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Toronto Wants to Improve the Drive In

If I'm coming back to Toronto through any highway, there's not much to see - I'm mostly looking at gray office buildings, advertising and other cars. I only feel like I'm at home when the recognizable skyline appears or a familiar streetcar rolls by.

The city is trying to make that ride more interesting. Gateways located at different highway points into the city are looking for private sector backing, but Toronto has agreed to fund the design costs.

One initial design is for a series of 24 poles that will reach 40 meters into the air and sway in the wind because of a flexible fiberglass construction. The piece, from Sweeny Sterling Finlayson & Co. Architects, will be called Gathering and would be installed near Highway 427 and Dixon Road - a useful place to welcome people driving into the city from the airport.

Is this a good idea? Well, a bunch of places do welcome people with more than a small blue sign and population figures. Mumbai, St. Louis and Paris have significant structures that have served as important city or regional entrances. While I can't really picture the impact of this design, the idea of an aesthetically engaging welcome-to-Toronto would be an improvement on looking at warehouses and parking lots.

photo: Image from Lone Primate from the blogTO flickr pool.


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