The way you mention “third world” is a tiny bit arrogant…This development is an absolute abomination, a disgrace to the principles of city-building, and a squandered effort to capitalize on a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create a genuinely bold vision for a waterfront that would put Toronto on the map of the world's truly great urban centres. A peculiarly Torontonian trait is the pathetic inclination to cheapen and dumb-down everything to the lowest common denominator with hardly a care about the legacy such decisions will leave for future generations who must inhabit these offensive works of non-architecture. Mediocrity and parsimony run in this city's lifeblood.
To put it as bluntly as possible, Daniels Waterfront looks more like a crass vanity project coming from an impoverished, corrupt, autocratic third-world ****hole than what should rightly be expected in the heart of the largest city of a prosperous, civilized country in the G7: that is, quality design, quality execution, and attention to details.
Everything about this project speaks to a dismal failure of imagination. There is the cheap-looking grey spandrel (as usual), there is an unimaginative attempt to evoke a sense of "novelty" in the balcony design, and then there is the utterly corrupt-third-world-esque practice of changing up the design of the crown in an improvisatory, "experimental" fashion on-the-spot because the fine details of the aesthetic and material execution of these tacky towers were not properly thought through from the outset. Absolutely despicable.
Ok perhaps I went a little overboard in my use of Trump-esque language but I had to spare the political correctness to get my point across. No patronization intended - if this was Ethiopia, wonderful, but we live in a city and country with the means to do far better.The way you mention “third world” is a tiny bit arrogant…
I get the gist of your point-of-view, but this is not Europe where "street-level" is all that matters. Granted, the ground-level space in this project is quite well executed and a welcome departure from the rest; however, in the New World and Asia where building tall is the dominant paradigm of urbanism, there needs to be consideration for what happens above as these towers serve as defining statements of a city's appearance and character. Simply having a well-executed "façade" at passers-by level is not enough.The principles of city-building have almost nothing to do with what's above the bottom few floors of any building, and pretty much everything to do with what's on the ground floor. I would wait until the city is back from covid to pronounce any judgement on their city-building. It will probably be the best private block from Yonge to Parliament as a place to spend time (obviously Sugar Beach and the promenade are the best).
The spandrel, the balconies and the crown have almost nothing to do with how it will be as an urban place. The Yard, the plaza out front, what goes in that big retail spot (hopefully the Italian grocery is still coming!) will matter.
Ok perhaps I went a little overboard in my use of Trump-esque language but I had to spare the political correctness to get my point across. No patronization intended - if this was Ethiopia, wonderful, but we live in a city and country with the means to do far better.
We can agree to disagree, but what happens beyond ground floor or podium level is oftentimes equally essential in one's perception of an urban realm (especially in a non-European context) because it sets the psychological "atmosphere", if you will, that dictates the felt pleasantness or unpleasantness of a space. To illustrate, imagine sitting in a historic Parisian café right next to the hideous, sore-thumb Tour Montparnasse: yes, there is the "street-level" experience of intimate chit-chat over a warm cuppa beneath the more traditional built form, but this is overshadowed by the domineering presence of an out-of-place modernist tower that induces stress and takes away from the harmony of urban life.I think Daniels should have done way better on the towers. They are bland and boring. And I like to chat around here about all the towers in the east end that I can see from my balcony, and how they look as an aesthetic matter. But to me, when you mention "city-building principles", you are bringing the discussion to the ground floor, and how it brings people in and gives them things to do, look at and linger on (not just in a "fun" way, but also things people need like grocery stores, and yes, even banks and pharmacies).
The practice of building grey-spandrel-laced obscenities with the pretension that they are aesthetically equivalent to true-glass curtain wall buildings (which are actually quite elegant if done properly, let me emphasize: properly) is a peculiarly Torontonian phenomenon with few parallels in the rest of the world, developed and underdeveloped alike. Indeed, any glance at a list of new condo developments in the GTA will reveal that this window-wall/spandrel typology has almost become a monopolistic dogma of high-rise residential construction in these parts over the past decade or so, with few daring to break the mould. The result -- far from a city of "modern" and "sleek" towers as perhaps the developers of these buildings may have intended when this architectural paradigm first emerged around the Great Recession era -- is instead a hideous mass of cheap, disposable-looking boxes that look like they could topple over tomorrow.I'd just like to say, I've been to plenty of third world countries, even they do better than this. In fact most of even their non prestigious high rise buildings look better on the exterior than this flaming pile of trash.
Interiors can often be lacking but externally this is one of the worst buildings I've ever seen built.
No, you probably could've gotten the point across better if you just stripped out all the pedantic histrionics. You really thought it was a good idea to double-down on "third world" by specifically naming Ethiopia? Seriously? The Albany Club is over there, buddy.Ok perhaps I went a little overboard in my use of Trump-esque language but I had to spare the political correctness to get my point across. No patronization intended - if this was Ethiopia, wonderful, but we live in a city and country with the means to do far better.