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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

SPACING VOTES: Smitherman talks walking, while walking

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George Smitherman loves to walk. Earlier this week, in fact, he walked along Eglinton — all the way across Toronto.

Spacing’s Todd Harrison caught up with him yesterday in Leaside, and they walked and talked until just west of Victoria Park. Todd asked how Smitherman’s vision for Toronto applied to walkability, and what he as mayor would do to improve walking conditions in suburban communities.

Smitherman, however, does not see walking as an issue-in-itself. Integration is his buzzword, and as such, he thinks of walking primarily as a means to connect people to “higher-order” forms of transit. “The walkability’s got to get you somewhere,” he says.

He sees the individual health benefits of walking, but has yet to investigate how walkability initiatives can impact people’s abilities to better traverse their own neighbourhoods.

The interview also included discussions about road cuts and the new pavement degradation fee, urban design, bike lanes, public transit, trash, and trees.



One comment

  1. I am undecided still as far as who I am going to vote for…but kudos to GS for walking across the city. There is something refreshing about slowing down to 4 miles per hour…I bet he learned a thing or two walking across Toronto.