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Streetscapes from Elsewhere - Design Inspirations for Toronto

Yes. We are still a city that was primarily industrial until the 1970s. We don't have the long history of being a global metropolis and market hub like Paris, Amsterdam, NYC, London, or even when compared Montreal.

Once you view the administrative culture of Toronto as essentially midwestern, pragmatic, and industrial (think Detroit, Milwaukee, Chicago) a lot of things start to make sense. As I said before, it feels like that culture is nearly dead in Toronto but it will keep kicking on its way out the door.
right, we've only had 50 years to get things in order. London in the 70's was a pretty grim place and they've managed to vastly improve things in the ensuing time. I went to Bilbao recently, a former industrial city, way smaller and less significant than Toronto and it's public realm blows Toronto's away, just basic attention to detail which doesn't seem to be on the radar here.
To me, a big hole in Toronto's infrastructure planning is vertical/3D thinking for the masses - not expensive restaurants or amenity levels that are only available for residents, but free areas that allow a bit of a bird's eye view to anyone who wants one. I wonder if the city can create any guidelines/rules to encourage such designs from developers. Anyway, here's one example from Tokyo of how the streetscape (from the ground level) includes an interestingly framed rooftop garden, and also allows anyone a bit of a view of the regular streetscape from higher up. Harakado (Harajuku's "Corner")