New houses bring to mind large, sprawling properties, winding roads, and the peace and quiet that comes with being far from the hustle and bustle of the urban heartbeat of downtown. But it also tends to mean commuting, traffic, poor transit, and lack of walkability.
While cities are putting their greenfield developments on hold, more and more municipalities are looking to fill in some of the gaps that they have in their built of areas of the city, rather than simply sprawling out. This trend of “infill development” has benefits for both the residents of the town and the operation of the city in general.
When a new condo goes up in a spot that was previously a parking lot, or a factory is transformed into a loft, there’s an opportunity to move into the central city while maintaining affordability and having the chance to have something that is “new”. It’s usually closer to employment centers, transit, community amenities, and more. And since the developers often get a discount on fees for building within urban areas, the savings are often passed onto the residents. That also means that there is an infill of people who will be using schools, libraries, hospitals, and more that might have been underutilized due to the trend of urban flight.
When a development goes up in an existing part of the urban fabric of the city, the planners have reason to rejoice. This means that taxpayer money doesn’t have to go towards servicing transit to the extremities of a growing city, no need to build new schools or community centers, or even something as practical as sewage pipes. When a development is born on the edge of town, all the servicing has to be built to connect it to the city. When it’s an infill development, it’s a matter of connecting to the existing infrastructure. Infill also contributes to better density, which is helpful for creating healthy and wholesome communities.
Montreal is one of those cities which has really done a great job in providing infill developments within the urban core of the city. Houses for sale in Dorval are quite common and affordable, making this desirable neighbourhood accessible to many. You get all the benefits of living within the core of the city, while being close to nature and a real sense of community.