Blight and the Brave New World
Rural estates to urban renewal: Moss Park, Trefann Court and Corktown

Bebout, Rick

Publisher:  Rick Bebout
Date Written:  01/11/2001
Year Published:  2001  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX24186

A history of, and observations and reflections on the Moss Park, Trefann Court and Corktown areas of Toronto.




Urban planners who gave us the likes of Moss Park were ever on about "blight," speaking of it as a disease, old buildings its worst symptom.

Toronto's Eugene Faludi wrote in 1947 that their "haphazard" replacement might retard "the progress of blight" -- "but the sources of the disease will remain to infect these areas. ... Rehabilitation can be accomplished only by the wholesale attack on the problem involving replanning and rebuilding on a large scale."


A formula of perfect rationality, mechanical efficiency: the city as car conveyor and human warehouse -- not a complex living organism; the "new" planted all at once -- not growing, as Jane Jacobs would show it truly does, out of the old. "Blighted" buildings often shelter dreams too young to afford upscale rents; "urban decay" can be fertile ground.

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