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A Little Preservation Goes A Long Way

CBC reported a story today that Toronto city council is talking about preserving a kilometre and a half stretch of Queen West by designating it a heritage site. The Victorian and Edwardian buildings, many of which are used as retail space on the ground level, run between Bathurst and University and add distinct charm to the city.

Has anyone been shopping at Bay and Bloor lately? There's nothing enticing about the mix of glass storefronts and brutalist architecture in what's supposed to be Toronto's platinum shopping mecca.

The idea to keep some continuity along Queen West doesn't please everyone however. Understandably, shopkeepers along the street don't want to jump through extra hoops any time they chose to change their facade. They also argue that only about half of the buildings are in fact historicly significant.

I'll argue that it's definitely worth the battle. I love the colourful buildings down at St. Lawrence Market. Ocean Drive's art deco would've been demolished if it weren't for one woman who saw it's value. Tribeca in New York and Paddington in Sydney are among my favorite shopping neighborhoods anywhere - both of which are rigorously preserved. If you ask me a little preservation goes a long way.

(image: Memento)


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