217 Adelaide West | 107m | 25s | Humbold Properties | Kirkor Architects

innsertnamehere

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Are they wall to wall for 180 metres up into the sky? No. That's why midrise would work here, the built form is compatible with wall to wall frontages.

As for the New York comment, sure the plots are the same size, the difference is two fold. One is that the towers are much smaller, even those are usually not built right to the lot line. The other is that they usually purchase air rights from adjacent properties, meaning the guy next door can no longer try to put up a tower, unlike the situation in Toronto. In the case of this development, people in the eastern facing units of the proposed allied units would be looking at a blank wall 10 metres or so from their window, completely blocking out all natural light.
 

stjames2queenwest

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I understand the separation issue, but agree it is a shame since this was a very interesting project that would have really added some variation. The height restrictions are not working for this area. I look forward to upcoming projects creating more peaks.
 

Stupidandshallow

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I feel like tower separations are just a way for the planning department to reduce the amount of tall towers that go up in the city... "sky view", view corridors, sunlight and privacy are also often cited as issues with tall buildings. Privacy I get, but sky view?
 

salsa

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Scale back why? is this not right behind the future 250-300m Mirvish towers

Ugh; so ridiculous. The City should be requiring that there not be wasteful gaps between buildings, not the opposite. And if parking is an issue, simple: no parking.

I feel your pain and completely agree with you. I hope that they do take it to the OMB and win.

There are supertalls being built in New York on lots that aren't much larger. I'm not fond of the building separation guidelines, they're very silly.

I see that the height blowhards are out in full force today to defend yet another faulty development proposal, because HEIGHT, DENSITY!
 

smably

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So? Hundreds of buildings are already wall to wall throughout the city. I don't see how their height changes anything. If there are no windows or balconies on the sides then what harm is it?
I, for one, do not welcome our new 180-metre streetwall overlords. Do you also want to throw out maximum floor plate restrictions? Because two wall-to-wall high rises are, from a built form perspective, one extra fat high rise.
 

smably

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I think it's possible to be pro-density and even pro-height, while still acknowledging that there are legitimate problems with this proposal from a planning perspective. Sure, the design is interesting, and I'd love to see it built somewhere, but I think it's fair to ask whether it's a good idea to start dropping 180-metre towers right up against the lot line next to future redevelopment properties. Maybe that is a good idea. If you think so, I'd love to hear the reasons why, rather than namecalling and knee-jerk accusations of being anti-density.
 

salsa

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I see that the anti-density blowhards are the dominant force in this city, which needs to stop.

To be honest, I find that many of your posts are either overwhelmingly negative, obnoxious, uninformed, or prone to criticism by more knowledgeable forumers. Perhaps you should have read the staff report before snidely dismissing all of the problems raised with the proposal. I'll leave you with this little summary from the report, if you care.


The proposed development is located on a mid-block site that is too small to accommodate a tall building. This represents over-development and sets a negative precedent. The site, measuring approximately 24 metres in width, cannot provide space for appropriate tower stepbacks of a minimum of 12.5 metres on the east and west sides and the 56-storey tower is proposed to essentially come up to the east and west property lines. Such a proposal will have a negative impact on the surrounding King-Spadina East Precinct neighbourhood as it does not meet basic built form principles and guidelines that apply to tall building development including: maintaining adequate skyview, light, privacy and tower separation distance. The density proposed for this small site also creates technical difficulties in providing the appropriate amount of parking. In an attempt to address this, the applicant proposes four-levels of below-grade parking and an additional four levels of above-grade parking. Above grade parking in this proposal results in blank walls which do little to contribute to the public realm.

The proposal does not fully address the policies of the Provincial Policy Statement and the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe. It also does not comply with the Official Plan, including the King-Spadina Secondary Plan and does not maintain the intent of relevant Council approved guidelines such as the Tall Building Design Guidelines which support the Official Plan. It is also not consistent with Council endorsed directions of the East Precinct Built Form Study and the Secondary Plan Review. As such, the proposed development is not good planning and is not in the public interest.
 

Stupidandshallow

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To be honest, I find that many of your posts are either overwhelmingly negative, obnoxious, uninformed, or prone to criticism by more knowledgeable forumers. Perhaps you should have read the staff report before snidely dismissing all of the problems raised with the proposal. I'll leave you with this little summary from the report, if you care.


The proposed development is located on a mid-block site that is too small to accommodate a tall building. This represents over-development and sets a negative precedent. The site, measuring approximately 24 metres in width, cannot provide space for appropriate tower stepbacks of a minimum of 12.5 metres on the east and west sides and the 56-storey tower is proposed to essentially come up to the east and west property lines. Such a proposal will have a negative impact on the surrounding King-Spadina East Precinct neighbourhood as it does not meet basic built form principles and guidelines that apply to tall building development including: maintaining adequate skyview, light, privacy and tower separation distance. The density proposed for this small site also creates technical difficulties in providing the appropriate amount of parking. In an attempt to address this, the applicant proposes four-levels of below-grade parking and an additional four levels of above-grade parking. Above grade parking in this proposal results in blank walls which do little to contribute to the public realm.

The proposal does not fully address the policies of the Provincial Policy Statement and the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe. It also does not comply with the Official Plan, including the King-Spadina Secondary Plan and does not maintain the intent of relevant Council approved guidelines such as the Tall Building Design Guidelines which support the Official Plan. It is also not consistent with Council endorsed directions of the East Precinct Built Form Study and the Secondary Plan Review. As such, the proposed development is not good planning and is not in the public interest.


I dunno' it kinda seems arbitrary to me... like why the 12.5 meter step backs?

I didn't even read this report but I figured that sky view, light, privacy or corridor views would be cited as an issue.. the planners must do a lot of copying and pasting for these reports/documents...

Also:

The density proposed for this small site also creates technical difficulties in providing the appropriate amount of parking.

REALLY? shouldn't we be discouraging more cars in the city...
 

TDotTeen

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I think that a good compromise would be to allow something of 10-20 stories - essentially midrise, but more to the scale of a downtown neighbourhood - built right to the lot line. I agree that tower separation is important above a certain height, as I think most reasonable people would, but I happen to think that up to 20 stories it isn't really necessary. I'm actually curious as to what other people think, since our current planning policy would prohibit this (unless the site is on quite a wide street or is situated in an existing "canyon form" neighbourhood).
 

greenleaf

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innsertnamehere

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I think that a good compromise would be to allow something of 10-20 stories - essentially midrise, but more to the scale of a downtown neighbourhood - built right to the lot line. I agree that tower separation is important above a certain height, as I think most reasonable people would, but I happen to think that up to 20 stories it isn't really necessary. I'm actually curious as to what other people think, since our current planning policy would prohibit this (unless the site is on quite a wide street or is situated in an existing "canyon form" neighbourhood).

You would probably be able to do 20 floors here up to the property line, I believe city planning has approved buildings like that in the Entertainment District before. Its not up to city guidelines, but exceptions are made to those all the time.

Question is whether the building finances are killed at that point. The developer probably paid too much for this site to build just 20 floors.
 

smably

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I dunno' it kinda seems arbitrary to me... like why the 12.5 meter step backs?
As for the question of "why 25 metres specifically", my guess is that it's to match the typical minimum tower separation across streets. The width of a typical Toronto street ROW from property line to property line is around 20 metres; add 3-metre minimum stepbacks for wind abatement and extra sunlight, and you get 26 metres. Round to 25?

But I'm just speculating.
 

innsertnamehere

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that is the general idea, yes.

Interestingly, I believe the city is coming out with "super tall building" guidelines, as they have learned that 25 meter separations aren't enough for massive developments like One Yonge. Their initial proposal had all the buildings separated by 25 meters, but it still ended up looking overpacked and allowed little natural light due to the massive scale of the developments.
 

Stupidandshallow

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If any one else is as curious as me, I have pasted the section below...

RATIONALE
Adequate tower separation distances from property lines and from other towers is a critical aspect of tall building design. The placement of towers should minimize negative impacts on the public realm and neighbouring properties, such as adverse shadowing, pedestrian-level wind, and blockage of sky view, and should maximize the environmental quality of building interiors, including daylighting, natural ventilation, and privacy for building occupants. Separation distances greater than the 25 metres are often necessary to ensure a tall building fits harmoniously within an existing or planned context.

The minimum separation distances are established to ensure tall buildings achieve the following objectives for the protection of sky view, privacy, and daylighting:

Sky View:
The ability to retain adequate sky view in between building masses is essential to maintain the character, usability, and quality of streets, parks, open space, and neighbouring properties. Lack of sky view can also negatively affect the microclimate and sense of pedestrian scale at grade.

Privacy:
Privacy objectives, particularly for residential units, are achieved when tower orientation, appropriate facing distances, and setbacks combine to mitigate overlook between the windows or balconies of one building and those of another.

Daylighting:

Access to natural light in the building interior is an important component of residential liveability, workplace productivity, and sustainable building practice. An adequate level of daylighting is achieved for residential buildings when natural light reaches the main living space for part of the day. Tall buildings with small floor plates and adequate separation provide enhanced opportunity for daylighting.

Where a new tall building is proposed adjacent to an existing tall building or a potential tall building development site, matters of sunlight, sky view, privacy, and daylighting become even more critical since the cumulative effect of a cluster of towers on a street, park, open space, or in relation to each other and neighbours can amplify quality of life concerns for both the public and private realms. Even if tall buildings in close proximity to other tall buildings meet the minimum required separation distances, setbacks, and stepbacks, towers should be further shaped, placed, and articulated to increase the actual and perceived distances between adjacent building elevations. Since tall building development is typically evaluated on a site-by-site basis, it is important to understand the cumulative

effect of the proposed tall building within the context of other tall buildings (see also 1.1 Context Analysis). One test for the appropriateness of proposed tower setbacks and separation distances is to replicate the proposal on adjacent sites or blocks. The cumulative effect should result in acceptable outcomes for shadowing, access to sky view, privacy, and daylighting (see also 1.4 Sunlight and Sky View).

If towers are permitted to locate too close to side or rear property lines, the result is a “first-to-the-post” development scenario, whereby the need to provide access to sunlight, sky view, privacy, and daylighting, may restrict adjacent sites from developing in a similar manner.

The construction of tall buildings on sites that are too small to accommodate the minimum tower setbacks and stepbacks results in negative impacts on the quality of the public realm, neighbouring properties, the living and working conditions for building occupants, and the overall liveability of the City.

If tall buildings are constructed too close together negative impacts may include:
• excessive shadowing of surrounding streets, parks, open space, and properties;
• diminished sky views for pedestrians;
• heightened street level wind effects;
• loss of privacy for residents; and
• limited interior daylighting.

As noted, when towers are constructed too close to property lines, development of one site may restrict adjacent sites from developing in a similar manner.

Small sites also have greater difficulty in providing required amounts of underground parking as minimum lot depths are necessary to achieve setbacks and to allow for typical belowgrade parking layouts, including ramps and access. Street level façades and pedestrian activities are compromised when abovegrade parking garages are introduced on sites with inadequate conditions for below-grade parking to exist.

Appropriate minimum dimensions for a proposed tall building site may be determined by applying the recommended minimum tower setbacks and stepbacks (see figure 6), and evaluating the resultant floor plate size. If it is not feasible to construct a tower on a site after applying these setbacks and stepbacks, the site may be too small for a tall building. In some cases, it may be possible to assemble several smaller properties to allow tall building development to proceed, but in other cases, the small site may only be able to accommodate a lower-scale building form, such as a mid-rise building.


So really what I get from this is the concern over skyview, privacy and sunlight and how these can have adverse effects on our quality of life... I wonder how the planning department determined that? Oh, also wind I guess is an issue (I'm not sure how New York and Chicago survive)... but mostly I think a lot of our buildings are refused because of the "first to the post" treatment of sites and developing tall buildings... the city doesn't want them everywhere. Again, I think the tower separation is just a way to control the amount of tall buildings that go up. I haven't looked into it but I suspect that there is another development nearby that was submitted first?

I personally don't expect a lot of sunlight to cascade on our streets in the entertainment district. Also, these are very peculiar guidelines for tall buildings. Naturally I don't expect sky views to be preserved or a lot of sunlight on a street when I think of a tall building.
 

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