Planner Sean Hertel shared this (embedded above) on Twitter over the weekend. It is a lawn sign from Toronto’s Junction neighborhood that is calling for a stop to demolishing family houses for high rises.
From what I can tell, this law sign is trying to communicate a few key messages.
One, high-rises are monstrous beings that enjoy praying on innocent low-rise houses and squashing them with their feet, and sometimes their asymmetric hands.
Two, it is mostly impossible to conceive of a world in Toronto where families live in high-rises and don’t live in grade-related housing with a backyard.
And three, there is little value in building more, rather than less, housing in order to help with affordability concerns. Perhaps the thinking is that it needs to be low-rise affordable housing, or nothing.
With all of this said, let’s do a little thought exercise today on the blog.
Let’s for a second assume that there aren’t any high-rises proposed in the Junction; only European-scaled mid-rise buildings that sit on the area’s main avenues and back onto low-rise single-family neighborhoods. Let’s also assume that these buildings will be sculpted in complete deference to their rear neighbors so that things like shadows are minimized.
Let’s assume that more housing is better than less housing.
Finally, let’s assume that, get this, noble families may actually be able to live in mid-rise and high-rise buildings. And that there are already many successful examples of this taking place in the city, such as over here in CityPlace.
What key messages would this lawn sign be then communicating?
Something to consider there is a back storey to this. Things arent as black and white as you would like to assume. Ask the residents why they would post somthing like this and they will tell you particular stories about a particular developer.