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Brick and cobblestone streets in Toronto

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What about brick gutters next to the curb? Was that standard practice at some point? There are a few instances of that here and there.
In the distant past the City used to put 3 or 4 layers of brick along the gutters - now they put only one and not on all roads. I am told it is supposed to help the water flow better and have seen it in many places in Canada and UK. It does look good but I really wonder if it actually helps water floow.
 

junctionist

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Thanks, MisterF, I'll be adding that to the map as well. It's fantastic to see the city getting a lot of interesting new street paving schemes like at Lawren Harris Square in the large-scale revitalization projects we're seeing underway. It can enhance the public realm substantially, and there are a lot of design possibilities. We should be moving towards stone paving as well. With that said, too bad about the concrete pedestrian crossings at Lawren Harris Square, which look cheap.
 

UserNameToronto

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I found a rather unusual street that won't make the map, but is quite interesting and worth mentioning in this thread. Collier Street east of Park Road near Bloor and Church streets is a beautiful street lined with Victorian houses. ... But it also has unique sidewalks with concrete slabs arranged like stone,
Wow! I'm in the UK right now, and sidewalks (called "pavements" here) are most often made up of paving tiles, as opposed to solid concrete as in Toronto. I didn't realize Toronto had a UK-style paving tile sidewalk. Thank you for pointing this out!
 

TrickyRicky

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The streetscaping is being re-done in the Bloorcourt stretch of Bloor between Dufferin and Christie-pits. Let me give you an example of how impossible it is to get anything done in the city because of the City itself and the inflexibility and entrenchment of the various City departments:

-BIA (Business Improvement Area): "Why don't we put paving stones"
-City: "No"
-BIA: "We''ll pay for it"
-City: "No"
-BIA: "How about we retain the existing paving stone strip on the sidwwalk"
-City: "No, everything must be concrete"
-BIA: "How about we do bump-outs
-City: "No"
-BIA: "How about we do interesting tree pits"
-City: "No, they can only be square"
-BIA: "We'll pay for it"
-City: "No everything must be square and concrete"
-BIA: "How about inground planters"
-City: "No"
-BIA: "How about we clean up the area around the subway station"
-City: "No"
-BIA: "How about we just remove the old beat-up old poles and stuff that no longer serve any function"
-City: "No"

etc.
 

MisterF

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Market Street between Front and the Esplanade is being redone as a woonerf - brick paving all around and no curbs. It looks awesome.



 

Gphorce

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I spent a bit of time in Melbourne recently. Their main street downtown is just a Tram line and a woonerf. I was so impressed by how lively and safe it felt. The openess of the space really made for a wonderful urban experience and I would love to see Toronto policy makers aim for that level of quality. But this is a great step, and the fact that it's in a high traffic area helps to spread appreciation of pedestrian focused urban design!
 

DSC

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The City are repaving Front Street east of Jarvis and today have excavated several yards of Frederick Street north of Front. Frederick used to be brick paved and they removed the last (?) remnant of streetcar track on Frederick too. (This used to go to the streetcar yard that was where the Greyhound station used to be and where Citizen have a huge building planned.)
 

junctionist

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The City are repaving Front Street east of Jarvis and today have excavated several yards of Frederick Street north of Front. Frederick used to be brick paved and they removed the last (?) remnant of streetcar track on Frederick too. (This used to go to the streetcar yard that was where the Greyhound station used to be and where Citizen have a huge building planned.)
Are they removing the bricks as part of the surfacing? I'm out of town, but still quite interested in this issue.
 

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These don't hold up well. The rows of bricks at the edge of sidewalks in many parts of the city are sunken or heaved and are a real hazard. It looked nice when it was new...
 

junctionist

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These don't hold up well. The rows of bricks at the edge of sidewalks in many parts of the city are sunken or heaved and are a real hazard. It looked nice when it was new...
Those brick edges are decades old. The city hasn't installed three rows of bricks by the curb for probably 20 years now; one row has been the standard since then. They hold up well. Granite blocks last longer and look better, though.
 

DSC

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Are they removing the bricks as part of the surfacing? I'm out of town, but still quite interested in this issue.
There are still bricks, buried in asphalt, on Frederick from about 20 yards north of Front (though the whole street is certainly not brick). The section closest to Front is now all a concrete base.
 

ChesterCopperpot

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I love the look of the brick street on Carlton

 

junctionist

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I like it a lot as well. It enhances the sense of place on that Victorian street fronting onto the park. The city should clean up all the weeds growing by the curb and replace those asphalt parking stalls in the park with something better.
 

ChesterCopperpot

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It's on my walk home from work so I took some pictures of what they are doing

On Frederick Street



Front between Frederick and Sherbourne



At Front and Princess

 

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