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Rees Park (318 Queens Quay, City of Toronto)

MetroMan

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Looking at the DRP - I think the reduction in the size of the ridge has gone too far. The potential of a road noise, wind & weather buffer for the Waterfront is going to be lost if they're not careful!View attachment 272420
Typical.

The one common request that was heard at every public consultation was that there was no actual water on the waterfront. You can see the lake but you can’t touch it. You can see a pond at harbourfront but you can’t swim in it. This park became an opportunity to remediate that shortcoming. So a water feature was a mandatory element of the design competition. This winning design had a waterfall that became a splash pad that kids, big and small could play in. I’ve looked through the updated plans and that seems to be gone.

This city is maddening sometimes.
 

AlvinofDiaspar

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Typical.

The one common request that was heard at every public consultation was that there was no actual water on the waterfront. You can see the lake but you can’t touch it. You can see a pond at harbourfront but you can’t swim in it. This park became an opportunity to remediate that shortcoming. So a water feature was a mandatory element of the design competition. This winning design had a waterfall that became a splash pad that kids, big and small could play in. I’ve looked through the updated plans and that seems to be gone.

This city is maddening sometimes.
It's still there - "interactive water wall" - the location moved:

Original
1601592085496.png


Current
1601591968456.png

(City of Toronto/wHY)

AoD
 

Khaloody

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When a tourist comes to our city, they wouldn't know or care what the bluffs look like, they will just see a grey elevation. I think there should be more green/less grey, there is enough grey to be seen. These walls should be sloped more to show more vegetation.
 

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Nice job overall. I like how by trying to hide the Gardiner from the waterfront they were able to relay this all back to the Scarborough bluffs. Very happy with how many uses they've tried to accommodate here, but we will have to wait and see if it works in practice
 

MetroMan

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It's still there - "interactive water wall" - the location moved:

Original
View attachment 273466

Current
View attachment 273465
(City of Toronto/wHY)

AoD
During the presentation you shared, they point out that the waterfall has been reduced and further into the presentation it’s discussed that it could be eliminated to save costs. The project budget has been nearly cut in half from 10M to 6M so I don’t have a lot of faith that the water component will make it to the end.

We’re witnessing in real time the design by committee effect that has occurred throughout the entire waterfront redevelopment process that has eliminated proposed water features. Note that HTO park itself was originally supposed to slope into the lake with an isolated “lake” segment effectively creating a clean water pool for HTO park’s beach. That was obviously dropped.

In the end, after all this waterfront redevelopment is completed, we’re going to have an entire waterfront with no access to any water and someone is going to wonder how that was missed. In this value engineering process, we’re witnessing how.
 

DSC

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I am somewhat confused about the Budget reduction statement in the DRP document. Is the $6 million budget to complete the $10 million plan or is part of this plan postponed and will occur, with the remaining $$ once the stormwater shaft is built?

budget.jpg
 

Northern Light

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Note that HTO park itself was originally supposed to slope into the lake with an isolated “lake” segment effectively creating a clean water pool for HTO park’s beach. That was obviously dropped.

In the end, after all this waterfront redevelopment is completed, we’re going to have an entire waterfront with no access to any water and someone is going to wonder how that was missed. In this value engineering process, we’re witnessing how.
In respect of HTO park, the slope into the lake was vetoed by Parks for safety reasons, not budget.

One could reasonably debate the merits of their risk-aversion, I simply add that for the record.

****

In terms of water-access I'm not sure what you mean.

If you simply mean viewing water/water features, there is some of that now and will be a good deal more.

There are significant water features in Sherbourne Common, Harbour Square West and the soon-to-be, Love Park.

While much of the waterfront will have a near-water level deck you can walk along.

If you're looking for a place to swim..........Toronto Harbour would not be somewhere I'd recommend..........it's a wee bit dirty.

That will change one day, but even then, depth, current/waves and the number of vessels operating would likely preclude any kind of beach.

I realize it's easy to get discouraged by delays or budget moves, but Toronto is getting a pretty nice waterfront and in due course, even better is on the way.
 

3Dementia

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In the end, after all this waterfront redevelopment is completed, we’re going to have an entire waterfront with no access to any water and someone is going to wonder how that was missed. In this value engineering process, we’re witnessing how.
"Entire waterfront"?? Pretty sure The Beach(es), The Island(s) and Sunnyside are still part of our waterfront.

And we have a downtown beach with easy access to sugar 🍭.
 

MetroMan

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"Entire waterfront"?? Pretty sure The Beach(es), The Island(s) and Sunnyside are still part of our waterfront.

And we have a downtown beach with easy access to sugar 🍭.
Right. I should’ve been more specific: I’m discussing the central waterfront that falls in the scope of Waterfront Toronto’s waterfront revitalization project.


In terms of water-access I'm not sure what you mean.

If you simply mean viewing water/water features, there is some of that now and will be a good deal more.

There are significant water features in Sherbourne Common, Harbour Square West and the soon-to-be, Love Park.

While much of the waterfront will have a near-water level deck you can walk along.

If you're looking for a place to swim..........Toronto Harbour would not be somewhere I'd recommend..........it's a wee bit dirty.
I mean water play features. The omission of a large water feature that allows people to interact with water will eventually be noticed by future generations that look back at our waterfront redevelopment.

This could mean something as simple as a wading pool or if the waterfall at Rees Park was treated as a primary feature, a place where kids and adults could interact with water at different levels: either full on getting under the waterfall or simply getting your feet wet in a shallow pool that forms around it.

I always trot out the worldbest example of this, and I’ll do it again: Crown Fountain is a beloved icon of Chicago’s Millennium Park and that city has a similar climate to Toronto, so winter isn’t an excuse to omit water features.

 

AlvinofDiaspar

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I always trot out the worldbest example of this, and I’ll do it again: Crown Fountain is a beloved icon of Chicago’s Millennium Park and that city has a similar climate to Toronto, so winter isn’t an excuse to omit water features.

Just to put it into perspective - Crown Fountain cost $17M US - the entire budget for Phase 1 of this park is 6M Canadian, 2020 dollars. You won't come close to getting any water feature of such significance at this budget.

AoD
 

MetroMan

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Just to put it into perspective - Crown Fountain cost $17M US - the entire budget for Phase 1 of this park is 6M Canadian, 2020 dollars. You won't come close to getting any water feature of such significance at this budget.

AoD
I get that. The waterfall would’ve been (and can still be) a relatively good water play feature that could emulate this space without the LED art component in the monoliths. Water falls onto a square with a surrounding gutter that enables the formation of about half an inch of water that you can step in without getting wet or splash in if you’re in the mood to play. It doesn’t have to be complicated.

That said, being cheap demonstrates that Toronto still has a small city mentality and doesn’t understand the importance of forming spaces that will draw the attention of the world and benefit the city’s economy in ways that don’t traditionally fit on a spread sheet.

This kind of stuff gets killed because we are led by pencil pushers who can’t see the potential of spaces like these.
 

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