Toronto Day 2 – Walking Tour and NACTO Opening Sessions
We were up early for a 5 mile walking tour of land use and facilities around downtown Toronto.
We first headed toward Kensington Market:
We had the opportunity to check out the King Street project, which is the highest volume transit corridor in North America.
Originally using transit along this corridor was slower than walking. Toronto started to make moving people a priority and so transit connections took priority over other modes. The result is a revitalized section of downtown Toronto that works to move people.
We took a quick detour to check out Toronto’s #1 cookie at Le Gourmand.
we made it to the Kensington Market and got to take in all the cool bohemian shops that are thriving around revitalized mobility:
We saw some great alley activation projects in the area too:
We then headed south to check out Graffiti Alley which allows public to do their own installations. The facilities were really nothing, but the art made it far more welcoming:
We got to see someone putting in a new piece beside Queen Street, which is a primary east / west connection.
Further down Queen, we walked by the Hug tree. We couldn’t find out the story behind it, but it is a tourist destination.
We ended the tour just in time to grab a quick lunch and head to the opening plenary.
It was kicked off with a “Smudge Blessing” where Elder Cat Criger gave a heart warming challenge to the planners and engineers in the room to be caregivers through their craft.
Mayor John Tory let us know that Canada and more particularly, Toronto’s spirit of inclusion and welcoming people to their country and region has helped to create a boon of professionals that are helping to create a better city.
Janette Sadie-Kahn got the crowd going with the fantastic new NACTO produced autonomous urbanism Vol2 which has included more density specific cost response information:
They also announced the new Designing Streets for Kids guise which helps to create spaces that not only keeps our kids safe, but also inspires them to make healthy choices and have some fun in the public right-way – hopefully yielding the next generation of multimodal advocates.
I attended the Scaling Up: Bike Lanes to Complete Networks session which took multiple different cities together to discuss rapidly scaling up a street response to Multi-Modal / emergent modes of transportation.
Afterwards, a group of friends from Indy and Minneapolis took our free transit passes and put them to good use.
We ended up in the distillery district where lots of land use has turned over and made way for some pretty cool spaces.
Then we went down the street to Underpass Park which is where the main NACTO reception was held.
I ran into a great professional and champion of equity in our transportation networks, Charles Brown of Rutgers here. I met him originally at the National Complete Streets Event in DC and now he is teams with us on the exciting Broadway planning project in LOUISVILLE KENTUCKY.
After this, we met back up with Elizabeth who treated us to a TIFF film Nobadi where the director gave us insights on the film.