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.
Yes, prior to the 80's this area was run down and the Elder Mirvish played a key role in reinvigorating the area at that time, but this block has seen little investment since. Meanwhile the surrounding area has taken off. If Mirvish (Jr) had at any point in the last decade intended to preserve this block, any investment would have paid dividends. But he clearly had a different agenda, which has now come to light. Is this a conspiracy, or a business plan (Alkay)?
I'm opposed to the precedent that this sets, the loss of three of these buildings, and the loss of the opportunity to work with what is already there: "What I would like to see on this site is one or maybe two towers - supertall if they must. If Mirvish wants to tear down his theatre and his families legacy - fine. But preserve the Anderson and the two bookend buildings and let Frank Gehry do his thing between these buildings. I think the possibilities of this are more exciting and more urban."
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.
Somehow the padding does make it all more palatableâ€¦
but it is time for all involved to step back a bit, and yes that includes the attempted dissection of another's personality based only on scraps of evidence. We're not here to do forensic reconstructions of other members: it's resulting in some pseudo-science being practiced here.
Debate the issues, not each other.
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.
Your first paragraph frustrates me, but I understand where you're coming from in the second. Is it possible for the footprint of this development to be reduced so one or two towers rise while preserving the heritage buildings?
You don't know, and yet you seem to know enough to accuse someone of willfully neglecting heritage properties and inviting sub par tenants for the space (which has since been disproven). Like seriously, you are condicting yourself left, right and centre hoping something will stick.
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.
King west has changed a lot since these have been under his ownership but the buildings have not been upgraded (restored) to suit.
If you owned a heritage block that you intended to take down at some point in the future would you do a full-blown restoration to bring out it's best qualities? No, you wouldn't! You would continue to paint it institutional beige and do what you had to to ensure your tenants stayed on board.
let's keep in mind that it's definitely a sum-over-individual-parts circumstance, i.e. de facto, from John to Simcoe, this has long been Toronto's classic mythic "wall of warehouses".