One of the true joys of the new streetscaping on Preston street in Little Italy is the abundance of landscaping. The architect has done a marvellous job of squeezing in hundreds of trees (many of small mature size, to fit into small pockets of space) and generous shrub beds. This bed was installed in the spring 09 on part of the street already rebuilt. The rich green shrubs in the foreground are backed up by bright red taller shrubs in the back. This is a pattern repeated in a number of blocks along the street, and is rich in colour and texture all summer and fall.
I usually feel the city is way too timid in its landscaping, reluctant to add or even replace trees because the spaces are “too small” or interfere with sight lines for traffic. The Preston Street experience is refreshing, as it demonstrates that aggressive planting works. I find it interesting to compare Preston with West Wellington in Hintonburg. Preston has way more “soft” landscaping squeezed into corners and in front of buildings. Some of this is due to the lower density of Preston, some is due to the choices of the BIA and community associations that had input into the plans.