Here’s an interesting idea born in Weston—Mount Dennis: pop-up infrastructure. It’s clever: stop-gap community spaces built using pre-fab materials on unused land.
The idea came from St Albans Boys and Girls Club, a Weston-Mount Dennis group. With some community partners, they put a portable on a underused parking lot at York Humber High School to create space for their programming.
Pop-up infrastructure makes a lot of sense for the inner suburbs: we tend to be short on nearby community spaces but long on brownfield areas. There are problems, though. St. Albans found the process frustrating: it took “nearly 5 years before they received the approval to access the site and it was not until 2014 that the first portable was finally installed. From negotiations to regulatory approvals they seemed to be hitting roadblock after roadblock at every step.”
Out of their struggles grew a report and a website with some great ideas. The plans start at $1000, for a bike and trailer, and get considerably more expensive. All of the infrastructure, though, is portable and comparatively cheap.