I'm in the minority here but I like The Chedington. Maybe it's because they used quality materials (like a real copper roof).
I don't mind it. It looks good sitting there in the ravine when driving south.
I think the building looks pretty good. I never understood why all buildings have to be modern. If a building has good materials and a nice design, what's wrong with a little bit of Paris in Toronto? (Paris is my favourite city) I love the look and scale of Parisian buildings.
I have the opposite view of Archivist, but for the same reason. Yes, the Chedington is serious, and it was relatively well done using quality materials and blends in nicely with its surroundings. NY Towers are a joke, from concept to final product.
The Cheddington strikes me as the perfect example of what you get when you create a building for people who have an overabundance of that gruesome thing called, "good taste".
However, St. Lawrence "bridge" fans (had it survived into the 70s and beyond) don't necessarily = Chedington fans.

Now, I'm not saying a campaign to save the former wouldn't have been a touch hyperbolic (Les Halles comparisons, anyone?), but, still...
At the risk of sounding like a modern-preservation "hyperbolic," I have to say I have some affection for the existing North Market. With an interior paint job, it wouldn't be that ugly. Still a bit ugly, yes, but with some provincial-International-Style appeal.

But as to realistic solutions: I don't think there's any excuse at all for faux-historic on this site. I think those who don't know the St. Lawrence neighbourhood well tend to overestimate how much Victorian architecture has really been preserved. Most of the area is dominated by 70s, 80s and later construction, largely condos -- the more "historical" of which tend to suck exactly to the extent that they try to be Historical. (Take King James Place at the SE corner of King and Jarvis.)

On the other hand, there's one lovely example of contextual neo-modernism: the KPMB-designed office building on King just west of St. Lawrence Hall. It uses brick, stone and large windows in a very contemporary (c 1990) way and hasn't aged a bit.

Babel has the right idea.
the more "historical" of which tend to suck exactly to the extent that they try to be Historical. (Take King James Place at the SE corner of King and Jarvis.)

Which doesnt try to be historic at all, and isn't called King James Place.
Which doesnt try to be historic at all, and isn't called King James Place.

St. James, excuse me very much.

And I do think the precast detailing has some historiness about it.

My point also applies to the Georgian details on the King George Square building across the street, which is less fussy -- and very handsome -- at street level.
For what it is, I don't find the SE corner of King + Jarvis sucky. (Even Chris Hume spoke favourably in his initial condo reviews.) It may be neo-historical, but even it's tasteful enough and with urban finesse--perfect "Paul Bedford" urbanism.

I mean, I can understand the ire in some (a lot?) of cases. But I feel the advent of Mozo-modern is letting us get a little overzealously overjudgmental re the "historic"...
I really wish we had more developments like the St. James. It effortlessly blends in with the neighbourhood, meets the street well and doesn't resort to a faux design to respect the history of the neighbourhood. But I agree with adma, the most zealous modernists on the forum would likely dismiss it as faux.



I see no reason why the North Market can't have a similar look. I just don't think a glass box would work at this location.
the st. james has been one of my favourite fairly recent developments in the city for a while now. it blends into the neighbourhood so well, and the street level retail has a great street presence. also, the brick and and precast (or whatever that is) work really well together. perfect height for the neighbourhood too. if the new developments in the west donlands and east bayfront turn out similar to this building, i won't be dissapointed--i think one could build a great neighbourhood around these, of course with some design variation.
Well, clearly I'm outvoted.

I agree the idea is just right -- it's the execution that's clumsy. The KPMB office building one block west is similar but much, much better in the details (and it uses better materials). Clunky vs. lovely.

St. James is especially unattractive on the upper floors (which you can't see in these pics), especially the high southern facade. Those elements are less prominent from close up because most of the building's mass is hidden along the laneway south of King.

But that's a unique design solution, I think, and with good reason: it doesn't work well in downtown Toronto. You have condos facing an active commercial laneway. Now that a restaurant/bar, Kultura, has opened on that stretch of King -- its back doors face the condo's courtyard -- I hear the residents are seriously pissed.