminal activities were not restricted by municipal boundaries. At the same time, the power of licensing was transferred to the metropolitan jurisdiction through a Licensing Commission. Emergency measures were also transferred as an area wide responsibility. Thus Local Governments have been acting during the past decade as "retailers" of water and sewage disposal facilities, and have been responsible for local streets, local parks, garbage collection, and the disposal and collection of tax payments from all residents on behalf of both Metropolitan and Local Governments. Until the beginning of 1967, the major responsibilities which were left entirely to Local Governments were those of Fire Protection, Public Health, and Public Welfare. In the reorganization of Metropolitan Toronto, which came into effect on January 1st, 1967, the Welfare responsibilities were centralized in a new Metropolitan Department of Welfare, and thus for the first time every individual and family among the population of nearly 2-million may receive the quality and quantity of Welfare Services which have previously been available only within the City of Toronto. At the present time, there are still six Fire Departments and six Departments of Public Health. However, several weeks ago the Minister of Health of the Province of Ontario provided irresistible incentive to unification by offering a 75% grant to one amalgamated Department of Health.

In my opinion, it would seem logical and inevitable, as suggested by the newly elected Chairman of the Toronto Board School Board, that Education is also an area that would be best served by unification.

As an essential ingredient in the political structure, the Ontario Planning Act made specific provision for Planning Boards. Under the Act, Planning Boards are charged generally with investigating physical, social and economic conditions in relation to the development of a planning area, and may perform such other duties of a planning nature as may be referred to them by Council. Councils do not always accept the recommendations of their Planning Boards, and if an impasse is reached, then a final decision must be made, as it should be, at the polls. At the present time, there are, in fact, twenty Planning Boards in the area--The Metropolitan Toronto Planning Board, and one in each of the Boroughs and in each of the thirteen fringe Municipalities; and while this may often be a long, tedious and expensive process, it does recognize the fundamental fact that effective planning in such a large area must be at all times strongly influenced by local conditions.

For this reason, the Metropolitan Toronto Planning Board was reconstituted in 1967, and now includes, in addition to the Chairman of the Metro Council, two mem bers of the Metropolitan Toronto School Board, a member of the Metropolitan Separate School Board, seven citizens at large, five members of the Metropolitan Council (that is, one from each standing Committee), six members of Local Metropolitan Planning Boards, and six representatives of fringe area Planning Boards. While this is a large Board, it is specifically designed to improve communication and to make use of the planning experience of the many Planning Boards and organizations involved throughout the whole planning area. As a matter of interest, the average attendance at the regular meetings of the Board during 1967 was better than 70%, which speaks well for the dedication and continuing interest of its members.

At this point, I would like to pause and emphasize that these "Terms of Reference," as I interpret them do not mean that planners are, in fact, economic planners, be cause it is basic to our political philosophy and economic system that the individual has the right to use his land, and invest his own time, money and productive capacity as he sees fit, subject only to the over-all interests of the community as a whole. It is neither the purpose nor the function of a Planning Board to pass economic judgment, which rightfully belongs in the market place. To be specific, it is not the concern of the Planning Board whether it is economically feasible in any given area to establish another gasoline station, or grocery store, or even shopping centre, but the decision should be based on the effect of the project on the community in terms of traffic, sewage, schools, and essential services. The freedom to risk capital should remain unimpaired to the extent that this is possible in our modern society.

When it was first created in 1953, the Metropolitan Toronto Planning Board was required to prepare an official plan, dealing with land use, ways of communication, sanitation, green belts, park areas, and public transportation for the whole planning area comprising a total of 720 square miles. The Board was able to present the first draft of a Metropolitan Official Plan early in 1960 in a document that weighed over seven pounds, contained 230 pages of text in small print, 60 maps and over a hundred statistical tables, and represented the result of five years of intensive research into the economic and social base of the Metropolitan Planning Area. It also included an examination of the predictions of the growth of the area for the next twenty years. This Report was thoroughly discussed at every political level and at public meetings. By some it was hailed as a monumental piece of planning, a blueprint for our future, and a panacea for our many ills. Others thought it too cumbersome and hoped that, like some Commission Reports, it would be filed and forgotten. To some it was a political document, dealing only with the narrow interests of Metro Toronto. To others it was a conspiracy to preserve the status quo, or to permit Toronto suburban sprawl to pre-empt the best agricultural land around Metro. After five years of further work and refinement, the Plan, while basically the same in its planning proposals for the area, now weighs barely four ounces and has been condensed to twenty pages of text with five maps. It lays down a policy to be followed in developing the Metropolitan area and clearly spells out the steps necessary to achieve the objective of harmonious economic growth. Although the Plan is still praised and criticized as before, it has now been accepted, not as an Official Plan in the strict meaning of the Planning Act, but as a statement of policy of the Metropolitan Corporation for the planning of future Works and Services. As such, it is a guide for the other Area Planning Boards. It is, in fact, being treated by Planning Boards, Councils, and the Minister of Municipal Affairs as an Official Plan for administrative purposes, and valuable experience is being gained in its operation. What is important is that we now have established guidelines for private industry and the various levels of Government. Whereas this Official Plan sets the pattern for the area, it in no way relieves the constituent Municipalities of the necessity of preparing their own plans; and the City of Toronto, for example, has been actively engaged for over twelve years in revising its own plan of development.

It is necessary for each Local Planning Board to process each plan of subdivision through the Metropolitan Toronto Planning Board. The plan then goes to the Com munity Planning Branch of the Provincial Government for ultimate approval; and while this can result in costly delay, it is unavoidable if we accept the fact that Regional Planning is fundamentally important. The problems of procedure underline the necessity for close liaison and continuing reassessment of the areas of responsibility assigned to the Metropolitan and Local Planning Boards.

According to Dr. Albert Rose, who is the recognized authority on this subject, and is a head table guest with us today, there is little question that the impasse in the provision of housing accommodation, and the stagnation of community planning in the Toronto region, were among the most important considerations that led to the establishment of Metro by the Provincial Government.

Housing, from the municipal point of view, is a deficit activity because of the ever-increasing costs of urban services, and a natural desire for commercial and industrial assessment. It has been estimated recently that it would require taxes derived from a house selling at approximately $27,000.00 for a municipality to break even, and for many this is just unrealistic. Several of the largest boroughs have attempted unsuccessfully over the years to maintain an appropriate balance between residential assessment on the one hand, and commercial and industrial assessment on the other. This is a very real political problem, and the test will come within the next few years when the areas outside of the City will be called upon to accept the fact that the rehabilitation of the core for both residential and commercial purposes is vital to the welfare of the whole area. For example, it is well known that the City needs an entirely new sewer system at an estimated cost of approximately 200 million dollars; and, understandably, there are those in the Boroughs who are not too sympathetic with respect to financial burdens of this kind. It can only be hoped that there will be acceptance of the Metro concept at the political level. Certainly, the housing crisis has been aggravated by haphazard landuse policies throughout the whole area, and this has inevitably led to land speculation and rapidly rising prices for residential lots.

Today we have two new pieces to add to the vertical mosaic--the Professional Planner, and the Professional Developer. At one time the Professional Planner was con sidered to be an "economic and political visionary," with no appreciation of the hard facts of life. And the Professional Developer was thought of as a "fly-by-night promoter and option speculator". Today, both the Planners and the responsible Developer are recognized as highly skilled sophisticated professionals, working together, as they must, in areas of vital importance to the community as a whole. There are, however, inevitable conflicts. In the field of housing, for example, the Developer may wish to build a forty- or fifty-storey apartment providing four to five hundred dwelling units, and he feels that by risking his own capital he is making a significant contribution to the solution of the housing shortage. The Planner, quite properly, insists that the project conform strictly to the principles established by the Official Plan with respect to density, resulting changes in the volume and patterns of traffic, the availability of water and sewer services, schools, parks, recreational facilities, and the effect on the other residents of the area. As a result, the Developer is inclined to blame the Planner as one who is inflexible and who seems to delight in impeding the speedy fulfilment of vital economic decisions. These differences are usually resolved by reason and compromise when all concerned--the Professional Planner, the Developer, and interested members of the public--have the opportunity of presenting their views at open meetings of the Planning Board, who recommend the ultimate decision.

Planner and Developer alike must look to Government for co-operation and assistance in the provision of money at reasonable rates, essential services, and land assembly, while at all times adhering to the basic principle that there must never be expropriation from "A" to benefit "B". While Toronto has prided itself in having more privately owned homes than any other city on the continent, we are now being forced to re-think our whole philosophy with respect to housing, and it s°ems that, in the future, family accommodation will be quite usual in high-rise multiple dwellings at costs that are consistent with the ability to pay.

The future of this great metropolitan area is intriguing. We look forward to the implementation of the waterfront plan, which was presented just last night to the Metropolitan Toronto Planning Board and the Waterfront Advisory Committee, by Mr. Grant Messer, now the Chairman of both. This plan, representing four years of work, and costing about $110,000.00, is for an area covering fifty-five miles of waterfront from Clarkson to Ajax, including the Toronto Island development and the new outer harbour, which will contain an area equal to twothirds of the present harbour. The full development will depend upon decisions made by the Metropolitan Toronto Corporation working with the Ontario and Federal Governments, who are equally concerned.

It has been suggested that we need 800 acres of public park land. This may never be available, but we are encouraged by the activities of the Metropolitan Toronto and Regional Conservation Authority, which covers an area just slightly larger than the planning area, and which is constantly preparing and redeveloping plans and guarding park lands for public use.

Certainly, the future will see the redevelopment of the land owned by two Railroads at Front Street between Bay and Bathurst, which envisages a sophisticated combination of recreational, residential and commercial use in a site unsurpassed on the continent.

It seems logical that the C.B.C. will build its new facilities in this same general area, so that, together with the O'Keefe Centre and the refurbished St. Lawrence Hall, which was opened just two weeks ago, we shall, in fact, have a Centre for the Performing Arts in the heart of Metro without unnecessary duplication of theatres and concert halls, and thus complete our Centennial project.

The Canadian National Exhibition -still the largest annual fair in the world and solvent -will be modernized and fully developed for exhibition, trade centre, and convention purposes.

Hopefully, a syndicate of private citizens, with the cooperation, encouragement and support of two levels of Government will build a great astrodome stadium so that this great sports-minded area will have adequate facilities for major league football, baseball, and track. In sport, as in everything else, this community warrants and will support the best, as evidenced by Maple Leaf Gardens today.

The Department of Transport, working co-operatively with Metropolitan Planners, must plan the redevelopment of our International Airport, providing not only for the new jumbo jet age, but for smaller and more accessible facilities for local and inter-continental traffic, with provision for adequate ground transportation for both.

Within the next few years, the University of Toronto, which is world renowned in Arts, Science, and Medicine, will complete its great new Research Library for the Humanities and Social Sciences, and a new Medical Complex which will make this one of the great Medical Centres of the world.

It is essential for the welfare of this community that the Eaton Centre, the subject of recent controversy, become a reality because it will revitalize the centre of this whole planning area. Whether that great organization, which is world renowned for retailing, will wish to undertake this development themselves, as originally proposed, or whether they will prefer to concentrate on selling "socks" and leave this project to others in the private sector, is something that I would not be presumptuous enough to predict, but I can only hope that the next time "hysteria" will be no substitute for calm judgment.

Now I know that this is supposed to be an address and not a sermon. However, as I consider the future of the City, I am impelled to suggest in the strongest pos sible terms that we resist the temptation to encourage party politics in the municipal field, because, while this may seem to be the way to quick and efficient decision making, it can also lead to political abuse and the danger of a Tammany Hall type of Government, of which this City has been uniquely free. Our City has been well governed, and we are justly proud of this. We are also grateful for the very high ethical and moral standards of those who serve us as elected representatives and at every level in the Municipal Civil Service; and I suggest that, with all its faults, our present system should remain unchanged. Finally, Gentlemen, the greatest dilemmas of all--whether, after the review period in the 1970s, we move toward complete amalgamation or to a continuation and expansion of a borough system within a regional form of government, and the creation of satellite cities as referred to recently by the newspapers in a report not yet made public. Another question is whether Metro should continue to expand, as originally predicted, to the north, or whether because of the prohibitive cost of extending water mains from Lake Ontario to Lake Simcoe, and as a result of the success of the Go Go Transit System, it will, in fact, extend from Toronto Township on the west to Dickering on the east. Those who favour amalgamation argue that it is inevitable for reasons of political expediency and that it would, in fact, provide more efficient government; while those in opposition point out that it is axiomatic that the cost per unit increases directly with the size of government; that it would, in fact, create, in terms of population, Canada's eleventh province under one administrative unit, and this is a long way from local municipal government.

I am confident that as men and women of character and integrity continue to seek public office and responsibility; with the involvement of public bodies, such as The Board of Trade, and The Association of Women Electors; and as citizens generally continue to be concerned with the welfare of their City, and are willing to serve voluntarily on public boards and commissions; Metropolitan Toronto will continue to progress--prosperous and well governed.

I can think of nothing more appropriate than to close with a quotation from "Alice in Wonderland" which seems to apply to planning as it does to the list of speakers for the Club for this current season: "Jam yesterday; Jam tomorrow, but never Jam today."

Thank you!

Thanks of the meeting were expressed by John W. Griffin.

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Metropolitan Toronto—Planners Dilemma

An assessment of the present political structure in Metropolitan Toronto. Some of the problems and dilemmas facing those who are concerned with its operations and planning. Succumbing to the temptation of casting a glimpse into the future. Some of the speaker's personal beliefs. Toronto in 1951, and now. Metropolitan Toronto, as created in 1953, as the first regional government in North America. The role of the Ontario Municipal Board. The Canadian census definition of a Metropolitan area. Some statistics. A description of the Metropolitan Council and its operation. The issue of amalgamation of the whole area, or the retention and expansion of a two-tier system of government. The Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto Act and its assignations of area wide function to the Metropolitan Council, and local functions to local Governments. Other significant changes. The suggestion to unify Education. The Ontario Planning Act. Provision for Planning Boards. The reconstituting of the Metropolitan Toronto Planning Board in 1967. How the Board operates. The Professional Planner and the Professional Developer. Some inevitable conflicts. The future of the Metropolitan Toronto area. Dilemmas to be faced in the future.