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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Spacing Saturday: Toronto Portlands, Quartier des Spectacles and Collecting Scraps

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

Gordon Price’s Price Points feature takes a look at Jack Poole Plaza, the public space on top of the new convention center expansion. Price examines how the space has stood up to its post-olympic role of hosting small gatherings as well as large.

Eric Villagomez profiles the Urban Food Scraps Collection Project, an effort to use farmer’s markets and other centralized locations in high density neighbourhoods to collect organic waste in areas currently excluded by municipal pick up.

As cities around the world start to look more seriously at the idea of urban gondolas, Adam Bentley considers the possibility of running such a system across the Ottawa River at Parliament Hill.

Evan Thornton takes readers along a perfect cycling shortcut between two busy Centretown corridors and highlights some of the Easter eggs that can be found a long the way including the ‘Google centre’ of Ottawa.

Jayme Melrose reports on the sentiments expressed at a public meeting about the proposed road widening on Halifax’s Bayers Road. The sentiment at the meeting was largely opposed to the widening with many expressing a desire for a more compact urban form.

As part of a new series looking at the densest neighbourhoods in Atlantic Canada, Sean Gillis examines the built form of downtown St. John’s.

Spacing Montreal put a spotlight on the new Quartier des Spectacle improvements this week. Alanah Heffez looks at revisions to the new infrastructure after a year of public exposure and profiles an initiative to get Montrealer’s to share their visions and memories of the area. Joel Thibert looks at the processes and struggles of the City’s stated commitment to keeping all forms of transportation open in the area during extensive renovations.

Devin Alfaro reflects on a summer of cycling infrastructure improvements in Montreal that included the city’s first bike boxes and innovative strategies to solve conflicts between bike lanes and bus stops. Alfaro discusses the new infrastructure and solicits feedback on its effectiveness.

The controversial new proposal for development in the Toronto Port Lands was addressed by both Matt Blackett and John Lorince this week. Lorinc questioned whether backing out of the understanding with upper levels of government will hurt the City’s credibility as a partner. Matt Blackett posted a 24 reality check prepared by the group Code Blue that questions the logic for abandoning the existing plan.

Through a fluke of Science, Mayor Bert Xanadu once again speaks out from 1973 with his response to Doug Ford’s proposed Port Lands plan. Impressed by the proposal, Xanadu parlays Ford’s thinking into a strategy that will also eradicate the barren park landscape of the Toronto Islands in favour of an international tourist mecca of kitschy commerce.

Photograph by: Caribb