Speaking with an architect has offered me some hope, suggesting that this is just a preliminary massing plan to get approval. Materials still haven't been decided and it is there that Gehry is known to add his flourishes. There's also a pretty good chance that the Princess of Whales Theatre might be completely re-imagined since its architecture is not historically significant. We might yet see some titanium billows if Mirvish is able to successfully tap into a philanthropic community that has reached a point of arts fundraising fatigue.
On the fly? You know that's not a fair account of things. One thing I do know is this: when a once in a generation opportunity gets presented to a city by a celebrated world famous architect you recognize it for what it is. We don't seem to recognize a gift when it smacks us in the face.

I'm seeing a lot of value judgments from you and very little objective fact, truth or insight.
^^ Based on 3 posts? That's hardly fair, but you're entitled to your opinion.

I'm a big fan of the stepping down to meet the towers in the area, the previous proposal had them sticking out like sore thumbs in the neighbourhood, the current proposal fits better despite being even taller.

Planning involves the ability to recognize the direction a city is heading. Do you really expect this neighbourhood to look like this 20 years from now? Not only will it get considerably taller, but these really wouldn't even stick out today. We already have a 200m building a block to the south, a 183m building next to that one, a 213m hotel to the east, not to mention a 553 m tower a couple blocks south.
Last edited:
Planning involves the ability to recognize the direction a city is heading. Do you really expect this neighbourhood to look like this 20 years from now? Not only will it get vastly taller, but these really wouldn't even stick out today. We already have a 200m building a block to the south, a 183m building next to that one, a 213m hotel to the east, not to mention a 553 m tower a couple blocks south.

Have you forgotten that this iteration is actually taller than the previous one? And are you suggesting that somehow not having this project approved in its previous iteration will result in change being halted in the neighbourhood - change that is already envisioned and in fact encouraged in many ways? Please, don't throw catchphrases around and hope something stick.

Like Metroman said, I fully expect Gehry to articulate the project more and flesh out the flourishes as the proposal moves along - and as mentioned, it would be truly stupendous if he can incorporate them in the PoW.

Last edited:
I'm just happy this project actually has a chance to go ahead. I almost wrote it off. But with these changes, the wind is now in it's favor. I expect the city to approve this one, even with the extreme height. These two buildings will completely change Toronto's skyline. I can't wait.
It looks like a man and a woman having a conversation. But why do they have to be SO boxy? - I was so excited to see a big FU to the generic boxiness of this city (even though i didn't love where that proposal was going). Is this latest a statement by FG about the "think inside the box" mentality of Toronto and its planning/architecture culture?... A little more of the old proposal's eye-popping formal qualities would have been nice although I agree with Gehry that 2 towers somehow "feels" better re. density on that site. Maybe there will be another iteration with the new parti (but with a little more of that Frank Gehry flair).
^^ He's been holed up in LA for most of his adult life. He saw his home town flourishing and thought it was finally ready to embrace something special... except we weren't. No wonder he's dejected.

That's a cop out. We've been waiting this whole building cycle for that one iconic project. Every city on the planet would kill for this proposal, but what do we do? We screw it up. Yes it's still a beautiful proposal, but it's just maddening to watch a group of bureaucrats meddle and meddle and meddle some more till the original vision is lost and we end up with something less. And for what? NOTHING!

This might be a satisfactory outcome for you, but I'm just stunned that we've sabotaged this opportunity. This kind of thing comes along once in a generation. Sorry, but this just leaves me throughly dejected.

I'm generally in agreement with most things you say, but this is one area where a great gulf seems to exist. You may find my expectations absurdly high, but I'm a little aghast at how low yours are. I don't expect every project to be a home run, but I did view this as the 1 proposal out of the last 200 that would be that show stopper many of us had been longing for. 1 knockout proposal in the biggest building boom this country has ever seen? Sorry, but I don't consider that an absurdly high expectation.

Good god Canada.

It's unrealistic to expect planning staff to approve something that is so thoroughly divergent from the official plan without doing their job. I'm thrilled with the height here, but planning staff isn't there to just rubber stamp projects based on subjective tastes; it's to apply the official plan as set out by legislation. The fact that Keesmaat supports a proposal that is literally twice as high as anything in the immediate neighbourhood and would be the tallest building in the country is a testament to the fact that she isn't afraid of bold projects where appropriate. You may call it "meddling", but I call the planning process, and we can't just throw the planning process out the window because a project is beautiful. That may make for nice looking towers but it doesn't make for good cities - just look at Dubai. You don't think they have similar planning processes in New York or Chicago or London?

Furthermore, it's unrealistic to expect that this project was going to be built as depicted in the initial renderings. Even if it was approved as is, it would have had to be cost-engineered significantly given that if was actually going to sell in this market, it was going to have to be priced for the mid-level buyer. The initial designs were represented as being conceptual from the outset, and it was always my expectation that they'd be watered down before shovels ever hit the ground.
I just got back from the meeting. The buildings looked like a family to me. The tilts in the buildings at the top resemble heads. The smaller tilts lower in height looked like children. It felt dignified and proud to me.

The architect presenting from Gehry's firm said that the buildings and site is now much stronger having worked with the city amd workong group.

I am really excited for this project now. On the west end of the site, the art gallery will go on the roof of the Eclipse Whitewear building. The City will seek Heritage Designation status for the PoW theatre. The architects looked into animating the rooftop space of the PoW but structurally was not possible.

The Anderson building facade will be retained. I'm happy with that. They gaveit space by opening up the sidewalks to 9m around the towers. The amount of commercial space will be the same or slightly increased from its current amount of space. They are still fine tuning the public spaces. Ed Mirvish Way will be seen as a very public space and they are working to ensure it is animated. West tower parking and loading will be off Pearl and for the East it will be off of Ed Mirvish Way.

On the east end of the site the Royal Alex will be a part of the application and will have heritage easements on it.
Last edited:
Thanks for the update greenleaf - much appreciated.

I think the ROM Libeskind addition got that honour.


That's already designated? Wow.

Edit: A few more random things that I remembered: it went from 2700 units to 2000. There will be about 500 parking spaces. There will be small cantilevered sections over both theatres. OCAD plans to have two public galleries as part of their space. The current plan is to sell the West tower first. The buildings will not shadow the northside of Queen Street.
Last edited:
Would the PoW theatre be the newest historically designated building in the city then? I mean its still quite new..

They're giving away historical designations like they're going out of style. It's a nice building but I don't think it's worthy of that designation. It lowers the value of those buildings that do deserve heritage status.