Saturday, 4 February 2012

Saturday Photo: Snowy Day in a Canadian Suburb

There is something to be said for the trees and gardens of post-World War II suburbs. On a winter afternoon the setting is peaceful. This was taken in Don Mills, one of Canada's first such developments, which still maintains many of the best points of suburban living.

There aren't sidewalks in this part, but it's important to remember that it was laid out with paths along the backs of the houses which allowed walking to school and to the nearby shoppng center. The center recently underwent a big makeover, which makes it more of a regional center than a shopping space got the neighborhood.


lagatta à montréal said...

Closer to here, le Cité-jardin de Rosemont has a remarkable collection of trees, and somewhat denser housing development.

Still, I prefer denser development - but yes, with lots of greenery. Petite-Italie has many charms, but we don't have a lot of large trees. There are none whatsover on St-Dominique between Beaubien and Bellechasse (except for a few planted by the old Canadian Tire outlet) and Bellechasse, just above the railway line, is a disaster between St-Laurent and St-Denis. Just north of Jean-Talon, in Villeray, there are far more trees.

It is too early to judge Quartier 54, just east of métro Rosemont, but it is crying out for trees and greenery.

patricia said...

The lack of trees in Petite-Patrie makes it one of the hottest neighbouhood in Montreal in the summer. I don't know if Quartier 54's new buildings allow for green roofs (or if it'll make a difference at all)?

Paris' urban structure is obviously very different and the city of love isn't green at all. There are a few parks, there are Bois de Boulogne and Bois de Vincennes, but I really do have a hard time with the absence of trees on the sidewalks, although I'm lucky to have some just in front of my windows. But some buildings have nice interior gardens. And people do embellish their balconies with plants and flowers (although it's generally forbidden for security reasons) and it's not unusual to see touches of pink and red and yellow and green here and there from February to January.

That being said, there are havens of peace in The City of Lights, one being in the 19th arrondissement, la Butte Bergeyre. I haven't seen it yet, but hopefully, sidewalk trees exist over there.

Mary Soderstrom said...

I've always been struck by the gardens in the interior courts in Paris. Walking around with a camera when I was researching The Walkable City: From Haussmann's Boulevards to Jane Jacobs' Streets, I took lots of pictures, What was surprising was the welcome I received--at least a half dozen people invited me in to take a look a their gardens when they saw me peering through the grill at the entrance.

Mary Soderstrom said...

Maria had another very interesting post that I inadvertently deleted. Do hope she'll post it again.

Mary Soderstrom said...

Here'e the post from Maria:

Paris "green" in other ways - walkable, low modal share of cars, current city administration making progress in developing trams, cycle and bus lanes.

Good points about Quartier 54 - very poor oversight of condo developments in our district. Don't know whether Quartier 54 includes green roofs among its environmentally-friendly features.

Many green areas including "villas" and tree-lined streets (longest: rue des Pyrénées) in higher parts of 19th and 20th arrondissements, although it is generally a "quartier populaire".