World class streetscape

ONE of Canada’s leading city planners says Warrnambool’s streetscape design is world-beating and should be better appreciated.

Jennifer Keesmaat.

Jennifer Keesmaat.

Toronto City chief planner Jennifer Keesmaat spoke to delegates at the State Planning Conference at the Lighthouse Theatre yesterday, drawing links between Canada’s largest city and Melbourne.

Ms Keesmaat served as a town planner at a number of Canadian provincial cities before moving to Toronto and was keen to see south-west Victoria firsthand.

She said Warrnambool was well-served by its central grid street layout, contrasted with the numerous Norfolk Island pines that line the city’s historic avenues. 

“What I found striking when I came to Warrnambool earlier this week was the number of trees you have here and the aesthetic effect it has,”  she said. “I understand (the Norfolk Island pines) were first planted as a wind barrier. 

“But they serve more than a practical purpose. When you first come into Warrnambool, the vista is quite impressive.”

Ms Keesmaat drew parallels between Warrnambool and Canada’s Lethbridge, a city in southern Alberta with a population of more than 80,000.

She said Lethbridge had a fine collection of late 19th and early 20th century buildings interspersed with modern amenities, much like south-west Victoria’s main city.

“Being landlocked, Lethbridge would love to have the coastal location that Warrnambool has,” she said

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