I was interested to note that the low-rise building has balcony railings that are glass above a metal panel, which hides some of the balcony clutter and reduces nosey people (like me) looking in. The balconies on the first phase on the opposite side of the courtyard are all glass. I prefer the Beaver Barracks solution shown a few posts back, where the top half of the glass is transparent and the bottom half frosted.
The LeBreton “community” comes to life in other ways too:
Baby blocks in a window indicates that some move-ins have been active. I take this a good sign that people may view apartment living on the Flats as a family-friendly environment.
The outdoor recreational space around these buildings is all-adult: courtyards with benches, walkways, stairs, bike path along the ravine. One balcony has a kayak on it, and the kayak course is just a few feet away. There is no play structure, and I suspect a condo board would be loath to provide one, and not just for the cost (north of $20,000) but for the fear of being sued when little Chloë takes a tumble.
Indeed, there is no play structure planned for any of the Flats … the only city park space with be the path along the aqueduct, and maybe thirty years from now a park down at the aqueduct inlet area. Anyone for walking the tyke all the way up to Primrose park to watch the doggies that dominate that park?
I say this because I wonder what planning goes in to place for a new community like this regarding children. Personally, I think playstructures are appallingly expensive and not much fun because the bureaucrats take any risk out of them. Most of the activity I see at playstructures uses them for shade whilst digging in the sand. And even the sand is getting harder for tykes to find, as evidenced by this new style play structure base that is rubber membrane.
I always knew when my kids played outdoors, as their sox had half the sand box in them. And of all the kid-friendly things I did as doting parent for the little
bug cuties, the sand box was always the number one hit (or fling, or throw, or hide, or carry away, or pee in).
I actually think that improved sidewalks like on Preston – wide, with benches, trees, shrubs … are great playgrounds. They could be improved by adding some short retaining walls or odd boulders to climb on en route to school or the store or wherever dad was going. So maybe the condo land on the Flats has the right idea: let them make up their own adventures on the urban environment and don’t provide a worry-wart bureaucrat’s idea of what a play structure should be. Let it be unstructured.
The City is their playground.