Thursday, 5 July 2018
Thursday in Toronto
I've occasionally visited Toronto for work, although not for at least ten years.
As a city, the basic landmarks remain the same, but the growth of buildings and infrastructure has been phenomenal.
I mainly worked around the central area - close to Front Street and the financial district. There was the CN Tower, the big Skydome (Rogers?) stadium with the automatic roof and a reasonable cluster of skyscrapers.
Now, there's so many more tall buildings and complicated roadways.
Tower blocks for business and tower blocks for residents. It looks as if the traffic system isn't keeping up. There's absolutely huge roadway systems, some of which snake across the view yet there seems to be traffic holdups at many intersections.
I can't help wonder whether the building programme has been left to go unchecked? It seems to be a case of upwards rather than outwards, apparently to avoid sprawl. Tall glass structures prevail.
I understand that the population around Toronto has increased by almost 50% in the last 15 or so years. If that is true then I can understand the stress.
This intensity makes it look as if it requires some serious catch-up before an equilibrium is restored. The boat harbours look pretty, but there's an awful lot of people living just behind them.
There's been some of the same challenges in areas of Central London, UK, but London has enough discernible landmarks and green areas to create the separations needed to delineate areas.
With Toronto, I realise I'm taking a quick tourist view. I'm certainly enjoying my visit, but I can't help having a nagging doubt about scale and the pressure to build upwards within city limits.
For the absolute plus side, this trip we've had great weather and a chance to look at the city from the water, where it can look fantastic.
This waterside view shows off the city to great effect, but I can't help wondering whether the planners need to look at the micro view from within the city as well as the very pretty broad brush picture.