Red October

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The White House and the Capitol Building (either fortunately or unfortunately, based on your views), were not completely burnt down, as in a strange twist of fate, Washington experienced a freak tornado that put out the fires..
The damage was done, but it wasn't completely burnt to the ground, so they had something to work with. (I could go on for days on the War of 1812, I've had to debate with many Americans about it)
As I suggested in post #8, I think they should pull a Fort York and reconstruct the buildings, and have the original set up (if such records exist), and become a museum.
 

Northern Magus

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This site is a natural complement to Fort York, yet it needs to avoid duplicating the role and function of the Fort York Visitor Centre. It's also a natural complement to the Distillery District, but lost its heritage buildings decades ago. Reconstructing the original buildings might suffice, but from the render picture they appear to have been small and unexceptional, and they could possibly have been used for other functions at the time. So perhaps a community centre and library -- ie public asset buildings -- are a fitting tribute.

But what appears to be completely missing is a historical/memorial component that reifies the symbolism of the site and its significance. The War of 1812-1814 was essentially a triumph of self-determination and freedom from assimilation. There needs to be something that ties that in to the site and really drives it home ..... something definitively memorialistic, perhaps something involving a fire motif and/or flame.
 

Urban Shocker

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Building a library seems like a perfectly wonderful way of commemorating the site - and the American invasion - since among the buildings looted by the invading army, after the terms of the surrender were ratified, were the Library of the town of York, the Church of St. James and private homes.

Whatever civic and cultural building they construct there, it ought to be a fitting terminus for the Esplanade as it continues to evolve as a pedestrian thoroughfare linking the downtown core to the Distillery and the new developments beyond.
 

Red October

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But what appears to be completely missing is a historical/memorial component that reifies the symbolism of the site and its significance. The War of 1812-1814 was essentially a triumph of self-determination and freedom from assimilation. There needs to be something that ties that in to the site and really drives it home ..... something definitively memorialistic, perhaps something involving a fire motif and/or flame.

I like your idea about the tribute with the flame.. How about something like outline the original buildings with bronze and cobblestones or something, with some eternal flame-esque monument in the center?
 

Tewder

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.. and as US suggests lets hope they do not overlook the excellent opportunity for grand city-building gestures a site like this offers, in terms of view termini etc.
 

jmacmillan

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It's curious that the federal government refuses to give any money, arguing that there's nothing of importance on the site. They don't value archaeology. Any excuse, right?
 
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Towered

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^ Doesn't matter really - this is something that the city and province could easily afford without them. The real question is why the car wash hasn't been expropriated - that's a no-brainer.

I agree with the several suggestions so far that the original buildings should be re-created, with a library on site as well, and also some kind of noticeable monument and garden/park.

EDIT: Having just looked at the render, that's actually pretty close to what I envisioned, with a beautiful, modern community centre/library accompanied by a nicely designed public square. The only change I'd make would be to re-construct the original 2-storey wood parliament buildings (they would act as the site's "monument" themselves) and place them on the square as the centrepoint, facing the modern building to create a dynamic architectural conversation between the city's origins and present.
 
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junctionist

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Is the rendering seen on The Bulletin's website actually what they're proposing? I have no problem with the idea of a library and interpretation centre going here but that architecture and public space looks really bland for such a historic site. There needs to be an expressive monument or sculpture there.
 

Edward Skira

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Render

FirstParliamentRender.jpg
 

DSC

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Is the rendering seen on The Bulletin's website actually what they're proposing? I have no problem with the idea of a library and interpretation centre going here but that architecture and public space looks really bland for such a historic site. There needs to be an expressive monument or sculpture there.

I think the render on the Bulletin site is really more of a "concept' to give the idea of what could go there - I do not think any real architectural plans have been made that would allow for an accurate rendering to be created.
 

Tewder

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I'm not really a huge fan of reproductions, though I suppose they have their place. I prefer the idea of a monument as the central focus of the site, and there are probably all kinds of creative visual ways to interpret and tell of the original lost buildings and the history of the site etc. Beyond that, and beyond any civic components, I think this would be an excellent opportunity to draw from the collective art and design community of the city in the conceiving of something artistic and creative for a suitable monument. The idea of fire is a good one, as others have mentioned, in an 'out of the ashes a city/culture/nation' reborn kind of way.
 

DSC

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So, any news on this project? The Porsche dealership has now moved out and 2012 approacheth.

You will have a while to wait, at its August 2010 meeting City Council requested a planning report by second quarter 2011. (BTW The ex-Porsche building and land south of it belong to Ontario Heritage Foundation, the only land the City owns is the parking lot and the existing park. The car-wash is the last quadrant to still be in priovate hands.)

City Council on August 25, 26 and 27, 2010, adopted the following:



1. City Council authorize Community Planning staff to undertake a study of the First Parliament Building site (lands bounded by Front Street East, Parliament Street, Berkeley Street and Parliament Square Park) on the suitability of the Reinvestment Area (RA) designation, given the discovery of important historical archaeological remains; this planning framework address open space, public and private uses appropriate to the national significance of this heritage resource; the property owners be consulted during this study, and that this report be submitted to the Toronto and East York Community Council by the second quarter of 2011.
 

thecharioteer

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How about a "reconstruction" along the lines of the "ghost" house and shop of Benjamin Franklin in Philadelphia (but in stainless steel with LED lighting)?

3131748817_d69b0975b1_z.jpg
 

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