Comment 13080

By highwater (registered) | Posted October 19, 2007 at 14:30:12

I was just flipping through an old copy of Toronto Life. They had a feature on Toronto's up and coming neighbourhoods. It included an inventory of the various amenities for each neighbourhood, one of which was transportation. I was fascinated to see that in every case, the list of transportation options was limited to buses, streetcars, subway, GO trains, and walking. Cars, traffic, roads, and parking simply did not enter into the equation in Toronto's most desirable neighbourhoods. One of the main reasons Toronto survived as such a livable city when so many other North American cities were being hollowed out, was due to the halting of the Spadina Expressway in the '70's. Not coincidentally, one of the main reasons Toronto has squandered it's waterfront is because of the presence of the Gardiner. Frank, you are obviously very knowledgeable on the subject. I would be very interested to know if you are aware of any examples where the construction of an expressway actually served to revitalize a city. Certainly the opposite is true in TO.

An expressway receiving an environmental award is a bit like George Tenet receiving the Medal of Freedom. There is no doubt that the City of Hamilton has done a great job mitigating the environmental catastrophe that is the Red Hill Expressway, but they should share their award with the expressway opponents whose relentless activism obliged the city to put a green happy face on this debacle.

Frank, you said "what kind of fight did you put up for the housing complex being built right downtown southwest of Main and James? There's a nice empty lot where a medium sized footprint for a new apartment building could be built and the city approved a row house development! So much for intensification!" I am not familiar with this particular development, but row houses, low rise apartments, and apartments above commercial are all good examples of intensification. It doesn't have to be limited to high-rise apartments. Good intensification is sensitive to the scale of the existing neighbourhood.

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