Eaton Centre (Ongoing Renewal) | ?m | ?s | Cadillac Fairview | Zeidler

Hipster Duck

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I think CF also wanted to decrease the size of the Dundas Mall atrium in order to reduce loitering. Perhaps hard to believe now, but it was actually becoming a spot for gang activity/gatherings and occasional violence.
Yeah, that's how I remember it as a teenager in the late 90s. I mean, I was from the sticks back then, so my view of the Yonge-Dundas intersection of the era is probably biased, but I remember the seediness of the intersection began to encroach into the mall by the north atrium. Panhandlers used to ask me for change in there, and chuggers (aka: people who canvass/harass for donations on the street) began to operate inside there too.

Like all things involving demolition of notable buildings, we can look at those optimistic pictures from the late 1970s and wonder aloud why CF ever allowed the desecration of the north atrium, but it seemed like a sensible thing to do in the late 1990s.
 

freshcutgrass

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it seemed like a sensible thing to do in the late 1990s.
Sensible thing to do from a business/profit perspective I suppose....why have all that magnificent public space when you can turn it into rented retail space instead....architecture...pfffffft. The other "sensible" thing they did in the late 90's was rip down Parkin's 1955 Salvation Army Headquarters building.

The late 90's....f*ckyea!!!!



Nothing a few Paul Blarts couldn't handle.
Yea...if ya want to get rid of a bunch of obnoxious kids, beef up security...don't turn fabulous public space into a blood H&M...that will just attract more of them!!!


All shot just before the north end of the mall opened
.

You mean the south end?
 

Mississauga Slim

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Sensible thing to do from a business/profit perspective I suppose....why have all that magnificent public space when you can turn it into rented retail space instead....architecture...pfffffft.
Well, it was never public space, but I get your point. The whole Eaton Centre started off great and could have got better over time. Instead, it went in the exact opposite direction. Mean, short sighted, bottom-line thinking won the day. As usual. What started out as a sophisticated and complex urban environment, has turned into: "ohmigodthere'satotallyawesomesalegoingonatvictoria'ssecretwhereareyourightnowokaymeetmeinfrontofH&Mbye."
 

freshcutgrass

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Well, it was never public space, but I get your point.
Obviously Eaton Centre is a privately owned building. But the Dundas glass atrium was designed and built as a grand common space, intended for that purpose. There's a reason TEC had the highest sales per sqft on the planet...and now it doesn't. Demolishing the most impressive parts of the place and replacing them with very dull stuff might have contributed to that.

It isn't just greed where you replace Union Station's Great Hall with cheap stores...that is bad enough. But CF actually does not value the design itself...it spends good money to replace brilliant design elements with boring contemporary design simply because it unbelievably thinks the Zeidler stuff is "outdated"and needs to be "refreshed".

The similar designed glass atrium on the Queen St office tower was demolished and replaced with a similar new one. Millions of dollars thrown down the toilet just to further ruin their own property. Complete stupidity. And the City just sat there and let them do it...right next door too. It's amazing City Hall hasn't been completely trashed as well.
 

AndreaPalladio

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Sensible thing to do from a business/profit perspective I suppose....why have all that magnificent public space when you can turn it into rented retail space instead....architecture...pfffffft. The other "sensible" thing they did in the late 90's was rip down Parkin's 1955 Salvation Army Headquarters building.

The late 90's....f*ckyea!!!!





Yea...if ya want to get rid of a bunch of obnoxious kids, beef up security...don't turn fabulous public space into a blood H&M...that will just attract more of them!!!


.

You mean the south end?
Nope, the north end. It opened first. The movie was shot there before it opened.
 

freshcutgrass

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Nope, the north end. It opened first. The movie was shot there before it opened.
Yea, I know the north end opened first (I was there). But since the film was released in March of 1979, I assumed it was filmed in 1978. This phase opened in Feb of 1977...I just didn't think the film was shot that early.
 

Hipster Duck

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Well, it was never public space, but I get your point. The whole Eaton Centre started off great and could have got better over time. Instead, it went in the exact opposite direction. Mean, short sighted, bottom-line thinking won the day. As usual. What started out as a sophisticated and complex urban environment, has turned into: "ohmigodthere'satotallyawesomesalegoingonatvictoria'ssecretwhereareyourightnowokaymeetmeinfrontofH&Mbye."
Again, I don't think it was merely "bottom line thinking" - although that played a large part. As Jason and I have said, there was a certain seediness to the North Atrium by the late 1990s, which may or may not have been attributable to the atrium's design.

I'm not saying that Zeidler was as oblivious to users as, say, Minoru Yamasaki designing Pruitt Igoe with elevators that stopped on every other floor, but the corner of Yonge and Dundas was a decidedly low rent, seedy place that attracted a *ahem* less 'respectable looking' segment of the population*, and a full glass, climate controlled canopy provided a perfect place to loiter and may have discouraged more affluent shoppers from using that entranceway.




*I am not personally offended by the outward appearances of the urban underclass, but you can't deny that a lot of middle class (read: people with disposable incomes who shop) are.
 

AndreaPalladio

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Yea, I know the north end opened first (I was there). But since the film was released in March of 1979, I assumed it was filmed in 1978. This phase opened in Feb of 1977...I just didn't think the film was shot that early.
I'm pretty sure, but I wouldn't be the dog on it.
 

Bamako

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I went poking around this place and it's picked mostly clean. It's kinda sad. I overheard it would be open another 3 weeks but I'm not sure how they'll manage. The only inventory left is really on the first floor and half of the -1 level.

I took a lot of pictures
 

ShonTron

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I went poking around this place and it's picked mostly clean. It's kinda sad. I overheard it would be open another 3 weeks but I'm not sure how they'll manage. The only inventory left is really on the first floor and half of the -1 level.

I took a lot of pictures
The Tim Horton's is still open until 5PM on the 4th floor - but since half the 4th is now Sears offices, I imagine that's what's keeping that going. The 3rd floor was really sad when I was poking around Wednesday.
 

officedweller

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If you know anyone who owns a store - check out the fixtures!
When the Vancouver store closed, cool stuff like glass shelves for $5.00, table tops, etc. could be purchased.
 

Tewder

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Again, I don't think it was merely "bottom line thinking" - although that played a large part. As Jason and I have said, there was a certain seediness to the North Atrium by the late 1990s, which may or may not have been attributable to the atrium's design.

I'm not saying that Zeidler was as oblivious to users as, say, Minoru Yamasaki designing Pruitt Igoe with elevators that stopped on every other floor, but the corner of Yonge and Dundas was a decidedly low rent, seedy place that attracted a *ahem* less 'respectable looking' segment of the population*, and a full glass, climate controlled canopy provided a perfect place to loiter and may have discouraged more affluent shoppers from using that entranceway.




*I am not personally offended by the outward appearances of the urban underclass, but you can't deny that a lot of middle class (read: people with disposable incomes who shop) are.
Reminds me of the 'Steps' at Church/Wellesley, another popular urban space that was destroyed because it worked a little too well? I can't help but feel there's a better way.
 

androiduk

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Application: Building Additions/Alterations Status: Not Started

Location: 1 DUNDAS ST W
TORONTO ON M5G 1Z3

Ward 27: Toronto Centre-Rosedale

Application#: 14 113694 BLD 00 BA Accepted Date: Feb 5, 2014

Project: Multiple Unit Building Interior Alterations

Description: Proposal for interior alterations to ground and the 4th floor of the existing "Sears" at 290 Yonge St (Eaton Center) for office space. Proposal to include for HVAC and PLB.
 

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