Urban Space: Green Barning
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Urban Space: Green Barning

2005_03_08barns.jpgThe Green Barn initiative currently underway at Toronto’s west-end Wychwood Park is a veritable deluge of debate for city-space geeks: the role of preservation in urban space, the value of ‘pure’ green space free of buildings, and the preponderance of urban myths. Five car barns represent the oldest surviving artifacts of late-19th century Toronto’s civic railway: in fact, the park was built in 1888 as part of the City Beautiful movement to promote the erstwhile suburban residential area. The initiative, led by Toronto Artscape, hopes to transform the car barns into spaces combining the functions of “greenhouse, community garden, park, environmental education centre, community centre, play area, bakery, and open plaza”: for once, park development and heritage preservation aren’t mutually exclusive.
TOist, of course, counts itself among the green-friendly contigent, but can’t help but woefully observe the current pace of design implementation in the city: condos backed by the bottom line seem to shoot up faster than we can keep track, while ‘living spaces’, despite their enthusiastic promotion, sludge along with all the cadence of the Pope’s Latin.