Ramako

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The only thing disingenuous here, is calling College Park a "run down" part of town. ha ha ha

Does this not have similar height and densities as the G&M buildings? Yes
Does this not set a height precedent for the area it is in? Yes

That stretch of Yonge certainly is (or at least was) run down. Regardless, staff's issues with M+G went beyond height and density, and you know it. I maintain the comparison is disingenuous.


No...it doesn't make sense. It's the "up to" that matters here. At a certain point, diseconomies of scale start to kick in for very tall buildings.

Look...you can tap dance all you want, but you can't change the fact that the loss of profits on 700 units significantly changes the game on this project.

Again, it's already been noted by someone in the industry who attended the meeting that the new scheme is more feasible economically. You keep hammering me for not having Mirvish's balance sheets - well, where is your evidence that the loss of the third tower hurt the economics of the remaining towers? Mirvish hasn't made that claim to my knowledge. So far the only claim I've heard either of them make publicly is that the change was done for purely aesthetic reasons.

Oh wait, according to you he could never had sold them anyway, because downtown Toronto is apparently a difficult place to sell condos. ha ha ha

Pull this leg and it plays Jingle Bells

I clearly never said condos in downtown Toronto, I said luxury condos in the Entertainment District. And please cut the petulant snarkiness. It's not doing you any favours.
 
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skorji

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I messaged Ms. Keesmaat the other day, regarding the architectural design component of the proposal, as I was concerned that the design quality was suffering as a result of these revisions. She re-assured me that there is a solid commitment on the part of both Gehry and the Mirvish family to continue the process of evolving and enhancing the architectural design to the level of the original proposal. Understandably, they put a lot of emphasis on the original design concept in an attempt to win over the public and decision-makers. The primary concern now is the rezoning process, but the design will continue to change.
 

rpeters

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Guess we have to wait till newer updates come around to actually comment but as is, this design is really really bad. there's too much going on and no actual theme to the buildings. He said he wanted waterfalls to be the theme and then throws in a random cube on top of each setback, like wtf? how does that in any way imply flowing water? and the off kilter tops of each building, how is that in any way related to waterfalls? I keep hearing babbling meaningless words applied to this design like "nuanced" and "contextual"..speak english. This design seems like something Gehry threw together in an hour. It's on par with 10 york in the degree to which city bureaucrats ruined it. I don't think we should be making buildings higher than 20 stories out of cheap crap like precast concrete.
 

Tewder

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It's amusing that the same people who thought Gehry would be Toronto's saviour by building three towers now don't trust him with two (designing on the fly, punishing the city for not being ambitious enough, insert wacky conspiracy theory here)!
 

AlvinofDiaspar

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Touché. And they all seem to know how to be Gehry more than Gehry himself.

As to "cheap precast" - first, the materials hasn't been decided, as some had suggested terracotta is also under consideration; second, the upper floors of 1 St. Thomas is clad in precast - and I don't see anyone complaining it is "cheap".

AoD
 
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freshcutgrass

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That stretch of Yonge certainly is (or at least was) run down.

Ok fine, have it your way...College Park and I assume the immediate vicinity is "run down" (I'm more of the opinion that the addition of Aura is the wart in the area). But how does that exempt it from the apparent perils of setting height and density precedents? Just because it doesn't have the heritage issues that apply to M&G doesn't change this.


where is your evidence that the loss of the third tower hurt the economics of the remaining towers?

I'm not concerned with the remaining towers....it's the effect on the podium that concerns me. Notice how it is basically....gone??

The towers were always going to be fine. Even these new ones are fine. The real gravy was in the podium...where this project met the street, not to mention what was going in it. Looks like we can kiss that goodbye now.

Did you miss the part where the 60,000 sqft gallery has now been downgraded to 9000 sqft? But hey...this is Toronto...we'd rather have another Shoppers Drug Mart instead anyway.


I clearly never said condos in downtown Toronto, I said luxury condos in the Entertainment District.

Pretty sure the Entertainment District is "downtown", and I'm also pretty sure they are selling a lot of condos there as well.

How does your year old article on condos priced above $1 million provide evidence against Mirvish from selling his condos? Exactly what percentage of the Mirvish condos are priced over $1 million, and what makes you think this project wouldn't have the marketing edge over it's competition in the area?
 

Big Daddy

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So what part of this scenario leads you to believe that Toronto strives for mediocrity "more than any of city in the world"? Is it because our planning staff (rightfully) threw the Official Plan out the window by effectively approving 92 and 82 storey towers in the Entertainment District, or is it because we've built so many luxury products in the last few years (e.g. Ritz, Four Seasons, Shangri-La, Trump) that the market is no longer there to actually finance and build Gehry's early conceptual designs? Which one of these things is the great injustice to you?

And as far as I can tell, the vast majority of major cities in the developed world don't have prominent civic figures like Mirvish who strive to do things like bringing Frank Gehry to their city. I'm also certain that if this was three 80+ storey condos developed by Canderel and designed by Page+Steele, the local councillor and chief planner wouldn't have formed a special working group to escort it through the planning process. Indeed, the only reason this project is happening is because it's so bold and so inspired.

But please, keep pushing this old naval-gazing, self-hating Toronto narrative.


It has nothing to do with “self hating”, it has to do with being immobilized by indecision and/or lack of direction. The original proposal was elegant, bold and daring but the planning department was not prepared for this type of development. The latest proposal is a complete redesign – a compromise – removing most of the intriguing Gehry flourishes and does nothing to eliminate the original "concerns" of height and density, all it does is save an old warehouse and a theatre that Mirvish himself said he can’t fill.

Take the subway issue for example. We all know we need a DRL as soon as possible – but we now have three provincial premier candidates and a multitude of mayoral candidates each with their own vision for transit in the GTA. Will we ever get the DRL? It seems unlikely to happen any time soon as the city is once again hamstrung with political nonsense – not unlike our planning department – but there is no point in haggling over Keesmats political ambitions or her need to put her stamp on the biggest project in the city’s recent history – whats the point?

I do however lament the loss of what could've been one of the world's great architectural masterpieces performed by a world renowned, locally raised architect right here in our Toronto. As Mirvish himself said "they are no longer doing the Cadillac version" and are doing the Toronto version. The latest proposal is downsized substantially and takes away much of the Gehry and supplants the practical. Some don’t care and are simply excited about 92 floors, but those people wouldn’t care who the architect was anyway and I guess that’s the real point – Mirvish could have returned with any architect, saved the warehouse and the theatre and most would be satisfied.

Mediocrity.
 
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argus

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It has nothing to do with “self hating”, it has to do with being immobilized by indecision and/or lack of direction. The original proposal was elegant, bold and daring but the planning department was not prepared for this type of development. The latest proposal is a complete redesign – a compromise – removing most of the intriguing Gehry flourishes and does nothing to eliminate the original "concerns" of height and density, all it does is save an old warehouse and a theatre that Mirvish himself said he can’t fill.

Take the subway issue for example. We all know we need a DRL as soon as possible – but we now have three provincial premier candidates and a multitude of mayoral candidates each with their own vision for transit in the GTA. Will we ever get the DRL? It seems unlikely to happen any time soon as the city is once again hamstrung with political nonsense – not unlike our planning department – but there is no point in haggling over Keesmats political ambitions or her need to put her stamp on the biggest project in the city’s recent history – whats the point?

I do however lament the loss of what could've been one of the world's great architectural masterpieces performed by a world renowned, locally raised architect right here in our Toronto. As Mirvish himself said "they are no longer doing the Cadillac version" and are doing the Toronto version. The latest proposal is downsized substantially and takes away much of the Gehry and supplants the practical. Some don’t care and are simply excited about 92 floors, but those people wouldn’t care who the architect was anyway and I guess that’s the real point – Mirvish could have returned with any architect, saved the warehouse and the theatre and most would be satisfied.

Mediocrity.

What was *lost* was a proposal that was a work in progress, not a building or even a final design. What it has been replaced with is a proposal that is a work in progress, and not a final design.

The planning department has nothing to do with the design change. That's a move on the part of the architect. Don't like the design, blame him.

As for the side reference to subways and election candidates, routes should not be political but based on sound transportation planning (as in transportation planners - somewhat similar to city planners in that they are employed to make professional judgements based on established principles).

Regarding a "cadillac" version of the proposal, that decision lies with the developer. If his architect has determined to produce work of lesser quality due to a change in the scope of the project, maybe the developer should consider a new architect.

As for this proposal being mediocre, you are, of course, entitled to your opinion. That is your right. But maybe (hopefully) you are being hasty, and a later iteration will recapture your imagination.

Heck, since they are at just under 1,000 feet, why not pop it up a little more and surpass that number? A little rooftop flourish can even take it above FCP's communication tower, and then voila, a new number one in overall building height.

Make Trump blush. That'd be fun.
 

MisterF

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Yep, if most of the "Gehry flourishes" will be lost from the original concept, the only person who can be blamed is Gehry.

This is still a concept plan people. When the site plan application gets submitted to the city then we'll see some real drawings.

Did you miss the part where the 60,000 sqft gallery has now been downgraded to 9000 sqft?
No but everyone seems to be ignoring that the amount of theatre space has been upgraded to 2000 seats from zero.
 

freshcutgrass

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Yep, if most of the "Gehry flourishes" will be lost from the original concept, the only person who can be blamed is Gehry.

The analogy that you can't build a Cadillac on a Chevy budget has nothing to do with the design team. It's baffling how many people simply aren't capable of grasping this concept. But we live in the pro-Ford, anti-Ghery/Mirvish Toronto....so who knows what to think any more.


No but everyone seems to be ignoring that the amount of theatre space has been upgraded to 2000 seats from zero.

Well, first of all, without POW, the seat count was 1475...not zero (people tend to overlook the fact that Royal Alex is part of the site and was the only heritage/cultural aspect of the site worth preserving intact...and was)

Secondly, since it's been explained ad nauseam, I won't go on about how the loss of those seats has no negative effect on theatre production (if anything, it helps)

Thirdly, you can't be that concerned about "culture" if surplus un-needed theatre seats are saved at the cost of a new world class gallery.
 
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AlvinofDiaspar

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The analogy that you can't build a Cadillac on a Chevy budget has nothing to do with the design team. It's baffling how many people simply aren't capable of grasping this concept. But we live in the pro-Ford, anti-Ghery/Mirvish Toronto....so who knows what to think any more.

Actually, Gehry himself has been quoted as saying his architectural flourishes exacts a 10% premium on a building without it. Take from that what you will.

Well, first of all, without POW, the seat count was 1475...not zero (people tend to overlook the fact that Royal Alex is part of the site and was the only heritage/cultural aspect of the site worth preserving intact...and was)

Let's not be facetious here - Royal Alex was never part of this proposal.

Secondly, since it's been explained ad nauseam, I won't go on about how the loss of those seats has no negative effect on theatre production (if anything, it helps)

Well, Mirvish doesn't seem to mind preserving the PoW now.

Thirdly, you can't be that concerned about "culture" if surplus un-needed theatre seats are saved at the cost of a new world class gallery.

That's like saying we should consider, I don't know, tearing down O'Keefe for a new art gallery. I am not sure if that's a valid trade.

AoD
 

freshcutgrass

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Let's not be facetious here - Royal Alex was never part of this proposal.

Thanks for making my point. It's the one section of his property that should not be touched.


Well, Mirvish doesn't seem to mind preserving the PoW now.

Doesn't change the fact it is not his ideal choice to do so.


That's like saying we should consider, I don't know, tearing down O'Keefe for a new art gallery. I am not sure if that's a valid trade.

No...it's not like saying that. First of all MisterF was concerned with the the loss in the number of theatre "seats", which he assumes affects the performances, which is false. Secondly O'Keefe is far too important architecturally/historically to demolish...like the Royal Alex (which was kept completely untouched as part of the redevelopment of the Mirvish properties.)
 

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