ORCA Project | ?m | ?s | P.I.T.S. | Safdie & Associates

AlvinofDiaspar

Moderator
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 22, 2007
Messages
27,916
Reaction score
16,037
Location
Toronto
Interesting timing of this new info making the rounds - and the footprint of this proposal is even more aggressive than the original.

AoD
 

AlvinofDiaspar

Moderator
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 22, 2007
Messages
27,916
Reaction score
16,037
Location
Toronto
We can't have a major city park and a massive condo development here. It's either one or the other. And what's with Saftie's fixation on ugly, gimmicky, "gee-whizz" sky bridges? No thanks.
Because we already had a massive condo development right next to (and around) it? The point is to create a large park; not to compromise it through an increasingly aggressive development project where the park is nothing but an commodified amenity.

AoD
 

Amare

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Feb 4, 2015
Messages
2,903
Reaction score
2,705
Location
Toronto
Having mass residential developments on the Rail Deck Park, defeats the whole purpose of why the park was proposed in the first place. Downtown Toronto has a dearth of park space, so the point here is to maximize new park space for the growing downtown population with the limited space we have left.

Why would we want to limit the space even more, in favor of more development which would then in turn leave the new park already crowded with residents from the new development? It's counter-intuitive.
 

Amare

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Feb 4, 2015
Messages
2,903
Reaction score
2,705
Location
Toronto
They're not messing around! Bring it on! A fully (privately) funded rail deck park, as opposed to a multi-billion dollar initiative by the city, which let's be frank, will never materialize (especially during these tough times).
People need to understand that the city's proposal is unrealistic.
The reason the city's plan is unrealistic, is because the city loves to add a whole bunch of plans to its ever growing list of approved but unfunded projects, without having any kind of concrete plan as to how they will pay it. If they implemented some kind of levy, that would be a good way to start. But since this is Toronto, the status quo reigns supreme.

Selling out to developers would make this an unmitigated disaster. I wont even get into the specifics of this plan, because the massing makes me nauseous. I can only imagine how uninspiring the architecture would turn out to be.
 

urbanyimby

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Feb 5, 2020
Messages
281
Reaction score
638
The reason the city's plan is unrealistic, is because the city loves to add a whole bunch of plans to its ever growing list of approved but unfunded projects, without having any kind of concrete plan as to how they will pay it. If they implemented some kind of levy, that would be a good way to start. But since this is Toronto, the status quo reigns supreme.

Selling out to developers would make this an unmitigated disaster. I wont even get into the specifics of this plan, because the massing makes me nauseous. I can only imagine how uninspiring the architecture would turn out to be.
The massing is very realistic here, maxing out around 160m for each tower. I'm also getting Marina Bay Sands vibe for the eastern towers!
 

bilked

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Sep 13, 2013
Messages
600
Reaction score
1,390
I certainly appreciate why many forumers, councilors, etc, are strong advocates for the large public park option and are against ceding space to the private sector here.

However, to describe the ORCA proposal as simply creating a comodified amenity or a condo dog run is IMHO unhelpful hyperbole. The ORCA vision creates a MASSIVE (albeit smaller) fully public park requiring complex and expensive engineering solution, funded through private dollars. It's obviously not a dog run. Sadfie's new architectural vision is clearly going to be polarizing, but it also clearly ambitious.

It's not simply the size of an inner city park that determines its success, but also how well it is energized by its surroundings. Here's Jane Jacobs on the point (but read the whole chapter if you haven't, it's great!):

“Conventionally, neighbourhood parks or parklike open spaces are considered boons conferred on the deprived populations of cities. Let us turn this thought around, and consider city parks deprived places that need the boon of life and appreciation conferred upon them. This is more nearly in accord with reality, for people do confer use on parks and make them successes – or else withhold use and doom parks to rejection and failure.”

Cityplace was never designed to abut a massive public park. At ground level it's effectively a loading zone. Pretty grim stuff to border a centerpiece downtown park.

Front street fares a little better, but the Well is more inward-looking and was also never designed with the intent to energize a massive public park.

Whether the Sadfie/ORCA vision is anything more than a value-creation exercise, I'll let others comment on.

But I don't think it's fair to dismiss out of hand the idea of ceding some space here to not only fund a massive new public amenity, but also to energize the park with its architecture and land use designed specifically with that in mind.
 

ericmacm

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Dec 31, 2015
Messages
298
Reaction score
421
Location
Windsor
I still don't like it. Toronto will be better off with a full park under the city-led proposal, as opposed to a park-like amenity through ORCA that will probably end up as more concrete than grass.

The galleria is an improvement over what was proposed initially, but I still think this will turn out to be a complete disaster if developers are in charge. The towers are boring, they'll probably look more like another CityPlace than anything else. It is almost certain that there will be significant value engineering with the towers and public spaces.

I understand the appeal of having a park paid in private dollars as opposed to public dollars, but trying to shoehorn value-engineered condo towers in there really takes away from something great.
 

alklay

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 23, 2007
Messages
2,122
Reaction score
356
Excuse my "unhelpful hyperbole" but this is not a park. It's a large scale condo development with some green space (and if you took out all the concrete paving and staircases, not much green space).

And a park does not need condos or apartment buildings planted into it to be successful. There is plenty of density surrounding the space to make any well designed park extremely successful. (High Park does not need to be completely surrounded by condos to be extensively used by city residents).
 
Last edited:

urbanyimby

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Feb 5, 2020
Messages
281
Reaction score
638
Excuse my "unhelpful hyperbole" but this is not a park. It's a large scale condo development with some green space (and if you took out all the concrete paving and staircases, not much green space).

And a park does not need condos or apartment buildings planted into it to be successful. There is plenty of density surrounding the space to make any well designed park extremely successful. (High Park does not need to be completely surrounded by condos to be extensively by city residents).
First of all, it's still just a concept - if you read the updated docs. Second, it's either something akin to this plan, or nothing at all. The fantasy created by the city needs to end.
 

rbt

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 25, 2007
Messages
6,495
Reaction score
2,049
AFAIK, they have zero assets at the ground level. This design uses non-trivial amounts in-corridor space for vertical supports.

Is there any indication that Metrolinx has given them rights to install vertical supports? They've moved switch locations a couple times in the last 30 years; can't imagine they want to be constrained for the next 100+.
 

AlvinofDiaspar

Moderator
Member Bio
Joined
Apr 22, 2007
Messages
27,916
Reaction score
16,037
Location
Toronto
First of all, it's still just a concept - if you read the updated docs. Second, it's either something akin to this plan, or nothing at all. The fantasy created by the city needs to end.
Somehow, this looked more like a fantasy to me - an unknown developer with zero experience with large scale projects selling pretty pictures. We have gone down that road before.

AoD
 

Top