Let’s talk about laneways. There is a lot to learn and love about Toronto’s laneways. This underutilized network of public spaces has so much potential. Most people at some point along their travels have wandered through them. Some of the street art that can be found is amazing, the time saved using them instead of main routes is noteworthy and soon enough people can start living in them with the recently adopted Changing Lanes laneway suite housing strategy by the City of Toronto.
Common Challenges with Laneways
People’s initial impressions of laneways may not always be favourable because some of them can certainly be dark, dingy and dirty. A not for profit organization, The Laneway Project, has published a list of 8 No Brainers, that communities can implement to vastly improve these areas. Some of these items include greening, maintenance, and lighting. Lighting, in particular, is a big issue because of its influence on the real and perceived safety of our laneways – and the potential of lighting to unlock the potential of our laneways is being explored with a pilot project in two west-end laneways.
Let There Be Light
Per the current minimum standards, laneway lighting is only calibrated for vehicles – but many pedestrians and cyclists use these laneways and need appropriate lighting standards too. The Laneway Project is leading the charge in creating a city-first laneway lighting demonstration project, in partnership with the Ossington and Bloordale communities. The project will add shielded LED lighting fixtures to enhance the current vehicle-focused lighting infrastructure, and is cheered on by all local BIAs (Business Improvement Areas) and Community Associations, alongside various city departments and City Councillors.
Help Light the Laneways
Who hasn’t thought about hosting a get-together in a laneway? Well the chance is here on July 5th, 2018 to have fun yet also contributing to the fundraiser. A visioning workshop, and fun activations will take place in the hip laneway of Queen St W and Ossington Ave. It is a chance for people to bring their concerns forward and understand how laneways can be brought to life.
Meet at 6 Ossington rear from 7pm-10pm. Food and drink will be provided from local restaurants. Some of the businesses backing onto the laneway will also have some activities happening which include Parlour Salon and Academy of Lions.