Northern Light

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Planning by nature tends to be about policy and strictly adhering to said policy, than the nuances of design. So something that should operate as an urbanistic guideline becomes a piece of policy that is wielded ruthlessly instead of being applied within the spirit of the law or on a block-wide basis.

Agreed, and this is a problem.

Precedent is one problematic issue here, the City is ever so concerned if they allow any variation in policy that the next developer will automatically go to the OLT and say "Developer A didn't have to, so why should I?"

There are multiple reasons why this problem (precedent) exists, and it's a function of a really broken system and the far too routine use of OLT (or any appeals body) that in some measure leaves staff hamstrung.

Of course, there is some wiggle room, which planners do use on rare occasion, but not often enough. But I'm not sure the culture is there (City Hall/Planning) to give planning staff a sense they can vary policy as often as they should.
 
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3Dementia

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The words "copy and paste" come to mind when I think of City Planning (gee I've read most of these words before) and now with the avalanche of new proposals paired with under-staffing... I suspect few on the 12th floor have the time or inclination to wiggle at all.

I don't know what the magical algorithm or design over-sight body would be, that could reward good architecture with brownie points (in spite of the abject terror of precedents and the bible of ancient do's and don'ts)... but this place desperately needs a muscular design interventionist thingamabob to take on bad planning and bad developers ... before it's too late.

Besides forum members, the folks I really feel sorry for... work at firms like HPA and BDPQ.
 

interchange42

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Okay, now that Urban Design in Toronto's Planning Department has managed to suck all the character out of the design that was formerly angled off the grid (and with rounded corners), here's a rendering prepared for a commercial sales brochure for the site:

520Yonge2.0HeroN1280.jpg


Just to be clear, this is no-one's final design for this site. The site is now up for sale with zoning approved where the massing above could be built… but a new owner will no doubt have their own design proposal created.

42
 

concrete_and_light

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I gotta say that while I don't like the City declaring that buildings can't be at an angle or etc., I do kind of prefer this new version? It feels really solid and I do like the streetwall and the red "brick" going all the way up and I prefer the use of the precast more than in the first version. I like the crown better too.

That said, as Interchange says this is just massing approved and I imagine we're likely to get a grey spandrel box with this massing not the above. But I do like the above and don't necessarily see it as a downgrade, even though the offset angled building was cool and I don't like that the City opposed it.
 

TossYourJacket

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This wouldn't be so bad if they started out with this... /sigh
Yeah this could have been an okay starting point, but as it is, it's such a depressing downgrade. It's like city planning wants to create the most boring city in the world sometimes.

Just to be clear, this is no-one's final design for this site. The site is now up for sale with zoning approved where the massing above could be built… but a new owner will no doubt have their own design proposal created.
So this massing, but in Toronto grey. Got it.
 

UtakataNoAnnex

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Yeah this could have been an okay starting point, but as it is, it's such a depressing downgrade. It's like city planning wants to create the most boring city in the world sometimes.
...to add insult to injury, they allow a lot of crap to go up as well. In a just city, they would be ordering the likes of YC Condos, 365 and Social at Church to be torn down and started over again instead.
 

cd concept

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Oh well! that's typical to change it to the norm . But at least the cladding colours are the same. Having rustic precast brick columns and grayish brown kind of punctured window frames etc.
 

TossYourJacket

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Oh well! that's typical to change it to the norm . But at least the cladding colours are the same. Having rustic precast brick columns and grayish brown kind of punctured window frames etc.
It's a rendering for a sales brochure. What you see here will likely never be built, so there is no point reading into anything about the design at all beyond the approved massing. This can absolutely just end up as a grey spandrel condo very easily depending on who buys the rezoned site.
 

Northern Light

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As mentioned by @interchange42 back in September, this one has been resubmitted:

Taken from the new docs dated Nov 21, 2022: http://app.toronto.ca/AIC/index.do?folderRsn=e96AsISWkhzFSfBM9XeRzA==

View attachment 445404

There's no question, as per @interchange42 's post above that this design/massing is far less appealing and interesting than the original, sigh.

But I will say, (that for now, at least), the retention of warm colouring and a mostly decent Yonge streetscape work better than many other sites we see here. It's a good effort from BDPQ.

Personally, I'd like to look at those retail units that show modern storefronts on Yonge and see if there wasn't once interesting historical architecture here, and maybe replicate that in terms of the facades. I think the new here looks a bit jarring in juxtaposition to the old, even though the scale is roughly correct.
 
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daptive

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This one hurts a bit.

The roundness, the off-grid angle of the building, and even the step-tapered roofline all “Toronto’d up” and removed so it’s now just a box.

I’m glad we still have some red tones but I don’t see one positive factor over the old design.
 

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