News   Dec 05, 2022
 1K     2 
News   Dec 05, 2022
 1.5K     0 
News   Dec 05, 2022
 1.5K     0 

Speculating about a new start at 1 Bloor East

marcus_a_j

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 23, 2007
Messages
3,345
Reaction score
1,681
Location
Danforth
....in Toronto. One thing Harry Stinson had a point on was the fact that financial institutions in Toronto won't finance anything thats not conventional - no risk allowed. Thats why the vast majority of buildings in Toronto are simple box structures - they vary by colour but not design. Look at the "Absolute World" complex rising in Mississauga - would you see that in Toronto?

Was it the architecture that he was referring to as "conventional"? I think he meant a building that consisted of condo-hotel units, as opposed to standard residential use units, where purchasers would purchase a unit, possibly as an investment, and when not using the unit themselves it would be entered into the hotel stock to be rented out as more or less a typical hotel room. From my understanding the revenue from the hotel rooms was put into a pool where all the owners would get a share. Maybe the last part is not entirely correct in terms of revenue sharing amongst owners.
 

Solaris

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Jun 22, 2008
Messages
5,674
Reaction score
284
Location
Markham / Yorkdale
I echo Big Daddy and Redroom's thoughts entirely ... hence I admire proposals that dare to step outside of the 'BOX' to show any type of geometry

For the reasons of achieving construction cost efficency, builders have gravitated towards boxes ... we can see through the following recap of the various unbuilt proposals on the 1BE site, the 'boxification' process

quick recap of version 1.0, 2.0 (Kolter), 3.0 (Bazis), and 3.5 (Bazis) proposal renderings

1BE_v1.jpg
1BE_v2.jpg
1BE_v3.jpg
1BE_v4_day.jpg
 

Torontovibe

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 25, 2007
Messages
5,689
Reaction score
942
Location
Toronto
Unfortunately, Toronto seems to be a city that has nobody rooting for it. It's kinda the stepchild of cities. While other large cities have leaders who really want to contribute to them and make a statement, Toronto seems to have leaders who only want to exploit it for as much financial gain, as they can get out of it.

I see very few examples of business men or politicians who really seem to care about this city. That's why developers in other cities pay some regard to building a city and making a statement, while in Toronto, our developers seem content to just make as much money as they can, squeezing dollars out of every square inch, without any regard for the legacy they are leaving this city. (Box, after box, after box)

Where are the leaders who will make compromises for the betterment of our city? Where are the politicians who will stick their necks out to fight for their city? I don't see much evidence of that. There is a serious lack of passion from just about everyone in this city and the apathy is disheartening. I wish more people actually gave a shit about Toronto and expected much better. (Hell, demanded much better!)

Even on this site, of so called urbanites, so many people seem to be happy with the most modest of buildings. Doesn't anybody have higher expectations for the built form or have we become so browbeaten into thinking, well, this is just modest, little Toronto, we should be happy with whatever crumbs we get. We know politicians love the sound of that! lol
 

marcus_a_j

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 23, 2007
Messages
3,345
Reaction score
1,681
Location
Danforth
Although a square would not be terrible use of land at Y&B if it contained decent seating, cafes, trees, possibly even a mini-stage, etc., I don't think it's the best use at this location. Given the existing infrastructure, it should be the location of some of the highest densities across the City. I don't understand Hume (not that I always did) on his insistence on a square here when he preaches intensification and parades around the globe highlighting the sustainable achievements of other cities. From his critique of Glas he states:

Though one might complain about the bulk of this complex, it happens to make sense. After all, the need to intensify our use of the city, to take maximum advantage of its extensive existing infrastructure has never been greater.

It seems like he is contradicting himself, possibly because he may not have been in favour of the Bazis proposal(?). I don't want to say this location deserves a 'supertall' for the sake of having a 'supertall', but if there was a location that should get increased density, it is here. Putting a square here defies all the recent planning initiatives being promoted to curb sprawl such as intensification and in-filling. To echo others, I feel it's more important that we spruce up our most important civic square, Nathan Phillips, which is long overdue, before we start building new ones on land that is recently building-free. Also, if the buildings were never demo'd and the land left sitting emplty then the idea of a square would never have been brought up.

In terms of land usage Bazis' latest proposal was not too bad. Although catered to more of the luxury market it had a lot of residential units. There was also the hotel and retail uses and a connection to the Y-B subway station. The architecture was decent, not great, but not terrible either. There appeared to be decent animation at the street level with the retail and hotel uses, which is more important than how tall the building is in an urban context. I thought the lanais were an interesting idea and I was really looking forward to seeing the variations of the building design between seasons as a result of them.



(I don't have a link to the original article, I found the critique in the Glas thread in Buildings and Architecture sub-forum)
 

azzo

New Member
Member Bio
Joined
Jul 9, 2007
Messages
30
Reaction score
0
Location
Toronto
I see very few examples of business men or politicians who really seem to care about this city. That's why developers in other cities pay some regard to building a city and making a statement, while in Toronto, our developers seem content to just make as much money as they can, squeezing dollars out of every square inch, without any regard for the legacy they are leaving this city. (Box, after box, after box)

I completely agree, except one of the issues that plague this city is the citizens, we don't demand any better we are totally content with banality. Now on the topic of boxes dont get me started, for some reason on this forum and over at SC, people tend to think that a projects architectural merit is derived from if it is " a box or not a box". I have seen alot of beautiful boxes that far out trump the shit which people think is good architecture- all based on the fact that it is not a box. I LOVE BOXES when they are done right, the problem is not that we are building to many boxes but poorly crafted and detailed pathetic attempts at architecture.


so can we all just leave the box issue aside for a little while....please


azzo
 

jade_lee

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Mar 28, 2008
Messages
584
Reaction score
0
It appears that most want dazzling buildings but nobody wants to pay for them and instead they want to pass the buck. The buck appears to have hit a brick wall.
 

Redroom Studios

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Sep 25, 2007
Messages
4,036
Reaction score
148
Location
Mexico
"this is just modest, little Toronto, we should be happy with whatever crumbs we get"

I've often wondered if this is a Toronto-centric psychology or a more broadly Canadian one?
 

299 bloor call control.

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Aug 2, 2007
Messages
1,973
Reaction score
70
This took two seconds, but this is kind of what I wish will happen here - a scaled back podium to create a small piazza (no need for a 'grand public square') with a direct subway entrance on Yonge Street connecting to the existing south entrance in the Xerox Tower.
 

Attachments

  • 1bloor.jpg
    1bloor.jpg
    12.4 KB · Views: 224

marcus_a_j

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 23, 2007
Messages
3,345
Reaction score
1,681
Location
Danforth
Nice, 299. I would welcome a small piazza like that as long as the podium breathes some life into it (not that it would be dead otherwise). As mentioned, a similar setup as Hullmark Centre could very much work. CTV could even locate a video screen there again.
 

Ramako

Moderator
Member Bio
Joined
Oct 30, 2007
Messages
4,652
Reaction score
844
Location
Toronto, ON
Most Torontonians I know don't expect much architecturally from the city, because most Torontonians don't really expect anything good out of the city. That's not to say that Toronto has nothing good to offer, but only that Torontonians have been conditioned into thinking poorly of their city. I don't know if this is because of the constant criticism from other Canadians, the constant comparison to other North American cities by other Torontonians, or the overall insecurity of the local population.

In Halifax, I constantly find myself having to defend Toronto against extreme criticism, even among other Torontonians. We have no pride in our city.
 
Last edited:

isittimetomoveyet

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Dec 13, 2007
Messages
306
Reaction score
0
In Halifax, I constantly find myself having to defend Toronto against extreme criticism, even among other Torontonians. We have no pride in our city.

Good on you for that brother. I tend to agree, a lot of people are just pessimistic and negative about our city, while I think it has plenty to offer for everyone, and that we are all fortunate to live in such a great city!

P.S. Not to say improvements cant be made, there is always room for improvement. :)
 
L

lawsond

Guest
I don't know if this is because of the constant criticism from other Canadians, the constant comparison to other North American cities by other Torontonians, or the overall insecurity of the local population.

The architecture here reflects the conservative nature of financiers, banks and developers, not the residents.
That commercial culture has produced a dull looking city filled with interesting people.
If the city had guts, it would step in and demand better form developers.
 

ladyscraper

man alive
Member Bio
Joined
Sep 25, 2007
Messages
529
Reaction score
1
We have no pride in our city.

Depends who your friends are I guess. Everyone I know loves Toronto! None of my friends watch television though so maybe we are just immune to the negativity from the news. :D

It's too bad what is happening with 1 bloor. Maybe I can walk over to the site later on tonight and see if I can build the tower. Maybe with a little elbow grease I can have it up to 50 floors by the end of the weekend.
 

Ramako

Moderator
Member Bio
Joined
Oct 30, 2007
Messages
4,652
Reaction score
844
Location
Toronto, ON
The funny thing is that most people I know who are not from Canada or North America absolutely love Toronto and have nothing but great things to say about it. I appreciate their perspectives because they don't seem to have any pre-conceived notions about Toronto.

Personally, I don't think our architecture is as bad as you're all making it out to be. We do have a lot of boxes, but they're generally nice boxes. Let's not forget just how young our city is and the fact that we're still in the process of maturing. There's nothing wrong with having high expectations but at the same time, constant criticism tends to stunt a promising youngster's growth by causing them to lower their own expectations of themselves.
 
Last edited:

vultur09

Banned
Member Bio
Joined
Jul 18, 2009
Messages
37
Reaction score
0
Most Torontonians I know don't expect much architecturally from the city, because most Torontonians don't really expect anything good out of the city. That's not to say that Toronto has nothing good to offer, but only that Torontonians have been conditioned into thinking poorly of their city. I don't know if this is because of the constant criticism from other Canadians, the constant comparison to other North American cities by other Torontonians, or the overall insecurity of the local population.

In Halifax, I constantly find myself having to defend Toronto against extreme criticism, even among other Torontonians. We have no pride in our city.

We TO people are critical of ourselves because we love our city so much and know that we are capable of bigger and better things, particularly when it comes to great buildings. Civic pride here is actually way higher than you suggest. You are not getting an accurate representation of this place based on your limited cross section out there. If anything it's a city that dreams so big than anything less than unmitigated praise is considered inferior. I tend to disagree with that notion and appreciate the incredible diversity offered here. Insecurity is only relative to other great world metropolis, not the average North American lot. This is a very special place to live and it's like that because of the incredible intellectual capital that inhabits the area and is free to express its cultural ancestry because it is so widely embraced and elevated.
 
Last edited:

Top