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Street Lighting

allengeorge

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Surprise surprise... they'll be fixing all of these issues. They will create new public realm standards for the entire city (including paving, lighting, and other elements), will rein in departments and agencies (including Toronto Hydro) to follow them in every project, will ensure developments and their POPS work together with the public realm to create a coherent and beautiful pedestrian experience, and, thank god, replace the cobras and acorns with something new.
I hate to be skeptical - but I will be - but unless there's money and significant political will behind this initiative it will be: 1) championed 2) press-released and 3) left to die. It can be successful, but the city's political and institutional mentality has to change for that to happen.
 

DSC

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@daniel_kryz thanks for that update! Are there any news about the LED streetlight pilot from a few years ago?
It may be positive as one of the features in the 2022 work on Wellington is LED streetlights and the Report asking for more $$ stated that these are now approved and were not in 2021. I have no more details but Hydro and the City were discussing a standard and this leads me to think they finally agreed on one.
 

daniel_kryz

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The City has a very well thought-out Streetscape Manual that bears VERY little resemblance to reality and, if Toronto Hydro are to be believed, the lighting sections of it were developed without involving THSL at all. I have sat at far too many meetings with Hydro and the City and seen the silos in action (or, rather, inaction.)
I don't agree that it's well thought-out but yeah it doesn't resemble reality. Based on what I was told, they're working to create one comprehensive standard with "teeth" that they would gain from Council. I understand that you have been way more involved in this than me and I thank you for caring. I know there are many reasons to be cynical but the person I spoke to is very knowledgeable of what's going down at City Hall and is very optimistic that this initiative will be the end of Toronto's poor public realm. I am also worried that the action won't match the words and that passionate people like him will be overshadowed by red tape & bad actors.
I hate to be skeptical - but I will be - but unless there's money and significant political will behind this initiative it will be: 1) championed 2) press-released and 3) left to die. It can be successful, but the city's political and institutional mentality has to change for that to happen.
Absolutely. There are far too many plans, strategies, and standards that give us hope but remain just words on a sheet of paper. It also has to be funded through the budget... that's another thing our city rarely does to the fullest extent.
What it also needs is strong recommendations to and approval from Council to finally give Planning the authority it needs to implement such a huge change. I remain hopeful and I hope this won't be another disappointment.
@daniel_kryz thanks for that update! Are there any news about the LED streetlight pilot from a few years ago?
You're welcome! Unfortunately, I didn't ask about that but @DSC got it covered.
 
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daniel_kryz

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It may be positive as one of the features in the 2022 work on Wellington is LED streetlights and the Report asking for more $$ stated that these are now approved and were not in 2021. I have no more details but Hydro and the City were discussing a standard and this leads me to think they finally agreed on one.
That's pretty interesting that Wellington will have LEDs. The project website has this new rendering...

8ff2-20220324-Wellington-Poster-Website-01-002-2048x676.jpeg


If you look closely, the heritage street lights do not resemble the Victorian pedestrian light at all and the previously proposed Victorian roadway light has also been axed. In fact, I've never seen these lights anywhere in the city!
For comparison, here's a previously-proposed rendering from the SL BIA Master Plan...

Screen Shot 2022-04-19 at 2.42.56 PM.png


Do you think it's just a bad rendering (as in, the Victorian pedestrian lights will be used) or could this be a new street light design for St. Lawrence?
 

DSC

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That's pretty interesting that Wellington will have LEDs. The project website has this new rendering...

View attachment 394038

If you look closely, the heritage street lights do not resemble the Victorian pedestrian light at all and the previously proposed Victorian roadway light has also been axed. In fact, I've never seen these lights anywhere in the city!
For comparison, here's a previously-proposed rendering from the SL BIA Master Plan...

View attachment 394040

Do you think it's just a bad rendering (as in, the Victorian pedestrian lights will be used) or could this be a new street light design for St. Lawrence?
Your guess is as good as mine! I was actually just walking on Wellington and the work is proceeding VERY slowly! When they stopped work last year the community was promised an early re-start in 2022 and most of the streetscape done by early summer. I see no hope of that unless they get their act together and put more men and machines onto the job.
 

DSC

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I was trying to remember where I had seen this info and it is in the City staff report to the Infrastructure Committee with their excuses for having screwed up Wellington in 2021. They note that there is a common duct bank there now - which is the first time I have ever seen this mentioned in Toronto and, maybe, a sign that the City and the utilities actually think it might work. It appears to be a Toronto Hydro duct bank that they are sharing, the Montreal conduits are not owned by any one utility company and that would probably make the administration of it better/fairer but ..

"Construction of the Toronto Hydro upgrade and consolidation project was started following the watermain replacement project and completed in spring 2021. In addition to upgrading its assets to current standards, the Toronto Hydro project consolidated all of the new electrical chambers on the south side of Wellington Street East; the old chambers were located on both sides. Thus creating a vacant corridor on the north side providing opportunity for the future installation of a double row of street trees on the north side of Wellington Street East. In addition, given the limited right-of-way available and extensive underground utility assets in this area, this vacant corridor was also used to construct a joint use utility trench and duct bank. The joint use duct bank which requires considerably less right-of-way width compared to accommodating each utility separately with their own horizontal and vertical separation distances was a key element of this approach. " See: https://www.toronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/94fe-backgroundfile-170315.pdf
 

Northern Light

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In a report to next week's Executive Ctte the City on a Climate Action plan from Toronto Hydro, there is a push on to make LED streetlights happen city-wide.


Relevant section of the report:

1657033611098.png



I certainly support this; but I do think its critical to suggest that this project should be not be a stalking horse to get rid of the 'acorn' fixtures in older parts of the City or to get rid of heritage pedestrian-scale lights.

This should project should:

1) Replace all Cobra-head fixtures with dark-skies friendly LED lights.

2) Re-fit or replace with like, older heritage-style and acorn fixtures with LED variations of their design.
 

daniel_kryz

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In a report to next week's Executive Ctte the City on a Climate Action plan from Toronto Hydro, there is a push on to make LED streetlights happen city-wide.


Relevant section of the report:

View attachment 411773


I certainly support this; but I do think its critical to suggest that this project should be not be a stalking horse to get rid of the 'acorn' fixtures in older parts of the City or to get rid of heritage pedestrian-scale lights.

This should project should:

1) Replace all Cobra-head fixtures with dark-skies friendly LED lights.

2) Re-fit or replace with like, older heritage-style and acorn fixtures with LED variations of their design.
Way overdue but the key question is how this relates to City Planning's "Building Better Streetscapes" initiative and whether we'll be getting more attractive streetlights.
Also, cobra-head fixtures should be replaced with a dark-sky friendly fixture but they shouldn't be utilitarian. I know that's a lot to ask for in a North American context... to change a city's default streetlight to something that isn't utilitarian.

Let's hope the following doesn't amount to nothing:
 

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