Saturday, May 09, 2009

Restoring the lower Don River - with development?

The lower Don River can hardly be called a river at this stage of the game. I was interested to read Chris Hume's article in the Toronto Star about plans to restore the area. The plans include housing and mixed use development and a public promenade. The term thrown around is "ecological urbanism".

OK, I'm a suspicious guy. Somewhere deep in my core, I think that in the end the developers will be given free reign and the public aspects of the project will be lost in cost-cutting. None-the-less, I'm all for a plan that improves what we have now.

Let's look at how another city dealt with a channelized urban river. Check out the website for the San Antonio Riverwalk. When we visited San Antonio for the International Accordion Festival, we really enjoyed the Riverwalk. Steps down from the street, the river winds through downtown, a public promenade with many restaurants and bars along the way. You can read some history on this development here.

We can make some better choices here in Toronto too. In spite of my immediate suspicions, the plans ideas are encouraging.


Greg S. said...

I was back in San Antonio for a conference a couple of years ago and took a boat tour of the Riverwalk area on one of my lunch breaks. Really nice. It was nice back in the Eighties, too, when we spent a weekend there, but it appears now to be a mature development.

My condolences about the loss of your aunt.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Are they going to be encouraging public input to the Toronto plans?

mister anchovy said...

I hope so Barbara