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Image of the day: The Grand Bargain in Vancouver
High density in the downtown peninsula, low density elsewhere
Vancouverism is the idea of making high-density urban living attractive and upscale. This photo (taken through an airplane window) makes it clear that most of Vancouver remains low-density suburbia.
See also: Gordon Price, The Grand Bargain, Illustrated.
Post-war Toronto and its suburban cities decided to accommodate density (those concrete towers especially) where there was primarily commercial and industrial zoning. With the opening of the Yonge Street subway in 1954, the station areas made ideal locations, especially where there was already a streetcar village.
To deal with community blowback at the sudden change in scale and alienating architecture, especially if the bulldozing of existing residential neighbourhoods might be required, planners and councils struck a compact: we won’t touch a blade of grass in your single-family zones. Your status will be maintained.
Hence the Grand Bargain: high-rise density, low-scale suburbia, little in between. Massive change for one, almost none for the other, and spot rezonings thereafter.