Toronto

Ontario Court of Justice Toronto | 96m | 17s | Infrastructure Ontar | Renzo Piano

adma

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I seem to recall there *was* an upper floor added (or at least upper-floor construction) during the Harris regime--though it's so seamless as to be almost certainly "provided for" in the original design...
 

dowlingm

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My wife would be excited if it meant it would be PATH connected via City Hall or otherwise. Getting from downtown law offices to court buildings in that area such as 393 University can be a pain in inclement weather when dragging a document bag and robes.
 

unimaginative2

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This could be a very interesting project. Architecture should definitely be a priority. Richard Meier would be an interesting and experienced choice. I'd love to see him work in a constrained urban site like this. Height will definitely be necessary if it's going to have any kind of urban presence given the kind of tucked-away location. Height might cause issues with city hall views, though.

Apparently this isn't just intended to consolidate the downtown OCJ courts. The ones in the suburbs on Eglinton and Finch West are supposed to be coming downtown too, so this will likely be a fairly massive project.

The other big question is reuse of Old City Hall. I suppose a museum would be an obvious choice. It would certainly make beautiful office space for some kind of civic institution.

Another interesting American divergence from Canadian practice is their normal policy of having a detention centre for people on trial right next to the courthouse. It is a little odd seeing a skyscraper with barbed wire and bars on the windows right downtown. I think it's probably worth the cost of busing people in from Mimico.
 
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AlvinofDiaspar

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Welcome back!

Re: Old City Hall - not sure about the final use, but there is definitely an opportunity to replicate the British Musuem or Smithsonian Institute experience w the courtyard.

AoD
 

unimaginative2

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Welcome back!

Re: Old City Hall - not sure about the final use, but there is definitely an opportunity to replicate the British Musuem or Smithsonian Institute experience w the courtyard.

AoD
Thanks! Thought I'd pop in.

That's an excellent idea. Could be quite an exceptional indoor space. Regardless it would be very nice to have use with greater public access to such a unique and beautiful building.
 

reetard

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I remember hearing at some point, years ago, that the city refused to renew the lease with the province on old city hall. There was talk of turning it into a toronto museum.
 

CITY_LOVER

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Hi, do we have an idea as to how many sq. ft. this building could be, if it were to accommodate all the court services and if the old city hall does get converted to a museum?

about seven years ago, downtown Calgary got a new downtown court house and it is a pretty big building!
 

taal

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If the conservatives win (minority) I don't see this being built, even if it does save money in the long term, the optics aren't great.
 

junctionist

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We'll have to let the province know that architecture is important. The idea of hiring Richard Meier is good, but not one that might come naturally to them. Courts should have great architecture to reinforce the high value and nobility of the law as the force which governs a just society. I'm a law student, but I think that when ordinary people step into a grand neoclassical courthouse, they sense that dignity and value that we have assigned to our legal institutions. That's what the new building should achieve as well through the architecture.
 

College Park

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If the conservatives win (minority) I don't see this being built, even if it does save money in the long term, the optics aren't great.
In line with this thought (and junctionist) - if the interior is similar in style to the St Joseph Oratory (magnificent brutalist spaces), I think it would achieve both efficiency, and convey the strict and dignified world view of a conservative mind.
 

junctionist

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Not that I think the new courthouse should be neoclassical, if that wasn't clear. The architecture should achieve that impression that the great neoclassical courthouses achieve, even if completely contemporary. What's great about Montreal's St Joseph Oratory is that it perfectly harmonizes a Modernist interior with a neoclassical inspired facade (Beaux-Arts). That harmony shows that architecture need not be stylistically neoclassical to achieve what we associate with the neoclassical: permanence, stability, nobility and dignity.
 
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