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

Funny, his family probably prevented those buildings from being torn down and turned into parking lots back in the 60s (not to mention, the Royal Alex), and besides, I don't see anyone clamoring for stripping the paint off those buildings to rehab them, so it is somewhat disingenuous to claim that he is "neglecting" them when there is a collective blind eye towards what's been done to them prior.



And I am sure the buildings they replaced (don't forget, they didn't exist in a tabula rasa) are equally so, and yet I don't see any lament or claims of grave injustices over those loses. With that kind of logic, Toronto would have remained a village.

AoD

These statements don't even make sense.
 
I tend to agree with neubilder. I'll reserve judgement until we see an actual proposal but I am not awed by the fact that Gehry is involved or that institutional space is being included. Block busting is still block busting. However as a property owner I stand with Mr. Mirvish in his desire to do what he wishes with his assembled property and believe he is sincere in his desire to leave a positive and lasting legacy for the city.
 
I am not awed by the fact that Gehry is involved or that institutional space is being included.

Frankly, I don't see what else they could throw in to try and impress you....you must have incredibly high standards.

Of course we're all waiting to see the details of the design...I hope it doesn't turn out to be a let down. But considering the players, I have a feeling it won't be.



Block busting is still block busting

Nothing of the sort is going on here.
 
These statements don't even make sense.

um, actually, they do make sense - perfect sense in fact...what boggles my mind is that there are people on this forum, who are obviously intelligent and have an interest in city building, but who fail to see instantly, the absolute, obvious, incredible upgrade to the city that this project will bring...and there should be -no- tampering with Gehry's vision...there is too great a gap between the artistry of the Gehry proposal, and the medium-grade-at-best qualities of the existing buildings.

It seems there is a lack of perspective among many posters here - they just can't seem to digest the full sentence

"we are sacrificing the existing warehouse and theatre, in order to bring you a structure of iconic proportions which will define Toronto in the world for current and future generations."

..for some of these well meaning folks, it seems their brain freezes at the comma - they only read 'sacrificing the warehouse and the theatre', and are blind to the rest...

Very peculiar, odd, and unfortunate..I hope that wiser leadership will prevail....
 
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um, actually, they do make sense - perfect sense in fact...what boggles my mind is that there are people on this forum, who are obviously intelligent and have an interest in city building, but who fail to see instantly, the absolute, obvious, incredible upgrade to the city that this project will bring...and there should be -no- tampering with Gehry's vision...there is too great a gap between the artistry of the Gehry proposal, and the medium-grade at best qualities of the existing buildings.

It seems there is a lack of perspective among many posters here - they just can't seem to digest the full sentence

"we are sacrificing the existing warehouse and theatre, in order to bring you a structure of iconic proportions which will define Toronto in the world for current and future generations."

..for some of these well meaning folks, it seems their brain freezes at the comma - they only read 'sacrificing the warehouse and cinema', and are blind to the rest...

Very peculiar, odd, and unfortunate..I hope that wiser leadership will prevail....

Don't mistake a different perspective for a lack of perspective.
 
Don't mistake a different perspective for a lack of perspective.

I'm not bashing anyone here....but I am saying that preservationist energies would be better employed across the street...here, the sentence would read:

"we are sacrificing restaurant row, one of the gems of downtown Toronto, in order to build nondescript junk"

Why is nobody screaming about the awful, insidious proposals for the south side of King St.? I haven't seen much debate here, or in the media...that's where a real tragedy is about to unfold, and that's a prime candidate for what needs protecting..
 
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Taking the loss of the Princes of Wales and the historic buildings into consideration (including the wonderful Anderson Building), the greatest failure would be if the towers ended up looking like 8 Spruce Street in New York, so that after all that destruction, the cliche of Toronto as a city that "looks just like New York" could be significantly reinforced. The architecture has to be unique or similar but clearly superior to 8 Spruce Street perhaps by way of cladding or "awe-factor" in general. If we don't do things uniquely, we will never achieve the kind of profile we should have as a city. If everything looks like New York, then we're boosting New York by leaving people with a desire to see the "real thing".
 
If demolishing an entire city block comprised of some cherished designated historic building doesn't constitute block-busting then I don't know what does

Blockbusting involves private owners willfully neglecting their properties such that the holdouts will be forced to sell at a depressed price. This ain't it. Besides, if you look up the size of the site, it's barely comparable to Simcoe Place Phase 1.

Many things are cherished, few are irreplaceable, and this certainly isn't the latter.

junctionist:

I used 8 Spruce as an illustrative example of a Gehry building that wasn't a "bait and switch" - less as a design template for us to aspire to.

AoD
 
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Blockbusting involves private owners willfully neglecting their properties such that the holdouts will be forced to sell at a depressed price. This ain't it.
If Mirvish thought heritage preservation in Toronto had teeth and that his buildings had to stay he would have rejuvenated this block long ago and attracted the best tenants. Instead he maintained them sparingly and leased to marginal tenants like tourist traps that everyone would be happy to see go.

Blockbusting.

Many things are cherished, few are irreplaceable, and this certainly isn't it.
An entire city block of turn-of the century buildings in the downtown core is indeed irreplaceable. They just don't seem to be getting built today. (though some do try - see below)

I used 8 Spruce as an illustrative example of a Gehry building that wasn't a "bait and switch" - less as a design template for us to aspire to.

Kind of ironic that the base of Gehry's 8 Spruce goes out of it's way to mimic a turn-of-the-century warehouse, albeit in a drab and uninspired sort of way.
 
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If Mirvish thought heritage preservation in Toronto had teeth and that his buildings had to stay he would have rejuvenated this block long ago and attracted the best tenants. Instead he maintained them sparingly and leased to marginal tenants like tourist traps that everyone would be happy to see go.

Ha, is that a revisionist take or what? First we think they are the best thing since sliced bread, and now merely painted on buildings are "sparingly maintained", as if somehow Mirvish et al pulled an Empress Hotel. And yes, KPMB et al are "marginal tenants" indeed.

Blockbusting

I have explained to you what the term stands for. If you chose to repeat something ad nauseum thinking that something it will give you the final say, that's your perogative - just don't be surprised if someone pass judgement on your behaviour as befitting of a 4 year old monkey with access to a keyboard.

An entire city block of turn-of the century buildings in the downtown core is indeed irreplaceable. They just don't seem to be getting built today.

A building by Frank Gehry is also irreplaceable - and once he is gone, you bet they won't get designed, ever.

AoD
 
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Re neubilder's post: There is not a factually correct sentence in that post. Making things up for the sake of arguing (which is clearly what is going on at this point), adds nothing to your position (which is incomprehensible in any event).
 
Ha, is that a revisionist take or what? First we think they are the best thing since sliced bread, and now merely painted on buildings are "sparingly maintained", as if somehow Mirvish et al pulled an Empress Hotel. And yes, KPMB et al are "marginal tenants" indeed....(Blockbusting): I have explained to you what the term stands for. If you chose to repeat something ad nauseum thinking that something it will give you the final say, that's your perogative - just don't be surprised if someone pass judgement on your behaviour as befitting of a 4 year old money with access to a keyboard.

KPMB are good tenants, but they are invisible to the public, so it's beside the point - it's the tenants with street presence that effect street life for the most part.

Read carefully: these are good buildings that have been badly renovated and painted institutional beige. They have considerable untapped potential. Mirvish has not been motivated to bring out their best qualities because he wants them gone. By devaluing these buildings he can more easily win over public opinion to redevelop them. If they looked as good as King St west of Spadina and had tenants like Soma and DWR he would have a fight on his hands. Blockbusting involves devaluing a neighbourhood in order to profit by it's acquisition - in this case it's the rezoning to an increased density that he is acquiring.


I think you meant to say my behaviour is befitting of a 'monkey' with a keyboard.
 
Mirvish has not been motivated to bring out their best qualities because he wants them gone. By devaluing these buildings he can more easily win over public opinion to redevelop them ... Blockbusting involves devaluing a neighbourhood in order to profit by it's acquisition - in this case it's the rezoning to an increased density that he is acquiring.

Are you kidding me? If I understand the history of this area correctly, this part of town was undesirable before the elder Mirvish renovated the buildings and put them to productive use. Are you really suggesting that the younger Mirvish has intentionally devalued his own buildings in an attempt to blockbust the surrounding neighborhood to gain support from the public and city planners to redevelop this site? If that's the case you're being intellectually dishonest to prove a point. In my first post on this thread, I stated that "I'm not a fan of mega developers that will result in the destruction of a vibrant city block." This view is probably similar to the one you have now. However, after learning about the details - an art gallery, retail spaces, new campus for OCAD, and 2,600 new condos in three stunning new towers - I accepted that if this block is to be redeveloped, than this was a fair trade. I realize that "condos" has almost become synonymous with many four-letter words around here, but I view it as a positive: 2,600 new residences contributing to the vibrancy of a thriving downtown.

Ideally, I would like to see this development rise in one of the many other vacant lots in the city. In reality, Mirvish owns the land here and the economics of this development would not work on another site for him. This is still a very new proposal, and a formal application has yet to be submitted to the city. I look forward to reading the planning reports and issues that will come up with heritage designation of the buildings to be demolished. From what I've read thus far, it looks to be a net positive for the city of Toronto.

Please accept this as an unbiased opinion. I live stateside, but I've taken a keen interest in planning issues in Toronto. It's a fascinating city.
 

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