The Weston 2021 design conference ended on Thursday. For three days, dozens of Toronto’s best and brightest architects and planners devoted themselves to solving the problems in Weston. The ‘charette’ was organized by Frances Nunziata, our city councillor, and developed out of the work of Paul Bedford, Toronto’s former Chief Planner.
The architects and urban planners were trying to improve three areas in Weston: the residential area between Rosemount and the Humber, the Weston GO Station, and the apartment towers at 1765 and 1775 Weston Rd.
The conference started with the idea that Weston is not an intersection; it is a town. However, the attendees recognized several problems that were brought to them by community members:
- We suffer from a lack of connectivity between the two sides of the tracks
- The streetscape along Weston Road is not inviting
- Residents have concerns about safety
- The retail spaces along Weston Road tend to serve only low-income residents
- Much traffic goes through Weston, but few people stop
The planners at the conference were trying to improve the community by finding something to rejuvenate the business area, increase day to day activity in Weston, and catalyze growth in developments and public space. Some of the ideas included:
- Improving the policing, lighting, and cleaning along Weston Rd.
- Creating ‘catalyst’ development at the Weston GO station that will draw the community together and create new investment opportunity
- Creating a ‘bicycle identity’ for the area, building on our history of bicycle manufacture
The charette worked to develop a final printed product which will be available soon. The proposed ideas will be subjected to financial scrutiny at the next level of planning, the “Technical Assistance Panel” workshop.
Metrolinx and the City of Toronto picked up the tab for the charette.