Comment 34214

By geoff's two cents (anonymous) | Posted September 28, 2009 at 23:15:45

As a current resident of a mostly high-rise neighborhood in Vancouver's ultra-dense west-end, I have to say that I disagree with the author's facile generalizations concerning high-rise living. I've never lived in New York or Toronto, but I have to say that I know more neighbors here after 3 months than I ever did over my one-year tenure in Hamilton's mostly low-rise/detached Durand area (near Hess and Markland).

The abundance of street-life here, with a healthy mix of corporate and individually owned businesses (with many a familiar face at the cash-register) all a comfortable 3-5 minute walk away; an abundance of parkland (made possible by the efficient residential usage of land); lots of community gardens and "guerrilla" plots; lots of off-leash dog parks (try taking your pooch there and getting away without starting a conversation with someone); a plethora of languages and colours and cultures; 6 grocery stores within a 10 minute walk - etc., etc., etc.

Also keep in mind the late 80s/early 90s context of Seinfeld, when people fled urban neighborhoods en masse for sprawling suburbia with lots of free parking for their ever bigger SUVs.

My point is that high-rise neighborhoods (like any other, low-rise or otherwise) can be perfectly livable if planned well. My limited experience of Toronto's high-rise residential clusters (mostly south of Union) suggests that the city did not plan these neighborhoods very well. Seems to me like they're still stuck (fossilized?) in the Seinfeldian era.

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