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Ryerson: Master Plan

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spmarshall

Guest
It looks as if Gould Street, as well as a part of Victoria Street, could finally be restricted to automobile traffic in front of Ryerson.

From the Ryersonian:

City moves to close Gould

By Jonathan Spicer

It’s been a long road, but the city has taken the first step toward blocking vehicles from a portion of Gould and Victoria streets — and handing Ryerson a pedestrian-friendly heart.

City councillor Kyle Rae’s office formally requested an environmental assessment of the area after meeting with university and transportation services officials Feb. 26. At the meeting, campus planners resubmitted a five-year-old proposal to close the streets to vehicle traffic, citing increased traffic and student safety.

The plan envisions Gould Street closed to non-emergency vehicles between Bond Street and O’Keefe Lane, as well as on Victoria Street south to the parking garage. It would create a sort of pedestrian-friendly ‘T’ buffered by three vehicle turnarounds.
“They have finally decided that this is an issue worth persuing,†said campus planner Manny Ravinsky, who first wrote a letter to Rae about the issue in November, 1998. “And it’s quite amazing for us because we actually got the call back this time.â€

After the meeting, which Ravinsky described as “excellent,†Rae promptly sent a letter to Toronto’s works and emergency services commissioner Barry Gutteridge, requesting an “environmental assessment in the stop-up and closure of parts of Victoria and Gould streets.â€

Michael Robertson, Rae’s executive assistant who attended the meeting with Ryerson, said last week he expects to receive a confirmation from works and emergency services soon. The actual assessment could take about a year, suggested Robertson, and would include public consultation.

The study’s results would then be sent to city council for approval. “We’re supportive of this proposal and we know Ryerson has been looking at it for a number of years,†Robertson said. “And I’m assuming it will come back from transportation services as a good idea.â€

Rae said he supports in principle the proposal to pedestrianize Gould Street, but told The Ryersonian in November the plan should wait until construction of Metropolis was complete. The 31,500 square-metre retail-entertainment centre at Yonge and Dundas is now more than five years behind schedule.

“The city has been holding off until there was something happening with the Metropolis site,†Robertson said. “Now that that’s in the gound and coming along, it seems to make sense to review this option again.â€
 
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Jarrek

Guest
Wonderful idea. I'd close off the northern portion of Bond St. as well.
 
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DaninToronto2

Guest
Its always so busy in front of the Library building and with all the construction I know I don't feel safe crossing the road because all the views seem to be obstructed. I think this will be a great idea.
 
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simply Dan

Guest
Sucky! Whenever I need to pick something up from HMV, I always leave my car on Gould with the hazard lights on... I've left it at the curb for upwards of an hour before and never received a ticket!
 
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miketoronto

Guest
I don't know if that is a good idea. That area is not the best area, and not having car traffic might make the area more seedy at night time.

I think a area that includes things to do like retail, etc should be closed of to cars. But not a street with just university buildings on it, and parking garages.

More space for the drug dealers in that area to hang out in.
 
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Jarrek

Guest
I don't know if that is a good idea. That area is not the best area, and not having car traffic might make the area more seedy at night time.

I think a area that includes things to od like retail, etc should be closed of to cars. But not a street with just university buildings on it, and parking garages.

More space for the drug dealers in that area to hang out in.

What are you talking about? It's the perfect area to do it.

There isn't any retail aside from the Ryerson Bookstore, and if you read the article carefully there will be a "cul-de-sac" at the beginning of each walkway, which will encompass the small area of retail at the western terminus of Gould. This project will enchance the University, and make walking the streets less of a hazard for students.

Here's a map of what the area would look like if the plan goes through:

newryerson.gif


:tup:
 
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TdotTrickyRicky

Guest
I actually share some concern. This will be fine during the day, but universities are pretty dead at night. Ryerson will need to maintain considerable security (well they would anyways i guess).
 
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wyliepoon

Guest
At least Gould should be closed to traffic during peak hours (during day classes). Even without closing the street, Gould is already ruled by pedestrians. Most Ryerson students don't stop and look both ways before crossing Gould, because they know they rule the street and cars have to stop for them.

Closing off Gould is only one solution to the crowded sidewalks at Ryerson. Another thing that I really want to see is a direct pedestrian connection between Ryerson and Dundas subway station.

And that thing about safety. I find Ryerson to be a very safe school. I don't know anything about drug deals on campus, but even if that's the case, I don't really care. Closing Gould off to traffic might even improve safety on campus if student groups can bring their events out onto the streets and make it less of an unfriendly place.
 
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Pistol Pete

Guest
sounds like a great idea, i hope they do it. if they landscape up the pedestrian areas all nice-nice it might even turn into a little tourist destination in its own right.

and i guess its kinda sorta unrelated, but has ryerson ever looked at purchasing that building on the southeast corner of yonge and gould? i always thought that would be a great building to turn into classrooms or offices, and then they could open up a subway entrance in the basement to take some of the pressure off of the other entrances. especially now with dundas square open and metropolis on the way i dont think the current station layout at dundas is going to work. really, they should be talking about a dundas platform expansion more than a union expansion
 
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spmarshall

Guest
Dundas station is horrible. It especially annoys me to get off the northbound platform and onto Dundas, and there's a line-up of people waiting at the gate to allow some slow moving dump truck to climb the grade out of the Metropolis site.

I can't understand why Dundas and College have no secondary entrances, unlike King, Queen or others. College could get an entrance on Yonge by McGill or Granby that would also be useful for Ryerson students.
 
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Darkstar416

Guest
sounds like a great idea, i hope they do it. if they landscape up the pedestrian areas all nice-nice it might even turn into a little tourist destination in its own right.
Elm Street on the west-side of Yonge (and slightly north of Gould) could stand some pedestrianization of it's own. With it's nice lighting and shnazzy restaurants it could become a little tourist destination unto itself. It would also continue the new pedestrian precinct west of Yonge. However, it likely couldn't go all the way to Bay due to access issues with the Delta Chelsea.
 
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AlvinofDiaspar

Guest
Star: Ryerson Campus Blends Well into Streetscape (Hume)

From the Star, by Hume:

Ryerson campus blends well into streetscape
Jul. 27, 2006. 01:00 AM
CHRISTOPHER HUME

The campus of Ryerson University has always been one of downtown Toronto's best-kept secrets. Though it occupies space at one of the city's busiest intersections, Yonge and Dundas Sts., it remains strangely invisible.

Now that's starting to change. In addition to several new buildings on Victoria and Gould Sts., it is also extending west to Dundas and Bay, where Ryerson's new business school will be located. The latter, designed by Zeidler Partnership Architects, doesn't open until September. It will be an interesting, if not wildly exciting, addition to the streetscape.

Most interesting, however, is the mix of uses; in addition to Ryerson, which will have the top three storeys, the building will contain a Canadian Tire, Best Buy and three-floor parking garage. This sort of mix might have seemed unlikely years ago, but now makes a lot of sense.

More than anything, it highlights the fact that downtown Toronto is becoming a residential neighbourhood. The idea that the core is strictly for business, retail and entertainment no longer applies. Tens of thousands of people have moved into areas that once would have seemed inconceivable as residential enclaves.

Appropriately, a condo is under construction on the west side of Bay, across the street from the business school and just north of City Hall. Other condo developments are popping up along Bay; suddenly, it seems everyone wants to be downtown. That's hardly surprising, given the cost, economic and environmental, of commuting.

For Ryerson, this presents a number of opportunities. For instance, when the Metropolis shopping/entertainment centre on the northeast corner of Yonge and Dundas is finally finished in 2008, five or six years late, it will include an AMC cinema complex. Ryerson has an arrangement with the chain to use 12 of these theatres as classrooms for 2,500 students, Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. This isn't just innovative, it's smart, an example of how the circumstances of urbanity can be used to accommodate different needs.

Of course, the arrival of Canadian Tire is itself another sign of downtown's new domesticity. For decades, people have been complaining about the lack of a hardware store in the city; well, here it comes.

This urban migration raises some intriguing possibilities. Ryerson president Sheldon Levy recently announced his intention to draft a new master plan for the campus and the timing couldn't be better. One of the proposals will be to close off some of the campus, specifically Gould and Victoria Sts., to cars.

The notion of a pedestrian precinct is especially attractive in a fully inhabited city. It should happen anyway — vehicular traffic has no place on a university campus — but its appeal becomes that much greater when the campus sits in the heart of a residential neighbourhood.

In the meantime, the old O'Keefe headquarters, an art deco landmark on Victoria, has been remade as the G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education.

The carved limestone exterior is now just a façade in a new structure by Lett/Smith Architects, a handsome seven-storey building that reaches out over the circular pond/skating rink known as Lake Devo.

The only sour note in the picture is the change room, a city-maintained facility, closed for the season and now in an advanced state of decay.

But perhaps the nicest addition to Ryerson is one most of us will never see, except from a distance: the roof of the George Vari Engineering and Computing Centre on Church St. Planted with grass and flowers, including lilies, this highrise garden represents the new Ryerson, the one dedicated to extracting maximum advantage from the urban condition.

While it awaits its landmark, its architectural icon, the image of Ryerson remains that of the city itself, the one inseparable from the other.
_________________________________________________

Honestly, just what is Hume on, re: the business building?

AoD
 
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paulbali

Guest
If any recent Toronto building deserves a savage critical response, this is it.
 
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spmarshall

Guest
I went by it yesterday after being out of town for a week. You know what? I don't hate it. It's a bit cheap, and isn't great (i'd give it a C-), but there's worse, much worse. I disagree with Hume's near-praise of it, though.

The Cont. Ed./Chang building though is a small gem. I am pleased with how that turned out, given Ryerson's record of buildings that are at best mediocre.
 
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alklay

Guest
I am not sure how you would close off Victoria while it has a parking garage on the street.
 

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