The smaller Ice tower will still be visible from most lake views (I wish that were the case for the taller tower, if one is to be blocked). It's especially frustrating to see such visually striking and unique buildings finally add some verve to our pretty banal lake views, only to have at least one of them concealed by yet another slab (the very aspect of our waterfront skyline that Ice differentiates from and in doing so creates greater visual interest and variety in form).
The Gardiner canyon is about to grow a bit more. What a crazy drive that it is becoming.
I often think about what would people from the past think if they were able to come back from the dead. What would the builders of the pyramids or Roman forum think if they saw Toronto today. What would Fred Gardiner think if he could take a drive down his highway today. Would probably blow their minds.
I always figured that people like Gardiner would be disappointed if they saw 21st century Toronto. He lived through a period of massive building projects and then died in 1983, just before Toronto went through two decades of stagnation where basically nothing got built. He probably figured that by the 21st century Toronto would have elevated expressways criss-crossing the entire city, subway lines stretching in every direction, and that First Canadian Place would be considered an average-sized building.
I doubt it. I think Gardiner would be floored by the clusters of buildings alongside his expressway. He knew what a titanic struggle it was to get that one expressway built. A whole lot of political arm-twisting and back-room dealing. I'd think he'd be proud that his expressway still stood - albeit barely and not without obscene amounts of money to keep it propped up after all those abusive weather cycles.
It's pointless to speculate what he'd think. Toronto is far more impressive today than in 1965, but traffic is a major problem. Fred Gardiner was the kind of man who got things done--the kind of determined and charismatic man the transit faction never had.
The government wasn't that much different from today. There weren't environmental assessments, but there were planners, committees, budgets and the media and electorate to answer to. Many people were saying that money should go into subways and transit. Expressways were not without controversy. They were unproven infrastructure that people had to champion. The province itself built the 400 series highways on the edges of cities and not through the downtown cores. It took people like Fred Gardiner and Robert Moses to get them built through the downtown cores of cities, for better or for worse. What they accomplished in their lives was remarkable.