Honourable Mention Visions and Master Plans
College Street Creative Landscape for Making a Living
Site: College Street (Bathurst Street to Spadina Avenue)
Architect/Urban Designer: Brown and Storey Architects
Owner/Developer: Harbord Village Residents Association (HVRA)
Some of the simplest urban design strategies are often the most effective. The College Street plan would restore pedestrian scale through properly scaled sidewalks, street furniture and trees: simple ingredients that go a long way toward making our cities more livable.
I appreciate the priority on pedestrians both by sidewalk widening, street tree planning and apparently enhanced materials and furniture. The scheme effectively will tie the street together, providing block after block of public realm continuity that should enhance the retail experience. It could go further by securing curb-side parking, even if this trades off the capacity of the street. Sidewalk improvement plans like this one are vital for community commercial revitalization.
This is an evolutionary plan for re-invigorating one of Toronto's "main streets". Wider sidewalks are important for pedestrian comfort and to make a viable outdoor-cafe zone. Bicycle lanes have been accommodated. If the number of parking spaces is proposed to be reduced, as it appears, confirmation is required on the provision of sufficient parking for retail customers. This project recognizes that the main streets of Toronto are the "public living rooms" for the adjacent residential neighbourhoods, and the importance of their urban design qualities. The fundamental strategies of this project are good enough that they should also be tested for applicability to other similar conditions in the city.
A vision that must be recognized primarily for its transference to many other Toronto streets. Interesting design response that treats the north sunny side of the street with wide sidewalks, similar to Queen Street as it exists in the Spadina to John Street area.