401 Bay Street | 143.86m | 33s | Cadillac Fairview | WZMH

maestro

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LUVIT!

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It's particularly terrible that they have not at least bricked the "desire line" paths, and shows just how terribly cheap we are as a city, to let our greatest buildings be surrounded with such a shabby landscape.

But then we're about to get a potentially awful recladding of a building that faces our most important public square.

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I agree. For years I've walked past old city hall and thought that something needs to be done with the landscaping. I think the whole front needs to be redesigned and redone.
 

maestro

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Landscaping? There isn't any landscaping. The whole site desperately needs some including the courtyard and Bay Street walkway. I'm sure it's coming. It has been a long while since the restoration work though.
 

adma

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Wait - so they're not even replacing the precast with something higher-performing? They're just tacking a ton of aluminum crap over top of it?

Come to think of it, weren't people like maestro claiming that the makeover (here, and in other 60s-style precast-clad buildings) was necessary because the concrete panels were nearing the end of their natural lifespan? Well, if said panels are (still) strong enough to be kept in situ while cladding is laid atop them, doesn't that contradict their point?

Things like this leave me wonder if maestro has a "vested interest" in the project.
 

maestro

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Come to think of it, weren't people like maestro claiming that the makeover (here, and in other 60s-style precast-clad buildings) was necessary because the concrete panels were nearing the end of their natural lifespan? Well, if said panels are (still) strong enough to be kept in situ while cladding is laid atop them, doesn't that contradict their point?

Things like this leave me wonder if maestro has a "vested interest" in the project.

I feel this is pointless but exactly what is giving you the impression the panels are being keep in situ? Take a look at the photos. Do you not see the holes being drilled through the panels for lag bolts and anchor plates? The new cladding also has the purpose of a giant net. Like I replied previously, it's the same situation as all those 1960s, 1970s era apartment buildings that have had partial or their entire brick facades entombed in steel siding.

We don't need to have another debate over your unwavering, unrealistic, extremist stance on preservation over one that accounts for these buildings as a business to which end having your stance makes their value worthless. You can deny it all you want. The end result, in either case, is the originally design won't be preserved.

Pre-cast panels can't be repaired. Replacement is a massive undertaking. Unfortunately, this building doesn't have the preferred dimensions to make top dollar. My guess is this is a stop gap measure for an eventual long term replacement.
 

LUVIT!

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I've always thought this building was ugly anyway. I suppose it says something about 60's renewal. The way it was attached to the old Simpsons was/is terrible. Having said that this reclad may make it even worse...we shall see. I did want the lighting at the top to be restored. I'm very happy to see Toronto becoming more and more animated.
 

adma

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We don't need to have another debate over your unwavering, unrealistic, extremist stance on preservation over one that accounts for these buildings as a business to which end having your stance makes their value worthless. You can deny it all you want. The end result, in either case, is the originally design won't be preserved.

Pre-cast panels can't be repaired. Replacement is a massive undertaking. Unfortunately, this building doesn't have the preferred dimensions to make top dollar. My guess is this is a stop gap measure for an eventual long term replacement.

Yup--directly or indirectly, vested interest, all right. Kissy-kissy to the "buildings as a business" crowd; cheerleading and upholding philistine insensitivity by presenting those who call it out as "unwavering, unrealistic, extremist". And from past evidence, just plain *stupid* when it comes to beholding our comprehensive pre-existing urban form except through the filter of commercial real estate economics--or if not stupid, just uninterested, because what to you are the "extremists" have taken over that particular asylum. And that probably goes for a NYC or London no less than a Toronto: you'd look at it all through the dry, dreary "real estate economics" filter, and anything other way of seeing and absorbing the city is clingy, "unrealistic" urban dilettantism. And not only that, but the more, er, "militant" so-called urban dilettantes like myself probably poison the well from which we are force-feeding you the water from.

I mean, it's been clear all along that you never *knew* any pre-existing architectural importance here, you never *knew* any pre-existing urbanistic importance, you were *never conditioned to know or have any preemptive curiosity* about the same, and you never cared to know because your preferred commercial-real-estate-economics auto-filter just sees something old and dated and requiring freshening-up/investment-maximizing, in which "caring to know"--and what's more, those unwavering-unrealistic-extremist types who force the caring-to-know argument--just gets inconveniently in the way like topless FEMEN protesters or something. Thus, you exist in the same kind of silo as the kinds of residential real estate professionals who feel that HCDs were the death of Rosedale.

Look: when you get to the bottom of it and pare away the fancy flourishes, my stance on the Simpsons Tower *isn't* extremist--I mean, I can seriously picture anyone from Dave LeBlanc to Alex Bozikovic on down sharing my view of this as a gross, insensitive, and disastrously shortsighted disfigurement, not to mention a condemnation of the raw real-estate-economics alibi you're offering. And unlike you, they *are* inherently aware of the backstory--and indeed, of how such "backstory awareness" is critical to sensitively understanding this or any city. (Oh, and they're not exactly "extremists" either, i.e. unlike a lot of hardcore preservationists, they'd likely let bygones be bygones and lay a degree of due praise upon the masterfully chewed-up-and-regurgitated Concourse Building façade.)

LeBlanc/Bozikovic vs maestro: no contest. And if you disagree with my educated hunch, prove otherwise.
 

Waterloo_Guy

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I've always thought this building was ugly anyway. I suppose it says something about 60's renewal. The way it was attached to the old Simpsons was/is terrible. Having said that this reclad may make it even worse...we shall see. I did want the lighting at the top to be restored. I'm very happy to see Toronto becoming more and more animated.

This building is ugly, and I'd rather see it torn down and replaced with something new. I'm hoping the cladding improves it, but I'm not counting on it.
 

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