Urban Fold

Waterfront Redesign Should Be Model For Rest of City

The team chosen to redesign Toronto's waterfront has plans for updating the area with a better balance of car and foot traffic. Architecture critic Christopher Hume looks at the plans as a model of development the rest of the city should follow.

"Geuze and his team won an international competition last year to redesign the waterfront between Bathurst and Parliament Sts. It is a huge project, including the narrowing of Queens Quay from four lanes to two, the planting of thousands of trees, the construction of a boardwalk along the water's edge and bridges across various slips."

"'Today it feels like the pedestrian is a guest on the waterfront,' Geuze says. 'But in the future the car will become the guest. We're going to restrict traffic to one-half of the street, but we're not going to torture it. We'll keep the flow and create a more readable situation. It's not that we don't like cars, but we need more balance.'"

"As Geuze explains it, Europeans love their cars every bit as much as we North Americans. The difference, he argues, is that we have gone too far."

"In this respect, one can only hope the post-Geuze waterfront will become a model for the rest of the city. Though there has been much debate in recent years about the car, it's clear that Toronto has a long way to go before it catches up with Europe. Indeed, we are falling further and further behind. Worst of all, we have allowed public transit to deteriorate. For many Torontonians it is not an option; they have no choice but to drive."

Full Story: Waterfront plan: A magnet and, hopefully, model

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