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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Spacing Saturday: Greenbelts, Historic Markets and Festival Space

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

As a growing coalition of actors in the Montreal Region continue to push for a greenbelt Joel Thibert looks into the history of greenbelts to explore their nature as simultaneously populist and elitisit, pro-urban and anit-urban and progressive and regressive.

Guillaume St-Jean’s Montage du Jour feature this week captures the restoration of two beautiful century old houses in the city’s Côte-des-Neiges neighbourhood and provides a detailed description of how the restorations paid respect to the specific history of each home.

Jay Baltz takes a fascinating close up look at the detailed design features of an almost ideal Ottawa urban residential street to examine why the street’s potential is being hampered by high traffic speeds and an unwise fear or on-street parking.

Eric Darwin questions our societal practice of not naming cycling and pedestrian pathways, noting that this practice denies them legitimacy and relegates them to a secondary status. Preliminary attempts in Ottawa could show the way for branding pathways to build constituency and prominence.

From the vaults of the Nova Scotia Archives Lauren Oostveen looks back to the history of the history of the Halifax Farmer’s Market which has been housed in 17 different locations since its creation in 1750.

Malanie LaBelle looks at Charlottetown as a city perfectly positioned for an active bike culture and presents two fundamental reasons why such a culture has not yet taken root in the city.

John Lorinc uses the legacy and thinking of the individual for whom a prominent downtown public space was recently renamed as the basis for showing how such spaces can be transformed by the changing city and interplay of the arts. In doing so he challenges City Hall to consider the economic benefit of pubic investment in festival space.

Having recently come under fire from Doug Ford, Waterfront Toronto is the subject of this week’s Headspace feature as Luca De Franco interviews Waterfront Toronto CEO John Campbell about the complexities of the agency’s work and the scope of its benefit to the public.

Photograph by: Andrew Rivett