M5V set a bad precedent for random mid-block high-rises. I would imagine that this will end up at the OMB, who will overrule the city and allow it to go ahead.
I think it's interesting that with the increased focus on environmental and sustainability issues we're getting these buildings that are actually pretty resource-intensive compared to low or mid-rise building types. I'd imagine that the amount of energy required to power these buildings is pretty significant, especially for HVAC. Glass curtain walls allow heat to pass through them more easily than other materials, and the small unit sizes (usually on only one side of a building) don't allow the heat to move around well. You end up having to turn on the AC in April because south-side apartments absorb so much solar heat.
Nevermind the fact that if the power goes off, anyone on a high floor will effectively be trapped in their apartment when the elevators stop working.
/\ Actually the precident was set with Festival Tower, not M5V.
P.s. I think I have your movie DarnDirtyApe:
Thanks for the tip! That actually looks like it could be interesting - disaster movie + Steve McQueen + Paul Newman!
The precedent I meant was the mid-block development. At least Festival Tower is a whole city block, and adjacent to the Holiday Inn.
Awesome point DarnDirtyApe. I think the issue of tall buildings/towers is definitely a contentious one and one which will probably illicit numerous of opinions from both sides of the spectrum..none, more vaild than the other.I think it's interesting that with the increased focus on environmental and sustainability issues we're getting these buildings that are actually pretty resource-intensive compared to low or mid-rise building types. I'd imagine that the amount of energy required to power these buildings is pretty significant, especially for HVAC. Glass curtain walls allow heat to pass through them more easily than other materials, and the small unit sizes (usually on only one side of a building) don't allow the heat to move around well. You end up having to turn on the AC in April because south-side apartments absorb so much solar heat.
However, I completely agree with you DarnDirtyApe, that while people are speaking so fervently about sustainability and energy consumption/conservation etc., we are nodding our heads in agreement and applauding them, we are continuing to build building without any regard for those comments.
I think the discouraging thing about this proposal, including others we have seen recently which are also slated for the area, is that they almost entirely disregard the shape of the built-form already in place. There are lots of 7, 10 and 12 story buildings in this neighborhood, as well as 2 and 3 story houses which have for the most part been converted to businesses etc.
Now I am not saying that towers should be forbidden or are ill-thought products, nor do I have a fear of heights, I am simply stating that intensifying the area with more suitable mid-rise buildings first would be the logical step when filling in the gaps and with the ambitions of intensifying the area.
I also think that too much emphasis is put on the point tower and not enough on the mid-rise. I think many would agree that if you were to have a dense neighborhood of buildings of 5-14 stories, with a few taller 20-25 story buildings peppered in, that the area would have a much better, more vibrant and urban feel.
I totally agree, but I think this is going to be another case of point towers creating a "new context" despite the midrise nature of the neighbourhood. There's already a dozen proposals for 30-50 storey towers in this neighbourhood. All the same, I'd prefer to see a podium at King with the tower fronting way back on Pearl Street.
- cats are OK - purrr
- dogs are OK - wooof
What baffles me is the notion that 'intensification = 50s+'.
Paris, which has one of the highest rates of intensification, is made of and restricted to 8s max.
Also read some post that stated when buildings are higher than 40s, the costs financially as well as resources for construction increases substantially on a sqft basis.
I think all these new tall towers are just supplying the customers demand for them and it all has to do with marketing. If one development company announces a 20 story building, then another company announces a 50 story building in the same area, which one is going to have better sales (all other things being equal)? I'm assuming the average consumer/condo buyer (not members of this forum) would prefer the taller tower.
Developers could come to some agreement to all build shorter towers except that someone would come along and break that agreement and the height race would continue. It's like salaries in sports: all the owners could agree to pay players less, but that's never going to happen. It's also a competition between the developers for who can build the biggest and best. Height = recognition. UT members may hate Dubai, but do you think it would get the same attention it does if every building was half their height?
I also think a lot of you are stuck in the past and don't realize that neighbourhoods change. Yes, King West is midrise, but who says it was always going to stay that way? Right now it looks inevitable that it will become high rise or at least a mix in the near future.
So King West is no longer mid rise, what now? Another neighbourhood will just take over as "mid rise". It's the evolution of the city: density and intensification. Low rise will become mid rise, mid rise will become high rise, and high rise may eventually go even higher.
I would add to above that of all the districts in Toronto, the Entertainment District is at or near the top of the list for this sort of change. It is adjacent to the existing CBD (and indeed, with RBC and the Metro Hall complex leading the way, may end up as part of an enlarged CBD). It is right next to the University subway line on one side, the Spadina streetcar line on the other, and the Queen streetcar line on another, plus the King streetcar line running right through it -- making it one of the areas of the city most well served by public transit. The already approved projects (starting with the Shangri-La) have established that the district can host tall towers. I expect that in a couple of decades, the district will be chock-a-block with 30-50 storey towers, with a few even taller buildings as well.
Having said that, I am not crazy about a 50-storey tower going up right next to the Royal Alex. However, I will wait to see the design before passing judgement.
Paris may sprawl about its centre, but those areas are still extremely dense, especially in comparison to our pathetic suburban barren-scapes.
With regards to your comments scott about areas evolving, no one is stating that this area should be frozen in time, and that development is not welcome. First, that would be impossible to do, because anything historical has already been altered beyond their original historical appearances. Second, I don't think expecting areas to evolve appropriately and in character with a neighborhood, means being "stuck in the past" as you put it, but rather interested in cohesive and contextual planning/building.I also think a lot of you are stuck in the past and don't realize that neighbourhoods change. Yes, King West is midrise, but who says it was always going to stay that way? Right now it looks inevitable that it will become high rise or at least a mix in the near future.
On the same not, plopping down some 40+ story towers in a low/mid rise area is not progressive, or forward looking. Areas do change and no one here is disputing that fact, but change doesn't have to mean 40+ story towers or bust!