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Marcanadian

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Marcanadian

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From the latest Site Plan submission:

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ADRM

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Eh. Poles don't bug me. Plenty of cities far larger / wealthier than Toronto have them.

Yeah, I don't get this gripe at all -- London and Tokyo (both of which are of course, by some measures, among the very wealthiest cities on earth) are two that come to mind that have overheard wires/poles in large swaths of the city.

If you considered whatever astronomical sum of money it would take to bury all the wires in the city, I could think of a whole bunch of things in the public realm I'd rather it spent on, all of which would go way further in improving the aesthetic quality of the city.
 

salsa

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Yeah, I don't get this gripe at all -- London and Tokyo (both of which are of course, by some measures, among the very wealthiest cities on earth) are two that come to mind that have overheard wires/poles in large swaths of the city.

If you considered whatever astronomical sum of money it would take to bury all the wires in the city, I could think of a whole bunch of things in the public realm I'd rather it spent on, all of which would go way further in improving the aesthetic quality of the city.
I especially enjoy when people gripe about streetcar wires. I mean, aren't we fortunate to still have streetcars at all?
 

CityStay

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The multiple lattices at the crown of the pole look like a military radar installation.
The were called Jerry Dectectors and they were installed in the early '40s to defend against possible Luftwaffe attacks.
Never got around to removing them.
 

junctionist

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Yeah, I don't get this gripe at all -- London and Tokyo (both of which are of course, by some measures, among the very wealthiest cities on earth) are two that come to mind that have overheard wires/poles in large swaths of the city.

If you considered whatever astronomical sum of money it would take to bury all the wires in the city, I could think of a whole bunch of things in the public realm I'd rather it spent on, all of which would go way further in improving the aesthetic quality of the city.

While I wouldn't bury everything, there are many instances where streetscapes have more character with buried utility wires. You can more easily see the facades of the buildings forming the streetscape with the wires buried. Trees are more aesthetically pleasing when their canopies don't have to be trimmed to accommodate overhead wires. I would guess that street trees with more branches and leaves are more resilient, since they have more photosynthesis happening and can store more water in their structures. With overhead wires, you have to remove branches and leaves so that the wires don't damaged.

Plus, burying overhead wires is an opportunity to install ornamental streetlights, which can create an atmosphere of history and sophistication in the public realm. Take a look at this streetscape in the Junction. The public realm is still the typical mass of relatively small poured concrete sidewalks and a wide asphalt roadway. But it's a beautiful streetscape because you can clearly see the heritage buildings. One's line of vision isn't obscured by utility wires, and the buildings have a statelier and more metropolitan presence in the streetscape. You see the same thing in Montreal, which has more streets with buried overhead wires than we do.

With that said, there are instances where overhead wires add character themselves. On King Street West, there are so many restored buildings and glass buildings that the overhead wires sometimes add an element of history that's interesting. The type of overhead wire infrastructure with the towering wooden poles and the racks of dozens of wires seem like an anachronism that somehow has its charm, like cobblestone roadways.
 

CityStay

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Eh. Poles don't bug me. Plenty of cities far larger / wealthier than Toronto have them.
Only the vast majority of them don't and the ones that do don't have them on main thoroughfares.
Leave it to Torontonians to aspire to International Worst Standards.
So long as City X has substandard this, City Y has ugly that and City Z has half-ass the other thing..
Toronto is quite content to be an amalgam of the worst of XYZ.
 
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ProjectEnd

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If what you decry about Toronto is the preponderance of poles / wires, and not things like an embarrassing lack of bicycle infrastructure, narrow sidewalks, overly-restrictive zoning, silly parking minimums, the rebuilding of an anachronistic, above-grade freeway through the urban core, local roads that resemble and function closer to highways, the close marriage of transit planning and short-term political / election goals, high rates of homeless deaths, an unwillingness to expand things like safe injection sites and short-term care facilities, etc. etc. etc., then maybe our civic goals for this town just don't align.
 

CityStay

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If what you decry about Toronto is the preponderance of poles / wires, and not things like an embarrassing lack of bicycle infrastructure, narrow sidewalks, overly-restrictive zoning, silly parking minimums, the rebuilding of an anachronistic, above-grade freeway through the urban core, local roads that resemble and function closer to highways, the close marriage of transit planning and short-term political / election goals, high rates of homeless deaths, an unwillingness to expand things like safe injection sites and short-term care facilities, etc. etc. etc., then maybe our civic goals for this town just don't align.
Right. So if we want to address any one of these failings we have to lump them in with all of the other failings?
Otherwise..
If we can't do it all at once then let's not do anything.
It's no wonder so little is ever accomplished.
We can't do it all so instead, let's do.. nothing.
That would explain all the lipstick.
 

CityStay

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Yeah, I don't get this gripe at all -- London and Tokyo (both of which are of course, by some measures, among the very wealthiest cities on earth) are two that come to mind that have overheard wires/poles in large swaths of the city.

If you considered whatever astronomical sum of money it would take to bury all the wires in the city, I could think of a whole bunch of things in the public realm I'd rather it spent on, all of which would go way further in improving the aesthetic quality of the city.
Not to bury all of them (maybe eventually) but at least the ones on major streets in the core.
You can spend all you want on streetscape improvements but at the end of the day, if you still have teetering 19th century wooden hydro poles on your main streets like some 3rd world banana republic, what does it matter?
Not to mention the money wasted due to power outages caused by fallen tree branches, freezing rain, accidents etc.
 

ProjectEnd

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Right. So if we want to address any one of these failings we have to lump them in with all of the other failings?
Otherwise..
If we can't do it all at once then let's not do anything.
It's no wonder so little is ever accomplished.
We can't do it all so instead, let's do.. nothing.
That would explain all the lipstick.
Of all the things listed, you think the low hanging fruit, so to speak, is the wholesale burying of hydro infrastructure along kilometers of roads across the city?
 

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