Garrison Village, the pedestrian mews

New towns often have a few, but not many, pedestrian mews. These do away with the vehicular street completely, replacing it with a walk. The resulting space is cozy. Vehicular access is thru the back lanes only.

If the pedestrian mews connects or is a short cut from one area to another, they might be lively.

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The gorgeous mews shown above looked like a picture from Seaside (Florida) new town, replicated in our peach country. Not surprisingly, the same architects and planners were involved … repeating what works.

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A grand house anchors the end of the mews.

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There is a limited market for pedestrian walk-streets, but there is always room for one or two in each new town, if only for residents to walk visitors to, to admire.

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Classic curvy streets, and short blocks, made for a varied and changing streetscape.

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Some of the back lanes had garages with living units above, but this a very hard model to sell successfully. The garage units are expensive, people who own large houses aren’t likely to interested in running a rental unit, taxes are high, etc but every new town has to have some. I wonder if the zoning permits homeowners to someday add a second floor to their detached garages … one of the features I think contributes to the success of Celebration in Florida is their flexible zoning that encourages organic growth and …yes… intensification.

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Many many of the houses — too many, IMO — had plaques with cutesy names and construction dates, which certainly mimics the trend within the older neighbourhoods of Niagara on the Lake.

I found myself wondering whether I would prefer to live in the “genuine” old village of NOTL or the Garrison new town. To my surprise, I think I’d choose the new, because it is way more pedestrian-friendly than old town NOTL itself, where the streets are wide, the beloved-by-Jacobites street grid dominates, traffic moves way too fast on long residental blocks, sidewalks are miniscule (if present) and often in crappy repair, esp west of the traditional high street.

Ahh, the traditional high street … what did Garrison offer?