Urbanist is a photo series that will look at developments, architecture, trends and activities happening in various cities––including our own––to inspire the urbane urbanist at home to make Toronto a better place.
December will bring about the demolition of the building at the southeast corner of Yonge and Bloor to make way for the gargantuan condo development known as One Bloor East. Urbanist is generally supportive of the condo boom since it means more people living downtown and not in the sprawling suburbs. However, this development is an example of how redevelopment can hurt the urban fabric. If 80 storeys of condos isn’t enough, Roy’s Square, a laneway that frames the site, will disappear along with the building it surrounds. While this may not be catastrophic, it represents the loss of a refuge from a bustling part of downtown where office workers can go and grab some a reasonably priced lunch while they sit on the patio that adorns the laneway and watch people. Without these little side streets where smaller businesses can thrive in a downtown core, a shopping district can lose its diversity, as only the biggest retailers can survive. A big city needs to foster small places to remain diverse and vibrant.
Photo by Erinn Cunningham