Sunday, October 18, 2009



Badly Drawn Boy - Camping Next to Water
Zeus - How Does it Feel

The Guess Who - Hand Me Down World
Sea Wolf - The Violet Hour

Traveling Wilburys - Handle with Care

Paul Simon - Me and Julio Down By The Schoolyard


Balloon Boy
Stroller platform incident in Melbourne, Australia
Woman struck by Via Train in Cornwall
Bunny biofuel


Brutus said...

Great music selection this week. Thank you!

Favourite streets of Canada: Upper Water Street, Halifax.

I am now bringing new purpose to Awkward Silences Radio blogspot, and calling on the collective expertise of hosts and listeners to help with a real urban planning issue...

The City of Toronto is proposing a new By-law (to be enacted in February 2010) that will require that all residential rear yards have at least 50% of the area dedicated to soft-landscaping (trees, shrubs and other vegetation.) Have you ever heard of any community adopting such a policy? Is there a precedent? Are there any scientific findings that support this strict limit. What is the rationale?
(note: existing lots that fail to comply would be grandfathered.)

In addition to limiting the options and property rights of the homeowner, this potential By-law will effectively serve to eradicate the pool industry within the city. A partial survey of pool companies in the area has shown that more than 80% of the pools previously built (with surrounding patios/decks), would not be eligible to be constructed under this proposed by-law. So, thousands of jobs are ate risk.

How much green space is necessary to control rainfall runoff and the drainage to storm sewers? Is the front yard area enough?

Another consideration...
A homeowner may be very upset come the day they decide to sell their property and discover that certain potential buyers will not even look at the home, since a pool may never be permitted to be installed on that lot.

All views on this would be welcomed.

Thanks and regards,


Michael said...

Hey guys,

I know I've been a little MIA lately, but I finally got back to listening after a few crazy weeks... Great episode.

I agree with Brutus, great music!

For Carl's exercise I put down Monkland Ave in Montreal (NDG) for my favourite street but could've easily put down a bunch of others that Tyler mentioned.

Inglorious Basterds was great, that movie for me just had everything. I loved the cinematography, the story, the action, the humour...I felt, in terms of violence, it was actually a little toned down compared to other Tarantino films (See Kill Bill...) which made me enjoy it more. Plus, for personal reasons, seeing nazis and hitler being killed by jews is always nice least in a fantasy world.

Now, if I can just put my two cents in on Brutus' question... I would just make a couple of comments... I'm not familiar with this new bylaw so please excuse me if I'm missing something but it would seem that they are trying to make this bylaw apply to all properties, so in a dense urban core where they often want properties to be up to the lot line, having this bylaw apply to front yards (which are almost always smaller, if they do exist) would render the bylaw useless. Additionally, I would think that the extra 'soft coverage' would, indeed, help a lot with any city who has to contend with aging infrastructure and increased stress from growing pop's. Also, the bonus effects it would have on the heat island effect and the psychological relief that is often associated with seeing greenery may outweigh any issues concerning the pools.

I do agree that that is something they will have to deal with but I don't really know how it will affect that industry so I can't make too many comments on that.

As for precedents, I don't think I have any and that may be b/c Toronto has the Toronto Act which gives the city far more power than any other city in Canada. It allows them to do things that others can't so I don't know if this can even been tried anywhere else. Though I would say that there is a tonne of research out there that discusses how cities must do something to deal with their storm water management and the heat island effect, which this is clearly doing...

I'm sure the others will have more to say.

Take care


Brutus said...

Thank you very much, Mike. I really appreciate your views on this contentious matter.

All the best!