1 St Clair West | 165.63m | 49s | Slate | Gensler

Northern Light

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If you think parkland in downtown Toronto is better off as a McDonald’s… I can’t help u bro

If you completely missed the finer details in my post; and instead choose to be disrespectful in reply, for no reason; it is not I that requires help.

***

I've been a leading advocate for more parkland in this City for decades, and have played a material role in the City getting this:

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Kenojuak

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If you completely missed the finer details in my post; and instead choose to be disrespectful in reply, for no reason; it is not I that requires help.

***

I've been a leading advocate for more parkland in this City for decades, and have played a material role in the City getting this:

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Oh boy here we go again. Anyone who disagrees with you is disrespectful. Because you are the Divinely Ordained Parks Expert. I’ve seen this play from you before. It’s so tiresome.

Now back to the comparison between June Callwood Park and McDonald’s: what point were you trying to make exactly?

And what is the rendering you posted above?

And I’ll bring it back once more to the project at discussion in this thread. I think it would be great for there to be a new small park on Yonge immediately south of St Clair. I’m unconvinced that your multitude of reasons outweighs the lasting power and presence of new public space in a tight urban area.
 

UtakataNoAnnex

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Anyone who disagrees with you is disrespectful. Because you are the Divinely Ordained Parks Expert.
What evidence do you have to support that? I mean, you are asserting a claim that's unsupportive of a long time poster.

...that said, you should be aware that June Callwood Park doesn't have a lot of positive mileage among many readers here. So the comparison that a McD's would be better there in the hypothetical alternative shouldn't come as surprise anyone.

Dialing it back also, it depends on the type of park that's being planned for a tight urban area. The key word here is "inviting". And no point in putting something there that looks an entrance to a concrete bunker.
 

Northern Light

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Oh boy here we go again. Anyone who disagrees with you is disrespectful

No, purposely or obtusely misrepresenting the intent of my statement; and then tacking on 'I can't help you bro' is disrespectful. It's not the matter of your opinion being different from mine.

You can simply say, as I did 'to each their own'; or alternatively, 'I respectfully disagree'.

. Because you are the Divinely Ordained Parks Expert.

I don't believe in the Divine, and do not endorse the concept of ordination for anyone or anything.

Now back to the comparison between June Callwood Park and McDonald’s: what point were you trying to make exactly?

The park was an apocalyptic failure, a waste of money, a dead zone absolutely loathed by area residents, the point the City is spending 7-figures 'fixing' a park it never should have built in that form.

My point was 'any park is a good park' simply isn't correct.

It may be fair to say any park CAN be a good park. Not that this happens automatically.

Put another way, anything worth doing is worth doing properly, the first time.

And what is the rendering you posted above?

The naturalization of the mouth of the Don River.

And I’ll bring it back once more to the project at discussion in this thread. I think it would be great for there to be a new small park on Yonge immediately south of St Clair. I’m unconvinced that your multitude of reasons outweighs the lasting power and presence of new public space in a tight urban area.

And you're entitled to that opinion; and I'm not arguing against a new space near Yonge/St. Clair, simply that there are better sites where a better outcome can be achieved (in that area)
 
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AlexBozikovic

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@Northern Light (in this case :) ) makes an excellent point.

Breaking up a good streetwall and demo’ing housing and retail makes the street worse, not better.

Small parks can be good. Paley Park is good. But it is a) in the busiest neighbourhood in North America b) privately maintained and managed to a very high standard c) privately patrolled d) closed after hours. And it’s on a side street.

I’m not fond of that model, at least not at all cases. It’s a very particular and exclusive kind of place.

But it has no resemblance to a Toronto public park, in the level of use, position within the city, quality of construction or maintenance.

The sculpture garden on King Street East was inspired by Paley Park in the 1970s. Very nice idea in theory. In reality, it’s a ruin.
 

Kenojuak

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I think the essence of our disagreement over this issue is a conflation of land and design. I am arguing that the City should grab whatever land it can, whenever it can, for parkland. The reason is that cities work on 100 or 1,000 year time horizons during which governments change, designs change, technologies change, trends change, etc. But land is land and once the City owns a park, I hope we can agree that it should never sell it and that this creates the opportunity for many generations of evolution.

You are arguing that many parks are failing in Toronto, or parks that could be great are not great here, because of design and operational issues. I totally agree.

But where we differ is that you are arguing that the design and operational issues mean that we should not take any and all parkland when we can get it. Whereas I am saying that land acquisitions operate on a time horizon completely different from design and operational issues and that the latter should not frustrate the former. I do not believe there is such thing as a bad parkland acquisition. Bad operations, yes. Bad design, no doubt. But land is land and when given the opportunity to convert land from private uses to a public park, we should take it.
 
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Northern Light

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I think the essence of our disagreement over this issue is a conflation of land and design. I am arguing that the City should grab whatever land it can, whenever it can, for parkland. The reason is that cities work on 100 or 1,000 year time horizons during which governments change, designs change, technologies change, trends change, etc. But land is land and once the City owns a park, I hope we can agree that it should never sell it and that this creates the opportunity for many generations of evolution.

You are arguing that many parks are failing in Toronto, or parks that could be great are not great here, because of design and operational issues. I totally agree.

But where we differ is that you are arguing that the design and operational issues mean that we should not take any and all parkland when we can get it. Whereas I am saying that land acquisitions operate on a time horizon completely different from design and operational issues and that the latter should not frustrate the former. I do not believe there is such thing as a bad parkland acquisition. Bad operations, yes. Bad design, no doubt. But land is land and when given the opportunity to convert land from private uses to a public park, we should take it.

On that last bit, I think the key here is, we can get land here (potentially); but is this exact spot of land we want? Put another way, a developer can provide off-site parkland acquisition of any site the City may request, subject to a willing seller, and the price being in line w/the statutory benefit.

Should we not consider asking for a different, better parcel of land for parks purposes?

We (the City) can also accept cash-in-lieu and go get the desired land via expropriation. I realize this often doesn't happen (money sits around gathering dust as it were); and I agree that is not desirable. But there is no reason it has to be that way
The City is perfectly capable of expropriating ideal park sites (and by the way does so more often than people think, just not as often as they ought to)

*****

On 'selling' parks............overwhelmingly that is a hard 'no'...........but....yes, there's a but.........

The City just recently (3 years ago or so) did a landswap with a developer, in which it gave the developer an existing park; and obtained a new, larger, more usable (better shape) park as part of a redevelopment. I'm speaking of the 90 Eastdale thread.

This particular swap was widely supported by the community as the previous park was poorly used, not terribly attractive and under-sized; and the replacement park will be a marked improvement.

I think this is an example of 'never say never'. I would generally have zero tolerance for any discussion of selling off ravine lands or bits of High Park, or waterfront parklands or the like..........but I think some of the smaller, less successful parks are not beyond reconsideration, providing there is no net loss of parkland.
 
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AlbertC

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1 St. Clair Avenue West - Notice of Intention to Designate a Property under Part IV, Section 29 of the Ontario Heritage Act

This item will be considered by Toronto Preservation Board on July 11, 2022.

Summary
This report recommends that City Council state its intention to designate the property at 1 St. Clair Avenue West under Part IV, Section 29 of the Ontario Heritage Act for its cultural heritage value.

The Modernist building at 1 St. Clair Avenue West, largely conceived by 1963 and constructed in 1967-1968, represents a significant and unique example of precast concrete architecture in Toronto. The pleasing visual rhythm and proportions of the modular curtain wall system comprised of identical precast concrete panels hung on the north, east and south elevations, along with the deep profiles and rounded corners of their openings exemplify the sculptural possibilities of this material.

Prominently located at the southwest corner of Yonge Street and St. Clair Avenue in the City’s Deer Park neighbourhood, the building at 1 St. Clair Avenue West anchors this important midtown intersection where it reflects the evolution of the area from a largely residential, low-rise 19th-century concession road beyond the City’s northern boundary to a major commercial and intermodal transportation hub since the mid-20th century.

Heritage Planning staff have undertaken research and evaluation and determined that the subject property meets Ontario Regulation 9/06, the criteria prescribed for municipal designation under Part IV, Section 29 of the Ontario Heritage Act under all three categories of design, associative and contextual values. As such, the property is a significant built heritage resource.
In June 2019, the More Homes, More Choice Act, 2019 (Bill 108) received Royal Assent. Schedule 11 of this Act included amendments to the Ontario Heritage Act. The Bill 108 Amendments to the Ontario Heritage Act came into force on July 1, 2021, which included a shift in Part IV designations related to certain Planning Act applications. Section 29(1.2) of the Ontario Heritage Act now restricts City Council's ability to give notice of its intention to designate a property under the Act to within 90 days after the City Clerk gives notice of a complete application.

A development application submitted to the City proposes to amend the zoning by-law to permit the redevelopment of the site with a 49-storey mixed use building, incorporating the existing 12-storey office building. The proposed development will include the 12-storey office building with three storeys of amenities and a residential tower above. The proposed development will have a total of 340 units, at a range of unit sizes from 1-bedroom to 3-bedrooms. This application is to be reviewed concurrently with site plan application No. 22 137783 STE 12 SA.

The City Clerk issued a complete application notice in February 2022 following the application having been deemed complete on December 17, 2021. A waiver received by the City with a deadline of July 31, 2022 requires that this Notice of Intention to Designate report must be considered by City Council before that date.

A Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) is required for all development applications that affect listed and designated properties and an HIA will be requested and considered as a part of the development process in order to understand how the heritage property is to be conserved. Designation also enables City Council to review proposed alterations or demolitions to the property and enforce heritage property standards and maintenance. A Cultural Heritage Evaluation Report (CHER) completed by ERA Architects Inc. and dated February 8, 2022 was submitted to support the application.​
 

3Dementia

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This is one of those projects where I scream in my 6 year-old quiet voice (neighbours)... 'please start building this tomorrow mom'.

Don't think I've ever seen a heritage building that is actually improved by a modern (yet sympathetically-designed) addition.

It's dynamite. I love it. Don't even care about the tower ;-).

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UT
 

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