Yes In My Backyard*
Join our community of urbanists, activists, and others working toward a growing, dynamic, and affordable Toronto.
Housing Matters is a group of Torontonians who advocate for increased housing supply to address the housing availability and affordability crisis that is pricing many young people and middle class families out of our city.
We take very seriously the common sense notion that, if we want more people to have housing in Toronto, we’re going to need to build more housing. To learn more, please visit our FAQ.
Upcoming events
June 11th, 2018
Is it time to unlock the yellowbelt?
If you look at Toronto's Official Plan Land Use Map, you'll see that the vast majority of it is coloured in yellow. This represents the Neighbourhoods land use designation, in which any new housing development needs to "protect and reinforce the original physical character" of the area. Join Housing Matters in a conversation to question whether or not it's time we update this requirement in order to allow for more homes in more neighbourhoods.
Location: Spaces, 180 John St (7th floor)
Doors: 6pm | Conversation: 6:30pm
Download Flyers
Past Events
April 3rd
Feat. Diana Petramala of Ryerson's Centre for Urban Research
Our spring meet up was a conversation with Diana Petramala of Ryerson's Centre for Urban Research as we discussed a recent CMHC research report that detailed how supply constraints have contributed to the rise in home prices between 2010 and 2016.
February 21st
Our first meet up of the new year was a panel discussion on the proposed Yonge-Eglinton secondary plan; also known as Midtown in Focus. We discussed how this plan signals continued reluctance by the city to meaningfully address Toronto's housing availability and affordability crisis.
November 20th
Feat. Taylor Scollon, former strategist for the Liberal Party of Canada, Phillip Mendonca-Vieira, Founder of Better10, Jim Murphy, President and CEO of Federation of Rental-housing Providers of Ontario, and Derek Lobo, CEO of SVN Rock Advisors Inc.
Our November meet up was a head to head debate featuring Taylor Scollon and Phillip Mendonca-Vieira debating the pros of rent control, and Jim Murphy and Derek Lobo debating the cons.
Video
Debate
August 10th
Feat. Ben Myers, SVP of Market Research and Analytics at Fortress Real Developments, and Jane Pepino, Partner at Aird & Berlis LLP.
Our August meet up featured of Market Research and Analytics at Fortress Real Developments, and Jane Pepino, Partner at Aird & Berlis LLP. We discussed how Toronto's slow and expensive building approval process discourages developers and contributes to rising housing prices.
Slides
Ben Myers
Jane Pepino
July 10th
Feat. Cheryll Case, BURPI, and Sean Galbraith, MCIP, RPP
Our July meet up featured urban planners Cheryll Case, BURPI, and Sean Galbraith, MCIP, RPP. We discussed how zoning policies have historically been used to exclude housing for lower income families and how this practice continues today.
June 12th
Feat. John Michael McGrath - TVO.org Digital Media Producer, Marcus Gee - Columnist for The Globe & Mail
Our June meet up featured Toronto Columnist for The Globe & Mail Marcus Gee and TVO.org Digital Media Producer John Michael McGrath. We discussed how young, city loving people throughout North America, and now in Toronto, are speaking out for denser and ultimately more affordable housing.
May 15th
Feat. James McKellar, Real Estate and Infrastructure Professor at York University
Our May meet up featured Professor James Mckellar of Real Estate and Infrastructure at York University and Director of the Brookfield Centre for Real Estate and Infrastructure. We discussed how Toronto's outdated low density bylaws insulate the wealthy and exclude the rest.
see more past events
FAQ
Who are you?
Housing Matters is a grassroots YIMBY initiative and registered not-for-profit corporation that was founded in 2017 by Torontonians concerned with the increasing unaffordability of our city. We all share the common view that housing in Toronto could and should be more affordable than it is, and that materially increasing the supply of new housing to the market is the only sustainable way to keep prices in check in the long run.
What does YIMBY mean?
YIMBY is an acronym for Yes In My Backyard, a pro-development movement in contrast and opposition to the NIMBY phenomenon. It's a term used to describe individuals and groups throughout North America's big cities that advocate for more housing. To learn more, you can check out our recent piece in Torontoist.
Why the focus on supply?
We believe that various supply constraints -- namely those land use rules that enshrine the sanctity of the single-family detached home at the cost of other, denser forms of housing -- are largely responsible for the rapid housing price increases we've been experiencing in Toronto. We're simply not building enough new housing to accommodate the roughly 100,000 people that move here every year.

We don't think that increasing the stock of housing will solve all of our problems, but it is a vital and often overlooked first step.
How do I get involved?
To get involved, you can start by signing up for our newsletter and coming out to our monthly events. Those will keep up to speed on all our activities and new developments. You can also reach out directly via our Twitter account if you want to chat. Finally, you can support us on Patreon.
Join our slack team: @Torontohousingmatters
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Sign up to our newsletter to learn more about upcoming events, important developments, and more. Please also include your postal code to help us filter for information that is most relevant to you and your neighbourhood.
Sign up to our newsletter to learn more about upcoming events, important developments, and more. Please also include your postal code to help us filter for information that is most relevant to you and your neighbourhood.
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