The Skinny on InfillThu Jan 28, 2010 Miss Vicky
A reader pointed me to a fascinating discussion over at the Citizen's Designing Ottawa blog. The story's about a new build on a vacant lot on Armstrong - tall and skinny, the building uses up as much of the lot's footprint as possible for a multi-level, modern dwelling, possibly with a second unit in the basement. Miss Vicky is amused at the notion that a skinny building won't work - she lived in an 80-year-old flat in Toronto about that width, plenty of apartments and condos are that small... most of the rooms in the Finishing school are less than 12 feet wide. And heck, have you ever been to Amsterdam?
Many lots in Hintonburg and Mechanicsville are quirky - what city planners would call "non-standard". So anyone who builds on them will have to be creative, and would probably need some kind of variance to get permission to build. But if we are going to increase density in the core - the smart way for Ottawa to grow - then we're going to have to accept some creative solutions to the space that is available in our neighbourhood. And while the modernist aesthetic may not be to everyone's taste, we already have a quirky mix of buildings in the area. Why not add to it with some interesting new builds?
I'm not entirely sure Phil Castro makes the best case for himself in the comments section, though. There are 70 comments now... and counting! Definitely worth checking out