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Toronto's best residential streets

I have the pleasure of living on one of the streets described! They're just not building human-scale residential streets anymore. My neighbor, a firefighter, has said that one of the reasons streets are so wide is that the fire departments are requiring extra-wide streets to accommodate their extra-large trucks. Form follows function, I guess.

IIRC when Miller was mayor the city asked staff to explore getting smaller trucks for Toronto Fire and they threw a giant hissy fit.
 
However do they manage in Europe... and traffic circles to deal with too! It's the tail wagging the dog, as it often is in the T.dot.
 
IIRC when Miller was mayor the city asked staff to explore getting smaller trucks for Toronto Fire and they threw a giant hissy fit.

I think you're right. I lived in a large European city for years, where the fire trucks there are sized to the streets (not the other way around). Many of the firefighters/police live in the suburbs and rural areas anyway so they might have a bigger-is-better mindset when it comes to equipment.
 
Agree with your MacPherson pick! I recently only discovered this street after living here my whole life. It's one of those streets that is a hidden gem in the city. Windy/hilly roads lined with beautiful homes.
 
I think you're right. I lived in a large European city for years, where the fire trucks there are sized to the streets (not the other way around). Many of the firefighters/police live in the suburbs and rural areas anyway so they might have a bigger-is-better mindset when it comes to equipment.

Toronto has some aerial tower trucks which no one else in the GTA seems to have, which are very useful in getting above fires in the older city so I doubt it's some suburban "big SUV of fire trucks" conspiracy. Originally purchased by TFD pre-amalgamation, they were considered unnecessary in the Lastman era of the amalgamated TFS, but recently TFS made a case to purchase new ones and brought them back. I'm not with TFS, but I was told this by a friend who is with the TFS.

The aerial towers are able to get over things like the hydro wires and streetcar overhead.
 
The width of city streets has increased in new communities across North America--particularly in the suburbs. The main reason is to accommodate larger fire trucks, as Andres Duany talks about in his book Suburban Nation.
 
The width of city streets has increased in new communities across North America--particularly in the suburbs. The main reason is to accommodate larger fire trucks, as Andres Duany talks about in his book Suburban Nation.

Certainly every vehicle on the street is larger than in the horse and buggy or Model T days when older city cores were laid out. Compare today's LRVs on ROWs to the horse cars of 1890 and today's fire trucks have much more equipment in them than 50 years ago. There are plenty of narrow side streets in the suburbs, it's the arterials that are much wider.
 
A few odds and ends:

Sutherland Drive, the stately Leaside boulevard
Oakdene Crescent, a small leafy road off Strathmore near Greenwood/Danforth
Evans Avenue, the prototypical Bloor West avenue just east of Jane
Simpson Avenue, running parallel to Gerrard, a beautiful Riverdale street with diverse architectural styles
Robert Street, one block west of Spadina, similar to Simpson but with more modern examples

Are you sure you don't mean Bessborough rather than Sutherland? Bessborough is the wide street with the expansive boulevards. It is also the setting of a recent VW Passat ad with little girls selling lemonade from a stand. My wife's childhood home is in the background. I grew up in Leaside too, but in a home backing on to the Don Valkey. That was also special.
 
Certainly every vehicle on the street is larger than in the horse and buggy or Model T days when older city cores were laid out. Compare today's LRVs on ROWs to the horse cars of 1890 and today's fire trucks have much more equipment in them than 50 years ago. There are plenty of narrow side streets in the suburbs, it's the arterials that are much wider.

I call shenanigans. Google Melbourne Place or Sackville Place, and show me a recently built suburban street in the GTA that compares in terms of street width, sidewalks, setbacks, and built form (to say nothing of street life or character). I suspect none exist.

The residential streets we love best are the ones we're not building anymore.
 
For me, the streets that do it for me are Poplar Plains Road, Crescent Road, the part of Hudson Drive that backs onto the ravine, and most of Bennington Heights, especially with all the new modern homes on large lots.
 
Bright Street in Corktown is charming, pretty row houses tight to the street. Feels somewhat British in scale.

Yes! Love that street and its little curve. Very archetypal somehow.
Me too. I wish that downtown east had more curvy streets. Cabbagetown would look great with such.


I like Britain st. for its curve, IIRC originally followed a water way.
 
regarding street widths, apparently there was a huge fight about it in Regent Park. IIRC the planners won out and the streets are skinnier, but the fire department was NOT happy.
 

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