I went to a public talk the other evening. It was soooo depressing. The speaker is an architect and town planner. And professor. And consultant. And urban design reviewer. The secret to better cities? Hire more architects. Not just any … Continue reading Depressing evening with an Architect.
IMO, the Gladstone CDP plans hit a number of high notes: public pathway along the west side of the OTrain cut ped-cycling link at Laurel-Oak Street new park space on the PWGSC lands just southwest of Plouffe Park a fine new plaza above the Gladstone OTrain Station, well framed with higher buildings that are not on the traditional Preston main street protection for the low rise dead ends in the BLISS group, and less-likely-to-last protection for Louisa Street the first creation/expansion of a high-density low-rise zone seriously put forward in a CDP (in Option 2, west of BLISS) development, hopefully … Continue reading Gladstone CDP (part vii) Overall impression
The Gladstone CDP is so named to distinguish it from the Preston-Carling CDP and Bayview Station CDP, and Bayview Yards CDP, LeBreton Flats plan, and Scott Street CDP, all of which are adjacent. But make no mistake, Preston Street is the commercial and visible heart of the Gladstone district CDP. What did the planners do to the traditional main street heart of Little Italy? Consider the policies in the City’s new Official Plan: Community Design Plans or Transit-Oriented Development Plans will be required to establish maximum building heights and locations for intensification within the boundaries of their study areas, based … Continue reading Gladstone CDP (part v) : Preston Traditional Mainstreet
The Gladstone CDP covers an area that was once an industrial heart of the City. There are many “brownfield” areas (former industrial sites, possibly contaminated) and a number of ongoing industrial uses: In the Google Earth view shown above, the big reddish building is the PWGSC warehouse at 1010 Somerset, also known as the “Oak Street complex”, and most recognizable to passersby for the outdoor stoneyard along the OTrain bike path. On the west side of the tracks, the Canada Bank Note building and its huge parking lot take up an entire block. The triangles of land between it … Continue reading Gladstone CDP (part iv): Mixed Use
We already know the Preston-Carling CDP favours a lot of very high high-rises, maybe 40 floors high, with heights tapering down as one goes northward from the Carling edge into Little Italy. This tapering is quick, but each increment is big: it goes from 40 to 18 floors in half a block, 9 to 4 in the space of a back yard lot line. Claridge, Richcraft, Starwood, and Domicile were quick out of the gate with high rise proposals; Tamarack with a mid rise (albeit in the low rise zone). In contrast, the City’s new Gladstone CDP is proposing less … Continue reading Gladstone CDP (part ii): City Proposes Second High Rise Cluster on Preston
This is part 2 of reviewing and commenting on Dalziel and Cortale’s book — A House in the CIty — promoting low rise high density housing for the inner ring neighbourhoods. Despite my criticisms in the previous post, the book is an educational read for keeners. Part 3 of their book, their take their 62 case studies from nine cities, and distill them to find the much loved classic home format that scores well against their evaluation criteria. They end up with a Georgian-style townhouse of four floors. This is enough space to be a substantial single family home, or … Continue reading A House in the City, continued
Well, OK, Preston Street ain’t exactly the paradise of the song. But it is a pretty damn nice street. The City spent eleven (?) million tax dollars about 5 years ago to put the street on a road diet, to widen the sidewalks, install greened side boulevards with trees and shrubs. The front yards of residential properties were landscaped too. And the BIA contributed bike posts, tree lighting, and other features. I think most people would find it a very pleasant street to walk and shop on. It’s even better in the evenings when the lighting effects shine. The city … Continue reading Who’s paving paradise ?
The City is making admirable progress on the renewal and rebuilding of the OTrain corridor. The Bayview Station CDP is pretty good, overall.( Of course it has flaws, after all they didn’t adopt all of my suggestions.) The Preston-Carling CDP has many good elements, tempered by a few underplayed opportunities and few retrograde car-dominant ideas that are downright mistakes. But the biggest problem with both CDP’s was they were designed after the land stampede was well under way. Spot rezonings and ad hoc decisions forced the area planners to make the plan fit the evolving reality, rather than shaping it from … Continue reading Reinstating the obsolete is not planning for the future, but it is deja vu all over again