Toronto under construction, but lacking car-free zones

Chris S posted a summary of upcoming and ongoing public works projects within the city. One item he neglected to mention is the Four Seasons Centre For the Performing Arts under construction on Queen St. West between York and University. It is this project which is forcing the Hummingbird Centre, now the home of the Canadian Opera Company, to be rethought.

With all the construction, development and planning occuring, it appears that Toronto will finally be developed into the sophisticated little city we’ve always thought it to be. Yet, despite all the impending evolution, I can’t help but think that there’s something that’s lacking our attention. If you could make a suggestion to improve Toronto would would it be?

I have always thought that Toronto needs automobile-free zones where entire streets act as a public square. Several city councillors have supported a motion to create car-free zones in the Kensington Market, Yorkville, and Chinatown areas. I think it would be better if there were car-free zones closer to the downtown core, however.

When the south-east and north-east corners of Dundas and Yonge were razed, I had thought it would be nice to have a square straddle a closed-off section of Dundas. A small park to the north would be filled with shade trees which would also line the streetcar tracks. This could still be implemented, now that the plans for the cineplex on that corner have been shelved. However, I doubt that the same people who came up with the dreary Dundas Square have the ability to attempt something as refreshing as an automobile-free zone in the downtown core.

The upcoming projects Chris mentions are a good start. I just think more could be done to make downtown Toronto more vibrant and conducive to community and culture.