bilked

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isaidso

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After just visiting a Perth, Australia and Auckland, New Zealand thread these photos are jarring. Canadians have no clue how to do public realm. Every square inch of this is primitive compared to a typical side street in those cities. Even on their side streets, the sidewalk is double/triple the width of this. They use pavers, not cement. They use modern attractive lamp posts while in downtown Toronto they're either ugly or not even metal. Logs? Their electrical is buried, ours isn't. Not visible on this street, but we clutter most of our streets up with a jumbled mess of stuff.

And btw, I'm not talking about the street near this construction site but the sections untouched by this construction. Canadian public realm has always been shockingly ugly but it really hits you over the head when you've just come from countries that are good at it. On a recent trip to Brisbane, I NEVER saw downtown streets anywhere close to this horrendous but this street is very typical for a Canadian city. I suspect it won't be fixed in my life time. Canadians are so used to this low standard that most don't even think it looks bad.

THIS IS ABSOLUTELY BRUTAL AND I'M TALKING ABOUT THE SIDEWALK ON THE LEFT
1625691591265.png




Courtesy of Lachlan Holmes
 
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Northern Light

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After just visiting a Perth, Australia and Auckland, New Zealand thread these photos are jarring. Canadians have no clue how to do public realm. Every square inch of this is primitive compared to a typical side street in those cities. Even on their side streets, the sidewalk is double/triple the width of this. They use pavers, not cement. They use modern attractive lamp posts while in downtown Toronto they're either ugly or not even metal. Logs? Their electrical is buried, ours isn't. Not visible on this street, but we clutter most of our streets up with a jumbled mess of stuff.

And btw, I'm not talking about the street near this construction site but the sections untouched by this construction. Canadian public realm has always been shockingly ugly but it really hits you over the head when you've just come from countries that are good at it. On a recent trip to Brisbane, I NEVER saw downtown streets anywhere close to this horrendous but this street is very typical for a Canadian city. I suspect it won't be fixed in my life time. Canadians are so used to this low standard that most don't even think it looks bad.

THIS IS ABSOLUTELY BRUTAL AND I'M TALKING ABOUT THE SIDEWALK ON THE LEFT
View attachment 333556



Courtesy of Lachlan Holmes

Without excusing the shortcomings of the above in the least, or slagging anywhere else; I think it's important to suggest that nowhere else is 'Utopia'.........

This is also Perth:

1625999294370.png


No trees, no fancy lampposts, an above-ground parking garage dominating the landscape......but yes, the wires are buried. No, I'm not being unfair, Perth has many beautiful streets and definitely makes more liberal use of interlocking pavers.

Toronto needs to do better.

It will.

Downtown Aukland:

1625999814418.png


Likewise, wires buried, otherwise a lot of blacktop for sidewalk.

Nearby side street:

1625999879430.png


So let's dial back the hyperbole.

Toronto can, should, must and will do better.

But one last pic...........(we are off topic).............Toronto already is doing better.........we just have to be consistent about it:

1626000036143.png


- No wires, interlocking on sidewalk and road, nice lamp posts, some decent sized trees, lots of flowers.

This is not an impossible dream.
 

UtakataNoAnnex

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Perth is not a place where they have to shovel sidewalks annually either...

...more on topic though, when this project is completed and the intrusive hording all but a bad memory, there will be plenty in the way of public realm here from what I gather.
 

isaidso

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Without excusing the shortcomings of the above in the least, or slagging anywhere else; I think it's important to suggest that nowhere else is 'Utopia'.........

Toronto can, should, must and will do better.

But one last pic...........(we are off topic).............Toronto already is doing better.........we just have to be consistent about it:

View attachment 334070

- No wires, interlocking on sidewalk and road, nice lamp posts, some decent sized trees, lots of flowers.

This is not an impossible dream.

Of course no place is utopia but I'll never accept the argument that other places don't get it right therefore it's ok for us to fall short. All that matters is that we know what great public realm looks like, have built some, and that needs to be the standard to which we aspire EVERY time and EVERY where.

We're certainly moving in the right direction and that Yorkville street looks wonderful. Now lets make sure ALL our streets are comparable. If Perth, Paris, or Zurich only have some bits that are top shelf is neither here nor there. With higher density comes a higher tax base per sq km. This should be something Toronto can afford to do and should for.
 

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