Ahh, the artist’s image of what the finished project will look like ! Someday. Maybe. We hope.
For now the trees are smaller and the landscaping thinner and gate posts were “valued out”:
The housing cluster is cleverly arranged around a “grand allee”, a pedestrian spine that will be a busy pedestrian access route from off the grounds, from parking lots, or for smaller tykes zooming around on bikes. Here is another access sidewalk, taken from an apartment building common room patio:
I found these walkways attractive and likely to work in achieving a sense of community, a way to meet the neighbours. Well done.
Alas, there are also quite large parking lots. Residents parking adjacent to their homes will have much less interaction with their neighbours:
There is a rather empty grassy area out to the city sidewalk, although the pigeon-view impressions show a dense row of trees along the sidewalk:
above: an awful lot of the site is housing for cars rather than housing for people
Don’t tell T2, but they have community mail boxes ! Presumably the gravel strip is to be paved somehow, or else the boxes are not easily accessible:
The town houses were originally going to have curb side garbage pickup, but that got squashed somehow by the city, and a “secure, safe” garbage room had to be built, occupying precious site space, and deserving of its nickname “the waste chalet”.
As noted yesterday, the towns have some semi-private space near their front doors. No fences. I saw some pride of place by residents:
and I liked the elevated tap location :
The elevated mail box is curious. Some of my neighbours mount their mailboxes up high, so “kids” won’t steal the mail. I’m not sure kids know what snail mail is, and certainly 90% of it is junkmail. And isn’t it usually kids who are delivering the flyers and bird-cage-liner advertising “news” papers? How do they reach the mailbox?
I find it curious to note the periodic cycling through of private vs no private spaces in affordable housing. Public Housing in the 60’s had no fences and no private spaces at all, the theory being that being exposed enforced being neat. Soon the pendulum swung back the other way. Then dense housing projects, like on LeBreton Flats, or Springfield Rd, maximized the fenced space and minimized the common spaces. Fences were also retrofitted to 60’s projects.
I noticed that the more upscale the new urbanism new towns I visit in the USA (and much featured in earlier stories here) the more private areas there are, with generous common areas too. But new urbanism applied to lower incomes resulted in no private spaces at all, many common spaces that looked too large and too barren, resulting in an awful landscape to my eye. The Haven today lacks private outdoor spaces, everything is exposed, but how will it look in 5 years when plant material and trees (hopefully) grow?
Over at one of the apartment buildings, there is a ground floor entry (left) to the bike room; and garbage room (right).
I think the ground has been heaped up around the foundation to reduce the apparent height of the building, or maybe to save on exterior cladding materials, but it does result in ground floor apartments feeling a bit like they are basement apartments rather than ground floor apartments as seem to have been originally planned:
I note they did not try to make the ground floor floor units into a townhouse walk-out style, which is all the planning rage in more urban neighbourhoods. I am curious to know why this is so important in some developments and not important here.
The whole MHI site is non-smoking (anything) and smokers are exiled to the perimeter of the property. Where the grand allee joins an adjacent multi-user pathway, an entry piazza has become the de facto smoking lounge:
Apparently benches are on their way. After all, this becomes a prime meeting site as smokers are sociable folks, or perhaps commiserating folks. The wall could have been designed as a sitting wall. At least there is an ash tray. Last I heard, city LRT stations are to be No Smoking zones, and no ashtrays or butt catchers will be installed near them because … well, people simply won’t smoke, will they? The Haven is much more practical.
Throughout the site there are generous opportunities to watch the steady stream of airplanes overhead as we are due west of the main runway:
Next: inside the apartment building