2009/02/05

In defense of staying downtown


Today's Eye has an interesting story about mental barriers people enact that prevent them from experiencing their city. I disagree with this assessment. The author, Shawn Micallef writes:
The worst is an often-heard West Queen West hipster sentiment that goes something like “I never go north of Bloor, there is nothing there.”
This is obviously not the case. Of course there is something North of Bloor street. The only problem is that it is relatively inaccessible.

Yesterday on Spacing Wire, Dylan Reid posted an interesting map showing the perceived pedestrian experience of a place. It is an interesting concept. I've made a similar map, posted above, which shows my overall impression of an area. The colors represent the pedestrian experience combined with the utility of the area, if a place doesn't do very well in one of the categories, it is marked as red or yellow.

With regards to the argument in Eye, a map acts as a good argument. As a pedestrian and cyclist foremost, and transit user when necessary, I'll admit that there are likely green areas on the map north of Bloor, or off the map. Mount Pleasant Village would be one on my map, so would a lot of The Danforth. The problem with this is that I almost never go to these places.

These are far flung locations to me, since I can't walk to them in an hour. They have a prohibitive transport cost compared to the downtown locations, where green areas are packed in very tightly and often abut one another.

This doesn't really refute Micallef's argument. He admits that he likes the journey aspect of travelling across town. I think it is a tedious waste of time.

1 comment:

geoffrey said...

Of course there are things north of Bloor. It is risking nosebleeds north of Davenport that are the ultimate deterrent.