4800 Yonge Street | 168.24m | 49s | Menkes | Arquitectonica

Amare

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Great insight and analysis as always interchange.

The OMB's perception of things is often how they have destroyed communities since they really do not analyze how their decisions will affect communities that undergo significant change due to their decision making. Their rationale of thinking is flawed due to the fact that places like Downtown Toronto are running dry of places to develop commercial buildings and once that we reach that point, we have to start looking at other places to develop commercial buildings (ie: the next version of Southcore if you will). The problem is, that the crop of suitable places to develop commercial is dwindling rapidly. For example, most of the proposals for development on Yonge Street are for residential use (with some retail), office space in Midtown is being pushed out in favor of residential, previous derelict lands are being zoned for residential, etc..

If we start taking employment lands and re-zoning to mixed-use or residential, the ultimate net effect is that we loose valuable office space and the piece land will never get zoned for full commercial use again.
 

interchange42

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If we start taking employment lands and re-zoning to mixed-use or residential, the ultimate net effect is that we loose valuable office space and the piece land will never get zoned for full commercial use again.
It's true that the surface parking lots are biting the dust at a rapid rate, but I'm not as worried about a possible future dearth of places to build commercial in Toronto. It's a conversation I've had several times now, with a number of friends over the years. The first time I remember getting into this was over 300 Front when it was first proposed. A friend whom I respect quite a bit had that reaction over the site, that we shouldn't allow it to go residential for the exact problem that Downtown would run out of land for new commercial towers.

I think 1) it's going to take a longer to "fill" Downtown than most think, and 2) that more places are going to become attractive to have an office in the Toronto area, partly out of opportunity, partly out of necessity.

1) Downtown has more sites than just the obvious ones.

81 Bay at the Bay Park Centre is an obvious one. 141 Bay, not so obvious. 160 Front East at Simcoe is an obvious one. Union Centre however, rising over Station Street? Not so obvious. 400 Front West is an obvious location. The Metro Convention Centre, not so obvious…

so along with the last of the parking lots disappearing, there will continue to be places that will pop up as land is quietly assembled and proposed for intensification. (Coming up with a full list of office proposals and potential office development sites in the core would be a worthwhile exercise.)

2) At the same time that Downtown is filling up, it's also stretching its boundaries. Office towers are being developed further west, further south, and further east than what has been considered the traditional core, and as the urban fabric is knit back together with new buildings as the surface parking disappears, people are willing to walk further than they were before, block by improved block.

While the public realm is improving on a block by block basis, we've got to keep pushing for the Relief Line and GO RER improvements so that the highly accessible central area of Toronto expands too. First Gulf is right on the mark by planning millions of square feet of new office commercial at the foot of the DVP. It's a spot where there we should see a new GO stop, a Relief Line station, and a new LRT heading south in the Port Lands. A short walk north is the funky cool of Queen Street through the Riverside area, and that's the kind of area that people want to be in for lunch and after work.

GO RER and the Relief Line (that'll take a while) should pretty much save Liberty Village too, the Crosstown should make Young & Eligible more attractive again, and Yonge & Sheppard should do fine with medium size towers (but I'll be surprised if any large office buildings go up here).

In general if we get the transportation infrastructure right, we will end up with a denser more mixed-use city where more and more areas will be attractive enough to support all-day activity. Futurists will tell you that there will be a lot more telecommuting in the future anyway, so we'll need (and therefore encourage) more areas that will function well throughout the day, while lessening pressure on growth in the core.

That's all simplified, but I believe that without any doubt we will have enough space for offices. There will be more in the core, but there will also be sub-centres here and there throughout the city on transit lines, and we'll not need quite so much office space per capita as more will telecommute.

42
 

greenleaf

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I like the tower. I like the podium (pedestrian level is pretty ho-hum). But I hate, hate, hate the transition between the two. This is extraordinarily inelegant.
 

stjames2queenwest

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Agreed. I like the tower quite a bit. It's different. The podium is ok could be much worse. They just don't seem overly cohesive together.
 

Amare

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GO RER and the Relief Line (that'll take a while) should pretty much save Liberty Village too, the Crosstown should make Young & Eligible more attractive again, and Yonge & Sheppard should do fine with medium size towers (but I'll be surprised if any large office buildings go up here).

In general if we get the transportation infrastructure right, we will end up with a denser more mixed-use city where more and more areas will be attractive enough to support all-day activity. Futurists will tell you that there will be a lot more telecommuting in the future anyway, so we'll need (and therefore encourage) more areas that will function well throughout the day, while lessening pressure on growth in the core.

That's all simplified, but I believe that without any doubt we will have enough space for offices. There will be more in the core, but there will also be sub-centres here and there throughout the city on transit lines, and we'll not need quite so much office space per capita as more will telecommute.

42
I truthfully hope you're right about all this. A lot hinges on what is done with transit in the city, but if politicians decide to take those matters seriously I can definitely see some progress being made.

But in any case I will comment on the project itself. The tower itself looks quite elegant, but it depends of course on the execution of the project (if built). If they decide to use quality materials it will turn out striking, if not, well we're in for a fun ride. However, the podium and the way it meets the street definitely needs some work.
 

renvel

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It's true that the surface parking lots are biting the dust at a rapid rate, but I'm not as worried about a possible future dearth of places to build commercial in Toronto. It's a conversation I've had several times now, with a number of friends over the years. The first time I remember getting into this was over 300 Front when it was first proposed. A friend whom I respect quite a bit had that reaction over the site, that we shouldn't allow it to go residential for the exact problem that Downtown would run out of land for new commercial towers.

I think 1) it's going to take a longer to "fill" Downtown than most think, and 2) that more places are going to become attractive to have an office in the Toronto area, partly out of opportunity, partly out of necessity.

1) Downtown has more sites than just the obvious ones.

81 Bay at the Bay Park Centre is an obvious one. 141 Bay, not so obvious. 160 Front East at Simcoe is an obvious one. Union Centre however, rising over Station Street? Not so obvious. 400 Front West is an obvious location. The Metro Convention Centre, not so obvious…

so along with the last of the parking lots disappearing, there will continue to be places that will pop up as land is quietly assembled and proposed for intensification. (Coming up with a full list of office proposals and potential office development sites in the core would be a worthwhile exercise.)

2) At the same time that Downtown is filling up, it's also stretching its boundaries. Office towers are being developed further west, further south, and further east than what has been considered the traditional core, and as the urban fabric is knit back together with new buildings as the surface parking disappears, people are willing to walk further than they were before, block by improved block.

While the public realm is improving on a block by block basis, we've got to keep pushing for the Relief Line and GO RER improvements so that the highly accessible central area of Toronto expands too. First Gulf is right on the mark by planning millions of square feet of new office commercial at the foot of the DVP. It's a spot where there we should see a new GO stop, a Relief Line station, and a new LRT heading south in the Port Lands. A short walk north is the funky cool of Queen Street through the Riverside area, and that's the kind of area that people want to be in for lunch and after work.

GO RER and the Relief Line (that'll take a while) should pretty much save Liberty Village too, the Crosstown should make Young & Eligible more attractive again, and Yonge & Sheppard should do fine with medium size towers (but I'll be surprised if any large office buildings go up here).

In general if we get the transportation infrastructure right, we will end up with a denser more mixed-use city where more and more areas will be attractive enough to support all-day activity. Futurists will tell you that there will be a lot more telecommuting in the future anyway, so we'll need (and therefore encourage) more areas that will function well throughout the day, while lessening pressure on growth in the core.

That's all simplified, but I believe that without any doubt we will have enough space for offices. There will be more in the core, but there will also be sub-centres here and there throughout the city on transit lines, and we'll not need quite so much office space per capita as more will telecommute.

42
Talking about transportation...
I assume,that the best bung for the buck in the near future would be not so called DRL , but subway connection of the Sheppard & Downsvew stations via continuation of the Sheppard Line. It will be less time consuming proposition to bild , more cost effective ( only one additional station at Sheppard & Bathurst may be required with part of the route goes above ground over the ravine ) and efficient (with substantial development potential unlocked)...
 

sunnyraytoronto

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The business side of things goes like this: industrial firms can rarely afford to set up in the 416 now because of land prices and taxes, so these lands typically have a difficult time finding new owners to perpetuate the earlier land use. Instead we end up with owners seeking land uses that provide a greater return on investment, like residential, office space, and retail. Firms looking for office space are finding that their employees, especially younger ones, want to be located in the core. That's made it difficult (but not impossible) to find tenants for all of the office space that is proposed in the sub-centres around the city.

That's been evidenced on this very site, where a planned 25-storey office tower proposal has been sitting inert for years. Now a developer wants to maintain some office space, recognizing that the City won't support the complete removal of commercial office space from this site, while "paying" for the development through the sale of residential condos above.

Personally, I'm not opposed in principal to commercial-only zoning going mixed-use by adding residential. In this case I have no idea if the numbers in this first proposal are "right", or of there should be more commercial, less residential, what have you. That's for the City to figure out, and concerned citizens to voice their opinions on of course… and we will see how the numbers change (or don't) as the proposal progresses through the planning process.

42


The "planned 25-storey office tower proposal has been sitting inert for years" was never 25 storey!

The 2011 bogus Oxford Properties (Kohn Pederson Fox) sales promo/gimick was rendered as 25 storey with 3 segments,.... never was a development application that went to City Planning,... thus, never existed as far as the city is concerned.

This site was originally approved to be OMERS office tower, phase 2 of Nestle Building (phase 1 completed 1994) twin,... and that's what City Planning has on the books as approved,... and that's the one that been sitting inert for decades! Anyways, Nestle Building is 21 storey office tower and 100m tall.
www.emporis.com/buildings/132702/nestle-building-toronto-canada

I seriously doubt original OMERS office tower would have been 25 storey office tower especially since 25 office storey (about 120m) won't even fit within the previous 100m height limit of North York Centre. It was only in the last 5 years that the previous 100m height limit for North York Centre was void with construction of GibsonSquare, HullmarkCentre and EmeraldPark,..... Only 21 office storeys can fit within 100m,....

As I mentioned earlier,... due to the sloping topography of this site another storey might be squeezed in depending on where the at grade is measured,..... anyways, this site is 0.88 acres and the original OMERS office tower proposal that was approved decades ago now serves as a baseline for what City Planning expects in terms of office space for this site!
 

sunnyraytoronto

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^Interchange is correct. Nothing has happened yet here. Not saying it won't be approved, but the mix here could change between office/res.

OT but how much would it cost to run the Sheppard subway over to Downsview. I never understood who would think developing heavy transit in low density Scarborough makes any sense, but it kind of does make sense to create connections between the east and west 1 line, doesn't it? I wonder if that would take any strain off of the Yonge line? (sorry for the OT)


When Bloor-Danforth subway line was built in 1960's, Yonge & Bloor subway interchange station was close to centre of Toronto based on population density,.... today, Yonge & Sheppard T-shaped subway interchange station is close to centre of GTA based on population density. Keeping in mind, 4800 Yonge is at southwest corner of Yonge & Sheppard,... subway transit is vital for office development,... this site is zoned for office only with no residential,... should Sheppard STUBway be extended westward to Downsview? Should folks buy into 4800 Yonge thinking it'll be a Yonge-Bloor?

3.4km of subway needed from current end of Tailtrack (Senlac) to Downsview,.... $350 million per km of subway (based on cost of Spadina Extension BEFORE the over-runs!),.. Thus, about $1 BILLION - give or take a few million,.... probably a bit less since they only need one new station at Bathurst,... and that's part of the problem, big chunk of money but only a few additional people at Bathurst will benefit from Subway service.

Oh, and then there's crossing the West Don Valley between Senlac & Bathurst,... either tunnel straight down under the Don Valley West River,... or reinforce the current Sheppard Ave West Bridge (half way down valley) over the West Don Valley and build double decker bridge with one deck dedicated for subway,.... likely cheaper to start from scratch and build new ridge-to-ridge double decker bridge... this alone could add another $1 Billion!

I usually hear about $1 Billion to $1.5 Billion total,....


Talking about transportation...
I assume,that the best bung for the buck in the near future would be not so called DRL , but subway connection of the Sheppard & Downsvew stations via continuation of the Sheppard Line. It will be less time consuming proposition to bild , more cost effective ( only one additional station at Sheppard & Bathurst may be required with part of the route goes above ground over the ravine ) and efficient (with substantial development potential unlocked)...


A Sheppard West STUBway would definitely NOT be the best bang for the buck! Not at $1 Billion to $1.5 Billion to add one subway station at Sheppard-Bathurst.


From a subway network engineering viewpoint, yes it makes sense to interconnect Yonge subway line with Spadina subway line via Sheppard West STUBway line, especially since these high ridership subway lines are so critical and unreliable,...... but your arguement that it could possibly relieve pressure from the 100% full capacity Yonge subway line by diverting passengers onto the 70% capacity Spadina subway line, might be wrong since it's really a double edge sword, since people who will use the new Spadina north subway extension could also use this Sheppard West STUBway extension to ride on the already 100% full capacity Yonge Subway line to downtown since Yonge Street is Toronto's main artery,... and it'll make the Yonge subway line even more uncomfortable though midtown,..... I suspect this is what's going to happen anyways once Eglinton Crosstown opens.


Metrolinx & City of Toronto,... Sheppard West STUBway is NOT a priority, basically $1 Billion to $1.5 Billion to service people at one new local subway station at Bathurst & Sheppard,.... that type of money is better spent on surface Right-Of-Way LRT that serve more people in more neighbourhoods,... That said, a Sheppard West LRT had been looked at but the number of transfer from between subway and LRT for long distance east-west commuter was taken into consideration,.... Metrolinx and North York City Planning are currently working on $1.2 Billion 11km Finch West LRT from Humber to Finch WEST station (@ Keele on new Spadina Subway extension),.... construction starts in 2017,... Currently, NO plan to extend Finch West LRT to Finch Subway station on Yonge Subway line (as per original Transit City plans),.... So they're considering whether to make Sheppard STUBway a strong east-west route by adding expensive Sheppard West STUBway,... but not likely due to cost-benefit analysis,... that money would be better spent closing the LRT gap along Finch West between Keele and Yonge,... which will likely cost about $400-500 million,... no timetable for this yet, but likely get done in about 20 years (once MetroLinx finishes all the other various LRT projects around GTA and this gets to top of their to-do list).

Thus, 4800 Yonge residents shouldn't expect to be travelling West on a Sheppard West STUBway,.... anytime soon,...

If a Sheppard East LRT goes in east of DonMills, the terminus for Sheppard STUBway,... Metrolinx was looking at converting the Sheppard STUBway to LRT line,... problem is with height clearance needed for electrical infrastructure of LRT wiring. In which case it might be more viable to put in Sheppard West LRT to Downsview,.... city is already accumulating land for Sheppard widening from development. But again, a Sheppard West STUBway or LRT isn't on MetroLinx's radar. Realistically, this is the only way I can see any transit happening along this stretch of SheppardWest,.... and that's only if Sheppard East get LRT vs expensive money draining subway AND they convert current Sheppard STUBway line to LRT,.... AND both projects came in under-budget such that there was enough money for Sheppard West LRT to Downsview station. And all this has to happen before Finch West LRT between Keele and Yonge gets approved. Thus, there's a whole lot of IFs,... Anyways, I'll be betting on the Finch West LRT between Keele & Yonge getting approval.


It is interesting that you've mentioned DRL,... something downtown city planners have been pushing for,.... but it's always been viewed as another downtown thing so there's not much buy-in from the suburbs. Now they're marketing the DRL as a Yonge Relief Line by extending it northward from about Pape Station up through the Don Valley to Don Mills Staton on the Sheppard STUBway line. If this were to happen, who would ride on the Sheppard STUBway line???? Currently about 90% of Sheppard STUBway line riders are going from one end to the other,.... Yonge to DonMills or DonMills to Yonge,... very few get off or on at any of the in between stations. Realistically, the DRL could go up to EglintonCrosstown at DonMills (and releive midtown Yonge Line issues) but not likely to go up to Sheppard STUBway,... that's just marketing to get suburban support.
 

interchange42

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You're wrong about the Relief Line extension from Eglinton to Sheppard being "just marketing to get suburban support", but this is not the place to discuss it. The thread for that, and most of what you've written about, is in our Transportation section.

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sunnyraytoronto

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Anyone wants to venture the location, time period and name of the building in these photos,..... and any significance,.... last photo has hint of the name,.... meow!

GL_1890s.jpg


GL_1900s.jpg


GL_1920s.jpg

Hmmm,.... rail-car line! Hey, now we're talking transportation! ;p

GL_1927.jpg

This last photo has hint for name of this establishment,.... meow! Big MEOW!
 

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sunnyraytoronto

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Here's a better hint for the name of the place,....

GL_nyhs00046.jpg


hmmm, that big cat might look a bit familiar for some of the locals,....
 

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Digger

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The Golden Lion Inn at the south west corner of Yonge and Sheppard. The Lion is in the Canadiana section of the North York Central Library(6th floor)
 

sunnyraytoronto

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Digger is correct! This site, (now) 4800 Yonge, at the southwest corner was once the site of the Golden Lion Inn-Hotel from about 1801 or 1805 to 1928. It also served as Municipal Office for North York Township in 1922.

Golden Lion Inn-Hotel
Historical Description: One of the important landmarks and stagecoach stops on early Yonge Street was at the famous Golden Lion Inn or Hotel.
http://torontohistory.net/golden-lion-inn--hotel.html

GoldenLion_NorthYorkLibrary.JPG

"This display case fascinates me every time I go to the North York Central Library (home of the Ontario Genealogical Society Library, among other genealogical collections and resources) in Toronto. Meet the "Golden Lion" created in the 1820s:"
"North York's Golden Lion concerns an inn, an innkeeper's family, and a skilled woodworker. The site was Yonge Street at the southwest corner of what became Sheppard Avenue. Thomas Hill had a tavern there, selling it in 1805.[1] On the same site, Thomas Shepard (the surname spelling varies) built the Golden Lion Inn by 1825 or perhaps had expanded it from the previous owner. It was a large building for accommodating twenty guests and the enterprise included stables, barns, and driving sheds."
http://brendadougallmerriman.blogspot.ca/2014/04/north-yorks-golden-lion.html

Urban-Affair, Developer gets naming rights to their developments,.... This Golden Lion was carved by Thomas Shepard around 1825,.... it is about 190 years old, its been a wondering nomad since its Golden Lion Inn-Hotel was demolished in 1928,.... whatever development eventually happens here, City Planning and the community will likely pitch for this Golden Lion to finally return home to this site,... as part of Section 37 community benefits or public arts or public realm contribution from the developer.


Thus, this site was once a "transportation hub"! Hmmm,... so was it ok to discuss Sheppard West Subway from this Yonge & Sheppard site???,.... consider this mural at North York Centre Subway Stations southbound platform entitled "Traffic At Yonge and Sheppard - 1860s" - it looks westward down Sheppard Avenue West with this Golden Lion Inn-Hotel to the south and the Dempsey Store to the north,... and yes, there is gridlock traffic congestion made up of horse and buggies!
GL_TrafficAtYongeAndSheppard1860s.JPG

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North...estMural_-_TrafficAtYongeAndSheppard1860s.JPG
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_York_Centre_(TTC)
http://torontoplaques.com/Pages/Traffic_at_Yonge_and_Sheppard.html


TopOfTheNorthHill1850s.JPG

BTW, mural for northbound platform is entitled "Top of the North Hill - 1850s" it looks up Yonge Street from where LordSeaton Road or Highway 401 is today.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North...a/File:EastMural_-_TopOfTheNorthHill1850s.JPG
http://torontoplaques.com/Pages/Top_of_the_North_Hill.html
 

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