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General Suburban Updates and Rumours
There's a lot of corn (and other stuff?) grown for ethanol too.
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(06-07-2022, 08:17 PM)ijmorlan Wrote:
(06-07-2022, 03:58 PM)Joedelay Highhoe Wrote: Much of the farmland around here is cash crop rather than food for humans.

I’m confused by your terminology. Most of the food that is grown for humans is sold for cash. Does “cash crop” mean something else?

I think they're illustrating that a lot of the stuff we grow is just sold for livestock feed, filler or shipped off to other markets. That is in contrast to more traditional forms of subsistence farming where what is grown is used locally (either by the farmer, village, nearby towns or cities). Before globalization, we would farm in the latter method.

In that sense, they're right in that we grow a lot of "useless" stuff like soy bean and corn that is used to feed livestock which we then slaughter by the hundreds of millions just to eat them or turn them into some other meat product (pet food etc). If, instead of killing nearly a billion animals each year, we could just eat the crop we grow and still get the same amount of protein, we'd waste much less farmland - not to mention cut emissions down as well as water usage. People love to blame oil companies and stuff for destroying our planet, but people who eat meat have a pretty heavy hand in it as well. Meat production is an extremely destructive industry.
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(06-07-2022, 08:17 PM)ijmorlan Wrote:
(06-07-2022, 03:58 PM)Joedelay Highhoe Wrote: Much of the farmland around here is cash crop rather than food for humans.

I’m confused by your terminology. Most of the food that is grown for humans is sold for cash. Does “cash crop” mean something else?

Acer answered this question well - "cash crops" are generally not used to feed people. They are high volume monocultures grown for animal feed or industrial purposes. You see a lot of bio-diesel corn around here.
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(06-08-2022, 10:58 AM)Joedelay Highhoe Wrote:
(06-07-2022, 08:17 PM)ijmorlan Wrote: I’m confused by your terminology. Most of the food that is grown for humans is sold for cash. Does “cash crop” mean something else?

Acer answered this question well - "cash crops" are generally not used to feed people. They are high volume monocultures grown for animal feed or industrial purposes. You see a lot of bio-diesel corn around here.

But cash cropping is not the problem here. Essentially all of the food we eat is grown as cash crops.
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I think that's missing the point. Yes, it's all sold as a commodity and the food we eat is by definition a cash crop in developed Western nations because we live in a capitalist society, but a lot of it is grown for things like bio-diesel, soy supplements, animal fodder and so on rather than actual food for human beings. As pointed out, there is a lot of stuff like corn and soy that we grow in Southern Ontario that never gets used as food unless it's put into processed foods or used as animal fodder.

In contrast, you go to any grocery store and half the stuff is imported from other countries because it's often cheaper for us to buy produce and grains that are grown and picked by migrant workers who don't get paid a lot even though we have large swaths of perfectly good farmland across Canada.

So, to the points made on page 62 - we protected a lot of our farmland in Southern Ontario, but a lot of that agriculture is just for cash crop using Joedelay Highhoe's point: that it's often just used for animal feed and other industrial uses. And then clasher made a good point that we could instead be using this farmland to grow crops to eat rather than feeding it to animals/selling it for industrial uses...and then we wouldn't have to import produce from Mexico and the USA to eat. But unfortunately, since we built this neoliberal, globalized capitalist society we pretty much can't do that anymore.

Whether we pave all the farmland here doesn't really matter, since we'd still buy what we need from elsewhere which is a bit crazy. We live in a region of Canada with self-sufficient Mennonites/Amish families and communities so you'd think we'd take a hint from them that self-sufficiency is good haha.
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Exactly. My point isn't "cash cropping is a problem." My point is that nobody is starving if we developed the farmland in Conestogo, St. Agatha, Bloomingdale or Mannheim. I think KW will eventually incorporate all of those areas into our sprawling suburban paradise.
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Thanks, I think I understand what is being said.

Unfortunately I’ll be very surprised if the “new community” is significantly different from more suburban sprawl.

We shouldn’t be building any new disconnected communities as far as I can tell. Of course, we also shouldn’t be making old-school mixed use illegal via our zoning code.
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(06-08-2022, 01:41 PM)ac3r Wrote: So, to the points made on page 62 - we protected a lot of our farmland in Southern Ontario, but a lot of that agriculture is just for cash crop using Joedelay Highhoe's point: that it's often just used for animal feed and other industrial uses. And then clasher made a good point that we could instead be using this farmland to grow crops to eat rather than feeding it to animals/selling it for industrial uses...and then we wouldn't have to import produce from Mexico and the USA to eat. But unfortunately, since we built this neoliberal, globalized capitalist society we pretty much can't do that anymore.

Oh, we could still do it. The farmers can choose what they grow and who they sell it to.

But if we start to make different choices about what we eat, there will be more farmers growing and selling that locally, instead of just growing animal feed.
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Doesn't look like we ever had a thread for this, but the YW women's shelter at 1470 Block Line has been finished and occupied for at least a couple months now.

[Image: y9AddnC.jpg]
My Twitter: @KevinLMaps
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(07-08-2022, 11:11 AM)KevinL Wrote: Doesn't look like we ever had a thread for this, but the YW women's shelter at 1470 Block Line has been finished and occupied for at least a couple months now.

[Image: y9AddnC.jpg]

They're currently making a second building on this property which will have 8 units, they're currently working on the foundation. It is going on the opposite side of the parking lot from the current building.
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Parkwood Seniors’ Community in Waterloo (near RIM Park) has begun construction (Van Del Construction, Martin Simmons Architects) on a new 6-storey building, of which 30% will be affordable housing.

https://parkwoodmh.com/wp-content/upload...ochure.pdf
https://parkwoodmh.com/capital-campaign/the-solution/
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That's great to hear. If there's one thing more lacking than affordable housing, it's affordable housing for seniors. And Martin Simmoms Sweers always does great work, so I'm sure it'll be a pleasing environment for residents.
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(07-25-2022, 06:08 PM)CP42 Wrote: Parkwood Seniors’ Community in Waterloo (near RIM Park) has begun construction (Van Del Construction, Martin Simmons Architects) on a new 6-storey building, of which 30% will be affordable housing.

https://parkwoodmh.com/wp-content/upload...ochure.pdf
https://parkwoodmh.com/capital-campaign/the-solution/

A rather bleak location. As a senior, I wouldn't want to live there. There is nothing within a reasonable walking distance.
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Well I think the purpose is to be an assisted living facility most of all. The location sucks a bit, but what can you do. Elderly at the later stages of their life who have some independence but often not enough to be fully independent reside at such assisted or semi-assisted places. Meaning, much of what they need is within the building complex itself.

They would surely still have grounds to walk on on the property and could go for short walks in the area and that's commonly what they do. And yeah it should ideally be accessible to the greater city itself - imagine growing up in Paris or Budapest your entire life but are now confined to just one property? Bad. Yet most living in seniors housing are no longer at the stage where they are out all day or driving through the city. So when they do want to get out, they do have public transit such as bus, LRT or smaller door-to-door shuttle buses - which is all fine, but they also need a basic shop, pharmacy, place to buy groceries, alcohol or just a place where...idk, chess boards under a tree are to meet your neighbours.

Ultimately, a place like this would be nice to see downtown and similar well served urban area and there should be more such places. Gives them a great environment, lots of people, transit, benches, plenty of places to do shopping...need bread? Well there's 3 bakeries nearby! Some groceries? A short LRT ride north and you're there. Grandma wants some beer? TBS is by the main station. (These examples only apply to what's downtown).

But overall these kind of assisted living (be it retirement, long term care or fairly free but assisted living) facilities do serve their niche successfully most of the time, but with flaws. That can often mean their ability to purchase property in central urban locations is more expensive, in a bad way. But the truth is, this is North America. If it was Germany or France it wouldn't really matter because you have the population and business density and transit that most things are always accessible wherever you build a project like this. This is 2022 Canada where everything is already so bad that any good news or improvement, even if not ideal, is still a good thing - but still limited. And at least a nice, clean, contemporary housing project with some nice grounds to live on and can offer residents housing (affordable if needed), building amenities, nearby streets to walk on, transit to go beyond that.

It would be even more easier if North Americans shared our Europeans' cultural quirk where we stay living with or invite our parents back to live with us as long as possible, so as to take care of each other and show love and appreciation to our family etc, but on this blight of a continent it isn't so. Most North Americans tend to want to treat their elderly - even their own parents - as annoying burdens with the bare minimum. But I guess that's another topic all together.

Besides that, though, any sort of new community for elderly is good. The closer they are to cities is good. There's always improvements to be made for sure. But also not everything can be perfect right away. We need more reforms to achieve all these in issues we have...but not enough people actually care. They'll complain, no doubt. They'll maybe write a letter. They may get so annoyed that they flee the country in search of utopia in Europe lmao. What it truly helps is both good planners and informed citizens to tell planners when something is good or bad, rather than act so passively. And a cultural shift to make caring for family seem okay. That was all but destroyed when white, neo-liberal "consume everything and everyone" unchecked capitalism became our gospel. Everything is treated like some sort of business or monetary exchange.
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