AlvinofDiaspar

Moderator
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 22, 2007
Messages
31,762
Reaction score
25,124
City:
Toronto
Less room the hospitals have, the quicker those parking garages get redeveloped

They will get redeveloped eventually - I am more concerned about what they'd do afterwards when they run out of space. Building up won't be all that great an option given the limitations of this particular land use.

AoD
 

Skeezix

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 25, 2007
Messages
4,343
Reaction score
2,677
Less room the hospitals have, the quicker those parking garages get redeveloped

I don't agree. A surplus of land is not the real impediment to short-term surface parking lot redevelopment. The lack of health care dollars for new capital facilities is the major problem. Denying the hospitals additional land will not meaningfully speed up development, and will simply adversely impact long-term expansion, and therefore the long-term vitality and quality of these facilities.
 
Last edited:

bilked

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Sep 13, 2013
Messages
1,746
Reaction score
9,889
Your probably right but there's got to be a more creative solution to a hospital's long term development needs than to turn an entire city block in a historic downtown neighbourhood into a parking lot. Until these hospitals prove to be better managers of the interim uses of these parcels I'm going to have a tough time being enthused by the prospect of turning even more land over to them. There must be a more productive way to develop this land for the medium term..
 

stjames2queenwest

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Sep 10, 2014
Messages
2,795
Reaction score
2,899
I'm confused by the OCADU library aspect... This is not where their library is. ? It's in the grange right across from the main building.
 

maestro

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 23, 2007
Messages
7,217
Reaction score
2,162
I don't agree. A surplus of land is not the real impediment to short-term surface parking lot redevelopment. The lack of health care dollars for new capital facilities is the major problem. Denying the hospitals additional land will not meaningfully speed up development, and will simply adversely impact long-term expansion, and therefore the long-term vitality and quality of these facilities.

Exactly. Surface lots are an impediment to those garages being replaced because of the money involved. They are also an impediment to expansion because of their location across the street from the hospital.
 

Skeezix

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 25, 2007
Messages
4,343
Reaction score
2,677
Your probably right but there's got to be a more creative solution to a hospital's long term development needs than to turn an entire city block in a historic downtown neighbourhood into a parking lot. Until these hospitals prove to be better managers of the interim uses of these parcels I'm going to have a tough time being enthused by the prospect of turning even more land over to them. There must be a more productive way to develop this land for the medium term..

We're really not talking an entire city block here. And using sites for parking does make hospitals bad managers, given their clear and unambiguous objective of providing excellent health care. As you know, the issue is money. We are talking hospitals with limited health care dollars, not a developer. Hospitals need the land for their long-term plans - we all benefit from their strategic acquisition of key land parcels. There is an overwhelming need for parking in the vicinity of hospitals - unlike most commercial parking uses, the parking here actually serves a public interest. And parking is an important revenue generator for the hospitals. If anyone here thinks that there is a use at this location that will generate more income for the hospitals in the medium term, then we're all ears - the hospitals would be delighted.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not keen to see the Silverstein's building demolished to make way for surface parking, and would prefer to see another use (ideally a reuse of the existing building) if it could be made to work. I just think there is a clear disconnect between all this talk of denying the hospitals land/requiring them to "prove" they are better managers/that parking is somehow not "productive" vis-a-vis the hospitals' mission and the public interest in ensuring great hospitals at this location.
 

Skeezix

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 25, 2007
Messages
4,343
Reaction score
2,677
Exactly. Surface lots are an impediment to those garages being replaced because of the money involved. They are also an impediment to expansion because of their location across the street from the hospital.

Sorry. Perhaps I haven't had enough coffee yet today (so apologies if I am just being dense), but I'm not sure what you mean.
 

AlvinofDiaspar

Moderator
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 22, 2007
Messages
31,762
Reaction score
25,124
City:
Toronto
Don't get me wrong. I'm not keen to see the Silverstein's building demolished to make way for surface parking, and would prefer to see another use (ideally a reuse of the existing building) if it could be made to work. I just think there is a clear disconnect between all this talk of denying the hospitals land/requiring them to "prove" they are better managers/that parking is somehow not "productive" vis-a-vis the hospitals' mission and the public interest in ensuring great hospitals at this location.

Indeed - McCaul is a side street - so what if it has an extra parking lot (connected to a bunch of lots immediately beside the site)? It's a fairly inconsequential intermediate outcome compared against the far greater challenge of limited space and future site assembly facing downtown hospitals. Slapping a condo on the site would be a waste of potential and frankly, bad planning.

AoD
 

maestro

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 23, 2007
Messages
7,217
Reaction score
2,162
Sorry. Perhaps I haven't had enough coffee yet today (so apologies if I am just being dense), but I'm not sure what you mean.

I'm not a fan of the multi-storey murray street parking garages which are ideally located for the next phase of expansion but would also be cost prohibited to do so. No matter, It'll probably a while as there's no reason Mount Sinai won't continue to convert space in nearby office buildings as the space becomes available.
 

bilked

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Sep 13, 2013
Messages
1,746
Reaction score
9,889
We're really not talking an entire city block here. And using sites for parking does make hospitals bad managers, given their clear and unambiguous objective of providing excellent health care. As you know, the issue is money. We are talking hospitals with limited health care dollars, not a developer. Hospitals need the land for their long-term plans - we all benefit from their strategic acquisition of key land parcels. There is an overwhelming need for parking in the vicinity of hospitals - unlike most commercial parking uses, the parking here actually serves a public interest. And parking is an important revenue generator for the hospitals. If anyone here thinks that there is a use at this location that will generate more income for the hospitals in the medium term, then we're all ears - the hospitals would be delighted.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not keen to see the Silverstein's building demolished to make way for surface parking, and would prefer to see another use (ideally a reuse of the existing building) if it could be made to work. I just think there is a clear disconnect between all this talk of denying the hospitals land/requiring them to "prove" they are better managers/that parking is somehow not "productive" vis-a-vis the hospitals' mission and the public interest in ensuring great hospitals at this location.

If you include the parking lots serving the hospitals on the other side of University we are looking at a complete city block.

Predicting the long term institutional needs of these hospitals is tremendously difficult. While the population of Toronto and, in particular, its geriatric population is going to rise significantly in the coming decades, so too is community care, community palliative care other treatment modalities which require a much smaller central footprint. Given the land reserves we already have, its not clear we are going to actually be facing any kind of crisis where the lack of instantly developable land presents a barrier to great hospitals. If we were, our government always has powers of expropriation.

McCaul Street isn't Murray Street. It has a wide variety of residential, employment and retail uses including a number of shops and cafes. It also has parkettes, churches, historical buildings and a streetcar.

I get that we're probably stuck with the Murray Street parkades for now. I also get that hospitals need parking. Optimally parking would be below ground. That is obviously expensive. However, as this land becomes more and more valuable (due to those same population pressures) there may be opportunities to leverage the value of these assets to build more than just parking lots. I don't profess to have that solution. I would, however, like to see that kind of dialogue take place before this particular land use spreads further into an established community.
 

AlvinofDiaspar

Moderator
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 22, 2007
Messages
31,762
Reaction score
25,124
City:
Toronto
Predicting the long term institutional needs of these hospitals is tremendously difficult. While the population of Toronto and, in particular, its geriatric population is going to rise significantly in the coming decades, so too is community care, community palliative care other treatment modalities which require a much smaller central footprint. Given the land reserves we already have, its not clear we are going to actually be facing any kind of crisis where the lack of instantly developable land presents a barrier to great hospitals. If we were, our government always has powers of expropriation.

Powers of expropriation? That's last a last ditch nuclear option - and who in the right mind would expropriate say a multi-story condo (as originally proposed for this site)? That would be more or less without precedent. Also, you are putting too much stock into the growth of community care as a way of reducing the need for hospital space to the point of eliminating the need for physical expansion - it didn't - for example MSH is in the midst of the second expansion of their ER over since 2000 - and they were only being able to do so by pushing uses off site (Hydro, Lebovic building across Murray - both of which are not hospital uses originally). It's not just about housing patients in beds (which hospitals try to avoid as much as possible nowadays due to cost)

McCaul Street isn't Murray Street. It has a wide variety of residential, employment and retail uses including a number of shops and cafes. It also has parkettes, churches, historical buildings and a streetcar

That particularly section of McCaul is fairly institutional in nature, particularly on the eastern side to Elm.

I get that we're probably stuck with the Murray Street parkades for now. I also get that hospitals need parking. Optimally parking would be below ground. That is obviously expensive. However, as this land becomes more and more valuable (due to those same population pressures) there may be opportunities to leverage the value of these assets to build more than just parking lots. I don't profess to have that solution. I would, however, like to see that kind of dialogue take place before this particular land use spreads further into an established community.

Below ground parking isn't only expensive - it also neglected the reality that a lot of functions at hospitals are placed underground (radiation treatment rooms, for one). No one is suggesting that parking lots be the ultimate land use (perhaps maybe for a small portion of the site) - it is about preserving the land for hospital uses in the future. As to the bit about "established community" - what we should have a dialogue about isn't so much so the expansion of the land use but whether 2s housing is appropriate for an area this close to the core. In other words, the appropriateness of the "established community" itself.

AoD
 
Last edited:

bilked

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Sep 13, 2013
Messages
1,746
Reaction score
9,889
Lots of good points raised in this thread. My perspective may not carry the day, but I'm just hoping to start a dialogue about the holding pattern for this type of public asset.

I did want to defend this humble section of McCaul Street, though, as its near and dear to my heart:

The Silverstein's site is basically directly across the street from vibrant Baldwin Street Village (ok, its immediately across from the fugly, faux victorians that wrap around onto Baldwin Street, but close enough). Just south of the village across from Elm is McCaul's own commercial strip including Sid's Deli, the now-defunct-but-lovely Sage Deli, Krispy Cream, Cheese smokes and more. Directly south of the site is a 13 storey 60s slab apartment now housing a community living centre. South of that is the eponymous, St. Patrick's Church. A stone's throw away is Dundas and McCaul which is obviously a hugely important intersection for OCAD, the AGO and the City at large. To the north of the faux victorian fuglies is a block of charming real victorians, bay and gable houses and Holy Word Church, followed by a number of office, educational and medical buildings, including repurposed brick and beam buildings and Ronald McDonald House. On the east side, directly north of Silverstein's is, yes, two small hospital parking lots, but these are broken up by a Victorian survivor and then a large parkette to the north and then UofT's great Old Admin building. This is just all in the short hop on McCaul between Dundas and College.

It really is a Jacobsian "complete street", with a multitude of uses, shapes, sizes and architectural styles (even if it's not Toronto's comeliest street).

If inner city surface parking lots really are a necessary evil to ensure proper longterm health care planning (of which I remain to be convinced), I'd really like to see other sites explored first.
 

Northern Light

Superstar
Member Bio
Joined
May 20, 2007
Messages
19,567
Reaction score
45,775
Most hospitals do plan for sites that have a portion of their current site vacant, such that they can develop said land w/o stopping operation, then demolish an older wing replace it w/'vacant' uses till the next cycle.

That said, I'm not clear if Mt Sinai or UHN are the land owners for this existing parking facilities (the private ones, as opposed to Green P). Perhaps those in the know could clarify.

UHN does appear to control the land behind T-Gen as well as the sites on the east side of Elizabeth.

The Murry/McCaul block could retain a 'vacant' use and serve parking needs while be a better 'neighbour.

It would be entirely possible to build 3-storey parking lot across 70% of the block w/underground where feasible, and turn the roof into a park, with a slope down towards McCaul.

Serves as a green roof, and an aesthetic barrier between the residential and institutional uses and creates public space.

Far less complicated than the rail deck park.

Far cheaper.

And the park could simply be shifted around if you needed to move a portion of the hospital facilities over.

Though, I think the large blocks on Elizabeth are the more likely sites in a whole new building is required.

***

On the subject of feasibility, I know Taddle Creek on the U of T campus was buried as a integrated combine sewer.

I'm not sure if the pipe still passes through this block of land, but it did at one time. That may pose an underground issue on a portion of the site.

***

So far as hospital needs, I believe Toronto Gen, and Mt. Sinai have adequate space for the next while.......but Princess Margaret is bursting at the seams.......
 

AlvinofDiaspar

Moderator
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 22, 2007
Messages
31,762
Reaction score
25,124
City:
Toronto
Yes UHN have space on Elizabeth and MSH just expanded. PMH just shifted research space to MaRS 1 but they are maxed out in terms of radiation bunkers (I think they ate into the MSH basement even). There is no room for anything like the Proton facility that is on the plans and it will require a significant amount of likely underground space.

Personally what I'd like to see is stepping down to a mid-rise (6s or so) form from the hospital block even if it extend eastward to McCaul.

AoD
 

Top