the big pomegranate

Zoning diet

Zoning in Toronto gives a good idea of what the law of the jungle is like. Or chaos. I already mentionned in 'deconstruction' how you cannot see lake Ontario from anywhere in downtown Toronto, even though Toronto is more or less built on a basin which is pretty much like a theater which stage is lake Ontario, which happens to be one of the largest lake in the world. But the forest like array of buildings makes it impossible to see the stage, wherever you are seated in the theatre. Except maybe from the very first row, which is not anymore front street, nor even harbourfront, but the most recent line of high-rises that have been built on the lake in front of the others. Yes, Toronto is building on the lake, like they do in Japan or in other countries where they have no space. Except that it is taking place in Canada where space is the cheapest commodity. Even in Toronto where empty spaces are everywhere. Like in the east for exemple. Not far in the east. Just a little east of Union Station, where all of a sudden high rises cease to exist and are replaced by a desert where the highest buildings are churches, like in the good old days. And where you suddenly realize that there is a lake after all in this city. And even beaches. Sand beaches. Don't tell this to someone who is living at Bay and Front, he will not believe you. And that is only one misdeed of the mad berserk blind boar who is in charge of zoning in Toronto. Basically, any abandonned house, any parking, any garden can suddenly be transformed into a 30+ stories high-rise regardless of the consequences on the neighbouring heritage building, family houses or even other high-rise which condos were sold featuring a beautiful picture showing the proud tower alone in the sky above all the pettiness of the crawling crowds and which ends up being constricted between four higher buildings with a mirror image of itself as sole view. Sic transit gloria mundi.

1 comment:

  1. Very well written. I suppose these trends, these disconnects, these high rises, these "own a piece of the sky" advertizing strategies make me fear not only for Toronto but for the rest of the world, as this city seems to be a front-runner in this globalization experiment.

    But then again, you're right-it does all come down to laws and other cities seem to have a bit more foresight not to allow a few wealthy people to "buy the sky" and ruin the view for all others, and the sun from reaching the leaves of the street trees, whose roots are watered only now by the airconditioning drips.
    I want the glory back.