Discovery at Concord Park Place | ?m | 28s | Concord Adex | Quadrangle COMPLETE

unimaginative2

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It doesn't matter how far the majority of the units are from the subway stations... if people are willing to use transit, they'll find a way to get there. Nobody lives at STC but it still gets 25000+ daily riders.
When were you last there? Lots of people live at STC.
 

adma

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Unless it's a euphemism for "Nobodies live at STC". (Hey, I guess those anonymous condo-dwellers are "nobodies".)
 

acetradamus

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When were you last there? Lots of people live at STC.
Just because you see tall buildings doesn't mean theres a lot of people living there. The only housing in the entire area from Brimley to McCowan and Ellesmere to the 401 is just a handful of condos.

The point is a 10 minute walk for Park Places residents isn't a valid deterent when there are thousands of current riders elsewhere who have to deal with 30-45min bus trips to the subway.

Whether the Park Place buildings are directly on Sheppard closer to the stations or nearer to the 401 shouldn't be an issue about whether a person is willing to use the subway or not. It won't be a failure of planning when people who end up living at Park Place say they don't use the subway because it's too far. These people aren't hardy enough to be transit users anyway.
 

lordmandeep

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most riders come on buses to the station...
 

acetradamus

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most riders come on buses to the station...
Thats my point mandeep. People complaining about having to walk 10min to instant high priority transit aren't dedicated transit users that the TTC can count to be long term customers.

How can billion dollar capital investments be justified when the people who have direct access aren't even in the target demographics. Thats the problem when you build the subway before the development. The type of development that comes after the subway isn't the most effective at using the system. The people who would use the service are priced out.

The condos for sale have an added premium in the price because of the subway. Most people that can afford to buy these units can also afford car ownership. The reality is TTC ridership isnt based on choice riders.
 

scarberiankhatru

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People in the ParkPlace condos adjacent to the 401 (which could be for buffer purposes, but placing *half* the units there to buffer the other half doesn't make sense, and I'm not even sure it'll buffer the sound at all) will certainly walk to Bessarion or Leslie because they'll all be 10 minutes away or less, including the elevator trip in their building. But why wouldn't we want more units closer to the station and a beefier built form along Sheppard?

Those handful of condos at STC are home to thousands of people, but, yeah, in the end, condos are just bonus ridership, not the bulk of it. However, we might as well place the condos near transit to maximize how many people use it. Over time, transit-oriented people will move into buildings with good transit access. They could easily build another 30-40 condos within walking distance of STC - it'd still generate less total riders than the buses that pour in, but would everyone rather these homes be built in Orangeville or Queensville instead?

Most TTC riders arrive by vehicle, not by foot. All of the subway lines depend on feeder buses. The purpose of the Sheppard line is not to spur redevelopment, it's to serve the entire Sheppard corridor, which is one of the busiest routes in the city. It's *really* obvious that ridership is only 4X,000 per day because the route only goes 5.5km, but it was supposed to be 3 times as long. The area between Don Mills and STC is already denser than any other area that has gotten a subway outside of the YUS loop...serving this area, too, not just the 4km of bungalows around Bayview, was the original purpose of the line.
 

acetradamus

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But why wouldn't we want more units closer to the station and a beefier built form along Sheppard?
If planning was connected to transit oriented development this would be a reality. But this project is about selling condos and the city has to protect the wishes of current area residents who are against added density. The result is a backward compromise that while quantitatively adding potential riders to the transit network does not incorporate the physical form of the development in a useful way to the actual Sheppard corridor. Where are the considerations for future employment and services and how are they planned with respect to accessibility and concentration.

However, we might as well place the condos near transit to maximize how many people use it. Over time, transit-oriented people will move into buildings with good transit access. They could easily build another 30-40 condos within walking distance of STC - it'd still generate less total riders than the buses that pour in, but would everyone rather these homes be built in Orangeville or Queensville instead?
Adding the units to the geographical area of the subway is one thing. But when will we consider the macro view of how we can use development pressures to build an actual "Avenue" that links projects to the both the local community and the city at large. In what way can a large residential development contribute to the local community. What services and employment considerations can we make now that we are adding X number of people to an existing micro area. (local schools, retail, parks, employment)

How does this project associate with the larger regional environment? Instead of what is best for this particular site, how can this development add to the progession of creating a unified, mixed-use Sheppard corridor. It's nice the units are being built in Toronto and at a former warehouse site, but we need to also look at how this project and future projects can be linked and oriented in a way that allows for a true "Avenue" to develop.

These large condo projects are designed in a way that the built form reflects an isolation from the city at large. The only way to create a real "Avenue" the way Yonge St and Bloor-Danforth currently exist as is to have CONTINUITY across the length of the line. Multi-tower condo complexes are really just large subdivisions with huge lawns (mandated greenspace?) and no significant future commercial/retail provisions.

What the hell are we trying to turn Sheppard into? A stretch of isolated 100% residential condo complexes or a viable employment zone with the services to compliment the demands of a high density residential area.

Most TTC riders arrive by vehicle, not by foot. All of the subway lines depend on feeder buses. The purpose of the Sheppard line is not to spur redevelopment, it's to serve the entire Sheppard corridor, which is one of the busiest routes in the city. It's *really* obvious that ridership is only 4X,000 per day because the route only goes 5.5km, but it was supposed to be 3 times as long. The area between Don Mills and STC is already denser than any other area that has gotten a subway outside of the YUS loop...serving this area, too, not just the 4km of bungalows around Bayview, was the original purpose of the line.
It's true the current form of the Sheppard line is abbreviated, and the sad thing is generally most people assume the line is disfunctional or a failure simply based on the ridership numbers instead of understanding the animal of a transit corridor Sheppard Ave really is for an extended stretch beyond Don Mills. Sheppard isn't meant to be a walk-up line but it exists to provide east-west subway service across the northeast of the city. It's understood should the line be extended to its planned length, the direct incorporation of bus routes along the line will affect transit patterns along the corridor. The Sheppard line would provide the fastest east-west route for hundreds of thousands of people.

At the same time, land immediately surrounding the stations and land directly facing on Sheppard is coming under pressures of redevelopment. What is the city doing to guide the direction of development the way of creating a real "Avenue" ... <-- (which I assume includes some degree of walkability for instance)
 

scarberiankhatru

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ParkPlace has less than 200m of Sheppard frontage...it's hardly able to contribute to Avenue-ization in any significant way. And everybody's known this all along. I'm probably generalizing to a fault here, but the city is creating Avenues through passive but still moderately strict urban design controls...they could start buying up bungalows or forcing the process in other ways, but that will invariably result in master-planned disasters (typical 'Avenue language' can easily invoke something like Parisian boulevards but the reality will be more like a lower version of Queen's Quay). Sheppard West is slowly Avenue-izing - it's taking many years, but it'll get there on its own.

According to the site plan posted earlier, one of the two buildings that fronts Sheppard is a white (and according to http://www.concordadex.com/parkplace/ it's a ~6 storey building)...perhaps this will be a retail/office combo? The other one looks like a ~10 storey condo that will probably have some token retail in its base. I'd like to know precisely what all the green space is - is it parks or will there potentially be an elementary school or what?
 

wyliepoon

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Perhaps a PATH system here might be a good thing. Connect CPP with Canadian Tire, IKEA and Bessarion station with an underground network of tunnels, perhaps with retail lining them (to compete with Bayview Village). That would certainly help increase the value of the condos by providing a direct link to the subway, and it would help Bessarion by making it the main access (especially in winter) to Canadian Tire and IKEA.
 

Hypnotoad

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Trying to think back... how much push did this Sheppard line get from Mel Lastman, he of North York origins?
Mel Lastman was the only reason this line was built. He pushed, pushed, pushed after Harris shut down all transpotation projects in the province, including the Eglinton West tunnel (that had to be filled in).

And the going thought for the line was to connect two destinations along one avenue corridor. And to make transit an alternative to the 401, yes.

I'm not a fan of the Sheppard line in concept but the reality is that it is here and it is incomplete. The secondary reality is that it invites high densities that would not otherwise exist in this area of the city. With that in mind, it would be a huge mistake not to take advantage of the transit line and stipulate that the area become highly intensified to support the transit option. The problem is that these new developments are more tied to their close proximity to the 401 than they close proximity to the subway. And this is a major problem because the subway doesn't go anywhere. Thus, it should be completed to connect downsview (York University) to scarborough.

I don't think it has to do with priviledge for units to be near the subway line. It just makes for good intensification policy to locate high rises near subways.
 

scarberiankhatru

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It shouldn't be completed for the sake of improving transit-oriented redevelopment, it should be completed for the sake of everything east of Don Mills and for overall transit use in the city...complexes like ParkPlace are just the bonus (a bonus that will, indirectly through tax dollars, pay off the capital cost of the line).
 

Edward Skira

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Was at Ikea yesterday and took a good look around. The first phase, north of Ikea and east of Cdn Tire, will be a 1 minute walk to Leslie Station once the road under the Go tracks is complete. That will certainly add traffic to that station. The rest is maybe a 5-10 minute walk at most to Bessarion Station. Concord Park Place will generate traffic for the Sheppard line.
 

acetradamus

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I don't think it has to do with priviledge for units to be near the subway line. It just makes for good intensification policy to locate high rises near subways.
The density should definitely be closer to the subway. The privilege part comes from the fact that the majority of future inhabitants will use or not use the subway regardless of how close they are to the stations. You are in a privileged position when you can decline to use nearby high priority transit and afford to purchase a condominium unit on a subway line and not even use it. You are privileged when you have people on an internet forum advocating that your home be built closer to the subway whether you are even willing to use public transit. You are privileged when people talk about whether a unit is 5 minutes or 10 minutes away from the station and argue the placement of your building when there’s people in Morningside Heights just trying to get better bus service. My point is I don’t give a damn where they put these buildings because the city doesn’t give a damn about building ridership and the residents of Park Place wont give a damn that a subway is right next to them.

Its correct to say the high rises should be around stations but in reality it won't make a difference because it'll be the same people living in the buildings whether they are directly above a station or a 10 minute walk from it. The only thing that matters is whether these people will end up ever adopting the subway as an alternative transportation option but then again, where would anybody go on the Sheppard line in its current incarnation?

So we can talk about how the tallest buildings are closer to the 401 instead of the subway station but it really wouldn’t have made a difference to transit usage if it were the other way around.

Privileged are those who get to reap the real estate rewards of listing "5min to Sheppard subway" in their resale postings because of the poor transit planning of the provincial government (Mike Harris for killing the rest of the line) leaving us with a useless stubway.

This project works on the level that the proposed densities are justified because of the subway line but fails to make the most efficient use of it.

How about some low-income units?
 

scarberiankhatru

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If it doesn't matter where the density goes because it's all within a 5 minute walk of the subway regardless of where the towers are placed, I'm curious: what do you think is inefficient about the complex?

I'm not buying your privileged argument at all. Those houses in Morningside Heights are all worth over $500,000 - every one of those households is perfectly capable of buying homes or condos closer to better transit, but they choose not to. Similarly, you can't force people in ParkPlace to take transit - no neighbourhood in the city sees a majority of trips taken on transit. There's no such thing as "your home" or "one home" with a condo - moving one home closer means moving 300 homes closer all at once, and some of them will appreciate being even 1 minute closer to a subway station.

It will make a difference where the density goes - as much as possible should be built as close to transit as possible. You can't measure these marginal distances literally in terms of X people stop taking the subway after Y metres, but building all the units as far away from the stations as possible just sends a mixed message. There should be more closer to Sheppard for the sake of TOD, but also for the sake of Sheppard itself, which should develop along the lines of North York Centre but will instead be an awkward mix of low-rises in front of mega high-rises in front of single detached houses.

Condos *are* low income units...you get a huge range of people living together when an area has homes worth everywhere between $200,000 (or even a bit less) and $1M+. You're probably referring to "no income" units, though :)

edit - and instead of dumping all of the blame on Mike Harris, I'd also praise Lastman's melgalomania and continue to criticize the current folks at City Hall for choosing a streetcar over a subway extension.
 

Hypnotoad

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I too do not buy the privilege argument. Yes, transit proximity is usually flagged in a real estate ad. Then again, anything that screams "location, location, location" is typically inserted into a blurb. And that is why real estate developers (a breed that only looks to make a heavy return on their investment) like Concord or Daniels are developing along Sheppard. They know that location-location-location will sell. What is hidden here is that location-location-location means both transit proximity and access to the 401. No one is claiming that all residents in these towers will use the subway.

If your argument is that only social or low income housing be built along subway lines then, well that's a whole other debate on urbanity. But your privilege argument doesn't convince me, only because the subway is here and it is better to intensify than to leave it alone, low-rise. There is evidence in TOD literature that shows that higher densities near transit bring on more riders. But this evidence is tied to other factors too, including the quality of the transit line (it has to go somewhere) and the quality of the pedestrian realm. Income class is shown to have little effect to the success of transit-oriented development, although a mix of income and classes is generally advised.

Truly, the only development I've read about along Sheppard that tries to be Transit-oriented is the planned (and sold) Arc Condos by Daniels, at the corner of Bayview and Sheppard. This one will actually be built on top of the subway station, not a bad start.
 

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