Comment 28863

By jason (registered) | Posted February 20, 2009 at 11:26:37

It was funny, yet sad, watching the TVO documentary on Jane Jacobs the other night. It showed video footage of hundreds of citizens with "STOP THE FREEWAY" signs in NYC and Toronto in the 60's and 70's. The Manhattan Expressway was proposed to cut through Manhattan and wipe out what we now refer to as Greenwich Village, SoHo, Tribeca, Little Italy etc.....

Toronto's Spadina Expressway would have wiped out the present day amazing street of Spadina, Chinatown, Kensington Market and wonderful residential neighbourhoods around it.

Thank goodness those cities had visionary leaders and citizens willing to fight for the future. Hamilton didn't do expropriation for a full-out freeway, but we effectively did the same thing along Main, King, Cannon, York, James, Market Square etc.... for pseudo-freeways in the form of 5-lane one-way highways with timed lights.

Too bad we stopped being ambitious and that the previous generation sat on their duffs instead of preserving our greatest urban neighbourhoods for the future. At least we know we can visit Toronto or NYC if we want a true fix of urban life. It's a shame though. We had it all right here.

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