100 Queens Quay at Sugar Wharf | 117.34m | 25s | Menkes | B+H

Tuscani01

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I understand the desire to animate the street by forcing foot traffic onto it, but I too would prefer to see the PATH connections remain (Whether above or below ground, doesn't really matter). Having the option to avoid the cold or rain is a blessing for many, and with our climate, that ends up being a significant amount of the year.

I used the PATH connections through SouthCore quite frequently when living at CityPlace, along with many others. It wasn't the fastest route, but the weather protection it offered was key. I now duck into HBC Centre at Park Road to get to Yorkville on bad days. That small bit of weather protection sometimes becomes the difference between me heading out or me just giving into the weather and avoiding the outdoors altogether, especially on those days when I have nothing important to do.

If it means getting people to walk more - period, thats a good thing.

That being said... the proposed ramp near the wedge shaped retail portion is quite odd and seems unnecessary.
 

ushahid

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this is very dense, they should cut that 255m tower and add 6-8 floors to the twin 304m towers. they should also move one of the 304 m tower to block 4.
 
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p5connex

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The LCBO tower is dwarfed by these monstrous residential money grabbers. They couldn't come up with any better way to integrate their buildings into the heritage building, than to just plop them on top, while offering the pathetic utterance of 'hey! look, we retained stuff - check'! Whether going for SPA or C of A for zoning amendments, this plan screams developer overzealousness, and city lack of vision and foresight. I am not at all opposed to development, but at some point the city has begin that throwing up buildings, merely because there is demand, does not a city make! Furthermore, the reliance on podium building in order to accommodate and maintain some semblance of typical style street wall, is long overdue for an overhaul and ultimately needs to be rethought.

Looking at this proposal for what it is, nothing jumps out at me as positively urban, or architecturally appealing, or like an area that will thrive, given its new found context. Sadly, it looks more like just another 3 hectare plot of land, that could be pretty much anywhere in a 1-2 km proximity - much like city place, or the condos that are sandwiched between the Gardiner and Lake Shore - bedroom communities, with no connection to their context, no street life, save the cars driving past, on what should be an entirely urban experience.

I don't know..The cynic in me views such developments as nothing more than a means to an end - which sadly, when I look around feels more and more like reality. However, the idealist in me, views these projects more like an iterative design process - city building is hard and even harder to get right. But that doesn't mean we should shy away from making things more challenging and by elevating our expectations, our requirements, our demands for better buildings from developers, from architects, but also from the public.

p5
 

jozl

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I'm old and am feeling cranky. This proposal is dreadful! I agree with p5connex. Overzealous developers in a feeding frenzie. And, please, no connection to the path. Put retail on street level, where it belongs. How about canopy covered walkways paved in stone instead of a bridge or tunnel?
 

fedplanner

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I'm old and am feeling cranky. This proposal is dreadful! I agree with p5connex. Overzealous developers in a feeding frenzie. And, please, no connection to the path. Put retail on street level, where it belongs. How about canopy covered walkways paved in stone instead of a bridge or tunnel?

Yes, please on the retail at street level. This is the kind of set up you'd expect to see in Houston, not Toronto. I don't have an issue with density when done right, but these plans are horrible.
 

stjames2queenwest

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I think the sky bridges are about the only thing I like. I don't see how they hurt. They are functional, visually interesting and personally I'd rather have above ground tunnels around the city than underground, atleast then you can view the city rather than a dingy underground food court.
 

torontologist

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The low, featureless podiums spanning entire blocks are probably the most anti-urban part of the project- they need to have a greater vertical emphasis and be broken up to create visual interest.

Agreed. This, partnered with the skybridges, gives it a very 1960's throw-the-baby-out-with-the-bath-water, "we're going to make this so urban by design that we are going to kill any accidental urbanity" sort of vibe.
 

ProjectEnd

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The retail wedge shaving a slice off the park for the "PATH ramp" is just weird. Not sure what it is for other than maximizing retail frontage.

AoD

I understand the desire to animate the street by forcing foot traffic onto it, but I too would prefer to see the PATH connections remain (Whether above or below ground, doesn't really matter). Having the option to avoid the cold or rain is a blessing for many, and with our climate, that ends up being a significant amount of the year.

I used the PATH connections through SouthCore quite frequently when living at CityPlace, along with many others. It wasn't the fastest route, but the weather protection it offered was key. I now duck into HBC Centre at Park Road to get to Yorkville on bad days. That small bit of weather protection sometimes becomes the difference between me heading out or me just giving into the weather and avoiding the outdoors altogether, especially on those days when I have nothing important to do.

If it means getting people to walk more - period, thats a good thing.

That being said... the proposed ramp near the wedge shaped retail portion is quite odd and seems unnecessary.

The ramp to the park connects the school on the third level with its yard to the south. It's a way of conveying children across a busy thoroughfare without the danger of being hit. Adding retail to the north side of this was simply a way to increase uses on the street and give what is otherwise an elevated ramp some added animation.

The LCBO tower is dwarfed by these monstrous residential money grabbers. They couldn't come up with any better way to integrate their buildings into the heritage building, than to just plop them on top, while offering the pathetic utterance of 'hey! look, we retained stuff - check'! Whether going for SPA or C of A for zoning amendments, this plan screams developer overzealousness, and city lack of vision and foresight. I am not at all opposed to development, but at some point the city has begin that throwing up buildings, merely because there is demand, does not a city make! Furthermore, the reliance on podium building in order to accommodate and maintain some semblance of typical style street wall, is long overdue for an overhaul and ultimately needs to be rethought.

Looking at this proposal for what it is, nothing jumps out at me as positively urban, or architecturally appealing, or like an area that will thrive, given its new found context. Sadly, it looks more like just another 3 hectare plot of land, that could be pretty much anywhere in a 1-2 km proximity - much like city place, or the condos that are sandwiched between the Gardiner and Lakeshore - bedroom communities, with no connection to their context, no street life, save the cars driving past, on what should be an entirely urban experience.

I don't know..The cynic in me views such developments as nothing more than a means to an end - which sadly, when I look around feels more and more like reality. However, the idealist in me, views these projects more like an iterative design process - city building is hard and even harder to get right. But that doesn't mean we should shy away from making things more challenging and by elevating our expectations, our requirements, our demands for better buildings from developers, from architects, but also from the public.

p5

That's quite a post there p5. For all your bluster, you haven't really gotten anything right. Perhaps you should have attended the meeting instead of jumping online and waxing incorrectly about things that were made very clear in person.

Peter reiterated several times: this is a large project and it's at a very preliminary stage. Much is in flux in terms of density, massing, loading and servicing, programming, access, urban design and, above all, 'architecture'. The latter, he was careful to note, isn't there yet. In fact, it isn't there at all. So for you to grumble about what is or isn't 'architecturally appealing' is pretty rich.

In fact, your last two sentences sum up what actually happened on Monday night pretty well. It's worth noting that after their respective presentations, both architects (aA and B+H) received applause from the crowd. People understand that things are going to change here and it's in their best interest to help steer the conversation in constructive ways. When contrasted with the 5-9 Dale meeting last week, where most dismissed the (4 storey!) project outright and complained about how terrible everything is, this was a model of productive and encouraging citizen participation.
 

Skeezix

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I get why skybridges would be frowned upon for ground-level aesthetic concerns (cluttering the streetscape), or shadowing. But from an every day pedestrian perspective I don't see why it'd be all that bad when compared to an underground PATH.

For the most part the concept of PATH seems a bit counter-intuitive to pedestrianization and Jacobs' tenets, but surely bringing the system above ground vs below would do more to alleviate some of its drawbacks. Although sheltered, peds would be more in the open than if underground. They get to see what's going on, see the lake, we could incorporate nice landscaping, incorporate external architectural flair... it's arguably a lot better than underground PATH.

Good points. Personally, I much prefer the underground PATH, except where underground passages simply are not feasible (i.e. the connection between RBC Waterpark and ACC). I don't feel that a +15 system pedestrianizes the street level and public realm anymore than an underground PATH, and it simply adds visual clutter/impacts views. But reasonable people can disagree on that, and you made a good point about views from the +15 connections.
 

modernizt

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Much is in flux in terms of density, massing, loading and servicing, programming, access, urban design and, above all, 'architecture'. The latter, he was careful to note, isn't there yet. In fact, it isn't there at all. So for you to grumble about what is or isn't 'architecturally appealing' is pretty rich.

I think it's unreasonable to conflate your own feelings (and your experience of people attending the meeting) on the project as "fact" and p5connex as entirely uninformed. Opinion and subjectivity are at play here on both sides.

I am a big fan of aA and I deeply respect their work - but I will say that while an "aesthetic" has not developed yet, the architecture is very much present - layout of the site, locating services, etc. etc. Those things you listed ARE architecture. The placement of different spaces, the discussion of how to approach the massing - all of those things are present. So to say that "there is no architecture at all yet" in fact makes no sense, or it demonstrates that you have a very shallow read on architecture which consists only what the exterior expression of a building looks like. In which case, your assessment is also "pretty rich".

What I think Peter Clewes wishes to convey to laypersons is that the process is iterative and very much in flux. He will often say "there is no architecture present yet" but anyone from the profession knows that the architecture is very much present - it's just schematic at the current stage. However, the intent of the project is very much clear and you can see certain design moves being made to accomplish what the developer wishes to achieve on the site.

In that sense, it's certainly reasonable for people like p5connex to look at what is presently being shown, as the process changes and evolves. Regardless, I don't think planning choices / density / massing can be attributed to the architect in developments like this - the density the developer is seeking is tremendous and leaves limited solutions. And I think what the developer is doing here is certainly worth being debated and discussed.

I'm not saying I am a huge critic or supporter of this development either way or that I necessarily agree with p5connex. But I think some of the things you put forward as obvious fact are actually a bit more complex, and he should be allowed to speak his mind. And speaking from someone who works in the architecture field, I think your read on the claim that there is "no architecture present yet" is very naive. You also address people like p5connex very rudely which I can assure you accomplishes nothing as it alienates those who might otherwise be interested in what you have to say about the consultation or planning process. My two cents.
 
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AlvinofDiaspar

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The ramp to the park connects the school on the third level with its yard to the south. It's a way of conveying children across a busy thoroughfare without the danger of being hit. Adding retail to the north side of this was simply a way to increase uses on the street and give what is otherwise an elevated ramp some added animation

Not convinced by that solution at all. It looks awfully contrived - and the animation argument sounds like a post-hoc justification.

If one really wanted animation - stop building block-long retail units.

AoD
 
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ProjectEnd

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I appreciate your response @modernizt, and I agree the intent certainly is there, but other than that, not much else is. Many of the things that @p5connex called out are precisely the things that are still being worked through. In fact, pretty much everything I listed (density, massing, loading and servicing, programming, access, urban design and, above all, 'architecture') is being worked through. Many of the things that you contend are already finalized are done so primarily because the Lower Yonge Precinct Plan has put in place guidelines which aA has chosen to follow as closely as possible.

Perhaps I am giving the team too much rope since I'd hate to see them hang themselves after all this impassioned defense, but I know that you know (or at least will know once you start working) how quickly and drastically everything can change from iteration to iteration so to say that parts of the 'architecture' are already 'very much present' requires either a more precise definition of the term, or a recalculation of what that sentiment actually means.

Not convinced by that solution at all. It looks awfully contrived - and the animation argument sounds like a post-hoc justification.

AoD

I disagree. That part of the block is already not parkland so this was / is a way to bring pavillion-style animation to it. With regard to the bridge itself, how would you propose to bring kids from the third floor to grade across a busy street? This solution seems pretty obvious to me...
 

modernizt

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In fact, pretty much everything I listed (density, massing, loading and servicing, programming, access, urban design and, above all, 'architecture') is being worked through.

And so it is off-bounds for the public to comment on? Should p5connex and others wait until the design is "final" and shovels are in the ground before they are allowed to offer a dissenting opinion or feedback?
 

ProjectEnd

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Absolutely not. I was merely taking issue with the overly-negative tone of his response with regard to things that are either incorrect or have not yet been finalized.

Especially when it's clear he wasn't at the meeting and / or hasn't read through things clearly. Talk is cheap...
 

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