Architecture and urban redevelopment rarely feature on The Writing’s on the Wall, but a Toronto-based project recently caught my eye for a number of reasons. Not least because the project’s visionary tragically lost his life before he could see its completion, stalling the development unless a petition can be submitted in support of the plans. So I wanted to help spread the word.
The redevelopment of Market Street, one of Toronto’s oldest and most iconic streets, was the dream of the late Paul Oberman – visionary real estate developer, much-loved by the Toronto community for his dedication to heritage restoration. The ambitious, vibrant project aims to create a truly livable public space in the St. Lawrence area of Toronto by making Market Street a pedestrian-only zone and lining its east side it with a bright and lively flower market.
In addition, the project is hoping to re-name this destination ‘Oberman Way’ – a touching and fitting way to honour the man whose vision has provided Toronto with so many wonderful urban experiences throughout his career. For those unfamiliar with his life’s work, for over thirty years Paul built a distinguished career in real estate development, with a particular eye and interest in sensitive, sophisticated, heritage restoration. He leaves behind a physical legacy of extraordinary buildings and a deep care about his city and every community he has served.
Paul believed that neighbourhoods thrive when architectural heritage is preserved and re-purposed as a backdrop for healthy community interaction. This vision is taking hold in the St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood, but support and signatures are needed to petition for the completion of the project.
Having worked closely this year with Paul’s charming and vivacious daughter, Melissa, I was moved to help spread the word about this project and I really encourage everyone reading this to spend just two minutes signing the petition to help make Paul’s dream and legacy become a reality for the residents and visitors of Toronto.
Your signature really counts! Sign the petition to support Paul’s vision.