Northern Light

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So they dubbed this place "Wellesley on the Park" before the park really existed, unless they meant sad little Breadalbane Park. Does the new park off Wellesley have a name yet, or will that be some process that happens later. As it is I think it should be "Wellesley on the Park Park" just to keep it consistent. Or perhaps "The Park on Wellesley." It's about as creative and well named as "East of Bay Park."

The park is named Lillian McGregor Park.
 

UntitledCyclist

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Interesting, thanks. I didn't see that on any maps – I guess because it's not open yet. It's been a blank boarded up site since at least 2007 when this thread started! The name helped me find this info from the city including a pretty good site plan. Great that they named it for a doctor of First Nations background, and that they hired a Metis landscape artist as well. Excited to see it come to reality this year.
 

AlvinofDiaspar

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Yegger

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Not nearly as glamorous a site as Queen and University, but boy this aborted project by Moshe Safdie is so much more grandiose (though almost painfully PoMo) than our bargain bin Opera House.


AoD
wow thank you for this little slice of history. I had no idea that Moshe Safdie was in the running for the design, let alone that Bay and Wellesley was intended as the original location. A quick wikipedia search showed a lot of history (and several cancellations!) behind what became the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.

Ultimately, I think the location change was for the best but it's too bad the design we got was so non-descript.
 

AlvinofDiaspar

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wow thank you for this little slice of history. I had no idea that Moshe Safdie was in the running for the design, let alone that Bay and Wellesley was intended as the original location. A quick wikipedia search showed a lot of history (and several cancellations!) behind what became the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.

Ultimately, I think the location change was for the best but it's too bad the design we got was so non-descript.

He wasn't just "in the running" - he is the winner of the design competition and that his proposal would have been built if it hadn't been cancelled. The opera house we finally got is what, 1/2 the unadjusted price of this proposal. Not to dig what we finally got though - because the acoustics is really well regarded and I think DSAI ended up with the La Maison Symphonique de Montreal, Mariinsky II and the David Geffen Hall projects on the strength of what they did here.

AoD
 

Yegger

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He wasn't just "in the running" - he is the winner of the design competition and that his proposal would have been built if it hadn't been cancelled. The opera house we finally got is what, 1/2 the unadjusted price of this proposal. Not to dig what we finally got though - because the acoustics is really well regarded and I think DSAI ended up with the La Maison Symphonique de Montreal, Mariinsky II and the David Geffen Hall projects on the strength of what they did here.

AoD
Great tidbits. I'm not too big on PoMo but Moshe Safdie's design was grand and of its time and looked substantially larger than the DSAI version.

I used to live near the 4S CfPA and hated how the building addressed the east and south elevations. My experiences attending the shows was great though and it's good to hear the functional success despite the budget limitations. If there's anything to be learned from the ROM , it's that architecture quality and use don't necessarily go hand in hand.
 

AlvinofDiaspar

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Great tidbits. I'm not too big on PoMo but Moshe Safdie's design was grand and of its time and looked substantially larger than the DSAI version.

I used to live near the 4S CfPA and hated how the building addressed the east and south elevations. My experiences attending the shows was great though and it's good to hear the functional success despite the budget limitations. If there's anything to be learned from the ROM , it's that architecture quality and use don't necessarily go hand in hand.

The space between it and the Hilton layby is one of the most dreadful urban experiences around, no doubt.

There was an old issue of Toronto Life (predating even the confirmation that the current opera house would be built, so 2002 or so) that talked about the saga, and it mentioned how over-the-top the Wellesley proposal was. There were separate rehearsal and dressing rooms for COC and National Ballet; huge amount of backstage that can accommodate multiple productions at the same time, etc.

AoD
 
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Towered

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The space between it and the Hilton layby is one of the most dreadful urban experiences around, no doubt.

There was an old issue of Toronto Life (predating even the confirmation that the current opera house would be built, so 2002 or so) that talked about the saga, and it mentioned how over-the-top the Wellesley proposal was. There were separate rehearsal and dressing rooms for COC and National Ballet; huge amount of backstage that can accommodate multiple productions at the same time, etc.

AoD

It seems we potentially lost a grand, iconic building for Toronto. I vividly remember my father grumbling the very next day after the NDP won the 1990 provincial election: "Well, you can kiss the opera house goodbye - the NDP only cater to the riff raff of society." Sure enough, it didn't take them long to announce cancellation of the funding.

I think it would have been neat if the park had some kind of cheeky, whimsical nod to the winning opera house design that was never built, like a cartoonish mural of Brunnhilde with a ball-gag in her mouth.
 
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Northern Light

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It seems we potentially lost a grand, iconic building for Toronto. I vividly remember my father grumbling the very next day after the NDP won the 1990 provincial election: "Well, you can kiss the opera house goodbye - the NDP only cater to the riff raff of society."

I think it would have been neat if the park had some kind of cheeky, whimsical nod to the winning opera house design that was never built!

The adjacent buildings along Bay are named 'Opera Place'.............
 

AlvinofDiaspar

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The adjacent buildings along Bay are named 'Opera Place'.............

And off the top of my head, a (perhaps not exact) quote from the Toronto Life piece mentioned - "in a city where cosy always trump Cosi," - referring to the transaction where this piece of land was sold for the Opera Place development.

I wonder if it was John Bentley Mays who wrote that piece.

EDIT - nope it was John Lownsbrough, in the article "A fight at the opera" from the September 2001 issue of Toronto Life. The exact quote:

By the end of the following year, the NDP announced that the Bay and Wellesley site would be used for mixed residential and commercial development. But nothing happened. "The lingering embarrassment for us was that goddamned piece of land," says a Rae adviser. For a while, it became a playground. An expanse of prime real estate morphed into a mecca for skateboarders and rollerbladers. Today it has become the "Opera Place neighbourhood," with condo towers bearing names like Allegro and Aria. Twenty-four-hour concierge service. The works. A commercial venture seeking prestige from a failure? Yes, but a classy failure. This is a city in which cozy trumps Cosi every time.

AoD
 
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ProjectEnd

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5FD50953-7DF2-4149-88D1-7406914D3448.jpeg
DBAFAA6D-2594-489D-805F-6718538E961B.jpeg
 

UtakataNoAnnex

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It seems we potentially lost a grand, iconic building for Toronto. I vividly remember my father grumbling the very next day after the NDP won the 1990 provincial election: "Well, you can kiss the opera house goodbye - the NDP only cater to the riff raff of society." Sure enough, it didn't take them long to announce cancellation of the funding.

I think it would have been neat if the park had some kind of cheeky, whimsical nod to the winning opera house design that was never built, like a cartoonish mural of Brunnhilde with a ball-gag in her mouth.
If they didn't, Mike would have cancelled it surely after. Either way, it was likely DOA when there was change of government, I suspects...as it was an era where austerity and Reaganomics all became vogue in this country. /sigh

Edit/PS: Oh wait, you posted that back in January. You don't have to answer that! >.<
 
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Towered

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If they didn't, Mike would have cancelled it surely after. Either way, it was likely DOA when there was change of government, I suspects...as it was an era where austerity and Reaganomics all became vogue in this country. /sigh

Edit/PS: Oh wait, you posted that back in January. You don't have to answer that! >.<

Didn't the Harris/Eves Conservative government donate the land where the current opera house sits though?
 

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