Tag Archives: Toronto

Bringing Vibrant Public Space to the ‘Burbs

01Arques_espace_public_mediatheque-600x450

By Jason Neudorf

In Part I of this series, I suggested that many of the vibrant downtowns in North America are great places to raise families – or they would be if families could afford them.  Unfortunately, the very limited supply of housing that can reasonably be described as urban means that a lot of Millennials will be destined for the leafy frontiers of suburbia.  That is, unless housing markets are able to respond in a powerful way to increase the supply of urban housing.  There are many signs that this response is beginning to gain momentum, and the cities that foster growth in the supply of urban housing will be well poised to attract the talent and investment necessary for success in the 21st century. Continue reading

Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on LinkedIn0

The City in 3D

Maps may be the closest thing to a universal language of urban space, allowing people with diverse experiences to share a common understanding of space, but it’s almost impossible to avoid flattening out an already unappreciated dimension of urban experience: height (and depth).

We humans aren’t great at talking about the third dimension. We’ve never been very good at getting off the ground and our vocabulary for elevation is poorly developed. A novelist can paint a picture with words and a musician can evoke a feeling with sound, but the third dimension is more like smell: we all know it very personally but have difficulty sharing that understanding with others or even describing it to ourselves. We all know how being above or below, ascending or descending affects our lives personally, but except in the most extreme cases, we have to keep it to ourselves. Continue reading

Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on LinkedIn0

More Than Just a Pretty Fence

Installing the public art.

By Anjuli Solanki

Toronto’s Thorncliffe Park is a densely-populated neighbourhood of apartment towers arranged in a tight horseshoe shape that’s capped by a shopping mall. Inside the horseshoe, sheltered by the towers, is a small but intensely used park connected to the mall by a narrow pathway about 175 metres long. The pathway is almost always full of people laden with shopping but it is lined by unfriendly chain-link fencing, poorly paved, and lit ineffectively. Continue reading

Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on LinkedIn0

Play Me, I’m Yours

I was dodging road construction on my bike in downtown Toronto, when suddenly, in the midst of the roar of construction machinery I turned the corner from Spadina Avenue to Queen Street and was greeted by the sweet crooning of a piano music.  But it wasn’t just ordinary piano music – it was live piano music.  Played on a brightly coloured, well-tuned, full-size 88 key piano. Continue reading

Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on LinkedIn0

OpenCity Weekly Review

Here’s our weekly review rounding up the best stories and ideas in public space from cities around the world. This week we bring you a technicolor Chicago intersection, another High Line imitator, youthful advice, and a Canadian update from the ‘complete streets’ movement.

Continue reading

Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on LinkedIn0

Melbourne Gives Toronto the (Car) Boot

By Rachel Lissner

Australia has a real love of bric-a-brac and a vibrant culture of secondhand items. After living in Melbourne for a few months, I struggled to keep a mental list of the infinite number of markets and secondhand stores recommended to me while dedicating my weekends to visiting different suburbs neighbourhoods and perusing the pop-up stalls and kitschy shops. Continue reading

Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on LinkedIn0