Five St. Joseph | 161m | 48s | Five St. Joseph | Hariri Pontarini COMPLETE


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Oct 9, 2011
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Where it's urban. And dense.
Disrespect? You posted a very quick, subjective evaluation and didn't even take the time to tell us why. That's fine, but so is me asking you to explain what you meant in your post.

But yeah, I have to disagree with your evaluation. What's wrong with 60s apartment buildings? A mix of architecture is what makes downtown really cool.. you get those "onion layers" of history.
We both know the difference between 'Would you mind elaborating?' and 'Elaborate.' If you don't, I'm not sure an explanation of the difference will make sense to you, so it's not in my interest to pursue the matter further. But I know you do, so the point is moot.

As for my comment, I can understand that it might come as a surprise to you and other members that I actually have no pretensions that the claims I make here have any authority or should even really be listened to. My interest in Toronto's urban development is simple and naive, and I'm okay with that. I don't come here to enter into a discourse of justification.

So, though I'm not sure really what you mean by 'subjective' or 'objective', all I can offer is a more refined set of descriptions for why I see that particular shot, at that particular time, in those particular weather conditions, in that particular state of construction of the city, dismal. And my remark was so off-the-cuff that I'm not really interested in doing that right now.

Though I'm always interested to read what other members think, and am happy to countenance opposing views.
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Apr 22, 2007
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How they maintain the building and the grounds there (another landscaping project is currently underway) might distinguish it from what one might find at Ellesmere and Birchmount, nothing against Ellesmere & Birchmount, I grew up a stone throw from there, plus it's been a condo co-op for a few decades now.
The building is having the garage sealed...unlike many buildings constructed today it extends northward under what is the front lawn, and you're quite right that while it's a typical 60's 'slab' of the era, it's 'front lawn' so to speak is very much what distinguishes it from the 'Towers in the Park' that was referenced at Ellesmere/Birchmount...

...with the new landscaping, it'll hopefully add even more distinction to mask the not so great qualities (just my opinion) of the typical 60's slab.


Felis catus
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Oct 17, 2008
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I know this is a bit off topic, but when the first retailer here was announced to be the RBC and everyone freaked out, I wasn't too happy either. Now with this happening, I'd feel like tearing up a contract (I know easier said than done):

RBC replaces Canadian staff with foreign workers
Axed employee blows whistle; federal government investigating

By Kathy Tomlinson, CBC News Posted: Apr 6, 2013 5:31 PM PT Last Updated: Apr 6, 2013 8:02 PM PT comments 653

Dozens of employees at Canada’s largest bank are losing their jobs to temporary foreign workers, who are in Canada to take over the work of their department.

“They are being brought in from India, and I am wondering how they got work visas,” said Dave Moreau, one of the employees affected by the move. “The new people are in our offices and we are training them to do our jobs. That adds insult to injury.”

Moreau, who works in IT systems support, said he is one of 50 employees who facilitate various transactions for RBC Investor Services in Toronto, which serves the bank’s biggest and wealthiest institutional clients.

In February, RBC told Moreau and his colleagues 45 of their jobs with the regulatory and financial applications team would be terminated at the end of April.

"There are a lot of angry people," Moreau told Go Public. "A lot those people are in their late 50s or early 60s. They are not quite ready for retirement yet, but it may be very difficult to employ them."

Moreau will get a severance package, but expects it won’t last long.

“I am going to be broke," he said. "I don’t have enough money to live on. I have some RSPs. I have very little in the pension plan at RBC … I have a wife that works part time at a very low wage.”

Another RBC staffer, who didn’t want to be named, said it’s devastating.

“It’s horrible to be in this situation,” the employee said. “The bank is doing this while making billions of dollars in record profits and they don’t think about the impact on us. We are like fleas on an elephant.”

The foreign workers who are taking over the RBC work in Toronto are employed by a multinational outsourcing firm from India – iGATE Corp. – which has a contract with the bank to provide IT services.

The two companies have been working closely since 2005. There is an "RBC Offshore Development Centre" in the iGATE facility in Bangalore.

RBC spokesperson Rina Cortese told Go Public several foreign workers from iGATE will be working in the bank’s Toronto offices until 2015. By then, she said, most of the work will be transferred abroad, but a few of the foreigners will remain indefinitely.

Displacement against rules
However, it is against federal rules for any company to bring foreign workers into Canada temporarily if it will put citizens out of work.

“The rules are very clear. You cannot displace Canadians to hire people from abroad,” said Immigration Minister Jason Kenney.

The federal government recently announced it is tightening rules for its Temporary Foreign Worker program because of criticism over foreigners taking jobs from Canadians.

RBC said the work is being outsourced for cost savings and efficiency.

“External suppliers with the right skills allow us to introduce new efficiencies, continually improve our service at reduced cost and reinvest in initiatives that enhance the client experience,” a statement from the bank read. “Agreements with our suppliers include strict controls and ongoing monitoring to ensure full compliance with all regulatory requirements.”

Questions unanswered
However, the bank refused to answer repeated questions about the type of work visas the iGATE employees have or how they were approved, given the job losses involved.

“We do not comment on specific supplier relationships,” Cortese said.

Moreau called the situation "a mass exodus. It’s the first time that they’ve taken this many people and terminated their jobs. I would like to know how this happened. If it’s possible I would like to see it stopped.”

iGATE, a rapidly growing company with offices around the world, including Mississauga and Toronto, has been in trouble before over foreign worker hirings.

This plaque is on an RBC building in iGATE's Bangalore facility. The bank has been outsourcing IT work to iGATE for several years. (CBC)
In 2008, the multinational paid $45,000 to settle charges by the U.S. Department of Justice for discriminating against American citizens. iGATE was advertising jobs in the U.S. for foreign workers — effectively saying Americans need not apply.

iGATE said it brings its foreign workforce into Canada under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and under intra-company transfer visas.

However, a Toronto immigration lawyer says there is no loophole in any visa category that allows companies to displace Canadians who are able to do the work.

“It should not happen,” Mario Bellisimo told Go Public. “The overarching legal standard is to supplement and to fill labour shortages or to bring job creation and retention, knowledge transfer to Canada, not the opposite."

But iGate spokesperson Prabhanjan Deshpande said the company is operating within the law: "For any engagement requiring foreign workers, appropriate immigration applications are filed by iGATE and all work authorizations are properly issued under existing law and policy."

Go Public asked whether the company had told federal authorities Canadian jobs would be terminated when iGATE temporary foreign workers were brought in to work at RBC. Go Public did not receive a direct answer.

Foreign workers lack skills
The iGATE employees don’t appear to have any special skills Canadians don’t, the RBC workers told Go Public.

“That’s why we are training them,” Moreau said. “The person who is replacing me has asked a lot of questions and doesn’t know a major portion of the type of systems that we are working with."

Dave Moreau and his co-workers at RBC are being replaced by temporary foreign contractors. He can't understand how or why those workers got visas to come into Canada and take his job. (CBC )
“If they had the knowledge [to do the jobs] it would be easier to swallow,” said the unnamed employee, who predicted client service will suffer.

The workers also said they were not offered jobs with iGATE and were told this "realignment" might expand to affect more of the bank’s 57,500 employees in Canada.

“We were told this is almost like a pilot project,” the unnamed employee said.

“I am certain this isn’t an isolated incident,” Moreau said. “I know that iGATE has a very aggressive plan to grow their business over the next few years, and that’s going to be at the expense of Canadian citizens who are working.”

Kenney said he was not aware of this case, but the onus is on both companies to obey the rules.

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney says that under federal rules, no foreign worker can be allowed into Canada if the move displaces a Canadian from their job. (CBC)
“If an employer is playing some kind of a shell game, that is not consistent with the rules,” the immigration minister said. “[The Temporary Foreign Worker Program] is not there for employers to make short cuts to displace Canadians — and if they are trying to do that, they should have the book thrown at them.”

Jinny Sims, the opposition’s immigration critic, wants to see concrete action. RBC could afford to retrain the Canadian workers if need be, she said.

“This appears to be a blatant abuse of our system,” Sims said. “We’ve got so many well- qualified people who don’t have jobs, so surely we have a government that should be tackling the outsourcing issue and looking at how to keep jobs at home.”

Uncertain future
RBC said it is trying to find new positions for the people affected.

“Several employees have found positions or are in the final stages of offers for other RBC roles, and a few others have chosen to retire,” RBC said. “We continue our efforts to ensure remaining impacted employees obtain suitable roles.”

However, employees told Go Public fewer than five of 45 displaced people have found new jobs.

IGATE says it deploys its foreign workforce into Canada and other countries when needed. The company got in trouble in 2008, when it was fined in the U.S. for hiring foreign workers instead of Americans for jobs there. (Reuters)
“What they are saying and what we see happening are two different things,” said the unnamed employee. “What we see happening is nothing.”

Moreau said he’s applied for 14 other jobs within RBC since the announcement. He said he’s been told he is not suitable for two of them, and has yet to hear back about the rest.

“I hate injustice, and I feel as though a lot of people are being hurt,” Moreau said. “It’s just not fair to people who have worked for years and years and years and suddenly find themselves out of work for not a really good reason.”

Minister responds
As a result of Go Public’s inquiries, the office of the minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada — the federal office that approved iGATE’s plans to bring in foreign workers — issued a statement late Saturday.

"We have recently learned of allegations that RBC could be replacing Canadian workers by contracting with iGate, which is filling some of the roles with temporary foreign workers. If true, this situation is unacceptable.

"The purpose of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program is to fill acute labour needs when Canadians are not available for the work required. It was never intended as a means to bring in temporary foreign workers in order to replace already-employed Canadian workers.

"I have instructed my department to work with Citizenship and Immigration Canada to determine the next steps."


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Oct 30, 2007
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Toronto, ON
A bit off topic? Are you expecting that a three-page debate about immigration/employment in Canada won't now ensue in this thread about Five Condos?


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Apr 23, 2007
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They outsourced my job to Igate as well. Worked out for me with a better position, but not everyone can say that. They ended up screwing everything up and RBC had to rehire most of them back to do the job. Cheap bank with lousy service.


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Feb 16, 2011
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Nothing new from Royal Bank. I know a few people who work there. What a terrible place to work. Would never get my business.


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Apr 25, 2007
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I didn't even realize the Royal Bank was going in here. Isn't there one already at Aura? Even though I bank there (and no, I'm not happy about that) I still think there are far too many of them all over the place. How much closer together do we need our bank branches to be? Are people really that bloody lazy, that they can't walk a few blocks to a bank? It's ruining retail on our major streets.