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Fighting for beauty

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As our populations grow and more of us want to be in the centre of things, the pressure grows on our common spaces.

As a citizen of Toronto, I am faced every day with the stresses placed on our common resources: parks, streetcars, sidewalks, squares and more. Seldom are such spaces created or expanded. Public investment often seems to be at historic lows.

At Holy Trinity we fought to create and then protect Trinity Square as a space for peace, beauty, rest, retreat for all citizens and visitors. It was our land and leadership which leveraged this good for our Toronto community. It was a gift we have been proud to share with the whole city.

Unfortunately, we have recently learned that this space is under attack. A development proposal has been filed with the city that would add 60 storeys to the building on the south side of the square. Among the negative effects on the square would be a significant increase in both shadow and wind in the square.

The proposal attempts to downplay these effects by focussing in their summary on the slimness of the tower and on the parts of the area where the change in wind speed would be negligible. However, a review of their own data reveals that the tower would steal nearly an hour of sunlight from a space that only receives 3.5 to 4.25 hours of sunlight at present. The wind speeds in the central part of the labyrinth and along the south side of Holy Trinity would nearly double. They say that the projected speeds would still be in the range considered acceptable for walking, however, this is a public park, not a sidewalk. It is important that the square remain a pleasant place to be, not simply traverse.

I hope that we are able to stop this attack on the public realm in Toronto. If you would like to lend a hand, please check out this Holy Trinity webpage.