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The Fountains Of Toronto

junctionist

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The Polish city of Wroclaw has one of the most interesting fountains I've seen. They combined several hundred water jets with video, audio, and pyrotechnics to put on an interesting and free daily show. People bring blankets and sit on a lawn around it to watch it. It's definitely recommended when travel and tourism becomes a possibility again. The whole city is beautiful.
 

MisterF

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That's so sad that a functioning fountain on the grounds of the provincial centre of power is deemed cost prohibitive. That says a lot about our society and how bad we are at this. While there have been a lot of improvements to Queen's Park with the recent renovations, the state of the legislature grounds is pretty dire considering its purpose. What should be a formal plaza in front of the building is a utilitarian asphalt driveway. The back of the building is surface parking. And the ceremonial walkway extending from University Avenue is practically inaccessible. The one way highway surrounding the park and legislature might as well be a moat, isolating the legislature from the surrounding city. It's a mess.

Even federally, Parliament Hill has a lot of the same problems - lots of drab cracked asphalt, way too much surface parking, and a century of plans that haven't been implemented. The massive current renovations are apparently fixing most of those problems but it shouldn't have taken until the buildings were practically falling apart for that to happen.

Okay that was about a lot more than just fountains but a non-functioning fountain at Queen's Park is a symptom of bigger problems.
 

AlvinofDiaspar

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The Polish city of Wroclaw has one of the most interesting fountains I've seen. They combined several hundred water jets with video, audio, and pyrotechnics to put on an interesting and free daily show. People bring blankets and sit on a lawn around it to watch it. It's definitely recommended when travel and tourism becomes a possibility again. The whole city is beautiful.

Nevermind Wroclaw - there is Font Magica in Barcleona:

(video by Jim Ramsey)

It is part of a ceremonial axis that leads from MNAC (Art museum) down a hill to Placa d'Espanya (traffic circle) - not unlike Queen's Park (though with different land use context and far less heavy traffic like University Avenue).

Not to say that something like this is necessarily appropriate for Queen's Park - but even a dinky little fountain is considered excess tells us just why the public realm is the way it is.

AoD
 
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junctionist

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Nevermind Wroclaw - there is Font Magica in Barcleona:

(video by Jim Ramsey)

Not to say that something like this is necessarily appropriate for Queen's Park - but even a dinky little fountain is considered excess tells us just why the public realm is the way it is.

AoD

Both are outstanding fountains in the world that I believe are located on exhibition grounds. It's interesting idea for adding vitality to an exhibition grounds area for times when there are no events happening like conventions or festivals. The CNE grounds come to mind.

(video by La Mitomorfosis)
 
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AlvinofDiaspar

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Both are outstanding fountains in the world that I believe are located on exhibition grounds. It's interesting idea for adding vitality to an exhibition grounds area for times when there are no events happening like conventions or festivals. The CNE grounds come to mind.

(video by La Mitomorfosis)

I agree, something like these would be perfect for the CNE/OP grounds. Water features at QP should be more formal and reflective of the context (nevermind loud music wouldn't do at the hospital row anyways).

AoD
 

Davidackerman

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I am big fan of water features. It just doesn't seem like it's in fashion among Toronto architects. It's rarely in any of the new projects I see,. Even the large scale ones. Shame
 

Canuck35

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I happened to be walking through Queen's park today (well, I go there almost every day) and was pleased to see that the garden around the fountain was being planted out. I talked to one of the guys there and he said that someone had been by to actually take a look to see what it would take to get the fountain going. He said they were encouraging people to contact 311 to let them know their thoughts which I will certainly do. I wondered even if it would be worth starting an online petition to let the city know that the support is there. I truly believe that that fountain would be the jewel of Queen's Park. It's such a beautiful area already.
PXL_20210617_211704553.MP.jpg
 

Northern Light

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I happened to be walking through Queen's park today (well, I go there almost every day) and was pleased to see that the garden around the fountain was being planted out. I talked to one of the guys there and he said that someone had been by to actually take a look to see what it would take to get the fountain going. He said they were encouraging people to contact 311 to let them know their thoughts which I will certainly do. I wondered even if it would be worth starting an online petition to let the city know that the support is there. I truly believe that that fountain would be the jewel of Queen's Park. It's such a beautiful area already.
View attachment 328813

Go for it!
 

thecharioteer

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How long did it take to repair the fountain at Queen and University? Five years? I know that landscape architects are reluctant to propose water features of any kind in city parks as they know they will not be maintained. In the meantime, how many $100's of millions have been collected by the city from developers as part of the "parkland dedication" payoff that has not been spent? While we have some recent showpieces like the renovation of Grange Park, for the most part the situation is very sad with no signs of improvement.
 

Northern Light

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How long did it take to repair the fountain at Queen and University? Five years? I know that landscape architects are reluctant to propose water features of any kind in city parks as they know they will not be maintained. In the meantime, how many $100's of millions have been collected by the city from developers as part of the "parkland dedication" payoff that has not been spent? While we have some recent showpieces like the renovation of Grange Park, for the most part the situation is very sad with no signs of improvement.

I have an entire thread devoted to critiquing our parks; but I think that's a bit much.

We have Berczy which is tremendous; we have Grange, we have the new Cormier Park coming to the waterfront, Queen's Park north's re-do was good as far it went, missing out on the Fountain and also cutting a some features of the Allee (flower beds and a second row of lights.)

The new park at Bay and Wellesley looks promising.

Village of Yorkville Park is set to be extended eastwards to Bay Street.

The parks parallel to Yonge (south of Charles) are all getting a refresh.

The Allan Gardens palm house is set to be restored.

Moss Park will be re-done.

Lots of other new parks are en route. (229 Richmond, Spadina/Adelaide, Queen's Quay/Rees, Queen's Quay at Sugar Wharf, Mouth of the Creek) and several more

Lets be clear, we should be doing much better, but 'no signs of improvement' is at least one step too far.
 

DSC

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How long did it take to repair the fountain at Queen and University? Five years? I know that landscape architects are reluctant to propose water features of any kind in city parks as they know they will not be maintained. In the meantime, how many $100's of millions have been collected by the city from developers as part of the "parkland dedication" payoff that has not been spent? While we have some recent showpieces like the renovation of Grange Park, for the most part the situation is very sad with no signs of improvement.
The problem at Queen and University was that water leaked into stuff below. While the City is far from perfect, that should not be an issue with this one.
 

AlvinofDiaspar

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How long did it take to repair the fountain at Queen and University? Five years? I know that landscape architects are reluctant to propose water features of any kind in city parks as they know they will not be maintained. In the meantime, how many $100's of millions have been collected by the city from developers as part of the "parkland dedication" payoff that has not been spent? While we have some recent showpieces like the renovation of Grange Park, for the most part the situation is very sad with no signs of improvement.

More than 5:


Those fountains didn't even get turned on for about a year after that article (see: https://urbantoronto.ca/forum/threads/the-fountains-of-toronto.21480/post-1119556 in this very thread). We also had similar drama with the Fountain Run over at CN Tower as well. Once an exception, twice a coincidence - but what's happening in the city is clearly a pattern.

AoD
 

thecharioteer

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I have an entire thread devoted to critiquing our parks; but I think that's a bit much.

We have Berczy which is tremendous; we have Grange, we have the new Cormier Park coming to the waterfront, Queen's Park north's re-do was good as far it went, missing out on the Fountain and also cutting a some features of the Allee (flower beds and a second row of lights.)

The new park at Bay and Wellesley looks promising.

Village of Yorkville Park is set to be extended eastwards to Bay Street.

The parks parallel to Yonge (south of Charles) are all getting a refresh.

The Allan Gardens palm house is set to be restored.

Moss Park will be re-done.

Lots of other new parks are en route. (229 Richmond, Spadina/Adelaide, Queen's Quay/Rees, Queen's Quay at Sugar Wharf, Mouth of the Creek) and several more

Lets be clear, we should be doing much better, but 'no signs of improvement' is at least one step too far.
Believe me, I would love to be proven wrong! Toronto is great at the grand gesture (Grange, Berczy), not so great at maintenance. I would love to know if the fountains are working again at Trinity Square, Courthouse Square and Centre Island. Have things truly changed since Marcus Gee wrote this article five years ago?

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/new...ion-that-nobody-gives-a-damn/article31389042/
 

Northern Light

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Believe me, I would love to be proven wrong! Toronto is great at the grand gesture (Grange, Berczy), not so great at maintenance. I would love to know if the fountains are working again at Trinity Square, Courthouse Square and Centre Island. Have things truly changed since Marcus Gee wrote this article five years ago?

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/new...ion-that-nobody-gives-a-damn/article31389042/

Courthouse Square was working in 2018 according Streetview: (most recent image)

1624057970496.png


The most recent image (fall 2020) of Trinity Square suggests it was dry. (though I'm not sure when they shut it down each year as its not an all-year fountain) and I believe they left most or all of them off last year in any event. (but it was dry in 2019 summer as well)

The Toronto Islands Images shows the fountains working .....but, that 2011 (most recent image)

****

I concur that maintenance standards do need to be higher..............much higher...........

I just think you were a bit too gloom and doom.

Its unacceptable; not hopeless.
 
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DSC

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More than 5:


Those fountains didn't even get turned on for about a year after that article (see: https://urbantoronto.ca/forum/threads/the-fountains-of-toronto.21480/post-1119556 in this very thread). We also had similar drama with the Fountain Run over at CN Tower as well. Once an exception, twice a coincidence - but what's happening in the city is clearly a pattern.

AoD
In both cases the problem was that the fountains leaked into stuff (parking garages) below them. That is not to say the City is good with ANY of its outdoor fountains but ......
 

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