Hi everyone. Complete beginner here. I own a corner lot in Victoria at a fairly busy 4-way stop intersection. I am looking for a low or no maintenance hedge to be planted on the south and east sides of the lot for privacy and traffic noise. Regarding privacy, I need a solution that doesn't involve huge gaps after planting like in the photo below, and which eventually fills in the gaps completely. The photo at bottom would be a "mission failure" if it looked like that immediately after planting - the gaps are way too big. And the trees look pretty ugly to me. Given my priority on low maintenance, I'm focused on hedges that will top out at at a max of 20 feet so I don't need to trim the tops. I've relied on this chart to narrow things down to three choices: 1. Emerald Cedar (Thuja occidentalis Smaragd) which tops out at 15 feet, is one of the cheapest options, does not require pruning, but is slow growing. Emeralds don't seem too popular on this board. The challenge here is how to achieve privacy quickly given the slow growth. For example, this picture demonstrates what would be for me a "mission failure" in terms of the result immediately after planting, especially considering how long it would take to fill in the gaps. 2. English Laurel which tops out at 20 feet, grows fast but requires pruning. The big attraction is the fast growth which will fill in the gaps quickly. I can deal with trimming the sides as long as I don't have to trim the top. I don't know about price. 3. Yew, which seems to be really popular on this board, in part because it's drought resistant. Yews also top out at 20 feet and grow moderately quickly. Again, I don't know about price. Am I on the right track? In terms of achieving privacy quickly, how close together can the trees be planted to achieve privacy immediately? What's the effect of planting them together too tightly? Would it be possible to plant the trees in a staggered front-back pattern, so the gaps are filled in immediately? Are there any big differences in price between the three? Many thanks in advance for any advice.