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Life in the Canyon

Toronto has the second-largest collection of high-rise buildings in North America. New York City is in first place, but Toronto's 2000-or-so towers put us in second. As you may be aware, buildings shape urban wind patterns, creating shelter in some spots, and unpleasant turbulence in others. The urban canyons have their canyon winds. The lower end of Spadina Avenue, seen here, is emerging as a new high rise canyon. We have lots of tower construction here. The sign suggests that the canyon winds are also becoming a problem.

This is not just inconvenient, it is also deadly. To kill a pedestrian, all you need to do is to knock them over onto a hard urban surface. Measured in this way, Toronto's downtown core reached the basic threshold of deadliness around 1906. The number of intersections with potentially deadly wind conditions at ground level has increased significantly over the past century. Planners, politicians, and academics, have ignored the problem. There is a high price to pay for such ignorance.

I put together a video about this problem: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMwkRhXWhp8




On February 16 2012 at Toronto, Ontario, Canada 14 Views



Digital camera : Sony / Cybershot HX9V

Avatar nousku

Nousku On 17/02/2012

Did meet the winds during my last visit but never occurred to me to compare with Manhattan. Now that you have posted it, I say "but of course".


Avatar elkstar

Elkstar On 17/02/2012

I'm not totally back (see my caption), still troubles and troubles :(


Avatar pwolman

Pwolman On 16/02/2012

So, walking in Toronto's wind canyons is a bit like being on the deck of a ship in heavy storm seas. Lifelines and rubber suits may become de rigeur.

"Eroded substrates," indeed! You always have a geo-poetic metaphor at hand. Although it's possible you are pixillated when generating such bon mots.





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