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April 14 2014

How Billboards Fund Public Art in Toronto

April 14th, 2014Posted by 

Artists in Toronto have long been undervalued. “Artists were constantly pitching projects to the city, but there was never enough money [in the city budget],” said Devon Ostrom, co-founder of BeautifulCity.ca, an alliance of over sixty organizations supporting the arts in Toronto. BeautifulCity.ca worked tirelessly for more than a decade to change the conversation in City […]

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March 31 2014

Design Challenge: Reconstruct Canada’s Busiest Transit Hub without Stopping Service

March 31st, 2014Posted by 

Union Station in Toronto is overdue for a renovation. Last updated in the late 1980′s, it is dated; the connections between the three transit systems are inefficient, and the congestion during rush hour – and especially after hockey games – foreshadows the situation in twenty year’s time when ridership is expected to double or triple. The […]

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March 17 2014

How Important is Youth Civic Engagement in a City?

March 17th, 2014Posted by 

Toronto is ranked the #1 Youthful City of 2014 out of twenty-five of the world’s largest cities. Decode, a firm that analyzes young person consumer behavior and interests, conceptualized YouthfulCities. YouthfulCities is an initiative to, eventually, determine the top 100 cities for youth. It has compared five cities from each region – USA & Canada, […]

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March 03 2014

Toronto’s First Outdoor Covered Skating Rink Opens in Greenwood Park

March 3rd, 2014Posted by 

The first outdoor covered skating rink in Toronto has recently opened in Greenwood Park. Leisure skaters also have an added draw to the new facility: a skating trail rather than a typical rink. According to the rink attendant, both the hockey rink and the skating trail have experienced constant use throughout the season. The updated layout of the rink has […]

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February 17 2014

$1.6 Billion in Esthetic Value Lost in Toronto Ice Storm

February 17th, 2014Posted by 

With parks, ravines, rivers, and other open spaces, the Parks, Recreation and Forestry division of Toronto likes to call Toronto a “City Within a Park.” However, to make sure this remains true for many years to come, Toronto needs to start recognizing the value of its trees, both when they are standing and when they […]

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February 03 2014

Building Community through Design: Toronto Design Offsite Festival

February 3rd, 2014Posted by 

Toronto has long been home to many Canadian designers, architects, and artists, but the Toronto Design Offsite Festival (TO DO) has helped put them on center stage and fostered a public understanding and appreciation for great design. TO DO is an annual week-long independent design festival with a unique arrangement of exhibitions. Unlike the Interior Design Show, which is held […]

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January 20 2014

Toronto’s Planning Outpaces its Policy

January 20th, 2014Posted by 

In Scarborough, Toronto’s east end, a three-bedroom house will cost almost the same to buy as a two-bedroom condominium apartment. It isn’t difficult to guess which most home buyers might choose. Toronto’s Official Plan is to increase density in the city through mid-rise construction along designated avenues – arterial roads that could accommodate and become […]

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January 06 2014

The 2015 Pan Am Games’ True Legacy for Toronto

January 6th, 2014Posted by 

On July 10th 2015, Toronto takes center stage. Toronto will be hosting the 2015 Pan American/Parapan American Games, the third largest sporting event after the Olympics and the Asian Games. The city will welcome almost 9,300 athletes and 1.2 million ticket holders. With a lot of planning and the construction of state-of-the-art sports facilities underway, […]

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December 23 2013

Toronto’s Victorian Distillery Becomes a Popular Pedestrian-Only Cultural Hub

December 23rd, 2013Posted by 

Ten years ago, if you mentioned “Gooderam and Worts,” you likely got a blank stare. Today, mention the area under its new name, the Distillery District, and Torontonians will list many things they love about it: brick pedestrian-only streets, historic buildings, arts and theatre, boutique shops (no chains allowed), restaurants, the Mill Street Brewery, and […]

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December 09 2013

Jennifer Keesmaat is Attacking the Deep-Rooted City-Suburb Divide of Toronto

December 9th, 2013Posted by 

Jennifer Keesmaat, the Chief Planner for the City of Toronto and one of the fifty most influential people in Toronto, is directing attention to the importance of walkable neighbourhoods. Unlike the focus of most development hype, she is concentrating not just on the prosperous, mixed-use downtown and surrounding area, but also on the car-oriented, former suburbs […]

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November 25 2013

Regent Park Social Housing Revitalization: A Mixed-Use, Mixed-Income Success?

November 25th, 2013Posted by 

The Regent Park Film Festival in Toronto spurred me to check out the $1 billion, fifteen-year revitalization of the neighborhood and also see some great films produced locally and internationally. Regent Park, notorious in the media for violence crime, was planned as a social housing experiment in the late 1940s. The design was based on […]

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November 11 2013

Toronto’s 300 Sq. Ft. Condo Boom: A Great Place to Live, But for Whom?

November 11th, 2013Posted by 

The 300 square foot micro-condo is coming to Toronto. These small units will maximize the number of residential units available in an area with a high demand. For professionals who work long hours and spend little time at home, the conveniences of living in a walkable, mixed-use neighbourhood are more valuable than extra square footage. […]

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November 06 2013

3 Ways Smaller Canadian Cities are Redeveloping Their Brownfields

November 6th, 2013Posted by 

“Contamination is part of everyday conversation for real estate developers,” explained Bonnie Prior, winner of the 2013 Brownfielder of the Year Award and past president of the Canadian Brownfields Network (CBN). Consequently, brownfield remediation and redevelopment is now a key part of urban planning, not only for sustainability, but also to create vibrant and healthy […]

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November 06 2013

The Dutch Lead the Greening of Brownfields

November 6th, 2013Posted by 

Over its fourteen years, the Canadian Brownfields Conference has shifted its focus from soil remediation methods to brownfield redevelopment, highlighting the reuse of land as a key component of urban planning and creating vibrant communities. This change was echoed in all but one of the Canadian Urbanism Institute Brownie Award winners. A rare International Brownie […]

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