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

ksun

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Dec 14, 2013
Messages
1,805
Reaction score
238
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.

when you said "unbroken", you mean one single street assumes all the retail activity nearby? I am not sure if that's something we should use as a model. If the Bathurst/Front/Bloor/Parliament downtown is interspersed with retail on most large and small streets, you wouldn't call if "unbroken" but it is surely far better than having everything on Yonge and Queen only, no matter how far those streets remain "unbroken".
 

niwell

New Member
Member Bio
Joined
Sep 28, 2007
Messages
10
Reaction score
0
when you said "unbroken", you mean one single street assumes all the retail activity nearby? I am not sure if that's something we should use as a model. If the Bathurst/Front/Bloor/Parliament downtown is interspersed with retail on most large and small streets, you wouldn't call if "unbroken" but it is surely far better than having everything on Yonge and Queen only, no matter how far those streets remain "unbroken".

I wasn't referring to the CBD, and especially not to anything you have said. To say that the only retail in the downtown area is on Yonge and Queen is perlexing, at best. I go to MANY retail outlets within these bounds that aren't on those streets. My only conclusion is that you are only counting the type of chain retail you would find in a mall.
 

grey

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 29, 2007
Messages
3,758
Reaction score
335
Location
Leslieville
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.
NYC has more, no doubt, but much of Manhattan and Brooklyn is laid out in the same manner as Toronto being described in this thread -- retail on main streets with purely residential side streets.

I'm sure NYC has its share of annoying idiots who never shop outside of Soho and 5th Avenue and lament the fact that it's not like Paris, where side streets are lined with hundreds of crap mobile phone accessory shops and bad patisseries that somehow make your overall shopping experience more pleasant.

There's more to cities than retail.
 
Last edited:

ksun

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Dec 14, 2013
Messages
1,805
Reaction score
238
I wasn't referring to the CBD, and especially not to anything you have said. To say that the only retail in the downtown area is on Yonge and Queen is perlexing, at best. I go to MANY retail outlets within these bounds that aren't on those streets. My only conclusion is that you are only counting the type of chain retail you would find in a mall.

If that's case, you would be terribly wrong. Even a retail street in a small town like Pasadena can match our "unbroken" retail.
For DT Toronto, case in point is Bathurst, Beverly, University, all of these show an utter lack of retail, and are extremely boring.

I won't argue further because someone who is used to how things are is unlikely to find a problem.
 

grey

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 29, 2007
Messages
3,758
Reaction score
335
Location
Leslieville
For DT Toronto, case in point is Bathurst, Beverly, University, all of these show an utter lack of retail, and are extremely boring.
Well, why the hell are you trying to shop on those particular streets? There are so many superior streets to shop on that you didn't cherry-pick to support your ridiculously fallacy-laden argument.
 

arvelomcquaig

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Jan 16, 2010
Messages
467
Reaction score
45
Location
The Annex
No, I mean the division of retail and residential areas is incredibly boring and suburban. I love downtown Toronto because it’s divided in this way less than the non-downtown.
 
Last edited:

TrickyRicky

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 23, 2007
Messages
2,672
Reaction score
678
I am in agreement with the idea we need more districts with the non-linear main street form of retail which this development somewhat addresses; however, my agreement stops at suggesting this urban form is superior, it is not.

What I mean is that the urban form should be diverse, not uniform. That means that suburban districts, main-street retail districts, and urban mixed us neighbourhoods are all equally vital. There are advantages and disadvantages to all these urban forms that enhance and detract from the standard of living of the residents particularly as we move through the human life-cycle.

Linear main street retail with quiet residential side-streets may not be an ideal form for a childless young renter below the age of 30 who wants to be in on the action but many residents of the central European neighbourhoods we are praising here outside this demographic would gladly trade their "typical" urban form for our "typical" urban form. A house with a small patch of green and garage in the central district of a major international city, a few minutes walk to high street retail and transit, my god, 1.2 million Canadian dollars? Insanely cheap.

On the other-hand we should be building more dense and human scale development and extending the non-linearity of our retail sense to provide dynamic mixed-use neighbourhoods for those who thrive in and thrive-off this kind of living. Just recognize that this kind of living is not for everyone and should not be. A city that is NOTHING but dense urban walkable mixed-use neigbhourhoods is an impoverished city, not a utopia.
 

salsa

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Sep 27, 2013
Messages
8,720
Reaction score
9,189
Location
North York

Armour

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
May 15, 2015
Messages
1,718
Reaction score
368
Sorry to bring this up here but, is there a way to find out the status of a heritage nomination request? I filled one out 2 years ago for a building and last I heard, via email (after several failed attempts to get back to me), was that the file hadn't even been assessed. The lack of movement and communication has prevented me from trying to list other buildings.
 

NBGtect

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Feb 28, 2014
Messages
892
Reaction score
531
Good news! Not everything in Toronto has to look like it came from Vancouver or other Asian Cities were RE investors want everything grey, grey, grey and windows/spandrel/windows/spandrel.

We need to really protect our (often distinctively Victorian) Toronto heritage buildings with more than just tacked-on, salvaged facades.
 

CML

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Jan 14, 2010
Messages
192
Reaction score
2
Good news! Not everything in Toronto has to look like it came from Vancouver or other Asian Cities were RE investors want everything grey, grey, grey and windows/spandrel/windows/spandrel.

We need to really protect our (often distinctively Victorian) Toronto heritage buildings with more than just tacked-on, salvaged facades.

Agreed! If Five and One Yorkville can be developed while preserving the historical streetscapes, no reason why that can't be the case here.
 

Top