Zoning Reform Ideas

Discussion in 'Design and Architectural Style' started by Ottawan, Feb 2, 2018.

  1. Ottawan

    Ottawan Active Member

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    Really I just wanted to post a blog post written by Alain Miguelez of Ottawa, a very well-meaning and articulate senior planning official, with some ideas that I think could be applicable and helpful if imported to Toronto:

    http://www.livablecities.org/blog/little-things-ottawa-doing-restore-human-scale-2

    This post deals with new zoning that allows retail on select streets and corners in otherwise residential areas. It also notes a new relaxation of parking requirements leading to the construction of 12 unit apartment buildings in central neighbourhoods (something that in itself would likely be impossible or very difficult in Toronto given the restrictiveness of the yellow belt zoning). As some context, when Miguelez mentions "Traditional Mainstreets", these are largely akin to Toronto's Avenues.

    When looking for a thread to post this article, I wasn't aware of one that fits. I think a thread that more broadly looks at how zoning could be reformed for the better in Toronto might be helpful.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2018
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  2. TorPronto

    TorPronto New Member

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    Great article. I think we need this in all the GTA. It would be great to walk a couple blocks to the corner store or for that matter the pharmacy or dentist.
     
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  3. innsertnamehere

    innsertnamehere Superstar

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    ONe small thing I've often thought to allow limited intensification in neighbourhoods would be to allow 3-4 floor apartment blocks on corner lots. This allows easier servicing of parking requirements as you can place the spaces / garages in the rear yard space, and would allow 4-8 apartment units without disturbing the neighbourhood character. They just built something exactly like this at Niagara and Adelaide, northwest corner. The architecture is extremely ugly but the built form seems very contextual, and it's a nice, affordable way to add density. Oh, and amend the Site Plan Approval requirements so that it is not required for a development like this.

    Obviously I would like to see 3/4 floor walkups everywhere in neighbourhoods when close to an arterial road, but this could be a good start.

    https://www.google.ca/maps/@43.6440...4!1s0_ClwiYLbpqLhWpNMz5PMw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656
     
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  4. Disparishun

    Disparishun Active Member

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    Love these, and finding myself digging for a way to do something to support them.
     
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  5. MTown

    MTown Senior Member

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    Wasn't it normal 100 years ago for businesses to be allowed hither and tither in otherwise residential areas? What happened? Post-war ruination along with ripping out tracks for cars?

    This would be great. Reminds me of some my ancestral towns in Europe where there are businesses in people's ground floors or yards all over primarily residential neighbourhoods. It makes life a lot more pleasant not having to trek hundreds of meters (or more) just to get some bloody mineral water.

    PS: @innsertnamehere , what material did they use on the facade of that building you linked to? It sure is ugly.
     
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  6. facepalming_brooklynite

    facepalming_brooklynite Active Member

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    Sorauren Avenue in Parkdale/Roncesvalles is a bit like that: mostly residential, but here and there with commercial uses on corners (or near corners): 3 coffee shops, a convenience store, a yoga studio, a hairdresser, a doggy day care. I think this is really ideal from a density/walkability standpoint.

    At the same time, some residential corner buildings clearly used to be commercial but were converted (on nearby McDonnell also), and new construction has not attempted to include commercial uses -- in my view a missed opportunity when the condo at 383 Sorauren was built.
     
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  7. MTown

    MTown Senior Member

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    Yeah, it definitely makes quality of life that much better and is the ultimate riposte to suburban (and rural) isolation.
     
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  8. Towered

    Towered Senior Member

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    It's an absolute must to enhance the quality of life in residential areas. Also, all the old Victorian homes along downtown streets like Dufferin and Bathurst should be allowed to convert to commercial uses without any fuss at all.

    But the real game changer would be to re-zone all major streets and arterial roads as mixed use. 4 storey minimum. No surface parking. That would be the stab in the suburban heart that this city badly needs on a large scale.
     
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  9. MTown

    MTown Senior Member

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    Yeah, exclusionary zoning is sort of stupid. I never really understood where it came from, having spent huge parts of my youth in Europe. Never understood what everyone's problem here was....suburban mazes, I just never understood the point.
    It's counterintuitive, inefficient, inhuman design.
     
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  10. modernizt

    modernizt Senior Member

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    EIFS.
     
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  11. MTown

    MTown Senior Member

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    Gross.
     
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  12. Ottawan

    Ottawan Active Member

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  13. teezapper

    teezapper New Member

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