I would like to replace an existing retaining wall (pictured) which is falling apart with one that is as close as possible to the fence line to reclaim some of our back yard from the drive way. Our plan would be to then cut the asphalt back from 14' to the side fence to ~10' and increase the grass area. It is presently about 3' tall.
The look we are going for is Quikwall on cinder blocks, painted white.
We live in Canada and the frost line where we live is 48". My first question is if I want to build a wall of the similar height out of cinder blocks/mortar/rebar, do I really need to dig down 4 feet and pour a 16" wide concrete footing?
My other question is, when digging up the existing wall, should I brace the fence with 45 degree 2x4s?
I'm open to suggestions and have the manpower, time, and some friends who are landscapers to help out, but if I have to lay more than 2 courses beneath the ground I can see the costs escalating very quickly and would like to avoid that if possible.