401 Bay Street (formerly Simpson Tower) | 143.86m | 33s | Cadillac Fairview | WZMH

thecharioteer

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No. Recladdings only have to go through the Building Department, Planning didn't get a look at all.

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The ones who really dropped the ball were Heritage Preservation Services. The Simpson Tower is part of the block that is historically designated. Once they discovered that Buildings had issued permits, they took a very narrow interpretation of the designating bylaw by claiming that the Parkin building was not one of the reasons the block was designated (notwithstanding it is listed in the details):

89A3F24F-DBF9-4AEB-AA7E-841877663AF9.jpeg
 

adma

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The ones who really dropped the ball were Heritage Preservation Services. The Simpson Tower is part of the block that is historically designated. Once they discovered that Buildings had issued permits, they took a very narrow interpretation of the designating bylaw by claiming that the Parkin building was not one of the reasons the block was designated (notwithstanding it is listed in the details):

Though note that it says "alt." rather than "add.". That is, it relates not to the tower, but the concurrent alterations to the store (some of which have since been "reversed", such as the renovation to the Arcadian Court). And while the Parkin stuff might have been part of the reasons for *listing* (in 1973), it might not have been part of the reasons for *designation* (in 1976)--unfortunately, the summary offered here makes it unclear.

And also keep in mind that in terms of 1973/76, the Simpson Tower might have been deemed "too new" and (as opposed to the alterations) too discrete for listing or designation. Nothing to do with qualitative judgment; rather, it needed more lee time. So despite all appearances, it might *not* have been a full-block designation.

So the ball-dropping wasn't *presently* by HPS per se; rather, it was a perfect storm of loopholes--a longer-term matter of nobody having sought to add the tower to the reasons for designation (or casually presuming that the "alt. 1968-69" referred to the tower, which tragically *wasn't* the case); plus the fact that "alterations", as opposed to demolition permits, aren't the kinds of things typically flagged to municipal urban design and/or heritage authorities. And really; as I've stated before, the whole "City Halls zone" should have been subject to a precinct designation ages ago, not unlike that which envelops the Union Station precinct--something that'd guide urban design and planning matters more intensively than the norm, and which *would* have gotten the Simpson Tower flagged. So it fell between the cracks, and the boneheaded philistines had their way because those who could have had a say had their hands tied...
 

GenerationLee

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I just noticed that cladding continuation in the last image along the podium going east *(I took an image from the same view around the same time but never noticed). This is just awful.The hoarding at street level has been an inconvenience for a good while all for....this. This.
 

steveve

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Was there ever a formal explanation regarding the design rational of breaking up the symmetry of the building on the North-West side? It’s almost as if another building is being superimposed on the existing structure. This stands out in the worst possible way, and looks as bizarre now, as it did when the renders were first released.
 

DSC

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Was there ever a formal explanation regarding the design rational of breaking up the symmetry of the building on the North-West side? It’s almost as if another building is being superimposed on the existing structure. This stands out in the worst possible way, and looks as bizarre now, as it did when the renders were first released.
There has never been ANY rationalisation for what they were up to; which may mean they had none and THAT would explain the 'dog's breakfast' we have ended up with.
 

AlbertC

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Yeah, the end result here is aesthetically turning out to be crap. Likely the most rationale-less of reclads in terms of design objectives. The bare-minimum they could have done is achieve symmetry, as I find the new east and south faces to be better than what's shown on the north and west sides, but they didn't even bother.
 

TossYourJacket

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Yeah, the end result here is aesthetically turning out to be crap. Likely the most rationale-less of reclads in terms of design objectives. The bare-minimum they could have done is achieve symmetry, as I find the new east and south faces to be better than what's shown on the north and west sides, but they didn't even bother.
Yeah, totally agree on the south/east faces looking better than the total disaster that is happening on the northwest corner. If it was all done in the darker glass, this reclad would look.... okay-ish.

It's just a shame because there's (imo) examples of where a building has been reclad and it's still looked good and reflected at least some of the original design intention (FCP, Yonge-Sheppard Centre, to name a couple examples), and this does none of those things.
 

Amare

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Cadillac Fairview has no idea what they're doing when it comes down to renovations of any kind. They only excel (to an extent) at developing new things.

I mean just imagine if they went down the path of renovating the bridge between HBC on Queen Street and the Eaton Centre, instead of outright replacing the bridge. Good thing the bridge was probably near the end of its useful life so they had no choice but to replace.
 

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