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Architectural styles unique to Toronto

ttk77

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Have there been any estimates made as to how much it would cost to bury all the wires in the core, or even the entire city?
 

Tewder

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It's not like it has to be done all at once. They just need a basic understanding that it's important and then a plan. The fact they don't even have this much is sort of disdainful really.
 

Memph

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I've traveled a lot in Europe and the US for work over the past 20+ years, and I've never seen anything like this frontier-town mess of wooden poles and wires on main streets in major cities elsewhere. I believe that the wooden hydro pole and associated overhead wires and transformers are truly unique to Toronto in the developed world.

They seem to exist in many Japanese cities too actually:
http://maps.google.com/maps?q=Nagoy...d=woWSV_-V6achxPqlFEzFTQ&cbp=12,69.6,,0,-2.89

And Austrialian ones:
http://maps.google.com/maps?q=Nagoy...d=woWSV_-V6achxPqlFEzFTQ&cbp=12,69.6,,0,-2.89

Not that I'm saying we shouldn't bury ours.

By the way, does anyone have an idea what the guy who wrote this wiki article was referring to?
 

ttk77

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pman

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Then again, compared to the back-alley arrays in Vancouver...

True, you can find overhead wires in back alleys in Vancouver (Montreal too for that matter). But I believe Toronto is unique in North America and Europe for putting this mess front and centre on most main streets.
 

mrgrieves

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Tulse

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I can't say I'm a fan of making the city look like a Disneyfied Tyrolian village.

Regarding the general thread topic, there are two architectural styles which seem to be very dominant in larger buildings going up (or proposed) in the city these days: the "stacked box" (sometimes "stacked and askew box"), and the "boring box using balconies to add large-scale geometric interest". For the former, some examples are Exhibit, Waterlink, 60 Mill. For the latter, there is of course One Bloor, but also River City, Motion, and 460 Yonge.

I really like the best examples of both of these styles (such as Exhibit and One Bloor), but I feel like they both are at risk of being overused, and devaluing those best examples.
 

pman

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The beams and faux leaded glass windows are typical features of the Tudorbethan pastiche that seems to have been pretty common in Toronto in the early part of the 20th century. For that matter, you can find a lot of housing in that style in London, which I guess makes sense given the British orientation of Toronto's establishment at the time. I should say I'm not knocking it - we lived in a really pretty 1920's mock Tudor house in central Toronto and loved it.
 

Urban Shocker

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I really like the best examples of both of these styles (such as Exhibit and One Bloor), but I feel like they both are at risk of being overused, and devaluing those best examples.

They're quite Baroque in their rejection of Classical Modernism. And, as sure as God made little green apples, they'll be replaced by something else.
 

Ex-Montreal Girl

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Brown Brick and Concrete

Okay, so these aren't that old, and they're certainly not heritage. But, as a former Montrealer, I have to say they are unique to Toronto.

I have noticed certain highrises, dating from what I believe to be the late 60s and early 70s, in Toronto, many of them condos, probably the earliest in Toronto, many of them east of Yonge. They all share a certain architectural style -- and forgive me if I don't get the terminology correct. The brick is a chocolate brown, with no red in it at all. The buildings have a lot of visible concrete framing (I don't know what the actual word might be). Some share a Y-shape formation, as seen from the air.

A little detective work reveals that a couple of these buildings (Grenadier Gardens, Weston Towers) were designed by Uno Prii. I am trying to figure out if the rest were, or why they all appeared at around the same time.

Any thoughts?

grenadier gardens.jpg


Above: Grenadier Gardens, finished 1972.

weston towers.jpg


Above: Weston Towers

edgecliff golfway.jpg


Above: Edgecliff Golfway just east of the DVP near Flemingdon Park

helliwell.jpg


Above: Helliwell Place, just south of Pottery Road on Broadview.

Lots more of them, if you pay attention.

Can anybody solve the mystery?
 

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Tewder

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Are those not pretty standard for what we'd call 'commie blocks'? Not sure why you wouldn't see too many in Montreal. Any city that had a burst of development in the 60s and 70s probably has their share of them, or some reasonable facsimile thereof (different brick or colour for example).
 

Ex-Montreal Girl

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Commie Blocks

Are those not pretty standard for what we'd call 'commie blocks'? Not sure why you wouldn't see too many in Montreal. Any city that had a burst of development in the 60s and 70s probably has their share of them, or some reasonable facsimile thereof (different brick or colour for example).

Thanks for your reply and, in one sense, I suppose you're right. It's true you see block-ish highrises from the same period in Montreal, mostly faced with what I now suppose in very dubious concrete hastily slapped up for Expo and the Olympics.

But these buildings are quite different IMO. At least two carry the imprimatur of Uno Prii. And their style of having "strips" of concrete running up and down between the brick is very distinct.

It's been bugging me because they are very distinct to Toronto from what i can tell.
 

junctionist

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Uno Prii designed the better examples which could be included in Toronto's vernacular to be sure. Even the worst can't be called commie blocks because they're generally built to much better standards than the apartment buildings built in communist central and eastern Europe, but are definitely architecturally lacking. Their problem is usually that their proportions are inelegant or overpowering and ugly, and they lack architectural character and creative flourishes with just repeating lines of balconies and windows. What's unique about Toronto is that we have them in huge numbers around the suburban parts of the city: Etobicoke, North York, Scaborough and to a lesser extent, York. You see them all over, especially from the 401. The plus side is that they generally include a lot of landscaping, but the green space is often poorly used.
 
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TrickyRicky

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To be fair many of these buildings have interiors that, while lacking in the appeal of the finishings, are proportioned and layed out in a better fashion than much of what we are building today. Is architecture or architecture style something we reserve for the exterior skin of the building? Or is it something that encompasses the whole building inside and out? Is a Victorian house that has been gutted and turned into a contemporary loft style but that remains Victorian on the outside, still a Victorian building?
 

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