Toronto Forma | 308m | 84s | Great Gulf | Gehry Partners

I'm still bemused by the TO Plan Dept asking Mirvish to install 1,745 more car parking spaces!

They are laying the groundwork to present their traffic congestion objection...

You guys may be right ;)

Given all the car congestion in the area I'm surprised they're actually complaining about the lack of parking. I thought it would be a good thing.
 
I don't get the obsession with height or the appearance of a skyline usually when viewed from a distance. It impresses but all seems so superficial.

Neither does cutting 20% off a Gehry skyscraper make it an less iconic ... by 1995 standards. His works are still exceptional. It's just Gehry and deconstructionism are past their prime.

"fedplanner: I suspect the planning depart will still reject because they fear height. Supertalls don't make a city. I find the debates on the other skyscraper forums about which city has the tallest proposed buildings akin to a pissing match, but this fear of it in a city like Toronto is equally as silly."

I agree with you fedplanner. This toronto planner obsession with making it about height OR context frustrating. I could list 100 places in the city where existing context should dominate. There are also places where height can occur. You are right, Supertalls dont make a city just like 7'0" players dont make a basketball team. But if the 7'0" is talented and used effectively its a plus.

Also lets face it - we're aren't Prague, Venice, St Petersberg, or even Montreal. We need to play to our strengths and a magnificent inventory of 18th century strcututes ain't there. Hmm, Id be interested in 85, 75, 65 stories. it would eliminate some density (for the density-obsessed) but still be dramatic, and toss a bone to the tapering crowd.
 
The most iconic skyscraper to go up in Canada in recent times has got to be The Bow in Calgary despite being a mere shadow of the original intentions. It is also an absolute disaster at grade.
 
"I don't get the obsession with height or the appearance of a skyline usually when viewed from a distance. It impresses but all seems so superficial."

Agreed! On principle I avert my gaze from the skyline when driving into NY or cruising off Hong Kong. The superficiality offends my core sensibilities. I'd rather spend my day touring recycling plants.
 
Agreed! On principle I avert my gaze from the skyline when driving into NY or cruising off Hong Kong. The superficiality offends my core sensibilities. I'd rather spend my day touring recycling plants.

Ha ha! I'm neutral about this project, but that was the funniest line in this thread. Bravo!
 
Also lets face it - we're aren't Prague, Venice, St Petersberg, or even Montreal. We need to play to our strengths and a magnificent inventory of 18th century strcututes ain't there.

Pssst--do not feed me, "the troll". Or, more to the point, don't feed the stupid stupid idiot stupid stupid idiot stupids who use that amateur-yahoo barometer of heritage worth.

I'd rather bend to the barometer alluded to here.
 
Pssst--do not feed me, "the troll". Or, more to the point, don't feed the stupid stupid idiot stupid stupid idiot stupids who use that amateur-yahoo barometer of heritage worth.

I'd rather bend to the barometer alluded to here.

Fair point.

I was clumsily responding to the vacuous argument that because great cities don't need tall buildings that therefore tall buildings cannot contribute t great cities. Anyway, Adma, this will burnish my credentials with you: there was a tiny little building that unceremoniously vanished 2 years ago and while I only saw it 3-4 times I loved it for some unaccountable reason. North side of Charles Street East close to Sherbourne. 2 floors, yellow brick, looked like a tiny school from the 1950s. Definitely should've been preserved.
 
I don't get it. Between One York and Ten York we have three 60+ story towers going up next to Ice - two 60 story towers - next to the two 50+ story towers at MLSE and I don't recall all this handwringing over these projects. Overloading transit? Too tall?

I still think there must be something political going on here. The city's arguments are weak at best and the city moving quickly to get those warehouses listed as "heritage" (when they had lots of opportunity during preceding years) was clearly just another ploy to road-block this development - likely to allow some politician to squeeze Mirvish for ??.
 
Big Daddy, someone earlier pointed out Gehry said hurtful things about planners from when he studied the field years ago. Perhaps his comments were emailed around Keesmatt's office. See my comments in the Aura thread about how Canderel's staff architect got a free pass to ruin mid-town, whereas M/G get a full cavity search.
Tall Poppy Syndrome and Politics of Envy. The latter referring to people who cannot appreciate anything unless they own it.
 
I don't get it. Between One York and Ten York we have three 60+ story towers going up next to Ice - two 60 story towers - next to the two 50+ story towers at MLSE and I don't recall all this handwringing over these projects. Overloading transit? Too tall?

I still think there must be something political going on here. The city's arguments are weak at best and the city moving quickly to get those warehouses listed as "heritage" (when they had lots of opportunity during preceding years) was clearly just another ploy to road-block this development - likely to allow some politician to squeeze Mirvish for ??.

Wha? Those buildings are already designated:
http://www.toronto.ca/involved/statutorynotices/archive2010/sept/hl_092710_3.htm

So much for your imaginary ploy. I'd also note that that link outlines the history of the buildings which is both interesting and substantive.

(I believe the Markham Street businesses that could be lost in the Honest Ed's redevelopment are not designated, so maybe you're thinking of that?)

I'm not going to restate what I said earlier on the thread but the issue is not merely the height. You can dismiss the heritage stuff all you want but we have heritage laws for a reason (even if we're not Prague or whatever Straw City you want to mention).

Putting aside all the specific pros and cons of this project, can we just admit some basic realities of the planning process? No building even remotely this scale gets a rubber stamp from the planning department and the tallest residential tower proposal in the city's history was bound to see some changes, especially given the heritage issues. I know everyone here just LOVES Gehry etc. but that's not the planning department's concern. This is the process. It's why we have a government that approves proposals instead of just letting private entrepreneurs build whatever they want wherever they want. It's as imperfect as anything else in a democracy but the shock and disugst at how the city has handled this utterly baffles me. They're doing precisely what they're paid to do and demonizing Keesmaat or beatifying Gehry doesn't change that. Moreover, you can rest assured that Mirvish had a pretty good idea about all this and I doubt he was naive enough to think that planning staff would be so blown away by the proposal that the thought of the OMB, for example, would never cross his mind.
 
Last edited:
I don't get it. Between One York and Ten York we have three 60+ story towers going up next to Ice - two 60 story towers - next to the two 50+ story towers at MLSE and I don't recall all this handwringing over these projects. Overloading transit? Too tall?

I still think there must be something political going on here. The city's arguments are weak at best and the city moving quickly to get those warehouses listed as "heritage" (when they had lots of opportunity during preceding years) was clearly just another ploy to road-block this development - likely to allow some politician to squeeze Mirvish for ??.

...All this mess has been created because Mr. Marvish owns this particular city block and wants to profit from it.
By rights such a project supposed to be built on an empty lot.
 
...All this mess has been created because Mr. Marvish owns this particular city block and wants to profit from it.
By rights such a project supposed to be built on an empty lot.

The profit bogeyman. Well, pretty much everything you see here and everywhere else was built for profit. Including everything you personally consume, unless its a handout you're getting (which I suspect is true in your particular case...)

RE your second point, what the hell are you talking about?
 
Wha? Those buildings are already designated:
http://www.toronto.ca/involved/statutorynotices/archive2010/sept/hl_092710_3.htm

So much for your imaginary ploy. I'd also note that that link outlines the history of the buildings which is both interesting and substantive.

"Interesting and substantive" to some may be "skewing the argument" to hostile others.

Oh, and re this quote from Big Daddy

and the city moving quickly to get those warehouses listed as "heritage" (when they had lots of opportunity during preceding years)

Note that he said "listed" rather than "designated". But not only were these warehouses designated at least a good couple of years before this present proposal entered the picture, but most of them were listed way back in 1984--except for Eclipse Whitewear, which was listed back in 1973!

Not only did the city have lots of opportunity--they took it! 30 and 40 years ago.

And so, the dunce cap goes to...Big Daddy.
 
Adma, I'm with you here, I'm on the "preservationist" side (even though I still love Gehry's design), but please stop with the name calling, and it's pretty clear that people here have made up their mind about this issue, so I don't think there's any point in rehashing the same arguments over and over, it's getting tiresome.
 
I would like to better understand the diffent points of view from the preservationist side. What is the ideal outcome on this site?

Is the city's proposal acceptable?
It's personally hard for me to understand what exactly the city is proposing since the buildings were photoshopped in with the M+G towers. The city's concept is not an architectural or engineering plan. In reality the city is proposing facadism while preserving the most western building by reducing the footprint of the towers. I doubt that its structurally feasible to build a 60 story tower above a 100-year old warehouse without substantially destroying most of the building except for the facade.

What if Mirvish were to kill one of the towers to fully preserve a couple of the heritage buildings while tearing down PoW theater along with the partial demolition of the other buildings and keeping as much as their facades as possible. Would this be a more or less desirable outcome than the city's proposal?

I've also seen suggestions that Mirvish should develop elsewhere and leave this block untouched, which I hold to be a completely unrealistic outcome. If not Mirvish+Gehry, this block will see some kind of development within our lifetimes unless the land is expropriated and turned into a museum. Is no development on this sure the desired outcome for the preservationist, or is there a recognition and acceptance that this site will see some sort of development as shown with the city's alternative development concept.

Lastly, is there anything any common ground with the two sides?

i.e. The city's alternative development concept is flushed out and founce acceptable to both sides.

If I'm missing something please tell me.
 

Top