Toronto is a modern city compared to your examples. You know the difference, so I'm not sure why you bothered to even point these examples out.
This might help clear things up: After following up with my source, it turns out 50 Bloor is not the site that my info relates to. All I know is (1) the architectural firms involved, (2) that it's going to be large and (3) that it's not yet a sure thing. I have no idea about the location.
I can't say for sure that the developer is even Oxford, but I suspect it is given some of the rumblings about them recently.
3) A third, mystery project of amazingness, brought to our awareness by Ramako
- Potentially Oxford, potentially not
- Not one of the above two projects
- By an international architect not named Will Alsop
Because everything about it is a fantasy based on incorrect information (owner, height, address).
Its surprising the demands we put on high-rises to be everything for everyone. Is a tall residential tower in a residential area supposed to somehow include and ensure success of retail at street level? Does every block in Etobicoke have a Five Thieves? I you look at many old iconic towers - residential and commercial - most do not have thriving retail because that wasn't their purpose or location. That applies to New York and Chicago too.
If the street has thriving retail, as Bloor does, then obviously its going to make the most of it and there is no need to fret. But its unreasonable to expect every Cityplace or SouthCore tower to have a Whole Foods, Nieman Marcus, Indigo, Famous Players, Ashley's, Prius dealership, or 4 star restaurant...much as it might please us.
Actually the race would be when the application gets submitted and when the guidelines get approved. Once an application is submitted it's evaluated based on the policy in place on that day, and future changes in policy don't affect it. And even if the guidelines were approved by Council, they do have the power to approve something that doesn't entirely conform to it.
Wow, I didn't realize that Paris wasn't a city. Apparently Madrid and St. Petersburg aren't either. They had me fooled all this time!
I agree that 50 Bloor is perfectly appropriate for an 80+ storey building. But the argument that cities automatically equal skyscrapers and if you don't like a proposal you should move the the country is ridiculous.