Northern Light

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Anyone trying to ascribe any good faith arguments to the opponents of this project are being substantially too generous to them. A bunch of rich white folks saw a proposal they didn’t like and weaponized their privilege to get their way; simple as that.

It’s a pretty good encapsulation of all that is wrong in “public consultation” in this city (and many others). To say the process by which the City engages the public is in dire need of a dramatic overhaul is an extreme understatement.

For the record, I give no credit to the opponents of this project.

I simply acknowledge that from my point of the view, the project was flawed.

I am of the opinion that its latest iteration is at least as flawed as those that came before, and probably moreso.

****

But while I may not be thrilled by the opposition, and less so by the result, I remain angry with the university for proposing what would be a good building on a better site, at a completely inappropriate location.

Better was possible from the beginning. This is a building that would have fit well on west campus, particularly at or south of Harbord.

This particular concept was simply too much, shoe-horned into to too little space; the result, opposition, the further result a concession to make a poorly sited building a poorly sited building with a less thoughtful design.
 
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ADRM

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There are better and worse ways of expressing an argument and this is certainly the latter.

It also happens to be true in this case; it is publicly known who the ring leaders are here. I’m not quite sure why one would take exception to a statement of fact.
 

Undead

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It also happens to be true in this case; it is publicly known who the ring leaders are here. I’m not quite sure why one would take exception to a statement of fact.
Except it's brought up as if an argument all unto its own, which it's not. It's not a neutral statement, but toxic and unnecessarily racially charged.

Any time one brings race into their argument, they automatically lose the argument, even if the underlying claim is valid.

In any case, it's clear the bad arguments from the nimbys have a worthy match on the other side. It's crazy how this stuff lost the taboo it used to have even 10 years ago.
 

UtakataNoAnnex

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For the record, I give no credit to the opponents of this project.

I simply acknowledge that from my point of the view, the project was flawed.

I am of the opinion that its latest iteration is at least as flawed as those that came before, and probably moreso.
They did fundamentally make it a lot worse though. Now I wish this project would die in a dumpster fire where U of T and it's petty neighbours get nothing in it's wake, IMO. /sigh
 
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Northern Light

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It also happens to be true in this case; it is publicly known who the ring leaders are here. I’m not quite sure why one would take exception to a statement of fact.

I want to be clear, I'm meaning this in a non-inflammatory way......

Perhaps it would be useful to ask; 'Is this fact relevant to the discussion'?
I'm not sure it is.

We could also discuss the height, or the weight or the ethnicity or the eye colour or the hair colour of project opponents (or proponents).
Their affluence is probably fair game, in as much as low-income people rarely feel they can engage in this type of process.
Of course, if we were to examine the demographic composition of project proponents, I have a funny feeling it would closes resemble that of opponents.

Hey wait........just out of curiosity, let's check.


Without paying close attention I see 11 visible minority persons on a 53-member body, so over 79% 'white'.

****

I think it probably is best to marshal an argument for or against a project by looking at its merits or shortcomings and sticking to that.
After all, we just saw a thread about opposition to an entirely sensible and well designed project in Scarborough centre, one replacing a parking lot, and which has a most agreeable design......
The majority of its opponents are immigrants who happen to reside in adjacent condos.
The key association in both cases is wealth and entitlement; which isn't unique to any one group.
 

ADRM

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Except it's brought up as if an argument all unto its own, which it's not. It's not a neutral statement, but toxic and unnecessarily racially charged.

Any time one brings race into their argument, they automatically lose the argument, even if the underlying claim is valid.

In any case, it's clear the bad arguments from the nimbys have a worthy match on the other side. It's crazy how this stuff lost the taboo it used to have even 10 years ago.

It is absolutely relevant in the frame of the broader issues with public consultation and the fact that the makeup of participants therein look absolutely nothing like the composition of the city writ large. There is also now a wide body of literature clearly documenting the racist origins of some of the most foundational aspects of planning in this city (as in others) that continue to guide the discipline to this day.

It’s unfortunate that some folks are triggered by the recognition of that simple and sad reality, but that’s actually fairly emblematic of the problem itself.

The public engagement process is badly broken and the trajectory of this project is a good representation of that.
 

Northern Light

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May I suggest everyone steps back here.

I feel this thread is taking a negative and unproductive turn and tracking off course from the subject at hand.
 
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smably

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It is, in fact, totally relevant to point out the racial makeup of residents' associations given the explicitly racist origins of zoning and the ways that it continues to be weaponized in the name of "neighbourhood character". Even though this particular proposal doesn't happen to involve housing, the dynamic on display here is rooted in racist policy. Nothing wrong with pointing that out, and nobody needs to get offended by that observation.
 

ProjectEnd

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While really unfortunate, it's not hard to see why the University would be fine with this settlement. It's a shorter, squatter, building with more space on each floorplate. It's easier if one thinks of institutional buildings in the 'office', rather than 'residential' typology. More space on the plate means that departments can all exist together rather than being split onto multiple floors (as was the case with the original proposal where the history department split between 4 different floors - not ideal).

Again, this sucks and we're getting a far less interesting building because of it, but this settlement really isn't a bad thing for U of T as a client and a user.
 

UtakataNoAnnex

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So more floor space over design quality? Couldn't they do something more imaginative and inspiring with those floor plate wishes?
 

AlexBozikovic

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The only potential upside here, in terms of architecture, is that the clients and architects have shown some creativity and willingness to… try. The weird “erosion” around Falconer Hall was driven by heritage constraints.

The big question is how much more time and money U of T is willing to spend.
 

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