Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Bloor Street Gets New Benches

Sitting down is kind of awesome. So it is with great happiness that I noticed new benches popping up on the stretch of Bloor between Spadina and Bathurst a few weeks ago. These new benches replace the previous benches on the street, which, to put it nicely, were showing their age.

The new benches are love-seat size, with wooden slats joined up with a curving metal armrests that look almost floral, like out-turned petals. It's not the most beautiful of designs, but it is functional and, I'm glad to see, doesn't contain the middle armrest that is used to discourage those who would want to lie down on a bench (although the short length means lying down would be a bit uncomfortable).

The benches are also backless, which usually I don't like, but makes sense here on a busy street where people are unlikely to sit and read for hours and more likely to sit and wait for their friend to get out of Book City. It also means you can choose to face traffic or the street. Benches with backs make that decision for you.

It's great to see these included on a stretch of street that sees lots of people milling around outside of various establishments and using the incredibly bulky planters as impromptu seating.

[edit: Further investigation reveals that these benches are part of Astral Media's street furniture contract with the City of Toronto. Think Toronto's hideously ugly and functionally terrible garbage cans. At least there is no advertising on these benches.]

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