Thirty-Four Bold Ideas for Transforming Toronto

The Grid solicited ideas from some of Toronto's smartest people for how to make the city better, no matter what the cost or feasibility. David Topping and Katie Underwood deliver the inventive results.

Below are a few of our favorites:

From Richard Floridadirector, the Martin Prosperity Institute:

"Let's do New York City's High Line one better. Toronto should start turning some of its streets into linear parks so that we can have an entire system of green spaces cutting through the city. We could fill these parks with grass and trees and benches and chairs, and have separate paths for pedestrians and cyclists."

From Jim Chan, manager, Toronto Public Health Food Safety Program:

"Toronto has miles of hidden alleyways and laneways waiting to be reclaimed and transformed into lively public spaces. Here, when people think of laneways, they think, 'Oh no, they're dirty, there are drug dealers there.' But all you'd have to do is clean them up. We could hold weekly markets with vendors and even food stands. We could hold concerts, or film screenings, and would be perfect for pop-up restaurants. In Toronto, there's almost no more land that you can actually develop. Why can't we re-use underused space instead?"

From Paddy Harrington, executive creative director, Bruce Mau Design:

"Toronto needs a mountain. Where Vancouver and Montreal can gaze off into the distance from lofty peaks, we have to settle for the CN Tower. But how to build one?

Toronto produces close to 400,000 tons of residential garbage every year. By comparison, 450,000 tons of rock were blasted off of Mount Rushmore to create its presidential contours. So what if we diverted all that garbage over a few years to the Billy Bishop airport and built a mega-mountain for skiing, hiking, mountain biking, and all the other great activities only made possible by a true point of elevated land?...What better way to boost our own environmental profile than to divert all that waste from those who don't want it and turn it into something amazing?"


Full Story: Toronto the Better


Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

The Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs is the only comprehensive ranking and listing of graduate urban planning programs available.
Starting at $24.95

NEW! Get the "Green Bible"

Understand the complexities of planning at the local level while preparing for the AICP* exam. Find out why this edition is included in the APA's recommended reading list.

City Coasters

Hand-drawn engraved maps of your favorite neighborhoods are divided up across 4 coasters making each one unique.