Spacing Saturday

Spacing Saturday is a new feature that highlights posts from across Spacing’s blog network in Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, and the Atlantic region. Spacing Saturday replaces the weekly features Montreal Monday and Toronto Tuesday.

• In light of the upcoming municipal election, public space and transit advocate, Dave Meslin writes on two topical Toronto campaignsBetter Ballots and Let’s Talk–that will be holding town hall forums in the week to come. Let’s Talk, a Toronto Transit Union initiative, gives TTC riders the opportunity to address concerns directly to transit workers. While Better Ballots, a Toronto campaign to revamp municipal elections, will be hosting discussions on 14 concrete proposals they’ve generated for voting reform in Toronto. As Meslin, who is personally involved in both campaigns, states “…what could better encapsulate the theme of public space than ballots and buses?”

The future of Toronto’s Yonge and Eglinton square is in doubt as Toronto City Council considers a plan to transform the space into a three-storey shopping center. While Spacing’s Dylan Reid concedes that square in its current incarnation is “not a particularly good public space”, he argues that this opportunity would be better used to transform the square–located as it is at one of Toronto’s key intersections–into a usable public space and “a focal point that reinforces its role as the centre of midtown Toronto”.

• Evan Thornton, who recently visited Katowice, Poland reports back on the city’s “excellent tramway system”. Well-used, expansive, and efficient, the trams work double duty–moving slowly in the central city to accommodate pedestrians and speeding up outside the core to accommodate suburban commuters.

• Carol Coletta, CEO of CEOs for Cities, recently spoke at a sold-out Halifax luncheon on “cities as engines of economic prosperity”. Responding to Ms. Colett’s emphasis on the importance of developing a Halifax brand, Emily Richardson asks what that brand might be and muses on why it’s so difficult to find a satisfactory answer.

• The City of Halifax recently voted in favour of a proposal to add 5-stories of residential space to City Centre Atlantic. Spacing’s Rachel Caroline Derrah attended the two-hour public hearing, gaining as much insight on the public consultation process as on the development itself.

• Jacob Larsen uses photos from Google Streetview to showcase Copenhagen’s streets, highlighting the kind of innovative road design the Danish Capital is known for.

• Part of the Montreal’s landscape since the Industrial Revolution, rooming houses and the politics and stories associated with them have an important place in Montreal history. Devin Alfaro writes on the significance of this particular type of housing and why, though long thought emblematic of urban decay, rooming houses are increasingly becoming recognized “as an important part of the city’s housing stock”.

Photo of  Yonge and Eglinton Square from Urban Toronto.

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