Toronto Bisha Hotel and Residences | 146.91m | 44s | Lifetime | Wallman Architects

Good article, but you cant convince many here that would like to see city councilors with more power, the mayor with less power, and life in the city going on as if nothing is happening.
 
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You both realize that you can vote for a city councillor, but you can't vote for a developer, right?

Also, you are both able to distinguish between just any development, and development that has good for the city as a whole in the long run, right?

Or maybe not. This binary thinking where someone is perceived as either pro-development or automatically anti-development is extremely one-dimensional. That you would want to divest councillors (legally elected) of "power" just shows how far you would go in allowing developers in this city (which I might remind you does not belong to the developers) to do as they please. That's because you can't entertain the the idea that some development may be poorly executed, and once completed, the city (and the people of that city) are then stuck with it.

Honestly, to argue for the ongoing existence of the OMB solely to satisfy your wishes for more tall buildings really illustrates how you don't understand what the OMB does to reasoned city-building efforts. It also indicates that there is deep lack if imagination regarding a better process that could replace the OMB when considering development applications.

Of course, in the end, if you ended up being stuck with a lousy building going up next to your home, you'd suddenly have a change of heart. You'll of course make some attempt at denying this, but that's fine. You would want a say in the process, but would quickly discover how the deck is stacked against you. You would quickly discover that councillor don't have some magic power to stop development. You might even discover that the city, its councillors and its planning department and the mayor could not stop certain projects because a lone OMB member agreed with the developer. Right now, you appear to favour all the cards being handed to the developer.

At this point, I kinda hope exactly this happens to you.

By the way, there is more to life in the city than your favoured buildings going up. Talk about one-dimensional.
 
A couple on NIMBYs should NEVER be able to atop a development.......

You don't like the tower going up next to you !!! You have the right to move else where, that's within your rights. But to stop progress and growth, cause your carrot patch might get shadowed is short sighted, and unacceptable....:confused:

My moms child hood home in Etibicoke was surrounded by farms and horses as a child, but as the city encroached, and sprawled , THEY MOVED TO GUELPH!!!!!!!!!!!!

The added density from this boom, SO outweighs some home owners, yard/ neighbor preferences, and towers ADD property value.... PLus tax revenue, also making areas more livable....

Freeways cut out many neighborhoods, here in the US, imminent domain etc..... The good of the many, outweighs the few.... here you are not even loosing your home, just gaining a vertical neighbor.....
So can not stand the NIMBY attitude, and we are NOT talking about, nuclear reactors here, or prisons even, just a residential tower, with added shoppers and walkers making YOUR street safer, and more alive!?!?
 
Gristle, that was a brilliantly written post... and indeed it was so well reasoned that the only thing anyone could do is tell you if you dont like the rules then get out. It's the same thing that blindly patriotic people seem to say a lot. In fact, I doubt if either of those previous posters actually read what you typed. All they have is irrational, reactionary responses that paint reasonable people as NIMBY's or "terrorists" depending on the scope of the conversation. I know the type.
 
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You both realize that you can vote for a city councillor, but you can't vote for a developer, right?

Also, you are both able to distinguish between just any development, and development that has good for the city as a whole in the long run, right?

Or maybe not. This binary thinking where someone is perceived as either pro-development or automatically anti-development is extremely one-dimensional. That you would want to divest councillors (legally elected) of "power" just shows how far you would go in allowing developers in this city (which I might remind you does not belong to the developers) to do as they please. That's because you can't entertain the the idea that some development may be poorly executed, and once completed, the city (and the people of that city) are then stuck with it.

Honestly, to argue for the ongoing existence of the OMB solely to satisfy your wishes for more tall buildings really illustrates how you don't understand what the OMB does to reasoned city-building efforts. It also indicates that there is deep lack if imagination regarding a better process that could replace the OMB when considering development applications.

Of course, in the end, if you ended up being stuck with a lousy building going up next to your home, you'd suddenly have a change of heart. You'll of course make some attempt at denying this, but that's fine. You would want a say in the process, but would quickly discover how the deck is stacked against you. You would quickly discover that councillor don't have some magic power to stop development. You might even discover that the city, its councillors and its planning department and the mayor could not stop certain projects because a lone OMB member agreed with the developer. Right now, you appear to favour all the cards being handed to the developer.

At this point, I kinda hope exactly this happens to you.

By the way, there is more to life in the city than your favoured buildings going up. Talk about one-dimensional.

It seems to me however, that there's an equally 'binary, one-dimensional' thought process in your own defense of council's 'democratic responsibility' (for lack of a better phrase) to the city and it's people. You consistently vilify the OMB for making decisions which contradict the findings of the planning department or of local residents and their councillors. In the scenario you present, the OMB is a disconnected body which (put simplistically) exists only to further developer interests and circumvent our own municipal planners.

But if you zoom out to a regional level, you have both the PTG Act (2005), the Provincal Growth Plan (2006) and all of the density stipulations which are spelled out in those (and other) documents. These are all but ignored at the local level because residents believe that that growth can go elsewhere, or, to use a more pejorative acronym, anywhere that's not in [their] backyard. Because councillors are accountable to their residents, they will more often than not side with them in an effort to keep their jobs (in the face of what is stipulated in the provincial plan). Offhand, I can think of at least two instances in the last ten years where a local councillor was turfed out in the next election because he or she supported an unpopular project which had been recommended for approval by the planning department. In this context, your claim that the OMB exists 'solely to satisfy [someone's] wishes for tall buildings' illustrates that you've only looked superficially at what the board does, how it operates (you still haven't responded to me in the 159 Wellesley thread) and why it is an important release valve for both councillors and developers.

Sure, there are many instances where a 'lousy' building ended up near to someone's home but how would the elimination of the OMB change that? The building would still exist, it would just be a story or two shorter (a change often unnoticeable when standing next to the structure). Councillors do have the power to recommend that a project not pass council, even if the planning department (and sewage and waste dept., and heritage board, etc) has recommended it for approval (do you really understand this stuff as much as you claim?). It's true, the OMB could come in and overturn Council's ruling, but only if the numbers agree with what the developer claims (again, there's more in my 159 Wellesley response about that).

You're right to say that there are plenty of systems out there which are superior to Toronto's (I'm lookin' at you Vancouver), but implementation of something similar would involve a more dramatic shift in the mechanics of our municipal politic and the responsibilities of our elected councillors. Is such a shift possible? Of course, but with our planning department short staffed by at least 65 positions is it likely? I'll leave you to consider that on your own.

I'll agree that Automation' responses do little to further the discussion but ad hominem snipes against members like them (eg. your final two sentences / paragraphs) likewise degrades the quality your own response.
 
Gristle, that was a brilliantly written post... and indeed it was so well reasoned that the only thing anyone could do is tell you if you dont like the rules then get out. It's the same thing that blindly patriotic people seem to say a lot. In fact, I doubt if either of those previous posters actually read what you typed. All they have is irrational, reactionary responses that paint reasonable people as NIMBY's or "terrorists" depending on the scope of the conversation. I know the type.

Sorry to disappoint you, but I'm not getting out. I am working to have the "rules" changed. The post that follows mine is symptomatic of the binary thinking that tends to make its way into forums like this - anyone who is opposed to any particular development is then somehow automatically tarred as a mere "nimby." Anyway, as that is the sentiment held by some here, I'll focus my attention on other efforts, and less on posting here. It is clear that the word "urban" appears to be lost on certain members who confuse this (willfully or not) solely with how tall a building is.

I live in a community that is under intense development. We - many of the residents here - work hard at trying to have development that is reasonable in scale and density, development that suits the neighbourhood in the present and for the long term. This, in our opinion, is development that fits better into the category of city-building, and obviously much less into tower-foaming concerns the fixate solely on how tall a building is. We recognize and embrace that we live downtown - otherwise why would we be living here? To the tower-foamer crowd, we are in the way. We should get out. For that crowd, it seems to be tower projection over people and over neighbourhoods and communities.

For reasonable development to occur, there must be rules and guidelines. Rules and guidelines must not only be about structure, density and building envelopes, but about people, services, transit, traffic, green space and environment (physical and natural). Those are urban concerns. People who live in a neighbourhood may also have concerns - and they should be heard and addressed. They should not be treated like mere road cones on a route to inevitable development. The OMB does not listen to neighbourhood or personal concerns. That is not their mandate. The city councillor can listen to resident concerns - be it from individuals or community groups - but the councillor must also weigh those concerns with others issues (such as social housing needs, transit, commercial interests, etc). Some councillors are good at this, others not. Vaughan, in my opinion, is outstanding at this. Tower foamers typically hate him.

That said, a councillor can't stop a project. So to call for any further reduction in the capacity of that democratically elected official from having any impact in the ward to which he or she was elected is to grant a carte blanche right to developers to sell and build whatever they please. Developers are a notoriously self-interested bunch. To think otherwise is to be criminally naive. Their project is always the greatest thing, the best development ever, the prettiest architecture devised. Others are allowed to dispute that - and they should if they see it as necessary. When putting up permanent structures like buildings, it should be a case of the developer achieving a right to build, not residents, communities or the city as a whole being forced to bend to whatever a developer wants or feels is right in pursuing profit.

Bad buildings, poorly "designed" neighbourhoods and a bad development process that runs over people has had - and will have - consequences, short and long term. One can avoid many of those consequences by pushing for a more reasonable development and planning process. Otherwise, the bad developments of today will simply stay as the bad realities of tomorrow - with many of them turning into costly fixes.
 
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Gristle, you are my hero. I completely agree with you, but I lack the energy or drive to write about it in this forum. Kudos.
 
Gristle, what you're saying sounds like what I'm doing with NimbyTect. While I admit I'm more interested in aesthetics, and am not frightened by height, having lived in Montreal made me realize that density and vibrancy does not have to mean height alone. An 8s architecturally excellent "slab" with an interior courtyard, green roofs etc is more desirable than a mediocre 40s tower next to a 4s neighbourhood.
 
Pic taken May 17, 2012


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I wonder how this one is progressing. - Lots of product coming online in the Entertainment District. Might be tough now for new projects to get off the ground. As we have no witnessed with TUX Condos.
 

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