Toronto Hotel X (was Hotel in the Garden) | ?m | 27s | Exhibition Place | NORR

Hopefully they use the same the architect as the Direct Energy Centre or at least try to mirror it to create something like this:

Hopefully they use the same the architect as the Direct Energy Centre or at least try to mirror it to create something like this:


That would be nice, but then again i dont know if that type of effect is possible with the newly renovated Automotive building occupying a whole block on the south side of Princes Blvd.
Hopefully they use the same the architect as the Direct Energy Centre or at least try to mirror it to create something like this:


Let's see if we can repeat this image in every single post on this page!


AG: I think MM was just looking to have some fun...
I attended tonight's first PIC regarding this project.

Well, I attended the second half of it (I'm busy, sue me!), and spent time familiarizing myself with the presentation boards while the panel took questions from the audience... meaning I missed the presentation part of the meeting. To make up for that I stuck around afterwards to speak with a number of the people involved. The panel was chaired by Joe Pantalone and included a couple staff from City Planning, Councillor Gord Perks, a couple of others who never opened their mouths while I was there, plus proponents who included architect Rocco Maragna, architects, planners and landscape architects from gh3, and Exhibition Place board members associated with heritage preservation on the site.

Most entertaining were members of the public with both varyingly interesting or offbeat questions and comments. You always remember the - uh - odd ones longer. Like the woman who mentioned that she was down at Fallsview Casino a week or so ago, was impressed with it, and was hoping that we would get something as modern as that here, because we never seem to have 'the latest' in Toronto; or the guy that was concerned about why electric buses aren't whirring about Exhibition Place obviating the need to build expensive streetcar tracks; or the woman who was concerned that this building not be added to the grid; or the woman who was concerned that a 320 room hotel is not big enough to draw major conventions to Toronto; or the guy who was concerned that we've done enough glass buildings and why isn't this one covered with solar panels? I shouldn't be too harsh about that last comment; at least that guy had good intentions if not a convincing way to portray his argument...

In any case, there was much to like of the concept that was presented tonight. The proposal is for a modernist 26 storey patterned frit glass tower arranged in blocks which are staggered every 3 or 4 floors (see it in the pics below), plus a 4 story podium topped with a green roof, all to the west of Newfoundland Drive (across from the about-to-open Allstream Centre - the renovated and renamed Automotive Building). At the north end of the site will be a 2 storey athletics centre containing basketball and other sport courts, etc. (I missed all details regarding the sports centre by arriving late, and forgot to ask questions about it after.) To the west of the buildings will be a landscaped area that will reach out to and embrace the Stanley Barracks building (where the Maritime Museum was once housed). All related parking will go underground. Underground walkways will connect to the Direct Energy Centre on the north and the Allstream Centre to the east.

I think the proposal, a joint work by architects Rocco Maragna and gh3, looks pretty cool. It fits in well with the disciplined Toronto Modernist aesthetic practiced by many of our most celebrated firms, while not being just a box. Articulation of the facade is reminiscent of a child's tower of building blocks, making it a fun and appropriate backdrop to the CNE's Midway. Punch-outs at each stagger make room for tree-greened terraces. A number of UT members may think it looks too stumpy, and that another dozen floors would improve it, and I like taller/thinner in many situations too, but how tall do we want right on the Ex grounds?

The patterned fritting of the glass (not sure of you'll see the pattern in the images below) will cut down on solar gain, and the City requirement is at least LEED Silver if not better for the whole project.

Excavations of the parking lot that this project will replace established that extensive remains of the Stanley East Barracks still exist below the asphalt. They will be uncovered, protected, and displayed as part of the complex. You can identify the East Barracks site in the images below as the diagonally oriented building in the north-central part of the development site.

The concept plan goes for approval to City Council in December, after which the architects and planners will proceed with a more detailed site plan.

I have removed the outdated images from this post - you can see the images that were at the PIC all in post # 57.

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Thanks for posting these and taking the time to go to the meeting 42, it is appreciated. As for the siteplan, it does look pretty good, and I have to say I do like the orientation of the buildings and the stacking methods. However, I am not feeling the tower just yet. It has potential, but it needs refining and seems rather clunky, bulky, heavy and a little awkward in comparison to the rest of the facility. I had anticipated something along the lines of what that woman said about 'niagara falls being modern,' and seeing a 26 story holiday-inn. I am surprised by the quality of the proposal, but am also hoping that the architects also take some time to refine and better their proposal.

I love the concept, but I really hope that the podium gets sent back to the drawing board. The hotel is going to be the place to be during the Indy. Great views, in the middle of it all!
I forgot to mention that architect/landscape architect/planning firm gh3 is best known on UrbanToronto as being the winners of the June Callwood Park commission, just east of here off Fleet Street (this thread) but they have done a lot of other things too. Check out their website.

Rocco Maragna was new to me. While there does not seem to be a website for Maragna Architect Inc., you'll get lots of hits if you google Rocco himself, including a YouTube video where he discusses culture and its connection to local food.

Both he and Pat Hanson of gh3 were charming, and fun to meet.

Any mention of a time line at all? Do they have finical backing yet / commit from the hotel chain. This could theoretically start very quickly as there's nothing to sell ... the archeological component to the site may delay things a lot though.
HK Hotels are "in". I don't think they'll be owning this location though - just running it I assume - that may have been covered at a part of the meeting that I missed though. Exhibition Place is "in" - but maybe they have to get some funding commitments from some level of Gov't er other? Again, I don't know.

Site plan approvals will be needed following concept approval from the City in December, with more public consultations at that time. My guess - just a guess - it's probably two years minimum before shovels are in the ground here.

Thanks for the info interchange. I have mixed feelings; the tower is alright, but I find the base opposite the National Trade Centre to be very poorly thought out. I hope the final iteration has much more of a presence.

I'd assume that would mean the end of food and games along that row during the CNE? Or would they just be reduced?