Mirvish Village (Honest Ed's Redevelopment) | 85.04m | 26s | Westbank | Henriquez Partners

modernizt

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central Paris largely looks like that,

Yes, central Paris, which is one part of the city, not to mention an unsustainable concentration of wealth. Much of central Paris' charm is attributable to how bad the rest of the city looks. (But given your comments on the poor in Toronto in other threads on UT, I doubt you see any issue with that sort of unbalanced concentration of wealth and investment.)
 

ksun

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Yes, central Paris, which is one part of the city, not to mention an unsustainable concentration of wealth. Much of central Paris' charm is attributable to how bad the rest of the city looks like.

It's fair to compare central Paris with central Toronto.
 

modernizt

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It's fair to compare central Paris with central Toronto.

Central Paris is vastly different than Toronto, as are most historical European cities. The level of support they provide to street retail is very different as a result (not a car-based culture), not to mention that their entire built form is vastly different than a city like Toronto (street grid layout, lot sizes / sizes of retail units, scale of developments and new buildings, space dedicated to cars vs pedestrians, cultural norms). It's one thing to say that you like central Paris, it's another to suggest that the same things can be achieved in Toronto simply because they are the norm in Paris.
 

ksun

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Central Paris is vastly different than Toronto, as are most historical European cities. The level of support they provide to street retail is very different as a result (not a car-based culture), not to mention that their entire built form is vastly different than a city like Toronto (street grid layout, lot sizes / sizes of retail units, scale of developments and new buildings, space dedicated to cars vs pedestrians, cultural norms). It's one thing to say that you like central Paris, it's another to suggest that the same things can be achieved in Toronto simply because they are the norm in Paris.

No one is suggesting copying Paris, but the fact Toronto lacks continuous retail outside Yonge and Queen is obvious. Ideally half of downtown side streets should work like Elm/Baldwin. Instead they remain pure residential like in the suburbs.
 

wolfewood

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No one is suggesting copying Paris, but the fact Toronto lacks continuous retail outside Yonge and Queen is obvious. Ideally half of downtown side streets should work like Elm/Baldwin. Instead they remain pure residential like in the suburbs.

And this is bad why? Beside your personal preference for retail on side streets you've given no reason why this is not ideal. I think you also mistake single family homes for single family units. Though many side street homes are SFU, a number have also been converted to apartments by this point. So the comparison to suburbia is once again based solely upon your personal preference and not upon any actual reasonable critique of Toronto's current built form.

Would it be possible for you to try and make slightly more reasonable and interesting arguments instead of cluttering up multiple threads with the same simplistic points? Literally everything you write seems to be summed up in "I don't like poor people, they should get jobs," "Toronto is ugly because I said so," and, on a related note, "Why can't Toronto be like X city." At least say something original if you must post this much.

*edit to reword my point on apartments.
 

stjames2queenwest

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As someone who operates a retail store front downtown: if you want what retail we have to stay and want MORE, people need to stop shopping online, stop downloading/ sharing accounts on stuff, stop shopping at big box stores, and max out all your cards at Xmas. There would be more retail if people were spending money, or atleast maybe spending their money on something other than pumpkin spice lattes, loans and dry cleaning. Buy some books, buy DVDs, try new foods, take up an analogue hobby, and buy little gifts for your friends. Then you will see more retail.

I think we are actually as a city doing ok for retail. Perhaps it's spaced out but atleast it's there.
 

modernizt

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No one is suggesting copying Paris, but the fact Toronto lacks continuous retail outside Yonge and Queen is obvious.

And why is that a problem? The "retail on main streets, houses on side streets" is the very character of downtown Toronto. All I'm hearing is "We should change that, because X city does it X way."
 

P23

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As someone who operates a retail store front downtown: if you want what retail we have to stay and want MORE, people need to stop shopping online, stop downloading/ sharing accounts on stuff, stop shopping at big box stores, and max out all your cards at Xmas. There would be more retail if people were spending money, or atleast maybe spending their money on something other than pumpkin spice lattes, loans and dry cleaning. Buy some books, buy DVDs, try new foods, take up an analogue hobby, and buy little gifts for your friends. Then you will see more retail.

I think we are actually as a city doing ok for retail. Perhaps it's spaced out but atleast it's there.

Young people aren't going to change their ways to suit businesses, it's the other way around I'm afraid.
 

grey

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No one is suggesting copying Paris, but the fact Toronto lacks continuous retail outside Yonge and Queen is obvious. Ideally half of downtown side streets should work like Elm/Baldwin. Instead they remain pure residential like in the suburbs.
This demonstrates that you have not explored enough of the city to speak on the matter.

You sound like those kids from outside the city who only come here to visit the mall or Queen West. Based on the evidence (your posts), I hypothesize that you are intimidated by the vast retail scene outside of mainstream crap on Queen West, Yonge, and the Eaton Centre and it makes you feel uncomfortable.
 
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arvelomcquaig

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And why is that a problem? The "retail on main streets, houses on side streets" is the very character of downtown Toronto. All I'm hearing is "We should change that, because X city does it X way."

It’s a problem because it’s incredibly boring, which makes the city less walkable. Walking in Kensington Market is more attractive to pedestrians than walking through a nearby residential street, for instance, because the former has a compelling variety of weird retail and residences mixed together as opposed to exclusively the latter.

When I was last in Montreal I got incredibly jealous of the way their more-residential neighbourhoods seem to have retail interspersed here and there (or at least the area I was in). It makes the city far more interesting if I can find a bagel shop or at least a convenience store now and then, for instance, rather than houses stretching into the horizon.

I hate the fact that we divide pure-residential and mostly-retail areas. It’s too binary. To me, the whole point/attraction of cities is variety/diversity; everything is brought together rather than divided into separate places like the suburbs.
 

niwell

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On the flipside, many (including myself) actually prefer to have the option of cutting through residential neighbourhoods while walking. While places like Kensington are certainly interesting, I wouldn't want that outside my doorstep every day. And within residential neighbourhoods in the Old City of Toronto it's very rare that you are more than a 3 minute walk from a corner store or other commercial establishment within the neighbourhood.

Toronto has an enviable amount of unbroken retail strips in an American/Canadian context, and I'd say that only NYC outdoes us on that front. The trade-off of course is less retail interspersed within neighbourhoods, minus a few big exceptions (Kensington, Yorkville). But examples that have been quoted above such as Boston have huge stretches of purely residential on their main streets with clusters of retail around main intersections.
 

stjames2queenwest

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Young people aren't going to change their ways to suit businesses, it's the other way around I'm afraid.

oh of course... which is why we are lucky to have the retail that we do downtown. I must say though that I do not believe the issue is with the youth. The vast majority of my customers are 35 and under. This younger generation wants to shop locally and support smaller businesses, they are happy to walk a few blocks here and there and are all about the intimate retail experience... it's the older crowds who want to do all their shopping in one big box store strip mall where they can park their vehicles and load everything up. They would rather save a couple bucks and get more at a big store than use their feet and support local operations.

may be harsh... but it is 100% the truth.
 

ksun

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And why is that a problem? The "retail on main streets, houses on side streets" is the very character of downtown Toronto. All I'm hearing is "We should change that, because X city does it X way."

Having retail only on a few main streets is not a character of downtown, but a character of small towns - go to Niagara on the lake, or Barrie or any small city in North America, you have retail only on one street behind which it is all homes. How is that a Toronto character?

I advocate for more retail on side streets not because it is what X city does, but because it makes sense and it brings vibrancy to the city, not just a couple of streets. SOHO retail doesn't exist only on one street. Visit Istanbul, Barcelona, Tokyo, Nice, Boston, they have mixed used building in central business areas, not because they copy each other but because that's the optimal planning, and that makes a city more exciting and interesting. On the other hand, Toronto is stuck with the streetcar neighbourhood mentality where all the retail hinges on one single street. That's the case with our so called midtown, or the Danforth, or Queen West and largely applies to downtown as well.
 

salsa

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When I was last in Montreal I got incredibly jealous of the way their more-residential neighbourhoods seem to have retail interspersed here and there (or at least the area I was in). It makes the city far more interesting if I can find a bagel shop or at least a convenience store now and then, for instance, rather than houses stretching into the horizon.

In case you are unaware, many of Toronto's old neighbourhoods have a "convenience store now and then", sometimes even a restaurant with a patio. And as you said, we have places like Kensington as well as Yorkville, Markham St among others. Not every neighbourhood has to resemble Kensington.

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