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GEO 793
Valentina Capurri

Geo 793: Reading 2 Caulfeld Toronto: The Form of the City  Canadian cities compromised of two zones: Inner zone-older urban areas whose morphology and forms were in place by the 1950’s (downtown core in Toronto)  Relatively high densities of people and activities with mix of residential, commercial, and other land uses Outer Zone- developed in recent decades where densities of people and activities are generally lower and land uses are much more segregated and organized around the automobile (Scarborough, Vaughan, Brampton etc) The Distillery  East of Toronto’s downtown  Describes how Toronto has changed  Toronto was mainly administrative when it was first founded (Parliament, courts, doctors etc.)  built in 1860 and is core structure of what was once Canada’s largest liquor manufacturer  Now, distillery district has many building that are now renovated into lofts, galleries, café’s boutiques etc  The café is the structure that once pumped to draw water into the distillery from the lake  The distillery is now separated from harbor by railway and an elevated expressway The Pre-Industrial Phase (1830s-1861)  Two distinct parts Mercantile period  important settlements were either entrepots or had some other role in trade of staple goods like fur, fish, and lumber  mercantile outposts often became administrative towns—Toronto for example became capital of Upper Canada Commercial Period  Toronto population increased and rapid settlement ensued in surrounding agricultural areas  Towns role was not a service centre where government was based, wholesale and retail goods were bought and sold, and key intitutions like banks, post office, and hospitals were located The Industrial Phase (1870s-1950s)  Colonial Toronto had many small craft industries like Worts-Gooderham mill but manufacturing was not a major sector until 1870’s, and 1880’s when confederation and protective tariffs became forceful  Distillery district was made to produce alcohol  Continued industrial growth began with the completion of the Canadian Pacific railway  There were smaller workplaces of early industrial period—including many family-owned shops  These were replaced by full-blown factories and the industrial period continues  Toronto earlier followed the typical course of pre-industrial cities in which privileged classes lived in comfortable hoes near centre of the town  With increased noise and pollution from industrial sector, high classes began to move to the outskirts of Toronto (The subburbs)  Working class settled in inner city as well as industrial subburbs  Class was most important mechanism for sorting where people lived Post Industrial Phase (1950s-Today)  Manufacturing moved out of the city ( outside city limits to suburbs, to the USA because of free trade and larger customer base and has capacity to produce cheaper, Overseas b/c less legislation regarding environment and cheap labour costs)  Industry’s steady decline in Toronto is one dimension of the post industrial period of its economy  There is a pronounced shift to occupations such as managerial/administrative  Toronto’s largest job clusters are in business and professional services, financial services, tourism, and IT  Either high paying service jobs or low paid service jobs (i.e. McDonalds)  Distillery district provides much entertainment today  Gentrification: taking areas of cities and reinventing them to make them more appealing and generate more revenue Holy Trinity Church  One of six Toronto churches built in 1840’s  North edge of town as church for low income neighborhood  1960’s and 1970’s, Eaton’s and other corporations took over land in the area  Today Church is in one of most valuable parts of Toronto and is no longer a working class area The Corporate Urban Landscape  When Eaton’s first framed a plan for site of old factories in mid 1960’s, concept was new and plan was visionary  3 elements; 1. Large shopping mall 2. Four mixed-use commercial/residential towers, 3. hotel/convention-centre building  in era of post industrial urbanism, power or place is increasingly concentrated in the hands of global corporations and their managers (i.e. multinational firms in Hong Kong that dominate redevelopment of Toronto’s central waterfront and downtown rail yards 5 forms commonly used to generate wealth in inner and outer cities 1. vast tracts of new suburban houses 2. apartment and condo buildings 3. major shopping malls whose tenants are mostly chain stores and corporate franchises 4. hotel-convention centres complexes that are homes away from home for travelling corporate executives and tourists 5. corporate leisure edifices, including professional sports venues, cineplex/amusement centres, theatres etc.  streets are now being saturated with high tech visual media and promotion of corporate products The Transience of City Fabrics  Eaton centre is example of high cataclysmic change(fast change—large corporations or governments take control of area) involving demolition and rebuilding of several city clocks  It changed from working class area, to an area where shopping and service is key  Patterns of house renovation in older neighborhoods may illustrate more gradual change (i.e. renovate house, then neighbor sees and renovates a few years later—single individuals react)  Overall pace of urban change is not constant with periods of dramatic spatial reconstruction Urban Change Shifts in: 1. Urban Form  (i.e. taking a bungalow into a high rise condo)  taking a church and making it into a restaurant  building changes in form (structure of building changes) 2. Urban Function  Building structure does not change, but function of building changes  (i.e. distillery district factories now are lofts and restaurants) 3. Urban Meaning  How people understand area changes  (i.e. distillery district use to be a place of work and is now a place of entertainment) Regent Park  Canada’s largest public housing project  Built in 1950’s  Former neighborhood was removed and new building were created  Streets were closed and replaced with pedestrian paths  It is mono-use (residential)  Design is utilitarian with efficiency getting preferred to decorated  Wanted clean, square, simple and easily accessible buildings. Not concerned with making area nice  Planning was flawed because residents that lived there were almost solely disadvantaged  The design cut Regent park off from the city  Regent Park failed because project was build disconnected from its surrounding area—they made it sort of a mini ghetto and people were just going around  Making it mono-use was bad because it was only for living, no stores or entertainment so no need to go to it Modernism: New Science of Urban Design  Movement born in Europe in 1920’s  Response to the affects of industrialism on city fabrics  Replacing slums with healthy and efficient lower-cost housing (same principals applied to Regent Park in Toronto)  Promoting a more utilitarian urban society  This project didn’t work because higher class people did not buy into the idea of making low cost housing  Modernism imagined comprehensive planning that viewed the city and its different parts as coherent human fabric in context of an ambitious program of progressive social development  Regent Park’s design follows modernist codes of functionality and efficiency  Modernism was also abused in St Jamestown where 15000 people were corwded into 16 high rise towers built in the 1960s  This was a neighborhood or several blocks with its streets erased—unlike Regent Park however it was not full of public housing, rather it was built for profit by private-sector companies and was a trendy middle-class area a few years after it was built  Modernism imagined high-rise building places in parks and overlooking green space Anti-Modernism  Mixed-uses are better than mono-use  Mono-use is not as safe because from 9-5 when people are at work, area is empty or vice versa in a work area and no living  this lead to increased crime because it usually went unnoticed  Older urban districts are necessary elements in vibrant city (people get attached to building, so demolishing entire areas makes people upset)  High concentration of people and activities bring life to cities  Jane Jacobs wrote novel called (The Death and Life of Great American Cities) Traditional urban places have 4 specific qualities that allow them to serve as effective economic pools of use: 1. Mixed primary uses (land uses that bring people into a part of town), including good masure of residential use, that draw different people into an area on different schedules for different reasons 2. A high concentration of people and closely grained activities 3. Older-low-cost buildings that act as economic incubatos by providing start-up space for enterprenurial activity and more marginal commercial uses 4. A street system of short blocks that draws people through an area along complexity of routes Post Modernism and Regent Park Revitalization • Public and private investments—Regent park used to be a public housing project for low income people and now they want higher income people to move in and help make area nicer • Trying to change it back to the way it was before • Social mix is what they want to create with low- high income people • Mix of uses—want to open stores and have it not just be residential area and open the area to general community • New streets to tie the neighborhood back into the city’s street grid • Streets are reopened so people can circulate • Post modern urbanism maintains old urban forms with their original uses (i.e. refurbishing old theatres into new tourist attractions) • Jane Jacobs believed the modernist view would lead to a high-density jumble of people and activities and is a recipe for urban anacry • Jacobs did not like cataclysmic destruction of traditional urban places St. Jamestown • An example of dialogue in urban forms: 1. Modernism (good housing for the working class) 2. Corporate property capital (earning profits from urban space)  Had two forces involved modernist and corporate Conclusion • City fabrics as reflecting the urban economy • Urban space is also shaped by corporations • City fabrics tend to be transitory • The influence of modernism and post-modernism • Urban forms are of a dialogical nature Jane Jacobs Reading (focus on the event and result not all dates and people involved) • Jane Jacobs lived in Toronto from 1968 until her death in 2006 she lived in New York prior where she developed anti-modernist views • How substantive was her impact on the city? • She was not the creator of the event that happened and cannot be looked to as the savior of Toronto • She was not only voice to speak against modernism…she is remembered because she was very blunt in her criticisms—caused big impact though there were others as well • Was she a lone voice in critiquing the orthodoxies of urban planning (modernism) in the 1950s? (NO!) The article focuses on 4 episodes taking place between 1968 and 1978: 1. The Spadina Expressway 2. Large-scale urban renewal 3. The St. Lawrence neighborhood 4. The Central Area Plan Review The Spadina Expressway • After world war 2 there was an increase in the amount of people living in Toronto • But unlike in Most Amercians states, Toronto didn’t see a huge decline in people living in the inner city • Its suburbs sprawled, as they did nearly everywhere, and some pockets of inner-city ‘‘blight’’ did develop, but overall Toronto experienced little of the notorious emptying out from city to suburb that characterizes so much of the postwar North American urban experience. • Expansion was inevitable to accommodate a larger volume of people • The S. E. was envisioned in the 1940s and formally planned in 1959 • What was the S. E.? • It was to be a roughly ten-kilometer stretch of controlled access highway connecting the new northern and north-western suburbs with the city core. • Residents’ opposition to the S. E. started in 1961 (particularly professional people and housewives living in the Annex) • They were even able to garner enough political support, with the project’s initial funds about to run out, to have construction temporarily halted pending a further commitment of capital • There was still a vibrant inner core of the city which is why many people opposed the creation of the expressway • Did not want huge hi
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