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Cornell a failure?

lesouris

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You can't expect people to change their entire lifestyle just because they move into a neighbourhood that's built a little differently than the rest of suburbia. The entire experiment requires a shift in attitude that cannot be accomplished so quickly - it will take a generational shift. I've never spent a lot of time in Cornell, but if it's anything like other new suburban developments, I would expect there to be a higher than usual rate of younger families. If I'm right on that, I do see a lot of hope for the area to change as the children living there grow up. We already know fewer younger people are driving - more are taking transit, walking, or cycling (there was an article in the Star I believe about this a few months ago) - will it be easier for them to chose these options in this neighbourhood as they achieve more independence?

When my dad moved into his new subdivision ~25 years ago, almost every house there had a young family living in it. It took about 15 years for the area to diversify a bit. What I mean by this is that now there's a mix of young families, families with teenagers, parents with children away at school or recently moved out, older working people, and retirees. The shopping habits of each group is different enough to encourage more diversity in the area's retail. Young parents usually just don't have the time or the money to make it out to the coffee shop or the pub the same way others do. They usually don't have the time teens and retired people have to walk to where they need to be (friends' houses, school, community centres, etc.).

Subdivisions don't become neighbourhoods immediately, but they can and do grow into them as families gain histories together and newer residents have a defined community to tap in to. Plus any area looks sterile when the trees are young and the buildings brand new. Give it time and the area will mature. Perhaps Cornell will make it easier for teens to chose walking over driving (not that all will). If so and it keeps more people from buying into the automobile lifestyle, then I would say it is a success. It's far, far too early to tell now.

And even if these new urban developments do prove to be failures, in the long run as gas prices shoot up again and the car becomes less appealing, they will be much easier to retrofit for a post-suburban population than their more sprawling cousins.
 

canarob

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YRT is currently (or will soon be starting?) construction on a transit terminal in Cornell, which should at least secure proper VIVA service (it was only recently extended to the hospital).
...and this finally broke ground today, 9 years later.
 

TorPronto

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The only example of new urbanism that I've walked through is the Mount Pleasant Village in Brampton. I was there early on a Sunday morning so I can't talk to its success. The built form is nice. I noticed all the retail spaces were taken and active which points to success. What was done there that should have been done in Cornell?
 

innsertnamehere

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There is a train station which encourages walking, and a central square / attraction for people to congregate. Cornell is just a spattering of random retail spaces with no real community centre.
 

ShonTron

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There is a train station which encourages walking, and a central square / attraction for people to congregate. Cornell is just a spattering of random retail spaces with no real community centre.
The transit access is a big part of it. The library branch, with the remains of the old CPR station built into it, provides some placemaking. Cornell has a lot more of the strict 'new urbanism' built form - Mount Pleasant Village only extends a few blocks before becoming post-millennial density sprawl (tight lots, and denser than older subdivisions, but still very auto-centric). But having things to walk to, supported by transit, goes a long way.

The retail isn't that great, but at least it's there. The big-box plaza nearby (Fortinos, LCBO, McDonald's, etc.) still sucks out much of the potential.
 

innsertnamehere

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I would say that Cornell has more future potential still - the central part of the plan is just starting to be built now with the first batch of "downtown" condo and stacked townhouse buildings going in along Highway 7.

I've heard that retail is an unusually hard sell in Cornell right now too - Lindvest has been trying to get their retail plaza on the south side of Highway 7 going for years with no success, and the Wal-Mart plaza on the south side of the 407 has recently applied to build townhouses on most of it's remaining land as there is no retail market.
 

jje1000

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I've heard that retail is an unusually hard sell in Cornell right now too - Lindvest has been trying to get their retail plaza on the south side of Highway 7 going for years with no success, and the Wal-Mart plaza on the south side of the 407 has recently applied to build townhouses on most of it's remaining land as there is no retail market.
Where are people currently their shopping in Cornell?
 

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