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I found the Colonnade here interesting and pleasant and always liked the feeling while I walked through. This being one of the only places with a European feeling in TO and thought with our harsh winters there should be more attempts to protect us from the elements while out. I never thought of this as dingy or gross but quite the opposite.
I like colonnades too but this one was a bit too enclosed and always felt a bit sketchy - more so now with shelter hotel folk. Toronto used to encourage these kinds of walkways but now more and more are blocked by cafes that they no longer serve their original purpose of being a sheltered walkway. The more recent idea is glass overhangs, which are usually filthy and of very little protection against rain.
 

ProjectEnd

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I'm of the strong opinion that they should least preserve the colonnade. But I am also for replacing that stucco/EFIS-clad crap with more quality minimalist material. And include it into their overall design of the new building...

...in doing so though, classifying that colonnade as heritage (highly unlikely to happen) would be the worst thing, 'cause they wouldn't be able even to do that with it. So heritage is not the answer here, IMO. Plain ole feedback might be more effective instead.
So what happens to the sidewalk? The existing building comes right up to the lot line and the sidewalk goes under it (there are only a couple of instances of this occurring across the City). If we're retaining / re-implementing the colonnade, does that unique legal circumstance get recreated? Planning and Urban Design wouldn't think so, so who champions it?
 

evandyk

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I like colonnades too but this one was a bit too enclosed and always felt a bit sketchy - more so now with shelter hotel folk. Toronto used to encourage these kinds of walkways but now more and more are blocked by cafes that they no longer serve their original purpose of being a sheltered walkway. The more recent idea is glass overhangs, which are usually filthy and of very little protection against rain.

The Esplanade actually has quite a few colonnades between Jarvis and Sherbourne. I got caught out in the rain last week and tried to use them, and it's not effective. You have to cross the street several times, zig-zag around patios, go half a block where there's no coverage, etc.

Rome has a square where this is done beautifully (I'm sure there are more than one, but there's one I know well) - Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II. You can go around the entire square under colonnades. There are grocery stores, cafes, a hotel, a pharmacy, restaurants, takeout places, etc.
1655479204048.png
 
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DSC

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Not to get too far off track here but take a look at the 'colonnades' on Lower Jarvis from The Esplanade to the rail berm.

The one on the west side (at Market Wharf) is the new glass overhang - not very effective and filthy glass.

The one on the east side is the 'old fashioned' part really below the building and is in the base of the TCHC Building (Crombie Park). There the northern part of the colonnade is fenced off for Tim Hortons and Pizza place patio, then there is an open stretch and, if you keep walking along it there is a (totally unnecessary) fence blocking its south end.

I completely agree that colonnades DONE PROPERLY are fantastic but we seem to fail on both building them right and then, where they exist, we use them as covered 'private spaces'
 

egotrippin

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Mark me down for team colonnade. In the past I'd have probably scoffed at the idea of preserving 45 The Esplanade, but it and the PoMo flatiron building to the west create an undeniably unique and interesting stretch of street in Toronto. I've walked this street dozens of times and have always enjoyed the experience; sure it's pastiche compared to examples in European cities like Rome, but it's still more characterful at street level than just about every new Toronto building constructed in the last 20 years.

Above street level it is clearly less remarkable, but I'd actually like to see a preservation or recreation of the colonnade with a neoclassical inspired tower above it. Honestly, perhaps it's time for a PoMo revival because the latest crop of neomodern towers are turning Toronto into an anonymous any-town.
 

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Again, what you've seen ain't the final project.

And if what's so desirable here is a strata agreement where the right of way is permitted to stretch under a building, maybe that's the policy fight we need to have. Hong Kong and Singapore have both done this for almost a hundred years with the Shop House typology. We don't permit it here for the same reason that 'shadow' is a perennially negative term: because we've arbitrability decided that it's somehow symbolic of 'developer greed' and concluded that it's a singularly bad thing. But tell Planning and Urban Design that...

At the end of the day, above the admittedly-interesting colonnade this is just a stucco/EFIS-clad, mid-rise hotel. What's the argument for heritage preservation? We've lost far better buildings for far less.

That's a good point about at least preserving that kind of strata agreement. Beyond the well-designed colonnade, the proportions, the fenestration, the colours, the way 45 The Esplanade harmonizes with 35 The Esplanade's Postmodern style, all work very well. It's a building that gives The Esplanade a lot of character through its architecture and vibrancy as a hotel.

The historicist architecture works because The Esplanade is one of the oldest streets in the city. It was once paved with stone. The European neoclassical influences would have been quite popular in the Esplanade's heyday in the 19th century. A harmonious addition built behind 45 The Esplanade (even in a contemporary minimalist style) would be more interesting than wholesale replacement with a new building.
 

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That's a good point about at least preserving that kind of strata agreement. Beyond the well-designed colonnade, the proportions, the fenestration, the colours, the way 45 The Esplanade harmonizes with 35 The Esplanade's Postmodern style, all work very well. It's a building that gives The Esplanade a lot of character through its architecture and vibrancy as a hotel.

The historicist architecture works because The Esplanade is one of the oldest streets in the city. It was once paved with stone. The European neoclassical influences would have been quite popular in the Esplanade's heyday in the 19th century. A harmonious addition built behind 45 The Esplanade (even in a contemporary minimalist style) would be more interesting than wholesale replacement with a new building.
Initially, The Esplanade was a pathway along the waterfront. Part of the Walks and Gardens. Then the railways were allowed to bring in rail lines south of it and it became, for all intents and purposes, a rail yard. I have never heard that it was paved in stone and not at all sure that its heyday was in the 19th century. If anything, it became more interesting only in the early 20th century with some of the buildings still on north side between Church and Yonge.
 

Northern Light

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The historicist architecture works because The Esplanade is one of the oldest streets in the city. It was once paved with stone.

As @DSC notes above, I'm not too sure about 'stone'; perhaps it was so in some section, I'd love to see photos if you have any.

Here's what I could dig up:

1655504008230.png

1655504050551.png


Hmm, this might be stone.........or brick, tough to tell:

1655504368987.png
 

DSC

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Initially, The Esplanade was a pathway along the waterfront. Part of the Walks and Gardens. Then the railways were allowed to bring in rail lines south of it and it became, for all intents and purposes, a rail yard. I have never heard that it was paved in stone and not at all sure that it's heyday was in the 19th century. If anything, it became more interesting only in the early 20th century with some of the buildings still on north side between Church and Yonge.
The Esplanade was actually authorised only in 1852/1853 and again in 1857. See: https://bnald.lib.unb.ca/sites/default/files/UnC.1852.ch_.219.pdf and https://bnald.lib.unb.ca/sites/default/files/UnC.1857.ch_.80_0.pdf


Laws of Her Majesty's Province of United Canada, passed in the year 1852. 16 Victoria – Chapter 219

An Act conveying to the City of Toronto certain Water Lots, with power to the said City for the construction of an Esplanade. Assented to 14th June, 1853. Whereas by Letters Patent, under the Great Seal of the Province of Upper Canada, bearing date the twenty-first day of February, in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and forty, certain water lots or tracts of land covered with water, situate in front of the said City of Toronto, and certain parcels or slips of land situated between the top of the bank and the water’s edge of the Bay, in the said City of Toronto, adjoining to the said water lots, were under the direction of an Order in Council of the 17th August, 1837, granted to the Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty of the said City of Toronto, and their successors for ever, upon trust, to lease the said water lots, or apply them to and for the public purposes of the said City, as the Common Council of the said City of Toronto, from time to time, might think fit to order or direct:

And:

An Act to amend the-Act conveying to the City of Toronto certain Water Lots, with power to the said City for the construction of an Esplanade, and to enable the said City to locate the Grand Trunk Railroad and other Railroads along the frontage of the said City. Assented to 10th June, 1857.

It used to go west of Yonge, until Union Station was built but even in 1890 Goads, there was very little development and virtually none on south side.

1655504580965.png


or looking towards the Distillery from about Jarvis:

1655505099562.png
 
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UtakataNoAnnex

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So what happens to the sidewalk? The existing building comes right up to the lot line and the sidewalk goes under it (there are only a couple of instances of this occurring across the City). If we're retaining / re-implementing the colonnade, does that unique legal circumstance get recreated? Planning and Urban Design wouldn't think so, so who champions it?
Um, I see what you mean...so they would have to fortify said columns? Or replace them with stronger columns for the same effect?

IANAL: As for the legal matters, they could try...I mean it wasn't a while ago they balked at wood based office/institutional buildings. So well argued precedents do take place in this city. But that's as far as my layperson's understanding of such stretches into that field. Sorry. >.<
 

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So what happens to the sidewalk? The existing building comes right up to the lot line and the sidewalk goes under it (there are only a couple of instances of this occurring across the City). If we're retaining / re-implementing the colonnade, does that unique legal circumstance get recreated? Planning and Urban Design wouldn't think so, so who champions it?
Many, many new developments are forced to bring their new buildings back from the property line. Look at 158 Front where the property line was very close to the curb. Their garage is partly below the new sidewalk.
 

junctionist

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As @DSC notes above, I'm not too sure about 'stone'; perhaps it was so in some section, I'd love to see photos if you have any.

Here's what I could dig up:

View attachment 408213
View attachment 408214

Hmm, this might be stone.........or brick, tough to tell:

View attachment 408215

It was definitely stone. Here's another photo taken at the same time as your first photo in 1905 from the City of Toronto Archives:

Esplanade stone block (02), CofT Archives, 1905.jpg


Paving bricks are quite smooth and uniform. You can see from the pile of pavers on the left that they're rougher than bricks, less uniform, and light in colour. They're stone block pavers. Perhaps the early 20th century was The Esplanade's stone-paved heyday. Edwardian Classicism and Beaux-Arts architecture was the style back then.
 

DSC

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Not to turn this into the Colonnade Thread but I noted today (again) that the colonnade on the Lower Jarvis side of Crombie Place (South of The Esplanade) is made virtually useless by a (useless) fence at the south end. If one is designing a colonnade it should be useable!

IMG_0827[1].JPG
 

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