Aqualina at Bayside | 48m | 13s | Tridel | Arquitectonica

junctionist

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In addition to looking awkward, this design seems to fit in with Corus's monotonous wall of featureless grey glass. A far cry from the ideal put forward for water's edge architecture:


Image from http://www.waterfrontoronto.ca/uploads/documents/bayside_waters_edge_1.pdf
They endorse a successful model in their own plans but then show us architectural modellings for large and awkward buildings. Development like the collection of buildings in these photos would truly encourage the kind of diversity of users that would allow the neighbourhood to be vibrant at different hours of the day. And not only is it more practical, but it looks better than the monotony of a few large buildings.
 

taal

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I'd like to point out even in the early renderings, the ones with the large winter garden in side the building - it was still one large building fronting on to the street, basically the opposite of those images above.

 

AlvinofDiaspar

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junctionist:

The rendering of the initial proposal is of the western facade, facing Sherbourne Commons. The presentation you quoted from refers specially to the architectural treatment along the water's edge.

AoD
 

taal

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meh these renderings don't really show that:



Also it seems the initial rendering was very accurate, the building proposed so far looks very similar.
 

CanadianNational

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Waiting for architecture to happen is a lonely sort of cliffhanger, but dear me, this is taking a hell of a long time. I remember after the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 (when they redid their waterfront in a spectacular fashion) people in Toronto started to talk about how lovely it would be to have something expansively lovely and similar here. Now, almost ten, fifteen, twenty years later we're dribbing it out a few buildings at a time - and still without even a coherent or continuous streetcar line along it.

I'm thrilled we thwarted the Ford's hideous landgrab on the waterfront. I'm very happy WaterfronToronto is helming this, with all it's attendant quality. I'm rooting for them. But dear gawd - it'd be great to see some real architectural momentum both north and south of Queen's Quay - impressive - dynamic - exciting momentum. Thrilling, optimistic, engaging momentum! Not more of this awfully understanding, quiet, strained waiting.

I walked down to Sherbourne common tonight to see it in the warm evening light. It was wonderful. Still - all around - almost nothing. Yes, there's sugar beach and that work done along the water. But there's vacant lots north of Corus and the incomplete George Brown college. Fences, empty space, lots of promises and brownfields. A fed-ex delivery station. Guverment and two-storey depots. Lots of promises.

It's frustrating. There's all sorts of apologetics to offer as to why it can't be done at a pace people could be inspired by. Finances, markets, investments, etc - lots of reasons. But time is part of the equation too - and the seemingly geologic time frame that's been allowed is depressing. This is too slow. Sure we've saved the waterfront from the worst, but I don't think getting it done this slowly or in these horrible pieces (looking at you, TTC!) is our best. Just getting it done eventually is not enough.
Yes - Bayside is starting...to be finished in 2021! Ten. More. Years. This is not a large parcel of land - in one of the hottest real estate markets on the continent. The Eastern Bayfront? No projected finish time. The Queen's Quay streetcar line from Bay to Cherry? Not a f*%^kin' clue. All the land north of Queen's Quay, from Jarvis to Cherry? Not a mention. Except one Safdie condo.
Despite all the glad talk - this is a pace so ridiculously slow that it is starting to risk looking like thorough incompetence or corruption. Yes, some things have been done. Yes, we're told this is a gigantic project. Yes, we know the work's been underground, unlovely, mucky. Lots of excuses. But where are the livable, visit-able, enjoyable, real results? Scraps, parcels, parks and pieces so far. Out of all the buildings featured in the renderings and drawings, we've got two. That's it. Two! It's not like we're building the Sydney Opera House here - or even Clyde. We're not even aiming for something futuristic, thoroughly innovative, unseen before. We're looking to build some pleasant, competent neighbourhoods with engaging design features. We have to do better.

Hmmpf. Generally, I'm pretty supportive of all this on here, and optimistic about it. But feeling like the crisis with the Fords over this is over, and after taking a walk there tonight, I was depressed about the disparity between what we've been promised and been waiting for, and what actually has been done.
But I guess every now and then you need to rant. I'd like to hear ideas about how it might be speeded up that were viable, instead of the reprehensible stab at it by the Fords.
 
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taal

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How wrong you are ...

I think this sort of attitude stems from the lack of knowlage in regards to what actually goes on behind the scene.

While I'll admit in the late 1900 / mid 2000 I can't comment on speed of progress but for the last 3 or 4 years things have been going at an astonishingly fast pace ...

Expect to see multiple buildings on this site all completed around the 2015 timeframe.


Anyway these things take time ... just takes hines, they've been given a large parcel of land, that takes planning / design. Prior to this there was a huge competition as to who would be awared with the land.
 

AlvinofDiaspar

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taal:

That's an initial rendering - done more to suggest massing and general development concept than architectural specifics.

CN:

Well, the actual physical part of revitalizing the waterfront didn't really start until the last few years; it was all planning and jurisdictional wrangling before that - and of course the latter continues (like the wonderful footbridges connecting the boardwalks are sort of lost in the dispute between WT, neighbourhood activists and the port authority, to name a few). Not to mention, different funding model compared to Barcelona and the EU largesse behind it - WT, other than the initial seed money (which, at $1.5 B sounds like a lot, actually consists of in-kind contributions from the city, and has to cover unsexy things like infrastructure) is predominately a privately-funded effort, and the latter won't pay for what doesn't make money. Personally I am actually a bit surprised the whole process didn't grind to a halt after those initial announcements for the need to revitalize - since it already served its' political purpose.

AoD
 

CanadianNational

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True, guys. Sometimes one just needs to blow off steam. It's been a long wait.
It'd be great to get another announcement, though, about the central waterfront - that the Queen's Quay north stretches are about to get something wonderful, or that the dedicated Streetcar line is about to start construction....just to keep the flame going.

I think it will be a big deal when we see Bayside and the Pan Am lands start to go up. But until then, every little bit helps.
 

taal

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True, guys. Sometimes one just needs to blow off steam. It's been a long wait.
It'd be great to get another announcement, though, about the central waterfront - that the Queen's Quay north stretches are about to get something wonderful, or that the dedicated Streetcar line is about to start construction....just to keep the flame going.

I think it will be a big deal when we see Bayside and the Pan Am lands start to go up. But until then, every little bit helps.
Trust me I know exactly how you feel ... I really can't wait for this, clearly this is the largest project in Toronto in recent history.

There are some comparable in the GTA, downtown / uptown Markham so I really want to see this get going as well.
 

egotrippin

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And in comparison, Markham's redevelopment has been put up rather hastily and sloppily. I'd trade all the time in the world to prevent anything like the new "Downtown Markham" from being transplanted to our waterfront.
 

neubilder

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If the residential component of the waterfront were built-out as fast as many people would like, we'd have an enormous glut of housing and an impending real estate crash.
 

taal

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And in comparison, Markham's redevelopment has been put up rather hastily and sloppily. I'd trade all the time in the world to prevent anything like the new "Downtown Markham" from being transplanted to our waterfront.
hmm interesting,

Myth #1 - the markham downtown development was fast ... it was exactly the opposite, there were years of planning dating back more then decade, just like the waterfront.

I'm very curious, why do you consider them sloppy ? The quality of the building is deffinetly above average when it comes to finishes. Moreover the more important retail buildings have yet to go up.

My complaint really is the monotone nature of the development so far ... also I hate the townhouses, a lot ... but still all the finishes seem very high quality. Moreover I think the interesting part will come when the other buildings come to be.
 

jje1000

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Downtown Markham is being built by one developer (Remington Group). We might end up with a CityPlace problem, where the end result is less than we had anticipated. On the other hand, Downtown Markham has lots of retail space planned, so it won't be as bad.
 

taal

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Downtown Markham is being built by one developer (Remington Group). We might end up with a CityPlace problem, where the end result is less than we had anticipated. On the other hand, Downtown Markham has lots of retail space planned, so it won't be as bad.
Right exactly a lot of retail. I really don't feel city place is that monotone from street level - when the entire thing is built out it really won't be.

I think the first couple phases here are similar in regards to the Markham project but there is more variety coming too.

But downtown markham has soo much more ambition then city place ever did by a long shot. To be fair, they're trying to build a downtown, so the goal was different from the start.
 

bengaijin

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I can't say I'm particularly optimistic that that blurry image will sharpen into something nicer. Arquitectonica has to be one of my least favorite 'major' design firms. They love to go big and bold, which would be nice, except that their ugly, clunky moves outnumber their exciting ones two to one at least. Check out their website to see some of their clunkers. I particularly hate this project.
 

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