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St Lawrence Market

Northern Light

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The survey on MARKET LANE PARK is now open. Not very well constructed survey, in my opinion, but ... https://www.toronto.ca/city-governm...-redevelopment/market-lane-park-improvements/

In respect of Market Lane Park, there is a Workshop Presentation, which I will link below; and I am posting some highlights (not comprehensive)

Link: https://www.toronto.ca/wp-content/u...vements-workshop-presentation-nov-18-2021.pdf

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Commentary from me:

I think option 1 is best; it uses the paving and lighting treatments of Market Street to the south; and takes seating and other cues from Berczy.
Its practical, and maintainable.

My only real concern is the water feature; that said, I would be concerned about that in all three. My primary concern is maintainability. Equipment flush with grade will be susceptible to salt damage and lots of wear and tear.

Still, on balance, the best option.

Option 2 is least appealing; as it doesn't really fit into anything and doesn't really pay that back with some extraordinary either.

Option 3 has potential, but the water feature looks even more problematic, and less appealing. The paving surface is ahistorical and visually unappealing, has been used elsewhere with a less than stellar record.
 
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Jonny5

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In respect of Market Lane Park, there is a Workshop Presentation, which I will link below; and I am posting some highlights (not comprehensive)

Link: https://www.toronto.ca/wp-content/u...vements-workshop-presentation-nov-18-2021.pdf

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Commentary from me:

I think option 1 is best; it uses the paving and lighting treatments of Market Street to the south; and takes seating and other cues from Berczy.
Its practical, and maintainable.

My only real concern is the water feature; that said, I would be concerned about that in all three. My primary concern is maintainability. Equipment flush with grade will be susceptible to salt damage and lots of wear and tear.

Still, on balance, the best option.

Option 2 is least appealing; as it doesn't really fit into anything and doesn't really pay that back with some extraordinary either.

Option 3 has potential, but the water feature looks even more problematic, and less appealing. The paving surface is ahistorical and visually unappealing, has been used elsewhere with a less than stellar record.
That was my first thought on option 3. It's neat, but I can picture how quickly some pseudo-wave pond would turn into a stagnant water pool filled with bits of trash, and in this City it would "temporarily" shut down for 18-months for repair, and then probably removed anyway.
Option 2 is absolutely not.
Option 1 is the best, but even that doesn't feel 100% right. I would like some new options, but can settle for that one.
 

EddyMCD

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This "park" is basically a den for homeless people at the moment. It's hard for me to see this changing. I don't love any of the options but I suppose #1 is best. 3 is interesting, but not super functional.
 

tripwire

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I like option 2 mostly because of the warming stations, cooling mists, and being able to refill water bottles. I can see these things being a magnet for more homeless people, but I don't think that's a good reason to not have them when they can benefit everyone else as well. Now, I'm not crazy about the designs as shown, but it's the idea of having these outdoor functions which I like. In other walkable cities (Rome for example) it's relatively easy and free to get drinking water just walking around, and that's definitely something I'd like to see in Toronto where possible.
 

evandyk

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I like 2 as well. I love the way that Jean Talon market moves smoothly between inside and outside spaces, and think something like that could work really well here too. But TBH I don't foresee much difference in how it's used no matter which of the three is picked.

There's obviously nothing in Market Lane right now to draw people there, but I don't mind it as a shortcut between the market and St. James, though. But my wife would never agree to walk through, no matter what time of day.
 

Northern Light

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In other walkable cities (Rome for example) it's relatively easy and free to get drinking water just walking around, and that's definitely something I'd like to see in Toronto where possible.

There's no reason that can't be incorporated to any of the options.

I said as much in my survey submission.

Also suggested though that the drinking fountain/bottle filling station should match the aesthetic of the area more, starting with a black colour scheme.
 

daniel_kryz

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I think all options have great ideas. Misting + warming stations, communal dining - all great! In terms of aesthetics, I think Option 1 'The Stitch' is the best one. They have St. Lawrence lighting + paving + benches (as used on Market Street and Berczy Park) and having different public realm themes for one district just ruins its identity. Still, I gave four stars to Option 1 because there really isn't any programming, except at the foot of Front St.
 

condovo

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I walk through Market Lane almost everyday. My main concerns: it smells like piss; it's dark day and night; it's forlorn

Another thought: I don't understand the attachment people have to the current trees. To me, they're mediocre at best and I'd certainly be open to replacing / re-thinking them. That said, here's my feedback:

Option 1--It's safe to a fault. There's no ambition here. I wonder if the space would be changed appreciably from what it is now.

Option 2--I like it. I'm drawn to this one. It has a good chance of actually transforming the experience of the place. I'd remove some of the smaller elements that might encourage more of the social ills already plaguing the park. I like the mister at the south end.

Option 3--Nope. I don't get it anyway.
 
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DSC

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I walk through Market Lane almost everyday. My main concerns: it smells like piss; it's dark day and night; it's forlorn

Another thought: I don't understand the attachment people have to the current trees. To me, they're mediocre at best and I'd certainly be open to replacing / re-thinking them. That said, here's my feedback:

Option 1--It's safe to a fault. There's no ambition here. I wonder if the space would be changed appreciably from what it is now.

Option 2--I like it. I'm drawn to this one. It has a good chance of actually transforming the experience of the place. I'd remove some of the smaller elements that might encourage more of the social ills already plaguing the park. I like the mister at the south end.

Option 3--Nope. I don't get it anyway.
1. It smells like piss because people piss there.
2. The trees are ca 40 years old and are, apparently, 'remarkably healthy' - it would be crazy to cut them down and start again.
 

Northern Light

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I walk through Market Lane almost everyday. My main concerns: it smells like piss; it's dark day and night; it's forlorn

The darkness is largely a function of the two adjacent buildings. Hopefully the North Market will let a bit more light through vs the current hoarding or the preceding building.

In respect of the smell of urine, perhaps we can try to ensure that there are public washrooms, on the ground floor, of the new North Market building, which are open for extended hours, 7 days per week.

I suspect most people would prefer to use a proper washroom were one available.

There are washrooms in the South Market; however, under the current hours, the building is closed two days were week, and has very limited evening hours. When that changes (as was proposed pre-pandemic) it should make a positive difference.
Though, closer washrooms would still be ideal

I don't understand the attachment people have to the current trees. To me, they're mediocre at best and I'd certainly be open to replacing / re-thinking them.

As @DSC notes above, most of the trees are in fairly good health. I'm not sure I see the value in replacing them.

I have no objection to removing one or two to let a bit more sunlight into the space; though Honey Locust trees aren't really deep shaders.

That said, here's my feedback:

Option 1--It's safe to a fault. There's no ambition here. I wonder if the space would be changed appreciably from what it is now.

It is safe; I also think its sound. This is not a large space that lends itself to huge gatherings, a range of programming or the link; its literally the right-of-way of a narrow street for one short block.
 

toonderly

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There's obviously nothing in Market Lane right now to draw people there, but I don't mind it as a shortcut between the market and St. James, though. But my wife would never agree to walk through, no matter what time of day.
I don't have any hesitation walking through as a lone woman, so I haven't noticed that it seems dark or intimidating. It's wide enough that I don't feel like it is enclosed or isolated. And the people don't strike me as more concerning than those I might see on Front or Queen or Sherbourne. Is there any feature that could be added in the lane or in one of the adjacent buildings that would make your wife feel more secure?
 

condovo

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I don't have any hesitation walking through as a lone woman, so I haven't noticed that it seems dark or intimidating. It's wide enough that I don't feel like it is enclosed or isolated. And the people don't strike me as more concerning than those I might see on Front or Queen or Sherbourne. Is there any feature that could be added in the lane or in one of the adjacent buildings that would make your wife feel more secure?
I don't find it dark and intimidating. I find it dark and depressing.
 

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