Categories
Development History Ontario Urban Planning

Ontario’s failed downtown malls

Bayside Mall, formerly the Sarnia Eaton Centre, on a Saturday morning in 2013. Most stores are vacant or occupied by non-profits or independent businesses. The Toronto Eaton Centre, large, famous, and vital, is only one of many malls built in the downtown cores of Ontario cities between the 1960s and 1990s. From Thunder Bay to […]

Categories
Toronto Transit Urban Planning

Why Finch West is the best of Toronto’s new subway stations

The dream is finally a reality for thousands of York University students On Sunday, December 17, six new TTC subway stations opened, and tens of thousands of excited people crowded the new extension to York University and Vaughan (the free TTC fares, courtesy of the provincial government, might also have had something to do with […]

Categories
Infrastructure Toronto Transit Urban Planning

New TTC subway stations have great architecture, but they may not attract enough riders

Vaughan Metropolitan Centre Station On Saturday, October 28, the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) held open houses at three of the six new subway stations set to open on December 17, 2017 when the Line 1 subway is extended to York University and Vaughan. It was a fun afternoon with friends, checking out the architecture and […]

Categories
Brampton Transit Urban Planning

Mount Pleasant: New Urbanism that almost works

Mount Pleasant Square, Brampton A few weeks ago, I visited Cathedraltown, a subdivision in north Markham built in the new urbanist style. Cathedraltown made the news thanks to a controversial metallic sculpture of a cow installed in a parkette. (Last week, Markham City Council voted to move the sculpture.) I came away disappointed by Cathedraltown. […]

Categories
Urban Planning

We came for the cow, but we had no reason to linger in Cathedraltown

Last weekend, a few of us visited Cathedraltown, a newer subdivision near Highway 404 and Elgin Mills Road in northern Markham. We came to see ‘Brookview Tony Charity,’ a new chrome sculpture of a prize-winning dairy cow that was once the pride of a hobby farm that was on the site before it was developed. […]

Categories
Infrastructure Transit Urban Planning

GO Transit’s 404 Error?

GO Train at Gormley Station Previously on this blog, I wrote about how new public institutions like hospitals and university campuses are built in isolated, auto-dependent areas without regard to provincial land use policies. In St. Catharines, a new modern hospital on the city’s western outskirts replaced two urban sites, despite available opportunities that would […]

Categories
Infrastructure Urban Planning

Ontario’s land use scandal: Another greenfield hospital for Niagara

Recently, I discussed the greenfieldĀ locations of new hospital and post-secondary institutions in Ontario, focusing on the new St. Catharines Hospital site and the Orillia campus of Lakehead University, but also mentioning the proposed sites of a new hospital for Windsor, and an university campus in Milton. Hospitals and educational institutions are primarily funded by the […]

Categories
Brampton Canada Travels Urban Planning

A check-up on Downtown Barrie

Barrie has a great waterfront and an interesting downtown. However, there are serious social issues that need addressing.

Categories
Infrastructure Urban Planning

Greenfield infrastructure: not so green

St. Catharines site, Niagara Health System I recently visited two Ontario cities, St. Catharines and Orillia, to illustrate the problems of building new medical and educational institutions on isolated greenfield sites. Large greenfield lands have several advantages: they’re easy and inexpensive to build on, they can accommodate large parking lots, and offer room for future […]

Categories
Infrastructure Roads Urban Planning Walking

Rethinking Downtown Brampton’s streetscape

The City of Brampton is looking to improve Main and Queen Streets downtown.