New Brutalism where least expected

The Somerset Viaduct is a long bridge-like structure that extends from near the Plant Rec complex to Breezehill Ave. Unlike a bridge, the underside isn’t an open space, but is earth fill. Sort of like a dam. Nonetheless, the sides of the road are elevated above the surrounding terrain, and that is what is of interest here.

The viaduct has guardrails on both sides. They consist of horizontal pipes, designed to keep cars from falling off the viaduct. They are of an older, un-crash-tested design, so the city is wary about modifications.

A dozen years back (or maybe two dozen) a private business wanted to break the guardrail for access to its new second floor place of business. The city required them to install some large concrete buttresses at the railing breaks. Here they are:

These concrete things are actually stylish. The tops slope to the gateway, and even the vertical ends at the opening are slanted. Rather closely inspired by the city-built guardrail ends from the early 1980’s:

from google earth

And now, four additional buttresses have been installed by the city, to mark the two openings to the OTrain multi user path that runs at right angles under the viaduct. One opening is to the sloped path; the other to a staircase still under construction.

Both have butt-ugly concrete buttresses  Gone are the sloped tops. Gone are the sloped ends. Just plain brutal blocks.

I don’t imagine these are any cheaper to make. But they do scream out “bad design”.