Corktown

Discussion in 'Neighbourhood Node' started by JasonParis, Apr 3, 2008.

  1. JasonParis

    JasonParis Moderator

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    From today's NOW Magazine...

    Popping Corktown
    The last of T.O.’s untouched historic ’hoods is under siege.
    Enzo Di Matteo


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    St. Paul’s Basilica, the city’s first Catholic church

    Abandoned as an industrial wasteland, the area where King meets Queen is all of a sudden hip, thanks to specialty shops and the souls who stayed and painstakingly reclaimed properties.

    The city’s desire to connect people to the waterfront and the Distillery District has opened the long-forgotten stretch to runaway condo development, but the last thing residents want is to see this Victorian-era enclave overwhelmed by glass boxes.

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    Where it all began for Corktown – the grocery store and lumber yard at the southwest corner of Berkeley and King.

    What makes Corktown cool

    • Turn-of-the-19th-century industrial architecture; one-way streets and curving lanes; cottages.

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    Corktown’s big-buck appeal: penthouses for $1.7 million at Parliament and King

    The city’s dilemma

    • Planning department is eager to see long-ignored industrial plots redeveloped; King Street is ripe for intensification; planners are keen on cutting developers some slack, but the projects being pitched are more than twice the allowable height limit.

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    Richmond off ramp sparked King East exodus, but the real estate rush is now on.

    • The city has asked Streetcar Developments Inc., the developer of four of the projects (510, 549, 569 King and 52 Sumach), to make refinements. (Residents note dozens of zoning bylaw infractions.) Streetcar has responded by taking its case to the OMB over delays.

    Sticking points for residents

    • Building setbacks. Parking. Visual appeal.

    • Three of the proposed buildings on King East are less than 30 metres from each other.

    •Light studies were done on the longest day of the year, not during the 10 months when projects will have their greatest shadow impact on neighbouring houses.

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    Tower tacked onto Robert Davies’s Dominion Brewery was thankfully the only gaudy miscue in 1990s reno

    The bigger threat

    • The West Don Lands behemoth touching Corktown’s eastern flank. Can full-fledged towers like the Distillery District’s twin 32-storey numbers be far off?

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    Properties for sale

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    Shadows of proposed condos and office buildings may fall on Victorian-era cottages on Bright and old firehall on Berkeley.

    • Two-storey commercial bulding at 135 Berkeley.
    • Three-storey commercial at 487 King East.

    Recently sold

    • 443 and 445 King East, reportedly for upwards of $1 million.

    In the works

    • Fourteen-storey condo with penthouses at 333 King East.
    • Eight-storey, 185-unit condo at 510-512 King East.
    • Six-storey, 42-unit condo with commercial space on ground floor at 569 King East.
    • Six-storey residential, 44 units, with four townhouses at 549 King East.
    • Five-storey, 44-unit condo at 52 Sumach.
    • Dedicated streetcar lane down Sumach to the Distillery District.
     
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  2. TKTKTK

    TKTKTK Senior Member

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    Streetcar (the developer of the "Corktown District") is having a public hearing of some sort on April 14th, I think. I have the invitation on my desk at work :)
     
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  3. UserNameToronto

    UserNameToronto Active Member

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    James Brown says, "Get on up!"
     
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  4. Hipster Duck

    Hipster Duck Senior Member

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    "Under siege"? Those strong words are usually reserved for neighbourhoods that are under attack from negative forces: chronic poverty, white flight, drug epidemics, crime waves. In this case, the "attacker" is a brownfield development of an urban, mixed income neighbourhood on what was once toxic land. This is not a siege.
     
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  5. ShonTron

    ShonTron Moderator

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    An old article, but I agree about the absurity. The tallest planned is 14 floors, hardly the Distillery District even. The rest are classic "Avenues" scale buildings that will, as long as the architecture is decent and sympathetic (not necessary pomo, either though), be an improvement. They're going nuts over shadows, not even demolitions of historic structures. Anyway 333 King East is the Toronto Sun property, not even quite Corktown. The 8 story building is on the north side of King, mitigating some shadow issues.
     
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  6. adma

    adma Superstar

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    Though weren't some of them once opposed to SAS because it *wasn't*, er, "historic style" (or at least, in a historic-compatible vocabulary, so to speak)?
     
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  7. Johnny Kay

    Johnny Kay Active Member

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    Gilead Place

    finally checked out Jamie Kennedy's new http://www.gileadcafe.ca

    Best pulled pork sandwich in the city (and I've had some really good ones)

    They also have a daily poutine, which is rad.

    It's really amazing to see the laneways and warehouses in Corktown come alive the way they are. Gilead Place will be such a vibrant alley within a year. Some very attractive modern townhouses are about 70% finished, Gilead Cafe is getting tonnes of buzz and Morning Glory at the corner is taking full advantage of the new attention! Excited to see more of the older buildings in the area re-appropriated like Gilead Place!
     
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  8. Urban Shocker

    Urban Shocker Doyenne

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    I wonder why Gilead Cafe doesn't offer anything that could reasonably pass for a decent cooked breakfast, seeing as they open at 8 am?

    Jeremiah 46:11: Go up to Gilead and obtain bacon and eggs, O virgin daughter of Egypt.
     
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  9. Johnny Kay

    Johnny Kay Active Member

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    does anyone know if any of the proposed corktown district buildings will be bringing in a grocery store?
     
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  10. egotrippin

    egotrippin Senior Member

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    As far as I know, nothing has been mentioned, but the Front and Princess Sobeys is pretty close as it is. Also steps away in the Distillery, a Fresh and Wild is opening up as well. Along with this, the entire district is pretty close to the St. Lawrence market and the Metro across from it, I can't see them putting a grocery store in any of the buildings.
     
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  11. Johnny Kay

    Johnny Kay Active Member

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    I didn't suspect they'd be bringing in a larger store. I meant a RABBA or something like that. A local place to pick up some produce and rent a movie. That's the one thing Corktown / Rivwerside doesn't have.
     
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  12. egotrippin

    egotrippin Senior Member

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    Ah yeah, actually something like that would be nice. Something like the little market shops you see on Queen West or in Chinatown, with fresh produce out on the sidewalks. In any case, hopefully whatever ends up opening in the new buildings will animate the sidewalks, as well as bring some more street life to the area. I'd like to see more places like the Dominion on Queen, as well as some cafes with patios out front.
     
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  13. Johnny Kay

    Johnny Kay Active Member

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    definitely! Let us know if you hear of anything.
     
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  14. T.O.Fanatic

    T.O.Fanatic Active Member

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    The little family produce shops, really bring streetlife to a neighborhood, lets hope Corktown gets some!
     
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  15. TKTKTK

    TKTKTK Senior Member

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    Do people open those still? I guess I've always figured they were fortunate holdovers from another retail age. Aren't we more likely to get a Fresh & Wild or a Whole Foods?
     
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