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Shabby Public Realm

My wife works for the TDSB at school level. They take graffiti removal seriously and have a dedicated team that goes from school to school clearing it off. If they can't remove the graffiti immediately and it's particularly heinous the team uses brick "colour" paint like this to temporarily cover it until the team can come back with the blasters.
That gives me some hope, because leaving it this way is arguably worse than the tags themselves.
 
Two months and counting...

Residents of an East York neighbourhood say they've waited more than two months for the city to take action on a gaping sinkhole in the middle of their street, amid a multi-billion dollar backlog of city repair jobs.
At two metres long and a metre deep, the sinkhole is large enough to do serious damage to a cyclist or driver, says resident Murray Clark, who measured it. Clark said the hole on Glen Albert Drive near Woodbine Gardens, opened up on April 13 directly in front of his house and he immediately called 311 to have it repaired. But so far, there's been no action, he says.

"If someone hit that at night it could easily flip a car and cause a major accident," Clark told CBC Toronto. "To me, the city should send someone almost immediately."

The Glen Albert Hole is among hundreds of road holes citywide. They're part of a $9.5 billion backlog of what the city calls state-of-good-repair jobs, which span garbage collection, recreational programs as well as repairing potholes and sinkholes.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/toronto-hole-east-york-1.6878050
 
Two months and counting...

Residents of an East York neighbourhood say they've waited more than two months for the city to take action on a gaping sinkhole in the middle of their street, amid a multi-billion dollar backlog of city repair jobs.
At two metres long and a metre deep, the sinkhole is large enough to do serious damage to a cyclist or driver, says resident Murray Clark, who measured it. Clark said the hole on Glen Albert Drive near Woodbine Gardens, opened up on April 13 directly in front of his house and he immediately called 311 to have it repaired. But so far, there's been no action, he says.

"If someone hit that at night it could easily flip a car and cause a major accident," Clark told CBC Toronto. "To me, the city should send someone almost immediately."

The Glen Albert Hole is among hundreds of road holes citywide. They're part of a $9.5 billion backlog of what the city calls state-of-good-repair jobs, which span garbage collection, recreational programs as well as repairing potholes and sinkholes.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/toronto-hole-east-york-1.6878050
Just draw some slurs or some obscene imagery around that sinkhole and the city will have it fixed and filled in a day or so.
 
Twitter thread by Harold Madi, previous Urban Design Director, about the need for a Public Realm Director for the city - and @AlexBozikovic responding why need to care about the public realm

@AlexBozikovic is entirely on point, and his pointing out the absolutely hideous garbage cans plunked down in parks across the City is about as fine an example as one can cite.

This was done when responsibility for garbage in parks was transferred from Parks to Waste Management.

The latter will argue that they want the standard bins that can be lifted by machine........ while I don't think that is strictly necessary in every park.......what they fail to note is that those types of bins can easily be concealed in attractive casing, that casing opened, the bins rolled out and lifted by machine).

Also they threw all these bins out there w/o putting in any pads for them, and sometimes putting them in incredibly poor locations aesthetically and equally for convenience. They placed them with an eye to what was convenient for waste management staff largely ignoring what anyone else thought. Completely wrong!

***

Also, on the idea of a director of public realm; to borrow another thought from Alex...............Claude Cormier, pretty please!
 
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Though I agree that they are ugly, Toronto Hydro puts up (temporary) wooden poles when they have to move powerlines from a street while construction is going on. The second photo is the south side of King just east of Ontario and the 'problem' is the huge development on north side between Princess & Ontario. One day the wooden poles will go and MAYBE the powerlines will be buried.

There are many Bike Stations on grass (or mud). I asked about another one a while ago and was told that their priority is putting in more stations as fast as they can, if they waited to get OKs for concrete pads we would have far fewer stations. The longer-term plan is decent station surfaces but ... I would vote for more stations over 'nicer' ones myself..
 
There are many Bike Stations on grass (or mud). I asked about another one a while ago and was told that their priority is putting in more stations as fast as they can, if they waited to get OKs for concrete pads we would have far fewer stations. The longer-term plan is decent station surfaces but ... I would vote for more stations over 'nicer' ones myself..

I'm fine w/the excuse above, but less fine w/the fact that I pointed out to them, a very simple, inexpensive rubber mat can be placed in front of a Bike Share Dock like that so that one doesn't have to traipse through mud.

They seemed to like the idea, but it has gone nowhere, so far as I can tell.
 
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Spotted this ugly concrete barrier at Allen and Lawrence. Not sure if it’s a car barrier or pedestrian barrier, or both.

Note the more decorative barrier to the left, which they also have on the other side of the street.

BF911F00-60DC-406B-85FD-9A8DD901DAF6.jpeg
 
Spotted this ugly concrete barrier at Allen and Lawrence. Not sure if it’s a car barrier or pedestrian barrier, or both.

Note the more decorative barrier to the left, which they also have on the other side of the street.

View attachment 487369

I reviewed streetview of this location, both the decorative barriers and the jersey barrier arrived in 2018 (not present in 2017 streetview). So its not a replacement or gap fill.

Looking at the placement, there is no legal crosswalk of Lawrence on this side of the intersection. So I suspect it is to block pedestrian movement. Supposing that's the case, its very odd they didn't just install one or two more of the decorative barriers.

Though.....I see in your photo, that one of the decorative barriers is missing. You can see the bases on the ground. I wonder if the odd car was cutting up and around in frustration at the traffic jams there after the work was done, and this was seen as a stop-gap measure and then got forgotten (a la Union Station)
 
I'm fine w/the excuse above, but less fine w/the fact that I pointed out to them, a very simple, inexpensive rubber mat can be placed in front of a Bike Share Dock like that so that one doesn't have to traipse through mud.

They seemed to like the idea, but it has gone nowhere, so far as I can tell.
It could be an issue for some people, but I use bikeshare quite regularly and don't think I've ever accessed a station that is in grass or dirt.
 
It could be an issue for some people, but I use bikeshare quite regularly and don't think I've ever accessed a station that is in grass or dirt.

LOL, you live downtown, and there are still a few; but mostly those stations are further out, downtown has very few grass boulevards; but some sited in parks positioned inward enough to avoid bikes blocking the sidewalk. Big system, many different conditions throughout.

Edit to add, examples:

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The above are Eastern beaches.

Below Coxwell Pumping Station Park:

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Woodbine Park:

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Lakeshore Blvd:

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That one is very muddy at times, much higher use than stations further east wears away the grass.
 
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I guess to balance out my post highlighting some good public realm I saw the other day, here's something I noticed that puzzled me.

The crumbling state of Yonge Street has probably already gotten it's fair share of discussion, but I'm just so curious at what point the city ever thought it was okay to light a supposedly important street with industrial wall fixtures?

You can see one in this photo just above the second story window, but they are plopped on many buildings between Wellesley and Bloor. (and this probably wont be remedied until the street rebuild in 2028? 2029? Other than the few sections that were rebuilt during development)

PXL_20230625_223035675.jpg


Another one, from streetview.

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I guess to balance out my post highlighting some good public realm I saw the other day, here's something I noticed that puzzled me.

The crumbling state of Yonge Street has probably already gotten it's fair share of discussion, but I'm just so curious at what point the city ever thought it was okay to light a supposedly important street with industrial wall fixtures?

You can see one in this photo just above the second story window, but they are plopped on many buildings between Wellesley and Bloor. (and this probably wont be remedied until the street rebuild in 2028? 2029? Other than the few sections that were rebuilt during development)

View attachment 488127

Another one, from streetview.

View attachment 488128

That entire stretch is probably going to end in facadectomy at some point.

AoD
 

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