Originally Posted by Dado
Yes, well, what's being lost in all this overheated rhetoric is the main problem people have with the intensification they experience on a day-to-day basis in places like Westboro: the proliferation of 2500+ sq.ft. semi-detached infills with dominating garages, the destruction of any trees that had the misfortune of being on the lot or on the public right-of-way in front of the lot, and paving over of entire frontages so that everyone in the infill can have their own car and not be blocked by anyone else's parked cars. It's basically like trying to shove exurban houses into urban lots. If I really wanted to I could go on to describe the new residents, but suffice to say they don't fit into the community any better than do their houses.
There are 'real' effects to all this, not just aesthetic and social ones. In some places there are flash floods in the streets when a slightly intensive rain event comes along from all the extra water that these houses and their driveways are shedding into the streets without any mitigation from the trees and gardens that were removed and paved over (rain barrels? storm water management? what's that?). At least condo and subdivision developers have to respect a few fairly basic planning rules with respect to things like run-off; not so the builders of single-lot residential infill.
Small-scale intensification (or in the case of the McMansions, redevelopment) is where both some of the best and some of the worst development is going on, and certainly does alot to foment the bad sentiment that the larger developments then attract as lightning rods.
I currently live in Kitchissippi (moving to Centretown in October!) and have been taking pictures of both the good and bad examples (and there are many of both) of small scale intensification & single-lot redevelopments for a while now (my dog has learned to become patient of the stop-start pace). When I have time I'll post some of them in a thread here.