Garrison Village, shopping and services

It’s rarely possible to get very large chunks of land within an established city so as to make a new urbanist infill (although Ottawa had LeBreton Flats, and the OTrain corridor, but instead opted for ubiquitous “slender point towers” )

So often the new urbanist project is outside of an existing town, which makes it hard to develop its own core. Garrison Village has a commercial centre between it and the main highway. It’s more than a mini-mall, but …

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It had a generous sidewalk, copper trim (note the drip stains on the concrete), but nose-in parking instead of parallel parking like a real street has. There were no trees along the storefronts …

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The array of shops in the mini-mall is the first stage of a larger commercial centre planned for the site. A centre that draws on a much larger, conventionally car-oriented market. Here is a plan of the eventual commercial build out, and the first row of shops is visible in the blue arc in the lower left, on the main entrance street:

garrison village site plan


For now, there were lots of flags:

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No doubt flags-not-trees makes the frontages more visible from the highway, but it also made the place soulless. For each good move, like a variety of building façades and real variations in heights, putting service offices above the stores …there was a bad move.

The bank had a …

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Logically, the drive through appeals to the modern auto-centric life style. But it also tips the balance towards the convenience of driving to the bank rather than walking or cycling the few short blocks. Although the bank and stores cannot survive on the 150 new urbanist houses alone, they have to draw on the larger area, which remains steadfastly auto-dominated.

There was a pub in one store front, surprisingly busy mid-afternoon on a spring weekday.

The new village is bounded on the sides by traditional “roads”, like this:

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Immediately adjacent the village on some sides were vineyards. The Jackson Triggs stage was on the other side of the highway; and a new parallel-to-the-highway bike and walking path went into town, passing the suburbanized NOTL new public library, firehall,  and community centre, visible on the map above in the lower right edge.