Bathurst Quay Revitalization | ?m | ?s | City of Toronto | Kearns Mancini

Pfloyd

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I have never liked the brutalist concrete silo aesthetic anywhere in the world, but particularly at prime waterfront locations where industrial uses have long been phased out. I am 100% for maintaining and restoring heritage architecture, but this giant piece of junk ain't one, in my opinion. Nevertheless, if we are going to keep it, it would have been very fitting to do what Heatherwick Studios did with a very similar structure in Cape Town. Then again, we are in Toronto; where grand vision and funding to get it done is a pipe dream more often than not:

 
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desperateAmbassador

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I have never liked the brutalist concrete silo aesthetic anywhere in the world, but particularly at prime waterfront locations where industrial uses have long been phased out. I am 100% for maintaining and restoring heritage architecture, but this giant piece of junk ain't one, in my opinion. Nevertheless, if we are going to keep it, it would have been very fitting to do what Heatherwick Studios did with a very similar structure in the Cape Town. Then again, we are in Toronto:

I'm with you 100%. "old" doesn't necessarily equal "worth preserving". To each their own of course but to me this is post-industrial blight, not preservation-worthy heritage. Consider what beautiful structure, pavilion, lookout, ferris wheel etc... we could put on the footprint of this space. Missed opportunity imo.
 

bowen

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Wow, this all looks so great. I am really late to this project, but I think more importantly most Torontonians have no idea this is happening and it just looks so so promising!
Agreed, this has always been a bit of an ‘underdog’ waterfront project. I expect that general public awareness will increase as these results become more visible, and as work ramps up on the new 3 acre park to the east.

If interested in more details, linking below a short video montage of our Phase 2 ground breaking event 1 year ago; and a recording of a June 2021 public meeting with a deeper dive on the the various projects completed and underway on the silo property.



I’ve also been tracking our progress through semi-regular ‘BQNP Updates’ on Twitter, going back to our initial ground breaking in October 2019. Twitter: @bryanmbowen

And some media coverage here:

CBC:
Storeys:
 

Towered

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I'm with you 100%. "old" doesn't necessarily equal "worth preserving". To each their own of course but to me this is post-industrial blight, not preservation-worthy heritage. Consider what beautiful structure, pavilion, lookout, ferris wheel etc... we could put on the footprint of this space. Missed opportunity imo.
Ferris wheels are the architectural equivalent of Godwin's Law at this point.
 

Northern Light

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Ferris wheels are the architectural equivalent of Godwin's Law at this point.

I'm not opposed to Ferris wheels; but have these thoughts to offer:

1) Many cities that have them do so because they act as a high point of observation. We do have one of those already, much taller than any Ferris Wheel anywhere. (though, just muse for a moment on how long it would take to load/off-load a Ferris wheel the size of the CN Tower)

2) If we got one, it would logically belong where we put carnival rides..........perhaps the Exhibition Grounds, not a comparatively small site, where even if one removed the vestige of Industrial history there wouldn't be any critical mass of related activities; and to the extent an attempt was made, there would be a trade-off in terms of green space.

3) The Silos aren't the prettiest buildings, we've lost far better in the past, and continue to put better at risk; but they are interesting, and relatively unique, at least in southern Ontario. I think there's a compelling case to be made for adaptive re-use.
 
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junctionist

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The silos are fascinating structures that are evocative and full of character. Their rustic weathered look is a memorable display of the patina of time. We may never build anything like them again on the downtown waterfront.

They're an impressive everyday reminder of the industrial history of the waterfront, where ships unloaded grain that was turned to malt and then to beer at the nearby Molson brewery. They tell an interesting story, especially now that the waterfront is mainly made up of parks, condos, institutions, and retail as opposed to port facilities and factories. The view from the top is one of the best in the city and the country. The silos should absolutely be preserved.

Look at a landmark like the Gdansk Crane. Most of the landmarks of Gdansk's old town are far more beautiful (and less utilitarian) Gothic and Renaissance landmarks. Yet there's arguably no building that's more evocative of this scenic port city than the utilitarian crane used to unload grain and other freight from ships in medieval times.
 
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DSC

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Though I suspect this 'path' is on airport land, it would be great if 'someone" (@bowen I am thinking of you!! :-> ) could get it paved! It links the nice walkway south of the Silos and Bathurst Quay to the lake end of Eireann Quay. There is a very narrow paved section to the left of the fenced off 'shed' in the photo below but the space on the right is clearly the more popular pathway and REALLY needs some paving. Wood sheets are not enough!!

IMG_1150[1].JPG
 

bowen

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Though I suspect this 'path' is on airport land, it would be great if 'someone" (@bowen I am thinking of you!! :-> ) could get it paved! It links the nice walkway south of the Silos and Bathurst Quay to the lake end of Eireann Quay. There is a very narrow paved section to the left of the fenced off 'shed' in the photo below but the space on the right is clearly the more popular pathway and REALLY needs some paving. Wood sheets are not enough!!

View attachment 437444
Agreed. This is highly trafficked right now and unfortunately worn down as it's currently the only available route around the silo rehab and Corleck work sites.

Couple of things to note here:

1. You're right, this is PortsToronto's property. Ports will soon start excavating this area to install a power cabinet south of the existing transformer, and to install below grade conduits, in support of Nieuport's plan to switch the entire airport shuttle fleet to electric (a most welcome investment and upgrade). We're working together to figure out how to maintain a temporary pedestrian connection here while this work is underway.

2. Pedestrians will have a much better alternative in the park we're starting to build here in the spring. The planned diagonal pathway you see below matches the original desire line through this site (ie before construction started in 2019). This new route will act as a formal, landscaped gateway from Eireann Quay south into the park and promenade (with the planting beds and trees providing a needed buffer from the activity in the airport's turning circle); and will also provide a 'bypass' for passersby who are just following the water's edge and want to get back out to the street and/or the airport.

So we're all stuck with that narrow path for now, though it will be re-sodded as part of the two projects described above. I expect it will be only lightly used in the future given the much better option in the park immediately next door, and also that the new power cabinet will squeeze this narrow opening a bit further.

PFS Studio_21008_BQNP_Ribbon Cutting Images_Final wo logo_South Terrace.jpg



Grading plan detail.jpg



South sun deck detail.jpg
 

bowen

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And because I expect someone will ask! Yes, the moveable furniture seen in the rendering is definitely part of the park/plaza project. It will be managed day-to-day by our non-profit partners at the Canada Ireland Foundation (who will operate the new 'Corleck' arts and event centre on the property). In the winter the furniture will be stored in a portion of the (recently cleaned up) south silo basement. And there will be a lot of it: on the park's 'sun deck' immediately south of the Corleck, and in the multi-purpose plaza beside Ireland Park and the silos.
 

bowen

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Not a view you see everyday! This is removal in progress of the overhead equipment and bridges currently located between the two malting silos. Much of this unsalvageable, though per our Conservation Plan, the large cylinders (grain dust storage bins) will be repaired and re-installed next year with new mounting brackets. This work, combined with the upcoming demolition at grade of the block wall that connects the two silos, is what allows us to open up a 5-metre wide pedestrian 'portal' linking Portland Slip and the new silo plaza and park.

Silo portal overhead demolition and removals_Dec 13 2022.jpg




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Central silo plaza view_cropped_PFS Studio.jpg
 

drum118

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Ferris wheels are the architectural equivalent of Godwin's Law at this point.
Sorry, but these silos needs to be retain as part of our history and in line to other parts of the world where waterfront structures are being save and use for other things today

Shot this in Brussels that is on top of Mont aux next to the Court of Justices (1883) that gives a great view of the city, the War Memorial and its out of place. Never took a ride on it as the other haft has a fear of them and heights
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Shot these on Aug 20 that I am Currently work on
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ADRM

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From a '23 capital budget briefing note:

For Bathurst Quay Public Realm, a detailed design for a new public waterfront park and plaza at 5 Eireann Quay has been completed. PF&R staff anticipate a Spring 2023 construction start. Construction will be on-going during 2023 and will be completed in 2024. Spending in 2022 was behind due to the need for coordination with two other significant capital projects underway on the same property, therefore limiting space and access.
 

bowen

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From a '23 capital budget briefing note:

For Bathurst Quay Public Realm, a detailed design for a new public waterfront park and plaza at 5 Eireann Quay has been completed. PF&R staff anticipate a Spring 2023 construction start. Construction will be on-going during 2023 and will be completed in 2024. Spending in 2022 was behind due to the need for coordination with two other significant capital projects underway on the same property, therefore limiting space and access.
The two projects mentioned are the silo rehab (City) and the Corleck arts centre (Canada Ireland Foundation). By May the scaffolding presently at the south silo will all have been relocated to the north silo where we’ll repeat the same scope of repairs wrapping up at the south now, and the major structural and exterior restoration work will be complete for the arts centre, creating the space we need to start construction of the park and plaza.

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