York Urbanist

Archive for August, 2012

US Open tennis – Court Dimensions

August 31st, 2012
Recreation, Sports

In honour of the US Open, and for your interest / trivia, here are the regulation court dimensions:

Overall Dimensions
The overall size of a tennis doubles court is 36 feet wide by 78 feet long. The
singles court is slightly narrower measuring 27 feet wide. Both singles and
doubles courts share the same length.

The Service Court
The service court fits inside the singles width of the court (27 feet wide) and
extends back from the net 21 feet. The service court is divided in half with a
center line marking the left and right service courts.

The Net
The net measures 3 feet 6 inches high at the ends and 3 feet high at the middle
tape. Typically the net standards are placed 3 feet outside the outer lines of
the doubles court, making the net length a total of 42 feet from pole to pole.

Distance from other Courts and Fencing
It is adviseable to have a distance of a 12 foot perimeter on each side of the
sidelines and 21 feet from each baseline to create enough playing area inside
fencing and adjacent tennis courts

Lower Don Trail – "I waited 40 years…"

August 30th, 2012

We cycled the Lower Don Trail, and more. But an interesting encounter hit home about doffing the car and donning the bicycle.

We met and interviewed a man, when he asked directions. The man was retired and he added “It took me 40 years to find Toronto, and all it took was a bike.” ….

We parked at Evergreen’s Brick Works, a magnificent destination to learn about history and ecology. Traveling south was a challenge on the west bank of the Don, but the lack of off-road trails led us to another historic destination, The Distillery District.

We carried on south, wending our way through streets not designed for cyclists, but discovered enclaves of residential and commercial interest. The Portlands, their film studios and my memories of what could have been, had Toronto hosted the 2008 Olympics (I was part of the design team), are a broad plain that disguise the ugliness of contamination below ground. But therein lies a story, or a chapter in the story of our daytime journey.

Having been the landscape architect for one of only two of the Lower Don’s pedestrian bridges south of Pottery Road, I hovered just north of Lakeshore Road to admire it and watch its use. This was designed to have been relocatable, once the designs were completed for the future of the mouth of the Don River.

It was at this point that we realized that the Lower Don Trail had been obscured, on our trip south, distracted by the immense construction of the future PanAmerican Games’ Athletes Village. The Trail on our northbound exercise started on the west bank, separated from the City by rails, those most impassable of man-made barriers to cyclists. The second bridge sent us to the east bank, which caught us between the din of the DVP and barely noticeable low flowing river.

Eventually, we headed north of our Brick Works destination to the obscurity of the Valley’s woods and a trail wide enough only for our bike tires. There, with creativity, off-roaders had developed their own adventure trail, our own adventure before arriving back at the car.

In our afternoon trek, we too had discovered elements of Toronto, like that retired man, that you will not find behind a wheel, but will find above two wheels.

Saving Ash Trees

August 22nd, 2012

Can we afford to save ash trees? One letter to the editor puts the cost into perspectives to which we all can relate. http://www.yorkregion.com/opinion/article/1489026–saving-tree-would-be-money-well-spent

Gaudi inspired in Aussie

August 15th, 2012
Urban Design

http://designbuildsource.com.au/fighting-urban-monotony this is cool – if you are into architecture. Makes Gaudi look like grade school.

Douglas Cardinal Ahead of his Time

August 9th, 2012
Urban Design

http://www.yankodesign.com/​2012/08/07/​changing-the-chinese-skyline/ This reminds me of York Region Headquarters in Newmarket – Douglas Cardinal, architect

Imagine that the bad boy of Canadian architecture performed his artistry without the benefits of today’s design technology.

Cycling on the increase?

August 8th, 2012
Healthy Communities, Recreation, Transportation issues, Uncategorized

Is this what it will take to increase cycling in GTA?

Benefits of Trees

August 3rd, 2012

•The net cooling effect of single, young healthy tree is equivalent to 10 room-sized air conditioners, running for 20 hours a day. 10 air conditioners, a single tree!!
•A tree planted today on the west side of your house will result in a 3% energy savings in the five years time, 12% savings in fifteen years.
•A single stand of trees reduces particulate pollution 9-13%, with the amount of dust reaching the ground beneath those trees 27-42%, versus in an open area.
•If you have trees on your property near your home it accounts for 10-23% of your home value.
•In urban areas, assuming the cost of planting and maintaining a tree for three years at $250-600, it will return $90,000 in direct benefits over its lifetime (apart from beautification, etc.).

Badminton Gone Sour at Olympics

August 1st, 2012

Politics takes the enjoyment from sports at the Olympics. The following is an excerpt from BBC. http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/olympics/19072677

Eight badminton players have been disqualified from the doubles after being accused of
“not using one’s best efforts to win”.

Two pairs from South Korea and one each from China and Indonesia made a
series of basic errors in Tuesday’s matches.

All four pairs were accused of wanting to lose in an attempt to manipulate
the draw for the knockout stage.

Indonesia and South Korea have appealed and a decision is expected before
Wednesday’s quarter-finals at 1900 BST.

The Badminton World Federation met on Wednesday morning to discuss the case. As well as the “not using best efforts” charge, the players were also accused of “conducting oneself in a manner that is clearly
abusive or detrimental to the sport”.

Teams had blamed the introduction of a round-robin stage rather than a
straight knockout tournament as the catalyst. In the round-robin format, losing
one game can lead to an easier match-up in the next round.

In the first women’s doubles match at Wembley Arena on Tuesday night, fans
jeered China’s Yu Yang and Wang Xiaoli and
South Koreans Jung Kyung-eun and Kim Ha-na .

The longest rally in the first game lasted four shots, with match referee
Thorsten Berg coming on to the court at one point to warn the players.

South Korea won the Group A match, which lasted 23 minutes, 21-14 21-11.

Both pairs were already through to the quarter-finals,
with the winners to face China’s Tian Quing and Zhao Yunlei. The two Chinese
pairings could have only met in the final following the results in the final
group game.

Speaking before the verdict, Korea’s coach Sung Han-kook said: “The Chinese
started this. They did it first. It’s a complicated thing with the draws. They
didn’t want to meet each other in the semi-final, they don’t want that to

“They (BWF) should do something about that.”

But Yu said the Chinese were aiming to preserve energy ahead of the knockout

She said: “Actually these opponents really were strong. This is the first
time we’ve played them and tomorrow it’s the knockout rounds, so we’ve already
qualified and we wanted to have more energy for the knockout rounds.”

eight badminton players were charged with “not using one’s best efforts to win the match” – my former sport blasphemed by the Asian teams who do not want to meet tough opponents before the gold medals.