Saturday, July 6, 2013

Byron: A London, Ontario, subdivision

I love this modern home with a little balcony off what I assume is the master bedroom.

Subdivision is a dirty word in London, Ontario. I don't know why as most Londoners live in a subdivision.

The local paper likes to talk about London subdivisions as if they were the same as Toronto developments. They aren't. For instance, I can drive downtown in 15 minutes or less at almost any time of day. Heck, once I walked home from downtown London on account of late night car trouble.

Byron, where I live, was an independent little place southwest of the city before it was annexed half a century ago. My subdivision was designed and constructed more than thirty years ago by Eadie and Wilcox, a local developer.

There is a small commercial mall in the north end of the development. Farther north is the old, former core of Byron which is still a commercial hub with a grocery store, liquor store, drug store and more. Immediately to the south of the E and W subdivision is a new and rapidly expanding box store like mall. I can easily walk to all three commercial shopping areas

The street layout is classic North American subdivision with lots of crescents and courts mixed in with the roads. Major traffic carrying streets have sidewalks on both sides, minor traffic carrying streets have a sidewalk on one side and cul-de-sacs with low traffic flows have narrow roadways and no sidewalks at all.

The London planning department makes quite a big deal out of some of the older, heritage subdivisions in town. Wortley Village in Old South comes to mind. There is a move to protect the Wortley Village neighbourhood.

I like old as much as the next person. Yet, I find it sad that we ignore the new in favour of the old. I believe we should respect the whole city. The city planners should strive to protect what is good everywhere in the city and try to ensure that commercial spaces are as dense and productive in new subdivisions as in older, heritage ones.

And so, starting to day, I am going to run some pictures of homes in the Eadie and Wilcox developed subdivision in the south west end of London, Ontario.

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