Craig Ruttan on Navigating Neighbourhood Change

Episode 10: Craig Ruttan on Navigating Neighbourhood Change

“It’s not possible in this day and age with the challenges we’re facing to say ‘No,’ and try to keep neighbourhoods preserved in amber.”

Craig Ruttan

Public policy leader and co-home owner Craig Ruttan returns to the podcast to talk about how reality is stacking up against the vision for his cohousing community that he shared with Valery a year and a half ago.

On the doorstep of the October 24, 2022 province-wide municipal elections in Ontario, they also talk about the path to the missing middle and the system ambition needed in the face of a worsening housing crisis. 

A black and white photo of public policy leader Craig Ruttan is centred on the turquoise episode artwork for Life Without Us podcast episode ten. The episode title appears in yellow box with turquoise writing: Craig Ruttan on Navigating Neighbourhood Change.
Photo provided by Craig Ruttan

In Craig Ruttan on Navigating Neighbourhood Change:

  • How Craig and his three co-owners’ community vision and reality are lining up, a year and a half after their move
  • Advice to Craig’s past self: what he wished he had known sooner about co-buying and founding a cohousing community 
  • How to get courageous with your neighbours, and the City of Toronto Committee of Adjustment, in pursuit of community expansion and urban densification via laneway house construction
  • What to say to the subset of homeowners dedicated to defending their single-family home neighbourhoods from the missing middle and other forms of density (often referred to as NIMBYs) at a critical moment for wealth inequality in our city, province, and country
  • Why more neighbours (and groups like More Neighbours Toronto and HousingNowTO) representing future residents who can’t currently afford to live in Toronto are needed to help address the housing crisis
  • Policy insights on the path to densification as the de facto reality in a growing city taking too long to end exclusionary zoning.

Find Craig: 


Find Other Episode References:

Toronto’s Laneway Suites Program

Meeting in the Middle: A Plan to End Exclusionary Zoning and Tackle Ontario’s Housing Crisis

No One Should Have to Live a Life Without Us

On the Life Without Us podcast, Valery Navarrete shared two seasons of stories about community and connection to inspire more of us to have more “us” in our lives.

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