Back when Ryerson was building the engineering school on Church, they wanted to buy the Esso station at the NE corner of Church and Dundas. The asking price was too high as that's Esso's highest revenue station in downtown Toronto.
We need to expand the retail core east of Yonge, at least to Jarvis or Sherbourne. Church street is a disaster in this area, both north and south of Dundas. You would think that developers would be jumping at the chance to develop this whole area with hotels, retail and condos but yet, it remains a dead zone.
I don't see how this intersection looks any worse than the typical ones you see on many other old low-rise streets like Queen West.
Where do you see big, parking lots along Queen St. West and no retail, except for a few dive restaurants? Queen West is MUCH nicer than this. (and a lot more animated too) It's not even nearly the same. Hell, even Queen East, with all its problems, is better than Dundas East.