Advantages and Possibilities Newsletter

By Bruce Firestone | Uncategorized

Nov 10

(Vol 1 No 1)

The A&P Newsletter is a monthly publication of interest to municipalities, counties, towns, townships, villages, cities, regions, economic development agencies, chambers of commerce and companies as well as citizens interested in creating sustainable communities for themselves and their children in an increasingly competitive, globalized world. Written by Bruce M Firestone, B Eng (Civil), M Eng-Sci, PhD, and his colleagues, it is a newsletter that describes a future based on the principles of engaging creative, innovative, well-designed, low cost ideas and programs to bootstrap communities to new heights, a place where they can retain their most important asset—their young people by creating interesting, diverse regions, districts and neighborhoods.

Firestone is founder of the Ottawa Senators and their home arena, Canadian Tire Centre, broker with Century 21 Explorer Realty, executive director of not-for-profit Exploriem Entrepreneur Network and a University of Ottawa Faculty of Engineering professor.

Recent News and Events—

*** PlayValue Toys holds grandopening after 4-year struggle with City of Ottawa zoning by-laws…

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*** Greely set to become home to new privately-funded arena complex to be built by PowerPlay Sports…

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*** Bruce M Firestone gives keynote speech for Cornwall Chamber of Commerce on How to Stay Alive and Relevant…

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“Having Dr Bruce M Firestone at was a huge success. I heard nothing but positive feedback from all our delegates. One delegate even said she would have listened to him speak all day. His message was inspiring and the delivery very relatable and down to earth. Prof Bruce not only delivered but went above and beyond, offering to be available for an additional Q&A session, when one of my other presenters had to back out at the last minute. The fact that the Q&A session was packed, directly following his keynote speaks volumes to how much delegates enjoyed and respected his message,” Amy Malyon, Event Coordinator, Cornwall Chamber of Commerce, October 2013.

*** How putting (live) goats on a roof made tiny Coombs BC one of the province’s biggest tourist attractions…

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*** Bruce M Firestone speaks to SS Networking audience on How to Make a Great Elevator Pitch…

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*** Why comparing the US federal government to a family in debt trouble is wrong…

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*** Bruce M Firestone gives keynote speech for Deloitte Energize your Future conference at the Shaw Centre in Edmonton…

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“Prof Bruce was an exceptional speaker and a huge hit with all our students and corporate delegates. His keynote at the 2013 Deloitte Energize Your Future Conference was informative and very interesting. All attendees were enthusiastic about meeting him and hearing his story,” Business Students Association, University of Alberta School of Business, Edmonton, September 2013.

*** FA Capital Inc’s Bruce M Firestone and Susan J Anglin complete a report to McNab Braeside About its Economic Future…


It is profoundly difficult to get to a destination without first having a plan, setting goals, tracking metrics, being held accountable and having a map. Yet this is precisely what many governments at all levels are doing—they know what they want when they see it, when it is brought forward by a proponent eager to change or reshape their community in new ways. More often, they know what they don’t want when they see it.

This random walk into the future—some projects supported and approved, others rejected—is a time-delayed, confrontational process bedeviling municipalities, townships, counties and regions all over Canada and, indeed now that the British planning system has more or less been adopted worldwide, affecting urban and rural land development everywhere.

But what if an approval authority decided to be pro-active, what would their economic development policy, land use plan, master plan or official plan and zoning ordinances/bylaws look like? They might look quite different—perhaps they would become places where instead of everything been prohibited unless specifically allowed, everything would be permitted unless expressly disallowed. They might be places that encourage individual initiative, where neighbors don’t fight over competing land uses, where economic and social development goes hand in hand. These communities might be places that hang on to their most precious resource—their children—instead of watching them move down the road to Ottawa, Toronto, Chicago, LA and New York not to mention London, Shanghai or Mumbai.

How can smaller communities keep their children? Young people are mostly looking for three things—a. economic opportunity, b. excitement/social interaction and c. quality of life. It turns out that adults are also looking for the same three things but it is how they define the latter two that is different. To an elder, weekly bridge meetings and access to nearby shopping might be enough. For young people, they want their community to score high on Richard Florida’s Diversity Index (sometimes called the Bohemian Index or Creativity Index).

Florida calibrates the Creativity Index via a mix of four equal factors: 1. the creative class share of the workforce; 2. proportion of tech industry; 3. amount of innovation and 4. diversity of the population. The Creativity Index is Florida’s baseline indicator of a region’s overall standing in the creative economy and his barometer of a region’s longer run economic potential.

London-based architect Eric Kuhne adds his thoughts to this debate. Eric says, “Leisure is the new infrastructure.”  By this he means, that every project from mundane office buildings and industrial parks to shopping plazas and bucolic parks ought to have an entertainment dimension because it makes economic and social sense to do that.

This report explores what McNab Braeside can do to ensure its own economic future. The township should not wait for debt-riddled Ontario or deficit-plagued Canada to come to its rescue nor does it have to spend huge amounts of its own precious tax dollars to carve out an exciting economic and social future for its community. No, all they have to do is show leadership which is what this township council has decided to do. The other thing they need? They simply need to know what to do…                                                             



***  Bruce M Firestone, available as keynote speaker…

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*** FA Capital Inc, available for counsel re. municipal challenges…

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*** Bruce M Firestone, cv…

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For more information or if you would like to subscribe to this newsletter, please contact—

Ms Nina Brooks

Executive Assistant

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About the Author

Bruce is an entrepreneur/real estate broker/developer/coach/urban guru/keynote speaker/Sens founder/novelist/columnist/peerless husband/dad.