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Our Town, Post-Industrial

Posted on September 29, 2008
Written by Larry Frolick

Reinventing the Small City in a Global Age

What should a small town do when the big factory closes, and the original reason for its existence starts to fade into a historical footnote? It's a problem that affects all Canadian cities, but one that especially threatens municipalities under 200,000, as the shift from manufacturing to information [...]

Bridging the [Funding] [Knowledge] [Data] Gap

Posted on September 29, 2008

Our annual look at the state of Canada’s infrastructure.

Since the Building Canada Plan was announced in Budget 2007, Infrastructure Canada has not changed its message — in fact, they've tried twice to submit a letter for our readers, but have nothing new to say since Minister Cannon's last submitted a letter for our September/October 2006 issue. They've [...]


Posted on September 26, 2008

If small town St. Catharines had unlimited resources, how could it become a thriving city? Toronto-based raw Design’s concept for St. Catharines centres on the idea of an axis that runs through the city, providing a system of access between its key elements.

Having passed through St. Catharines mostly en route to somewhere else along the Queen Elizabeth Way, I have a hard time forming a mental image of the city beyond a vague memory of a typical struggling small town in Ontario. It's easier to visualize Port Dalhousie, the town's waterfront, as a casual [...]

Beyond Green Building

Posted on July 24, 2008
Written by Brent Gilmour

District energy can be a tool to build efficient communities, not just efficient buildings.

The global environmental crisis we're facing is in large part due to how we've designed and built our communities. It's a result of how we use resources, produce products, develop land, construct infrastructure, supply services and connect places. Cities represent less than one percent of the earth's [...]

Asset Management 3.0

Posted on July 15, 2008
Written by Tanya Gulliver and Silbert Barrett

Municipalities are trying to manage cities of the future with accounting techniques from the past.

On March 4, 2008 the CBC reported that Winnipeg crews were investigating Osborne Village's third watermain break in a month. On June 20 it reported a major break in central St. John's that closed the Art Gallery of Newfoundland for a day. These aren't rarities. In fact, the watermain break clock reports [...]

Complete Communities

Posted on July 15, 2008
Written by Glenn Miller and Michelle Drylie

A new test to tell those who are sustainable from those stuck in the past.

Although many trees have been sacrificed documenting earnest discussions about sustainability, there is still a disturbing sense of unreality about these debates. The language typically used to describe the challenge of achieving sustainability is often evangelical in tone and lacking rigour. As a result [...]

Forecast: High Winds

Posted on July 15, 2008

So many public and private entities are jumping on clean technologies like wind power, they're weighing down the bandwagon.

A riotous scene with police standing by outside a town hall while Windrush Energy president John Pennie faces a crowd of protesters-it's your average public consultation on a proposed wind farm, somewhere in Ontario. There are as many anti-wind groups in Canada as there are wind developers. But CanWEA [...]

Secret Spaces

Posted on May 1, 2008

The fascination with underground infrastructure

This April, Toronto council’s public works committee adopted a city plan to entrench and refill two blocks of York Street, adding a new tunnel to the underground network that connects Toronto’s office core (PATH). The price tag for two blocks of underground space: $65-million. During rush hour [...]

Tunnel Vision

Posted on May 1, 2008
Written by Saul Chernos

Do Subways Make a City World-Class?

The Montreal subway had three lines and 26 stations when it opened in 1966, a year before the city leapt onto the world stage to host Expo 67. Today, with four lines, 68 stations and more than 65 kilometres of track, the metro is the second largest in Canada and is considered a key contributor to a redefined [...]

The Worst-Laid Plans

Posted on May 1, 2008
Written by Jason Magder

If the redevelopment of Griffintown is “the future of downtown” as it’s been touted, maybe somebody should have let its residents know.

It’s one of Montreal’s oldest neighbourhoods, but for the past half century, Griffintown has mostly stood as a collection of abandoned buildings in the shadow of downtown Montreal’s skyscrapers. Now Devimco Inc., best known for its massive Quartier Dix 30 commercial development on Montreal’s [...]
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