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Minto Westside 
Bathurst St & Front St W, Toronto
Developer: Minto Group

Minto Westside (Bathurst @ Front, Minto, 4 towers 16 to 25s?, Wallman)

Discussion in 'Projects & Construction (high and mid-rise)' started by BobBob, Sep 24, 2008.

  1. BobBob

    BobBob Senior Member

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    I was at the community meeting this evening with Adam Vaughan and representatives of Context talking about ideas for the large site at the north-east corner of Front and Bathurst. It's basically a whole city block - everything on the Front/Bathurst/Niagara block west of the Aloft hotel.

    It was quite an unusual and bold idea. Some details:

    - A large (600+ units) residential building, built along the perimeter of the site, with large public courtyard in the middle. Public access would be guaranteed, and there would be routes *through* the building/courtyard creating mid-block connections and shortcuts for pedestrians.
    - Height varies from ~10 storeys on Niagara to ~17 on Front.
    - Sloped roofline is used to create steps, which produce large grassy terraces, essentially back yards for penthouse units.
    - Large, high-quality retail units planned at grade along Front and Bathurst.

    They said it was still in the rough stages, and much more work needed to be done, but that was the general idea they were working with.

    It was pretty exciting to see it.
     
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  2. Hydrogen

    Hydrogen post-young

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    Wow, that's a pretty significant chunk of property being considered.
     
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  3. gei

    gei Active Member

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    every time a project in this area is proposed someone has to point this out...

    isn't that right near the abbatoir?
     
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  4. Automation Gallery

    Automation Gallery Senior Member

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    Location:
    South Parkdale
    Close enough to be neighbours.
     
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  5. Jayomatic

    Jayomatic Active Member

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    Ewwwww. This is by far the worst smelling corner in that whole neighbourhood. I hope the suckers to buy into this thing know about it.
     
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  6. cdr108

    cdr108 Senior Member

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  7. cmcint01

    cmcint01 Active Member

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    Bob Bob

    Did the developers for 525 Adelaide show up to the meeting? I know they were marked tentative. Anything new to post on that thread? I was planning to attend but had to work late.
     
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  8. Team Me

    Team Me Active Member

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    I was at this meeting too. I think the design was really bold and innovative, although ironically, it's the context that doesn't work for me.

    The visual mass of this building was a little overwhelming. It feels as though it would be much more enjoyable to someone who lives there, with the atrium and grass "yards", then to the neighbourhood in general. Seeing the rendering from above gives you a real sense of this.

    To people walking by and seeing it from street level, or living in any building or houses surrounding it, it will look more like a sports arena - 12 to 15 stories straight up for basically a full city block. It's really that big.

    And I know there was some mention that the size of the sidewalks in the rendering were too small, but the building seemed to dwarf everything at street level, especially on the bathurst and niagara sides. Say what you will about point towers and height, but a 15-story, city block-sized "base" doesn't seem any less foreboding from a neighbourhood perspective.

    That being said, the overall concept is interesting. If tweaks could be made to the overall scale, height and relationship to the neighbourhood, it could be a real landmark building.
     
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  9. Hydrogen

    Hydrogen post-young

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    Living near the area, I know people (suckers, as you refer to them) who actually live closer to the abatoire than this project will actually be. It's not like this smell is either an overwhelming or permanent feature. Yes, the vicinity can smell like a farm now and then, but it is still a desired area to live in.
     
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  10. Solaris

    Solaris Senior Member

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    does anyone have 'spyshots' to share of the proposal from this meeting?
     
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  11. marcus_a_j

    marcus_a_j Senior Member

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    Thanks for going and sharing this info. What I really like about many of the developments in the area are the mid-block connections. These are (most likely) the results of meetings and negotiations with Adam Vaughan's office, City planners, and community and neighbourhood groups like Wellington Place. The amount of community involvement that goes into the planning of these developments in the area is really impressive, something that should be done more in other parts of the City. This allows for the community to be a part of the process and work with the City and developers to iron out issues before an application is even made. The idea is to get the most out of the site for everyone, and create something that provides plenty of benefits, plus avoid going to the OMB, which causes bickering and conflicts and costs everybody money.
     
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  12. Team Me

    Team Me Active Member

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    Oh, and one other part about this development will be a potential grocery store for this area. Much needed.
     
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  13. BobBob

    BobBob Senior Member

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    I didn't take any pictures, but the Whale building in Amsterdam was cited as a major inspiration, and the proposal did indeed look much like it and share many of its elements:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  14. Archivist

    Archivist Senior Member

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    The proposal for this land sounds delightful, but I'm not that fond of the whale building, which looks impressive from a distance but looming and cold up close. Also, the interior courtyard of the whale building is completely cut off to the public by large locked gates. We can do better.
     
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  15. BobBob

    BobBob Senior Member

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    The renderings shown at the meeting did give an impression of a large, looming building. They had large holes in the "wall" to give it a more airy appearance and to bring more light to the inner courtyard, but I can't say how effective that is. They did say that the city would require a commitment to keep the interior courtyard open, with inviting entrances and programmed events inside (they mentioned chamber music concerts in the summer), so it seemed like the thinking was in the right direction.
     
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