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stjames2queenwest

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Everyone seems to love hating on city place... I do not live there, perhaps they were not built well on the inside I dont know. What I do know is that it changed the Toronto sky line, City Place looks a million times better than the empty lots did, and really gives the city an impressive gateway into the downtown.
It was the first huge project like that in a long time, and whether or not it could have been done better does not change the fact that it really jump started development downtown. Passing those buildings on the way into the city really invokes awe, as a teen coming by grey hound into the city it was city place being constructed that got me excited about Toronto and wanting to live downtown. I loved watching it rise.
Yes much better things have and will continue to happen, but give city place a break, if it wasn't for the atmosphere and excitement it created some of the better buildings else where wouldn't have happened.

also lets just be thankful that we live in such a nice city that st james town is what people call a ghetto/ slum. Because it could be worse.
 

modernizt

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I think there's some truth in between those who "love to hate CityPlace" and the building scientists who have concerns about the longevity and thermal performance of these window-wall systems that are all over the city now. With regards to that and numerous comments above, you can critique an article for being poorly written and sourced, but these building scientists are making stuff up. Window-wall performs very poorly in a climate like Toronto; we need to move toward a higher standard.

It's not productive to give into fears of a doomsday/slum scenario for CityPlace, but we need to critique, learn from the past, and look to how it, like any neighbourhood, can best be improved. And we most certainly should not be writing off the points brought up by concerned building scientists about well-known issues with thermal bridging, moisture in wall assemblies, poor thermal performance / R-values. Some of the comments above treat these concerns as conspiracy theories, which is ridiculous since the concerns are shared by many in the industry, and the issues are common knowledge amongst anyone who works in designing building assemblies.
 
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freshcutgrass

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This is their last kick at the can here, so obviously they are going to try and maximize every dollar of profit they can. This has to be at least double the density of the original Busby project (which contained a total of 69,000 sq.m.).

Fancy architecture takes longer to sell because they aren't as cheap, and they don't need it because they know you will buy them.

Cityplace will never be like St Jamestown. It doesn't matter if they have to change all the windows.

I'll say something positive in that I like the massive public art program there.
 

Tuscani01

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Fancy architecture takes longer to sell because they aren't as cheap
That is not true. An open, international design competition would have made this project an instant sell-out, regardless of the costs per unit. One just needs to look at the attention Absolute World in Mississauga received, despite selling for a premium compared to similar units in Mississauga City Centre. The building sold out so quickly that a second tower had to be added. I guarantee that the Mirvish-Ghery project will also have no issue selling despite the acknowledgement that the project will be significantly more expensive than most in Toronto.

People will pay more for good design, so there is absolutely no excuse for why this project looks like a pile of turd. The location alone is enough to warrant a higher price for units.

Speaking of Absolute World... The Zeidler submission for the competition sort of reminds me of this project... but looks way better:

talkcondo-new-condos-in-toronto-absolute-competition-zeidler2.jpg


talkcondo-new-condos-in-toronto-absolute-competition-zeidler-2.jpg

http://www.talkcondo.com/mississauga/absolute-world-condos/
 

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neuhaus

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^^^ That design looks like a mash up of X and Ice Condos.

As for all of the criticisms about Cityplace, I think Cityplace is unfairly an easy target as it is located in a very central and prominent part of downtown and the largest masterplanned development in the city. I used to bash Cityplace, but having moved back to downtown Toronto and even living in Cityplace for a year and a half, I don't think it is nowhere as bad as most people claim it to be. The real estate prices are typically cheaper here than the surrounding neighbourhoods but that's because there is a huge inventory here and the units are very cookie cutter and bought up primarily by investors. As the neighbourhood matures and more and more resident owners take over the inventory over time Cityplace should blend in better to the rest of the urban fabric.

Yes, the buildings are very sterile and grey in appearance, but at least it is well planned with lots of community amenities: a large city park, areas designated for schools and a library. Also the development is planned so that there is enough breathing space between each towers which allows for light and to better take advantage of the city and lake views. If you compare Cityplace to Liberty Village, Liberty Village is a complete planning disaster which feels like a poorly designed suburban community overstuffed in density to pretend to be more urban. The buildings at Liberty Village are jammed-packed with buildings lined up in a row with little space between them -- this feels a lot more depressing and ghetto-like than Cityplace.
Cityplace is not that much different than parts of Vancouver, which I don't think is such a bad thing.

The units themselves are not bad and not that different than any other large condo development elsewhere in the city. Yes there are lots of small units and yes it is constructed of window wall, but that's no different than other condo developments. The newer buildings at Cityplace looks pretty nice on the inside and feature more upscale features and finishes, which is a big improvement compared to their earlier buildings, and there are large townhomes, penthouse and two-storey units in almost all of their buildings so they are trying to attract various residents here. It will take time for more families and older residents to accept urban condo living and more here, but it will eventually happen.
 

freshcutgrass

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That is not true. An open, international design competition would have made this project an instant sell-out, regardless of the costs per unit. One just needs to look at the attention Absolute World in Mississauga received,
A: The Marylyn towers was a fluke.

B: This just isn't the way Concord rolls. Why would this phase be any different than the rest of the blase cheap towers they have been throwing up since day one?
 

freshcutgrass

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^^^ That design looks like a mash up of X and Ice Condos.

I think Cityplace is unfairly an easy target as it is located in a very central and prominent part of downtown

As the neighbourhood matures and more and more resident owners take over the inventory over time Cityplace should blend in better to the rest of the urban fabric.
On the contrary, I'd say lacklustre architecture is not the biggest problem with Cityplace, and it's location is. It may be downtown, but it is just cut off enough from any desirable part of downtown. It's a crappy location, with a poor street design, as is the immediate peripheral urban fabric it's attached to. The damage is done and it's never going to "blend in" I'm afraid. It will continue to be an isolated pocket. It sold well because it was priced right and price is what will keep it popular....it will never be a great location.
 

agoraflaneur

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I wanted to chime in because I saw Cityplace for the first time in almost 3 years the other day. Architecturally, I generally dislike the area east of Spadina, but the buildings west of it are not bad at all, each has a unique design theme yet the street wall connects the whole along the north side. The live/work units are becoming businesses, a few restaurants with nice patios had opened or were set to open, and the through road had finally partially opened. The TCHC building is quite good, the Tims is 24hrs and has a patio (though I wish it weren't a chain). The Library is fantastic. Canoe Landing has its faults, but as a central park it is spacious, airy, has interesting views and a unique setting. It isn't hard to imagine it being even better with the schools and their attendant green spaces as well. Adding to the connectivity of the street was the bridge to Wellington West, which, with the Well development, should ensure that these lands are quite close to a downtown destination - not even including the Lake, Rogers Centre or King West itself. As the Niagara area gets developed with the departure of Quality Meats, the whole area near the railway should be stitched together quite nicely - not to mention the rest of Cityplace, the Loblaws lot, and Fort York either nearing completion or in the planning stages of total redevelopment. To my mind, as these changes occur, Cityplace will inevitably feel much less independent from its surroundings, and its lack of access to amenities like retail will be addressed (though a streetcar would be ideal). Not my favourite place in the City, but I have a hard time imagining this as any kind of ghetto.
 
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neuhaus

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On the contrary, I'd say lacklustre architecture is not the biggest problem with Cityplace, and it's location is. It may be downtown, but it is just cut off enough from any desirable part of downtown. It's a crappy location, with a poor street design, as is the immediate peripheral urban fabric it's attached to. The damage is done and it's never going to "blend in" I'm afraid. It will continue to be an isolated pocket. It sold well because it was priced right and price is what will keep it popular....it will never be a great location.
Fort York Blvd is not fully connected to Bathurst Street yet and there are plans to run transit along Fort York. In five years time when all of the buildings are built it will feel more connected. Cityplace has done a lot to connect the city with the waterfront and the development will continue to develop and mature organically -- it's always hard to develop a massive swath of property in the city and expect it to meld with the city right away.
I think the location is ideal. You are located between Spadina and Bathurst, you are within walking distance to the waterfront, Rogers Centre, ACC, Chinatown/Kensington Market, King/Queen West, Theatre/Entertainment districts, Island Airport, easy access to the Gardiner, etc. All of the road improvements along Queens Quay will also be a benefit to CP, not to mention the massive planned The Well development along Wellington would drastically improve the area as well.
It's much better than living in Liberty Village where they are in their own bubble.

The negatives I found living at CP would be the amount of renters and turnover in the building, though I noticed on older buildings more and more units get turned over to resident-owners, so as the building ages it wouldn't be so much of an issue. Also living close to the Gardiner is not very desirable due to the noise and pollution even being on a high floor.
 

ducati0000

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City Place looks fine to me its just the density of so many condos makes it looks a city within a city.Quality of the units is average of what I seen but the amenities are pretty above the rest in the city locations.Traffic is a nightmare getting in and out and watch out Friday and Saturday is party city in some of the buildings.Police are called so often police held a meeting with property management that they cannot afford to use up manpower to keep responding to noise and vandalism complaints and that property management must take care of the issues themselves.Liberty Village is lot worst that City Place imho.
 

modernizt

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If you're going to do something on a big scale, it's all the more reason to do things in a way that raises the bar. Unfortunately, Concord and P+S appear to be lowering their own bar for this. It's 75 floors of mediocrity.

I don't think even the architects themselves knew what they were trying to accomplish with this pastiche mess (which is somehow very uninteresting despite being such a mix-and-match).

I hope the residential units and office spaces are good inside because visually, this project is brutal.
 
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