Preston CDP report available for your reading pleasure

Here is the official public version of the city planning dept draft CDP for the Carling end of the Bayview-Carling CDP. You can read it at the same time as the developers !

Lots of good words. It remains to be seen what good deeds remain once everyone has a kick at making changes.

For a start, I’m not fan of the mews proposed along the east side of the OTRAIN cut and bike path, or the proposed nine storey height limit. All of the little side streets of preston should remain at 4 stories, with maybe a bonus fifth facing the bike path, provided the design is good and fits within some specific criteria. The portion of the lot facing the bike path could be considered front, with the new building taking up all that space. But not 9 or 19 stories, which then requires the “mews” or street along the bike path which inevitably will impair the green space.

I am unconvinced that a long line of 18 storey buildings along the west side of Rochester will “knit together” the low rise residential community of the side streets with the lowish-rise government NRCan buildings. What would the city call for if the goal had been to build a dividing barrier between the two land uses — a row of 18 storey towers, maybe?

We also need a LOT of detail to flesh out the character areas and streetscaping amenities to make this new vital urban pseudo-downtown area into the vibrant livable area the city claims it wants it to be.

And for god’s sake, to propose that the just-approved-for-March-construction Hickory ped-cyclist bridge be replaced by a wider car bridge —  that is downright embarassing in this day and age to suggest that what Preston needs to improve its retail environment is more cars.

Yes, to additional e-w ped  crossings, no to cutting up the brand-new n-s ped-cycling otrain path into dozens of 100′ short segments.



9 thoughts on “Preston CDP report available for your reading pleasure

  1. What is that circular thing that can be seen in images 2 and 5 at the link? Maybe it is not a building but an extraterristrial spaceship that has landed on the ground between Carling and Prince of Wales just to the east of Preston. Why is it that when a “planner” sees a green space they did to erect something on it? Surely they cold handle their erections in another way. And why no reference in the official text to this “thing?”

    1. its a large-ish building of national significance, ergo its odd shape, on federal land which used to have buildings, but they are now demolished and this site is awaiting, as it has been for 40 years, for redevelopment, and has been so marked on all city plans for the area,. the actual building to be built will not necessarily be round, that is george dark\s shorthand for significant building.

  2. I am also strongly against the ‘Mews’ as it would disrupt the bike path. I like how it feels like a rural pathway shaded by lots of trees and you can get all the way up of down with only having to cross 1 street (Beech). I understand that the city needs to fit in some density wherever they can within the 600m radius, but I would rather they allowed 50 stories of residential along Carling than allow 9 stories at all the dead-end streets. I completely agree with you that a more friendly 4-storey (+ possibly 1 storey bonus) along the O-Train is more reasonable and would therefore not require the mews for traffic purposes. It’s a big impact. When you’re talking a difference of between 4 and 9 stories, there is a big difference, but when you’re talking a difference of 25 and 50 stories, there not much of a difference to a pedestrian. At a certain point a building is just “tall”. The community gained nothing by SOHO Italia reducing their height from 35 to 30 stories.

    1. They called it a “pedestrian mews” in the draft CDP so does that mean cars are excluded? What the heck is a “mews”. According to the map drawing it implies it is part of the road network and Eric seems to think it is part of the road network but they call it a ” pedestrian mews”?

  3. Mews ~ A row or street of houses or apartments that have been converted from stables or built to look like former stables.

    Since there are no existing stables along the O-Train, my guess is that’s where they are proposing to put the access to the 9 (err..18) story buildings’ parking garages.

    Perhaps instead of your standard mechanical garage doors they’ll use reclaimed barn lumber.

  4. My question is this;
    Why would one construct a pedestrian mews immediately adjacent to the City’s Multi-function Pathway with which pedestrians already use?
    Because as per City Halls’ own website glossary within the CDP, the definition for a mews is as follows…
    Mews: small pedestrian passageway to link parking to public sidewalks, parks to sidewalks etc.
    What are they trying to pull here??
    Are they redefining their own definition of the word mews? Can they do that in the middle of the game?
    Are they creating the first mews in the city that allows auto traffic?
    If so, what studies have been done on creating a whole new type of access within the city? Will there be curbs, sidewalks and infrastructure such as storm drains and fire hydrants? Isn’t that in fact a street, why is it being called a mews, then?
    Who would construct, own and maintain this mew? The city or developers? Whose land will this be on? Will this mews be gated?
    Now quoting the Preston-Carling Area Design Charette Findings, there are three instances of the word “mews” and I believe that latter one is the most relevant under the Public Realm Strategy:
    “Pedestrian and cycling initiatives that will include improving existing connections and introducing new connections such as the Multi-Use Pathways along both sides of the O-train, street sidewalks, cycling-friendly streets, pedestrian and cycling bridges across the O-train, and pedestrian mews.”
    The only mews the we can see on the maps (fourth map, Public Realm, shown as a dotted purple line) is along the along the east side of O-train adjacent to the Multi-use Pathway.
    So by their own wording and definition, when the city is referring to mews in the CDP, it is by de facto a pedestrian mews.

    Other bones of contention:
    Where else in the city, in any ward, do they change the height zoning on a dead end street 3 times, every 100 feet?
    Are they still seriously considering imprisoning the families within their 2 ½ storey homes by literally confining them by four walls of 6 and 9 storey buildings? (see maps)
    By approving zoning up to 6 and 9 storeys, does this throw future shadow, wind and qualities of life studies out the window? Will the developers now have carte blanche as no studies are necessary as the city has already approved the height and therefore its associated footprints?
    All this nonsense makes me almost want to get into politics, pray they do not wake this sleeping giant, lol!

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