As ugly as the expansion is, I do think the new smaller 'public' space out front will be much better utilized than the old space. It seems a lot more intimate and protected than the open, windswept space that it once was. Having multiple entrances along it will also help animate it quite a bit.
Does anyone know if the glass cube is the entrance to the rooftop space?
As far as I know, the cube will have the elevators that will take you to the rooftop space. It'll be open the same hours as the subway, IIRC
Even with the extensive interior renovations, the awkward physical layout of the place prevents it from really working well. There are no real clear paths through the place -- entering from north end of Yonge required going down a level to get out at Eglinton, and in general the space has weird nooks and crannies rather than a clear linear flow. Then there's the architectural embarrassment of how the upper levels on either side of the mall aren't actually on the same level, prompting an almost Lovecraftian sense that the angles are all wrong in the inside of the mall, and requiring the awkward set of suspended walkway/stairs to get from one side to the other. It's a mess at a fundamental level, and while the interior redo is nice, and the major additions will help bring in some more folks, I just don't think it is structured in a way to be a major destination mall.I've been questioning myself for an eternity on how this mall could be transformed into a modern, rban retail center at the cross-section of two jor subway lines and I keep falling short of suggestions..