You sound surprised. It is a huge hulking thing that is visible (far too visible) from many places. It really could have been SO much better, and given homes to just as many people, with some more thought and planning. Sad!I didn't take any pictures, but I did notice one day recently how this building is dominating the views east along Wellington.
You're sounding like you don't know he stares out at it from his condo every day… (but you do know that!).You sound surprised. It is a huge hulking thing that is visible (far too visible) from many places. It really could have been SO much better, and given homes to just as many people, with some more thought and planning. Sad!
Yuck. More commentary from an out-of-touch Boomer who would rather there be no new housing at all, instead of something that doesn’t quite fit his opinion of what is right for the neighbourhood.Here is a critique from a columnist in The Bridge - the community newspaper. https://drive.google.com/file/d/1xVxIYnwEAT4_vS8Zxmim3_Klwy4XZXPP/view
A missed opportunity
The east end of Toronto is on the up. And up and up. Among the many condominium developments reaching for the skies, the Time and Space tower at The Esplanade and Sherbourne Street is next in line to fling open its doors.
You should know the Time and Space tower – it occupies a whole city block. What used to be a car dealership, an abandoned warehouse, a muddy car park and a rickety rooming house will soon become home to more than a thousand residents.
As I walk past the walloping wall of glass and steel, I wonder what impact it will have on our neighbourhood. Will the new residents grab a bite at Bellissimo’s on their way home from work? Will they pop in for a trim at Linda’s across the road?
Will I bump into a new face at the local community centre? If the evidence from other Toronto high-rise developments is anything to go by, the answer is probably no. Because high-rises don’t build neighbourhoods – they blight them.
My friend lives in a 12-storey apartment block in the west end. She’s lived there for more than 10 years and still doesn’t know her next door neighbour’s name. High-rises create virtual gated communities, with residents scurrying in off the street, tap- ping a card, nodding to the nameless person at the desk, then scooting up the elevator to their little cubby hole in the sky. Anonymity is the norm. When it comes to residential housing, size matters. My son lives in a two-story block in the Junction neighbourhood. He’s only been there a few months and he’s already on nodding terms with the rest of his floor and chats regularly with the lady next door.
The residential ownership model matters too. None of the Time and Space condos have been allocated as affordable, and many will be rented out. At the co-ops along Scadding Avenue and Longboat Avenue, residents take an active role in
managing the property finances, organizing events and applying the rules. When I first moved into this neighbourhood 15 years ago, I witnessed an act of vandalism on my street and took off af-ter the offenders. I cornered a young lad at the entrance to the Windmill Co-op and watched him duck inside. Damn it! I thought the chase was over, but then a bloke appeared out of nowhere and asked if he could help. I explained what had transpired, at which point the man held up a hand and said, “Leave it to me.” Five minutes later he re-appeared with the miscreant in tow. The good Samaritan was on the co-op board and was able to identify the hapless vandal from my description.
The Time and Space condos will tick some boxes for density and extra property tax dollars. They will provide much-need-ed housing for a new bunch of ubiquitous young professionals. (Looking at the price tags, I doubt many new immigrants or families will move in.) But while these folks might be hap-py to have a new place to live, I doubt they’ll do much to build our community. A neighbourhood is more than bricks and mortar. Mayor David Crombie got this 45 years ago when he sketched out what is now the Crombie Park neighbourhood. He understood that people need meeting places, green spaces and opportunities to interact.
My street is a mixture of two to four-bedroom townhouses, duplex rentals, affordable housing units and co-ops. We have most of what we need within a 15-minute stroll, so there’s a lot of foot traffic. I bump into my neighbours on the way to work,
the shops and the gym. But will I bump into anyone from the Time and Space condos anytime soon?
My wife calls Toronto a “missed opportunity.” When I look at the tower of glass at The Esplanade and Sherbourne, I have to agree.
Yuck. More commentary from an out-of-touch Boomer who would rather there be no new housing at all, instead of something that doesn’t quite fit his opinion of what is right for the neighbourhood.
Well, guess what Randy, the people living in these apartments are young workers, immigrants and students who have better things to do than to sit on their front porch and chat with you. Whether they own or rent a condo in this building, it’s likely they can barely afford it. They deserve a place to live too. How does their presence hurt you?
I cannot imagine being so out of touch. Yes this building is poorly designed and value engineered to death, but attitudes like this make me so glad it’s here!
None of the yuppies will be owners. Ain't nobody can afford a $1000+ psf precon in the core on an 80k salary.They will provide much-need-ed housing for a new bunch of ubiquitous young professionals. (Looking at the price tags, I doubt many new immigrants or families will move in.
I don't think a sense of community has as much to do with the design as you described. It all depends on what's "between the ears" i.e. peoples' mindset. If they wish to be social, it doesn't matter how the neighbourhood or building is configured.It is true that many apartment/condominiums do find people being less social, and less aware of their neighbours than they might be in an SFH/Townhome type community.
It's important not to exaggerate that (there are plenty of streets where most SFH owners don't know their neighbours either.).
It's equally important not to demonize that; not everyone wants to be involved in a street-sale or community BBQ; and to gossip away the day.
But, as the same time, there is something to be said for having some awareness of your community and ability to partake in it, and influence it, hopefully in a positive way.
I think a lot of that can be addressed by design changes in buildings. The idea, for instance of creating a window from a unit into the hallway (which people can still have blinds/curtains for); but which creates some enhanced awareness of neighbours and also lets natural light into the hallway would be a good thing.
The idea of creating some sort of communal gathering space on each floor (likely around the elevator lobby; and one, ideally, deep enough to have its own picture window out to the community.
Those types of ideas facilitate neighbours being more engaged with one another (should they wish to be).
None of the yuppies will be owners. Ain't nobody can afford a $1000+ psf precon in the core on an 80k salary.
I don't think a sense of community has as much to do with the design as you described. It all depends on what's "between the ears" i.e. peoples' mindset. If they wish to be social, it doesn't matter how the neighbourhood or building is configured.
My 60s rental building had an influx of Filipinos after 2010 and they were plenty social despite the built form. And it's well established that people will often move to low density suburbs to be further from neighbours, not closer.
You say as much in your post, but I just want to emphasize it's a mindset thing first and foremost.