Discussion in 'Buildings' started by Observer Walt, Aug 25, 2008.
OMB decision is in
Approved at 25 fl, 72.9 m plus 5 m mechanical penthouse
Seems like the neighborhood residents are not too happy with this
Ontario Municipal Board overrides city, approves huge University of Toronto student residence
Twenty-five-storey project on College St. gets green light despite neighbours’ opposition.
Neighbours are “horrified” by an Ontario Municipal Board ruling that gives the green light to a proposed University of Toronto student residence on College St., a decision that overrules city planners on a controversial development project for the second time in a week.
Neighbourhood activists say they worry about the noise and mess that hundreds of undergraduates could bring. And locals fear the towering structure coming to 245 College, between Huron St. and Spadina Ave., will set a precedent for the construction of other tall buildings in the area.
“I think it’s a dreadful decision,” said Ceta Ramkhalawansingh of the Grange Community Association. “It means the end of all of the heritage on College St. There are two or three other applications that want 20-plus storey buildings.”
“This is exactly the reason the OMB needs to be abolished — because it will destroy neighbourhoods.”
It will hardly destroy the neighbourhood.
A good deal of uninformed hyperbole in the comments of that story. Yeah, 'abolish the OMB.' Right...
I just LOVE how the Star has a photo of the Lillian Smith library and the heritage building to the west, neither of which are part of the development. All designed to provoke maximum outrage in the comments section.
The student residences, even if they have a ton of spandrel, will still mark an improvement over what's there now. I only wish it was the SE corner of Dundas and Spadina that's getting redeveloped.
Well, we all know how difficult it is to get photos of buildings -- after all, it's not like there's an easy way to get a street view...
"the noise and mess that hundreds of undergraduates could bring..." Check me if I'm wrong, but this IS a student neighborhood.
"means the end of all of the heritage on College St. There are two or three other applications that want 20-plus storey buildings.” - All, really? All heritage on College St? From Dudas West to Yonge Street? All of it?
I’m glad that finally a precedent is being set for greater/taller density here, though yeah, why on earth is nothing ever built along Spadina? I can’t fathom it. Why is there a hideous little Burger King and a tiny pharmacy at the south-east and south-west corners of College & Spadina? Why wouldn’t the owners of these buildings sell to some sort of tall development? You’d think that this property is worthless, considering how nothing new ever gets built along Spadina.
Also, what is this nonsense about heritage buildings on College being destroyed because this was approved? How on earth does a tall building being built lead to the destruction of all older buildings nearby? I don’t get it.
Just to clarify - is the final design the big spandrel box, or is that still subject to further revision? It's such a let down compared to the chunky boxes design.
Tiny pharmacy? It's a brand new, two storey new-concept Rexall. It's a nice store, much like the set up of two-level Duane Reade stores in Manhattan.
Because as you just pointed out, it sets a precedent for other projects in the area. The OMB loves to rule based on precedent and there are other plans for high-rises in the area - like the Wynn Group (ick) plans for the Waverly Hotel and the old building on the southeast corner of College of Huron, also planned for student highrises. Once the OMB allows one (and this one is the least offensive), it paves the way for more.
The student highrises built or under construction in Waterloo are hideous. Just go to the corner of King and University and look around you.
If it was a sure thing that this building wouldn't result in more ugly student highrise warehouses in the area, I'd be okay. This isn't that bad an application. But I don't want the Wynn proposal getting approved. And the one at Huron and College really does concern me.
I agree with you.
same applies the Queen/Spadina (NW, SW), King Spadina (SE, NW), Adelaide Spadina (SE), Richmond Spadina (SE, NE). Those tiny two stories look ridiculous for a wide and prominent st like Spadina.
Of course Dundas/Spadina is the worst of all.
Whether the pharmacy is new or not is irrelevant; it’s way too short, given the prominence/transit accessibility of the area. Furthermore, it’s precisely because it’s new (as well as mediocre and too short) that it isn’t worth preserving; the perfunctory new buildings (saliently the Burger King) should become something taller and better, whereas the older, beautiful structures in the area should be preserved. Said pharmacy should be at the bottom of a fifteen-storey building or something.
And why does it set a precedent to destroy heritage structures? The salient precedent it sets is for greater height, isn’t it?
If it destroys anything, it was the idea that College could be a unique midrise avenue west of University. If the corners of Spadina and College are redeveloped, the city should push for some sophisticated architecture given the grandeur of the Old Knox College vista.
To some extent I believe many Torontonians still believe Toronto outside the CBD and Yonge corridor should still remain the quaint Collingwood sort of small town feel, and anything taller than say 8 stories are "destroying" the tranquility and character of those low-rise neighbourhoods in the middle of Canada's largest city. This is why a 24s apartment at College/Spadian or a 25s cond at King/Church could be considered too tall (among other reasons, but most related to being too tall - the ubiquitous "shadowing" issue, or noise/congestion problem).
Protecting heritage is paramount in city building, but often it is just a disguise. I fail to see approval of a highrise will threaten heritage by setting "precedent" - aren't heritage buildings protected? The precendent only serves the good purpose for the city to be able to replace more 2 story slabs in downtown with something more dense and meaningful. A brand new 2 story pharmacy at this location only shows how backward and provincial-minded we are - because apparently a ten story is considered too dense for this location?