I am tired of certain people making up stuff about what it is I am against. Blinded by their own personal agendas they cannot see — or perhaps choose not to see — the positive message that I pursue.
Yes, in my backyard (specifically that part of my backyard on Commercial between Venables and Adanac), I want to see a fine four-storey permanent home for the Kettle Friendship Society; a home that will include 30 supportive housing units and 12,000 square feet of admin and Drop-In space. I want to see this home built on what is now the publicly owned parking lot (shown on map as (5).
I want to see the buildings along Venables (1, 2, and 3) replaced by a four-storey block with retail on the bottom floor and three floors of apartments. There are several of these already completed successfully in close proximity, including City View Terraces, right across the street from the proposed building), the block at Venables & Salsbury (just one block away), and the apartments on the Drive opposite Grandview Park (just four blocks away). The Casa and the Marquee would be examples a little further south along Commercial. I would see these as rental apartments.
I want the old and little-used Commercial Drive section between Adanac and Venables (6) to be closed off to traffic and turned into an Italian-heritage style piazza. This I see as a lively community space where, for example, Uprising Bakery (7 on the map), could have tables and chairs out on the piazza, adding to the street life, recalling the public squares of Italy. This would be a significant addition to the public realm.
That’s what I want to see in my backyard, and I am certainly not alone. A design along these lines would give the Kettle exactly what it is asking for, would increase density while maintaining neighbourhood building forms, would provide Grandview with much-needed rental accommodation, and would provide the Drive with another lively public space where they can meet their neighbours and have fun.
But that’s just the YIMBY in me talking.