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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Spacing Saturday: Rental Housing, Haphazard Development and Underpass Park

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

Waterfront Toronto Rendering of the Future West Don Lands Neighbourhood

As the Vancouver Region is engaged in an important discussion about funding transit expansion, Paul Hillsdon questions why bridge tolls are not being seriously considered even though they have proven a very effective way to raise revenue elsewhere.

In a fascinating look at Vancouver’s rental housing shortage crisis Jackie Wong talks to several veterans of the rental housing debate to explore what needs to change to open up the market to providing new rental properties.

Alanah Heffez shares a fantastic video, dug up from the CBC archives, of Jane Jacobs making observations on Toronto and Montreal in 1969. Jacob’s compliments Montreal for its lack of slum clearance while criticizing Toronto for its political elite’s love affair with expensive mediocrity.

Joel Thibert clarifies his position following a recent Op-Ed piece in La Presse regarding haphazard development in the Montreal periphery, including how this development comes to be and what it says about our collective responsibility.

While a City can lay out grand plans for a fantastic new pedestrian realm, small decisions can quickly add up to negate these improvements. Eric Darwin reflects on how this is playing out in Ottawa with the awkward placement of large traffic signal control boxes.

Clive Doucet reflects on the experience of taking in a concert in a 1500 year old Roman Amphitheater and wonders what the continued use of such buildings can tell us about building longevity and how our modern structures will be used in the future.

In Saint John, New Brunswick the local airport authority has put up resistance to the the new PlanSJ community based Municpal Plan. David Drinnan looks at the politics behind the move to oppose the plan.

Emma Feltes profiles a photo exhibition on display in Halifax this week showcasing community opposition and proposed alternatives for the massive amounts of money about to be spent on a huge new downtown convention center.

Bronwyn Clement continues her Park City series highlighting some of the exciting new public spaces opening in Toronto over the next few years. This week Clement profiles Underpass Park, Toronto’s first attempt at utilizing underpass space for neighbourhood connectivity in the new West Don Lands Community.

A recent cover story in Toronto Life Magazine caused  a stir this week by claiming the city is in the midst of new wave of suburban flight. John Lorinc systematically refutes the article’s claims.

Photograph by: Waterfront Toronto