St. Clair Avenue West used to have wide sidewalks. However, when they re-installed the streetcar right-of-way, to appease the automobile god's disciples, they put in left turn lanes (which didn't exist before) at a cost of losing sidewalk space. Be careful not to anger the automobile gods or their disciples.The most important thing to me for Villiers Island is the pedestrian experience. I don't think the height of the buildings is going to affect that much. There are considerations with more people... If there are more people then maybe the sidewalk needs to be wider. With more people the ground level has more people to service so rather than closed off spaces like ground floor units or private amenities, the space can be geared to the public such as retail and restaurants. I think greater density has the potential of a greater pedestrian experience.
I think they should critique Cityplace, West Don Lands, and other places that have been built in the past 20 years and collect what works and doesn't work. Cityplace isn't great but tall buildings isn't usually the complaint... most of the complaints I have heard are about building quality, sound conveyance, pets, and sidewalks. Most of the complaints could occur in a lower density neighborhood.