Sidewalk Design, Part 1

I love to walk as much as possible and try to remember places that are more enjoyable to walk than others.  Sidewalk design plays an important role in how pedestrian-friendly the location is.  Every morning on my walk to the subway I encounter several types of sidewalk configurations on the same street.

Layout 1: Sidewalk right next to the road, car parking next to the sidewalkIMG_20150723_081543 IMG_20150723_081603

Layout 2:  Sidewalk sheltered from the road by a strip of grass of varying width with or without trees

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Layout 2 creates a much more pleasant walking environment.

Some residents grow more than grass on the section between the sidewalk and the road:


Pumpkin vines

Sidewalk width is also important.  In the foreground is the newer section of the sidewalk, and it’s about 2 times wider than the older section further ahead.



Section 37: Public Art, Part 1

City of Toronto’s Planning Act includes Section 37 ” which outlines negotiated deals with real estate developers that secure cash or in-kind contributions for the City in return for allowing developers to exceed existing height and density restrictions in the City’s zoning policies.” from “IMFG RELEASES REPORT ABOUT THE USE OF SECTION 37 AGREEMENTS IN TORONTO”

More information about Section 37 can be found here, here and here. The list of projects funded under Section 37 is extensive and can be found here.

My favourite benefit of Section 37 is the public art component.  I will document these art projects and post them.

219 For York Boulevard:

This public art component is also functional as it creates seating for the people passing by.

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600 Fleet Street: 

Monument by Douglas Coupland commemorating British defeating the American army in the war of 1812.

Tin Solider, War of 1812

Toronto Wayfinding Strategy

The City of Toronto has been working on better ways to improve wayfinding, especially downtown.

Old way-finding signs that were implemented as part of the street furniture program a few years ago were just a sad excuse to feature more advertising on the street, not to mention blocking pedestrian path.

With the new signs, it looks like wayfinding is actually the main purpose.

More information about Toronto’s wayfinding strategy can be found here.

OLD WAYFINDING SIGNS: Great for blocking sidewalks, not so good for wayfinding

IMG_20150715_142627 IMG_20150715_142644 IMG_20150715_142651 IMG_20150716_102327                                                                                           NEW SIGNS: More information, less pedestrian space obstruction, even include braille

IMG_20150716_102215 IMG_20150716_102634IMG_20150716_102235IMG_20150716_102228  IMG_20150716_102624  IMG_20150716_102644