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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Spacing Saturday: Fantasy Transit, Eyes on the Street and the Astrolabe Theatre

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Spacing Saturday highlights posts from across Spacing’s blog network in Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, and the Atlantic region.

Guillaume St-Jean put forward a number of new entries in the Montage du Jour series this week and as always they provided a fascinating look at the perpetual evolution of the city.

Gregory McCormick used the Montreal Lit feature this week to profile a book recently re-released by the McGill-Queen’s University Press. The Watch That Ends the Night is Hugh MacLennan’s assumed autobiographical reflecting on the immigrant story in Montreal’s declining Golden Square Mile.

Adam Bentley is the creator of a fantasy transit map that has spread throughout the Ottawa blogosphere and continues to stir debate about the long term future of transit in the National Capital Region. Bentley describes how the map was created and how he was able to disseminate it so effectively.

Andrew Snowdon speculates on the intentions behind the million dollar decision to demolish the Astrolabe Theatre located below the iconic statue of Samuel de Champlain at Nepean point overlooking Parliament Hill. Although its clear that the theatre is currently underused, the real intention behind its demolition may be to pave the way for a sculpture garden for the National Gallery.

Katie McKay provides a Jane’s Walk debrief on a Janet Barlow lead walk through a suburban development where a lack of eyes on the street has caused residents to turn against the pathway system designed to encourage pedestrianism.

Crystal Melville profiles this year’s Carmichael Lecture presented by the Downtown Halifax Business Association. This year’s lecture will focus on Urban Sprawl; it’s effects on downtown and how to curb it.

Jake Schabas provides another great look into the most innovative planning initiatives going on in New York City with a list of three of the most interesting NYC projects followed by three Toronto based initiatives that are making a splash in the Big Apple.

Jonathon Goldsbie takes readers through the back room politics that played out in the lead up to last fall’s municipal election. In detailing the story of Shelley Carroll’s considerations of running for Mayor, Goldsbie examines how the progressive movement got, or failed to get, behind a candidate.

Photograph by: sbc9