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Thread: The evolution of stores and the different built pattern

  1. #1
    Cyburbian
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    The evolution of stores and the different built pattern

    The evolution of stores and the different built pattern and styles is what has me most confused. Okay here is what I understand doing some reading this past some days !!Well in the old days before 1910 people would live above the store and the store would be at the street like this http://www.flickr.com/photos/6120111...in/photostream

    But in the 20's and 30's do to automobile ownership it became the norm for most cities to have one story -store front like this.

    Yap the store was still at the street.

    But than I believe has ownership was big thing in the 40's and 50's it was norm to move way from the classic store front with use of the ribbon system or so called commercial strip. A strip along the road choped up into very small lots like this








    These commercial strip was alot like the main street or market street most cities would have .

    It was a bad for finding parking some times do to parking lots where very small and one would have to park some times behind the store or the side of the store .

    Than in 60's do to hardly anyone walking it was norm to move way from urban built pattern to embrace the suburb look and feel the use of plazas ,lots of parking !! Before the mid 90's before box stores and power centers took off.


    My Quection why did Toronto like alot of cities in the east cost of Canada did not do this?

    It seems Toronto built pattern and styles was like this before the 50's people would live above the store and the store would be at the street like this http://www.flickr.com/photos/6120111...in/photostream.


    The 60's to 80's the use of malls only that I can only guess of 2 things why they did that .

    1.It being really cold
    2.city did not want alot of stores popping up all over the place .

    Almost all stores where in malls and other stores do to the nature of the store that could not be in malls where in the office park.

    Most all main roads in Toronto built after 50's are like this

    Nothing but track housing away from road and nothing built along the road no offices , factories, stores or nothing.


    Note ribbon system or so called commercial strip ( I believe typical of the 40's and 50's ) some cases even a unplanned look and feel ,side walk at the street ,mostly 2 lanes one way and 2 lanes the other way ,slower driving speed 50KM or 60KM ,little or no green space , 1 to 10 stores at the most in the parking lot ,small lot ,little parking ,hard to find parking ,parking in the front,back or side !!! most walk to the front of the store, the front of the store faces the street, road side feel and look.

    Typical of stores are bars ,restaurants and fast food ,Hot dog ,ice cream ,donuts , diners, car wash ,used cars ,car parts ,discont stores , U-hall ,cash shop ,storage ,auto body ,bicycle service ,computer store ,Beauty shop ,Jamaican food ,Caribbean, Cuban food , car sales ,tire sales ,rent a car ,windows ,beauty salons ,Jewellers ,cleaners ,pet store ,car parts ,part and transmission , supper mart ,used cars , laundry mat ,nails and hair cut ,oil filters for cars ,motors for cars ,car sales ,Hasty mart, 711 ,supply shop , furniture and mattress so on ..


    The picture shows typical ribbon system or so called commercial strip ( I believe typical of the 40's and 50's ).









    Note the east cost of Canada and more so Toronto for some reason seem to have banned this ribbon system or so called commercial strip . The only place you can find this is like in towns away from the city.


    The sun belt cities in the US for some reason seems to be really strong into this typical ribbon system or so called commercial strip for some reason.

    May be to do cheap land value or lose city zoning laws.





    Note I took these pictures ( google street view ) and uploaded them to flickr .

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    What’s happening in some of those highway commercial strips built in the 1950’s and 60’s is the road has been widened. When the buildings were built they were beside a two lane road and probably had on-street or front yard parking, but that disappeared when the roads became six (or seven!) lanes wide.

    In general WWII marks the turning point when builders stopped building buildings for people to walk to and started building them to drive to. In the 1950’s this typically meant one bank of front yard parking between the building face and the sidewalk. In the 1960’s it often meant a two banks of parking and a drive aisle between the street and the building. In the 1970’s the parking area had expanded to a full multi-row parking lot, culminating in the shopping mall which totally removed the pedestrian experience from the public street, and which reached its pinnacle in the 1980’s. In the 1990’s there was the start of a movement to bring the public street back to retail developments which usually resulted in U-shaped plazas that connected to the sidewalk one or both ends but had a sea of parking in the middle. In the 2000’s this evolved into the plaza with street-related retail pads. The current trend has been the re-discovery of the pedestrian Main Street which has resulted in a resurgence of pre-1950’s style street-related retail/mixed-use buildings but served by underground or structured parking.

    The Toronto area does have its share of highway commercial strips, just look for neighbourhoods that were built in the 1950’s through 70’s (Dundas Street through Mississauga, Kingston Road through Scarborough for example). In the 1980’s with the rise of the mall the retail main street became less desirable for retailers with the exception of a few automobile-related segments like car dealers and gas stations, however development was proceeding at a very rapid pace so there were long stretches of arterial roads that no one really wanted to use other than as a conduit for traffic. Therefore developers started backing the houses onto the arterial road. From a traffic engineering point-of-view this is a very efficient way to design a traffic network (no driveways to slow the flow of traffic).

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Another factor is the rise in chain retailing, with larger stores, standardized formats and corporate ownership. I give a short history in an article I wrote a while back. Scroll down to "the Future of Downtown Retail". http://www.placedynamics.com/4Resources.html
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  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    The Toronto area does have its share of highway commercial strips, just look for neighbourhoods that were built in the 1950ís through 70ís (Dundas Street through Mississauga, Kingston Road through Scarborough for example).

    There is not too many places in Toronto that have this .Look at Mississauga population 700,000 !! I would say highway 10 and some places along the Lakeshore and Dundas are the only place that have this.

    If Mississauga was a city in the US Derry road , Eglinton , Burnhamthorpe road , Winston Churchill ,Erin mills parkway ,Mavis and more places on highway 10 and may be even more streets would have this.

    In Brampton only Main street ,Kennedy road and Queen St have this with population 500,000 !!! If it was a US city Steeles ,Bovaird ,Williams parkway, Dixie road ,Airport road and may be even more streets would have this .

    But what Mississauga and Brampton has is alot of malls that you just do not see that in many US cities.


    The west coast in Canada seems to have more of this for some reason.

    In the 1980ís with the rise of the mall the retail main street became less desirable for retailers with the exception of a few automobile-related segments like car dealers and gas stations, however development was proceeding at a very rapid pace so there were long stretches of arterial roads that no one really wanted to use other than as a conduit for traffic. Therefore developers started backing the houses onto the arterial road. From a traffic engineering point-of-view this is a very efficient way to design a traffic network (no driveways to slow the flow of traffic).
    Why was it before homes would be on the arterial roads and not now ?

    What I have not seen in any US city is not backing offices or Factories on the arterial roads that seem to be very big here in Toronto and the Toronto area .

    Where they do not want to be putting offices or Factories on the arterial roads like this.


















    Other big trend starting to happen here in Toronto and the Toronto area is store wrapping around like this .








    I have not seen this in US and not sure why they are doing this.



    Note I took these pictures ( google earth) and uploaded them to flickr .

  5. #5
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    NEC, one of the advantages I see of developing that way is the reduction of curb cuts. This allows for more landscaping along the arterials. It is odd though that the anchors would agree to this as most want to use thier stores as signs. In most cases, this kind of development hides the anchors. I have seen this in type of Development in Orange County CA in the area around Aliso Vielo and Laguna Hills.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
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    What do you mean by reduction of curb cuts ?

    The store wrapping around I have not seen in the US even in your pictures the front of the store and parking lot is visible. .I think the trend is to hide the parking lot all those cars . But I guess it never cought on to city planners in the US or not has popular and in areas that have high robbery and break and enter !! You want the front of the store to face the street and be seen much as possible same with the parking lot can be seen from the street so people can call the police and for the police that patrol the streets.


    Some power centers get so big here in Canada it makes fake town-town area that have no foot taffic or car traffic after hours that is primr target for crime.

    Fake town-town area
    http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ll...h&z=16&vpsrc=6

    This area is hidden from view and no no in high crime areas
    http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ll...h&z=16&vpsrc=6


    Fake town-town area and very much hidden from view ( prime spot if one was to do crime )
    http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ll...h&z=16&vpsrc=6


    Well that's probably why alot of power centers and box stores in Miami ,Fort Lauderdale ,Las Vegas and Phoenix and other cities it is trend to line the box stores and power center on fake commercial strip where the front of store and parking lot is visible from street has much has possible .

  7. #7
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Curb cuts are driveways. By placing the retail near the street you can only justify access at one point. From a transportation perspective this is a good thing as it eliminates a lot of locations where crashes can coccur. If you can controll access you can better plan in ways that would reduce accidents or conflicts with pedestrians or transit.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  8. #8
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by DetroitPlanner View post
    Curb cuts are driveways. By placing the retail near the street you can only justify access at one point. From a transportation perspective this is a good thing as it eliminates a lot of locations where crashes can coccur. If you can controll access you can better plan in ways that would reduce accidents or conflicts with pedestrians or transit.

    I have notince thant many locations here have very littile those curb cuts . Where in US and Las Vegas has alot of those curb cuts .

    Like Howl said there is long stretches of arterial roads with little driveways and backing of houses onto the arterial roads now , so it would seem power center would have lirttle curb cuts like 2 curb cuts than say 4 or 5.


    Here is area in Las Vegas on a arterial road lots of curb cuts.
    http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ll...k&z=18&vpsrc=6
    http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ll...k&z=18&vpsrc=6
    http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ll...k&vpsrc=6&z=18

    Suburbs in the Toronto areas
    http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ll...k&z=18&vpsrc=6
    http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ll...k&z=17&vpsrc=6
    http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ll...k&vpsrc=6&z=16

    Older parts of the city seem to have more curb cuts and intersections but than the driving speed on the arterial road is much slower.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by nec209 View post
    There is not too many places in Toronto that have this .Look at Mississauga population 700,000 !! I would say highway 10 and some places along the Lakeshore and Dundas are the only place that have this.

    Note I took these pictures ( google earth) and uploaded them to flickr .
    Wow! Look at that forlorn, unattractive expanse of parking ugliness, with no trees! Has the code changed and you are required to cover the impervious now?!?
    -------
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  10. #10
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    Beautiful development patterns! In most parts of the states one would see the arterial road flanked by two frontage roads, then the store fronts. I term the pattern shown backage rather than frontage roads. Backage roads allow for utilities (and road pavement) to serve twice as many lots. Curb cuts are drastically reduced along the arterial permitting more safe and free flow of traffic. The "wrap around" mentioned shows a smart developer; sufficient space was reserved for future development as demand and traffic increase. I wish there were more of this development pattern.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian
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    Beautiful development patterns! In most parts of the states one would see the arterial road flanked by two frontage roads, then the store fronts.
    What do you mean buy two frontage roads?



    I term the pattern shown backage rather than frontage roads. Backage roads allow for utilities (and road pavement) to serve twice as many lots.
    I'm not sure what you mean ? It is very common for cities in Canada and the US to not build homes on arterial roads . These arterial are almost like a highways and have lots of car traffic and most people would not want to live on those arterial roads.

    Area in Las Vegas shows same thing.
    http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ll...238.01,,0,1.35


    Again this is very typical of cities built in the US and Canada of 60's to now.
    Curb cuts are drastically reduced along the arterial permitting more safe and free flow of traffic.
    Yes I know that point traffic engineering point-of-view a efficient way to design a traffic network to cut down on curb cuts and intersections.



    The "wrap around" mentioned shows a smart developer; sufficient space was reserved for future development as demand and traffic increase. I wish there were more of this development pattern.

    In the southwest where you can get in trouble for watering the grass and areas in high crime I do not think the city planners would go for it.



    Other trend here in past 5 years is much of the new retail in suburban Toronto looks like the pictures below.The buildings will come to (or close to) the sidewalk, and the stores will sometimes have windows facing the sidewalk, but often the stores will have no entrance from the sidewalk, and you have to walk around to the parking lot side to access the store !!!

    Very car centric.









    I'm sure point is to hide the parking lot all those cars.

    But again in the southwest where one can get in in trouble for watering the grass and areas in high crime area the city planners will not go for it.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Tarf's avatar
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    I've never been much of a fan of hiding parking lots like that. It's just dishonest. Auto-oriented development is still auto-oriented, no matter how obscured the parking lots are from adjacent roads. Hiding parking from public view like that doesn't make walking or riding bikes on the adjacent streets any more pleasant or feasible. Trolleys/subways aren't afraid of parking lots and don't magically pop up out of the ground just because the parking lots are hidden. All it does - at least in some of those pictures that appear to be of light industrial/R&D type developments - is create bland street frontages dominated by large buildings that have no interaction with the street anyways. Commercial buildings are slightly different, though commercial buildings often have breaks that offer views of the parking areas (even when the buildings are aligned along the street edge).

    Also, there doesn't seem to be a point to even doing something like that unless you're trying to promote other modes of transportation (e.g., if there's a subway station nearby). And yes, I recognize this may be the case in places like Toronto. Though that's why you don't see that type of development in places like Sprawl Veg... er Las Vegas. Las Vegas is definitely auto-oriented, and so you see instead auto-oriented development dominating the landscape.

    Here is my favorite local example - from a definite auto-oriented community. This shopping center doesn't hide from its auto-oriented nature. Instead, it embraces it. Going shopping? Take the local shopping road. Going around the shopping area? Take this secondary road (to the west) or the main arterial (to the east). Not that I'm holding this up as the best example of design, mind you. However, the design of this shopping center allows traffic to flow very smoothly for patrons of the stores and pass-by traffic alike, meanwhile the shopping center (and its parking lots) are obscured from traffic along El Camino Real and mostly obscured from the N-S road on the west (due to an elevation difference and landscaping). There also is a slight elevation difference along Leucadia Blvd, which partly blocks views of the parking areas (but still allows views of the commercial buildings).

    http://maps.google.com/maps?q=encini...h&z=17&vpsrc=6

    Again, not the best example of design, but certainly better than a fortress of buildings jealously guarding their parking lot from public view.
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  13. #13
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by nec209 View post
    My Quection why did Toronto like alot of cities in the east cost of Canada did not do this?

    1.It being really cold..
    I strongly advise against trying to attribute much of anything to climate. It simply doesn't have that much effect; pretty much everywhere you go, from the most tropical or arid to the most arctic, weather will be pretty much the same.

    Obviously, I don't mean that the weather is exactly the same everywhere you go. What I mean by that is that, no matter where you go, some days out of the year it will be a nice clear day with a pleasant temperature and people will go out and about, and other days of the year it will be rainy/icy/muddy/sweltering hot/windy/snowy/hammered flat by blistering sun/dark/infested with insects/barricaded by zombies/what have you and nobody is going to want to go outside.

    In transit, I had always heard people assert that Alaska had poor transit because it was too cold. Then I heard that Australia blames their poor transit on the weather being too warm. It's not an actual reason with predictive power, it's more of an excuse made to assert that "Oh we can't be held to a high standard, it's DIFFERENT here" when in fact, the number of good-weather days between cases is about the same.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by JusticeZero View post
    I strongly advise against trying to attribute much of anything to climate. It simply doesn't have that much effect; pretty much everywhere you go, from the most tropical or arid to the most arctic, weather will be pretty much the same.

    Obviously, I don't mean that the weather is exactly the same everywhere you go. What I mean by that is that, no matter where you go, some days out of the year it will be a nice clear day with a pleasant temperature and people will go out and about, and other days of the year it will be rainy/icy/muddy/sweltering hot/windy/snowy/hammered flat by blistering sun/dark/infested with insects/barricaded by zombies/what have you and nobody is going to want to go outside.

    In transit, I had always heard people assert that Alaska had poor transit because it was too cold. Then I heard that Australia blames their poor transit on the weather being too warm. It's not an actual reason with predictive power, it's more of an excuse made to assert that "Oh we can't be held to a high standard, it's DIFFERENT here" when in fact, the number of good-weather days between cases is about the same.




    JusticeZero you not understanding that Canada and US took different paths on the evolution of stores and the different built pattern.


    The US was like this before 1910 http://www.flickr.com/photos/6120111...in/photostream


    But than I think do to the Euclidean zoning it lead to breakdown of mix use that many cities built one story store fronts in the 20's and 30's like this

    This Euclidean zoning also lead to the American Roadside strip of stores and other building before malls and plazas took of in the late 60's or 70's that killed the American Roadside strip.


    American Roadside strip



    I don't think Canada had any thing like the Euclidean zoning so the stores where mix use and people lived above the store or had office above the store to the late 60's before malls and plazas took of .

    I think one thing why you do not see too many one story store fronts and American Roadside strip here in Canada we never had a Euclidean zoning .And the east coast of Canada was strong on mix use built pattern thus one story store fronts and American Roadside strip are not popular like in US.

    Also do to it being cold plazas was not popular here like in the US. When it cold you want to get in doors very fast and drive to one location not diving here and there.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    nec, I'm mostly familiar with southern Ontario as I have cousins living in Toronto, so that's what my observations are based on.

    I think that differences in New York's and Ontario's commercial development patterns are less the result of zoning and more the result of differences in the Canadian and American mindsets.

    In the US, idea of sole proprietors living above/behind their businesses probably started dying out well before WW II, perhaps as early as the 1920s. The Great Depression and WW II obscured building trends for about 15 years, so it's hard to tell when the idea really became passe. However, after 1945, virtually nobody in the US built combination shops/housing even in city neighborhoods, although many sole proprietors living above/behind their shops persisted into the 1960s. In some urban immigrant communities, it may still exist. Keep in mind first that many suburban areas may not have had any zoning at all until some time in the 1960s, and the ubiquitous US roadside strip malls often originated in the 1950s. Moreover, the main thoroughfares would naturally be considered choice commercial areas rather than residential whether there was zoning or not.

    I think that Ontario stayed somewhat "backward" development/sprawl-wise compared to the US in the 1960s, most likely because of Canada's low population which could still fit within city borders. If there's little or no suburban residential development, there's probably not going to be much commercial development, either. I think that by the time the population pressures of immigration and internal migration revved up sprawl in southern Ontario, the strip mall was largely passe and big box plazas/malls were the preferred way to go.

    I can remember when the stretch of the QEW between St Catharines and Hamilton was all farmland not suburbia, and when you could tell where Hamilton ended and metro Toronto began. It's all run together now, but that's been a relatively recent thing, probably only since the 1980s.

    PS - I agree with you on the cold weather. A wind chill of -10 Fahrenheit or lower, especially for several days, will definitely inhibit pedestrian traffic. It may very well explain Canada's love affair with malls.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian
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    I agree with Linda to some extent, however I donít think the differences are a dramatic as nec209 thinks. If one looks hard enough one can find examples of various types of development in both countries. The important things to know when looking at a commercial area is to understand when it was built and what were the global and local economic circumstances surrounding the construction of the area were. Once youíve established that you can look into how the area evolved over time.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian
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    Here is the closes thing that gets to the American Roadside strip Yap it is mix use but tight parking Toronto has many of these but I would not call this proper strip

    http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ll...02.05,,0,-1.35

    http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ll...41.16,,0,10.24

    http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ll...,17.47,,0,0.56

    http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ll...146.62,,0,7.76




    The malls and plazas that killed the American Roadside strip .

    big Mall with lots of highrise apartments
    http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ll...=12,56.81,,0,0

    http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ll...12,336.15,,0,0

    big parking lot where many stores use that parking lot
    http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ll...24.78,,0,-2.14


    More malls
    http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ll...12,354.69,,0,0

    http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ll...277.31,,0,3.49

    Other think why there is lack of strip here.

    I would like to say bars ,restaurants and fast food here are in plaza or store front where people live above store same with hot dog ,ice cream ,donuts , diners same thing not popular the hot dog ,ice cream ,donuts , diners .

    And most diners are by truck stops or in the country.

    And car wash ,used cars ,car parts ,discont stores , U-hall ,cash shop ,storage ,auto body ,bicycle service especially the 60's to now in a industrial park than on a strip.

    And computer store ,beauty shop ,Jamaican food , Cuban food,beauty salons ,Jewellers ,cleaners ,pet store ,supper mart ,laundry mat ,nails and hair cut ,Hasty mart, 711 ,so on in a plaza or store front where people live above store.


    And car sales ,tire sales ,rent a car ,windows ,car parts ,part and transmission ,used cars ,oil filters for cars ,motors for cars ,car sales ,supply shop , furniture and mattress especially the 60's to now in a industrial park than on a strip.

    Where in the US in the 30's , 40's and 50's and 60's on a strip.

    Also I do not see very big industrial parks in the US like here in Canada or them putting these in the industrial park and if there is industrial park it is on the main road not tucked away.

    Other reason strips are not big here has many of this can be found in a industrial parks .

    I have also seen many bars ,restaurants and fast food in the GTA area in a industrial parks too !!!






    Many times one can look here in industrial parks and find car wash ,used cars ,car parts ,discont stores , U-hall ,cash shop ,storage ,auto body ,bicycle service ,car sales ,tire sales ,rent a car ,windows ,car parts ,part and transmission ,used cars ,oil filters for cars ,motors for cars ,car sales ,supply shop , furniture and mattress so in this industrial parks of the main road.Where in the US it is on the main road than a industrial parks and industrial parks seem to be small in US.

    And if there is industrial parks it seems to be main road.
    Last edited by nec209; 25 Nov 2011 at 4:50 PM.

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