Posts Tagged: city building

Jun 11

Something to be managed, not something to be built

Jake Tobin Garrett has done some terrific writing for Torontoist over the last while. His latest looks at the demise of the Fort York Bridge, and what it means in an era where “city building” is seemingly a dirty word:

The greatest mistake of this administration, and the one that will leave the most lasting legacy of harm, is the simplistic view of the city as something to be managed and not something to be built, or fed, or nurtured. The view that aspirational projects are elitist and thus not worthy of consideration. The view that public spaces suck money and offer nothing back. The view that if we just squeeze our public services tight enough a few pennies will pop out.

via This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things – Torontoist.

A city that is not being built up — that isn’t growing — is inevitably one that is declining. It’s not possible to just hit pause for a few years while you ‘fix’ the city’s finances. We’ll be left behind.

Related: Ken Greenberg’s Requiem for a bridge at The Globe & Mail.

Mar 11

Waterfront ‘gem’ is no hologram

The National Post’s Chris Selley takes a look at the eastern part of Toronto’s Waterfront, which is way better than most people realize:

The next leading contender for Mr. Miller’s primary legacy is probably that Holy Grail of municipal improvement — waterfront redevelopment. It wasn’t Mr. Miller’s baby like Transit City was, but it did start to pick up steam in his second term. I don’t think many people have really noticed. I didn’t really notice myself until a waterfront-themed debate during the mayoral campaign, when George Smitherman suggested things were looking pretty darn good on the urban shore of Lake Ontario. I took a skeptical walk in the rain and ended up both wet and rather impressed.

via Chris Selley: Miller’s waterfront development more impressive than you think | Posted Toronto | National Post.

The work being done by Waterfront Toronto really is impressive. The proposed underpass park for the West Don Lands, set to begin construction soon, is the kind of big-sort-of-crazy thinking we could use more of in this city. Even through this period of budgetary challenges, we have to keep building this city.

Rob Ford has continuously voted against waterfront development. At a Waterfront debate held last year, his only concrete idea for the area was the removal of the Queen’s Quay streetcar, to be replaced with buses. Also more parking.