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Amare

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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!
By the time all is said and done, I assure you that the massing proposed here will turn out being severely value-engineered when it reality sets in. For instance, all that green space you're seeing on top of those towers will never happen, I can guarantee you that.

Asides from that, there's not much park space overall in this proposal. Half the space is compromised by towers, while the other quarter seems to be concrete walkways. That leaves with what, a park that's half the size of Canoe Landing Park (and that's if we're being generous).

That in and of itself is a joke, and like i said defeats the purpose of the original intents of this park.
 

zot627

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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+.
The air rights over the rail corridor were created when CN and TTR sold the rail to GO Transit. They retained strata title above the rail corridor for future development purposes. The air rights came with an easement over the rail lands for structural support and access improvements, along with restrictions to protect the safety and operations of the rail corridor. This was baked in from the start.
 

jje1000

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Asides from that, there's not much park space overall in this proposal. Half the space is compromised by towers, while the other quarter seems to be concrete walkways. That leaves with what, a park that's half the size of Canoe Landing Park (and that's if we're being generous).

That in and of itself is a joke, and like i said defeats the purpose of the original intents of this park.
Agreed- the narrow ribbon of a park is likely functionally useless, and is still separated from the rest of the city to the north by a megapodium- with much of the usable space taken up by stairs and ramps.

Again, I'm not opposed to using private-sector development to defray the cost of a park, but I don't see why they can't condense the proposal into taller towers and a more cohesive, street-level park space- maybe turning over part of the site (i.e. from Draper to Spadina) purely as parkland. Some compromise is needed!
 

urbanyimby

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Agreed- the narrow ribbon of a park is likely functionally useless, and is still separated from the rest of the city to the north by a megapodium- with much of the usable space taken up by stairs and ramps.

Again, I'm not opposed to using private-sector development to defray the cost of a park, but I don't see why they can't condense the proposal into taller towers and a more cohesive, street-level park space- maybe turning over part of the site (i.e. from Draper to Spadina) purely as parkland. Some compromise is needed!
Because they need somewhere to start when negotiating with the city. The proposal as it is now is just a concept. I suspect they'll eventually drop a couple of buildings and increase the others' heights.
 

jje1000

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Because they need somewhere to start when negotiating with the city. The proposal as it is now is just a concept. I suspect they'll eventually drop a couple of buildings and increase the others' heights.
I hope so- but I don't know why they'd just reskin the previous proposal instead of giving just a little bit of room (i.e. the hint of a larger park) so that the city gets intrigued about the possible opportunities.
 

urbanyimby

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I hope so- but I don't know why they'd just reskin the previous proposal instead of giving just a little bit of room (i.e. the hint of a larger park) so that the city gets intrigued about the possible opportunities.
Cressy et al will fight it no matter what. It will be settled at the LPAT, for which the first meeting will be on August 2. I suggest you read the documents uploaded to get a good understanding of the proposal, as opposed to just looking at the renderings.
 

jje1000

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Cressy et al will fight it no matter what. It will be settled at the LPAT, for which the first meeting will be on August 2. I suggest you read the documents uploaded to get a good understanding of the proposal, as opposed to just looking at the renderings.
I did, and again- I'm more opposed to the current massing scheme than to the notion of development itself.

Too much of the parkland is deceptively occupied by grade changes and retaining terraces, and what's left are disjointed slivers of usable space.

It's essentially parkland subservient to the needs of the development (i.e. hence the need for the huge grade changes and the overprogrammed, amenity-like feeling), rather than actually being designed to be useful for the community around it.

IMO- the massing east of Spadina I find interesting and a starting point for conversation, because the parkland there is more cohesive and isn't chopped up into little bits by the galleria (aka the mall) skylight. If they'd remove the upper level and made the entire park level with towers piercing through the park, then they'd be onto something interesting. Make it towers piercing through a park, literally.
 
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bilked

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Agreed- the narrow ribbon of a park is likely functionally useless, and is still separated from the rest of the city to the north by a megapodium- with much of the usable space taken up by stairs and ramps.

Again, I'm not opposed to using private-sector development to defray the cost of a park, but I don't see why they can't condense the proposal into taller towers and a more cohesive, street-level park space- maybe turning over part of the site (i.e. from Draper to Spadina) purely as parkland. Some compromise is needed!
I wouldn't go so far as to call it useless, but one of the challenges with long rectangular public parks (a challenge here facing both the ORCA or City proposal) is to give the park a focal point and centre of gravity. Moving or eliminating the tower at Draper so as to create a large public square through which the park runs would effectively create that centre. It seems like a win-win solution. Unfortunately, we haven't seen much in the spirit of compromise from either side yet (at least not publicly)
 

UtakataNoAnnex

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I think this is one of those developments that the dog needs to be wagging the tail here. As in, "We need funds to build this park. How about we give you a couple of discrete areas where you can build to your hearts content off to the corner over there if you send something back over to help out?" I'm pretty sure this proposal is not thinking like that.
 

zot627

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I think this is one of those developments that the dog needs to be wagging the tail here. As in, "We need funds to build this park. How about we give you a couple of discrete areas where you can build to your hearts content off to the corner over there if you send something back over to help out?" I'm pretty sure this proposal is not thinking like that.
Why would any land owner turn over most of their land to the City and build on a "couple of discrete areas"? Where's the precedent for that?
 

karledice

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They're just making a better case so the city has to cough out more money. There's no way this will get built with the city designating land and fighting this very strongly
 

UtakataNoAnnex

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Why would any land owner turn over most of their land to the City and build on a "couple of discrete areas"? Where's the precedent for that?
It's my understanding it's not really theirs to begin with. There's been a whole court battle over this to which has been so far ruled against this developer...unless something has changed. Or I have mistakenly misread the conclusion.
 

zot627

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It's my understanding it's not really theirs to begin with. There's been a whole court battle over this to which has been so far ruled against this developer...unless something has changed. Or I have mistakenly misread the conclusion.
You have misread the conclusion. The so called court battle had nothing to do with ownership. The City's OP395 designated the air rights as a public park. The developer's appeal of OP395 was rejected at LPAT "without prejudice" to the developer's LPAT hearing, which will be heard later this year. In other words, the decision on the OP395 appeal had no bearing on the merits of the developer's application. OP395 was more of a PR stunt for the City because the City could purchase or expropriate the air rights at any time and build a park. They didn't need OP395 to give them that authority.
 

cytor

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Wow, negatively surprised with this. I know it's just a concept, but it ruins the whole idea of creating a massive public park on the space. As others mentioned, it looks like a mess of uneven surfaces and paved spaces and looks like it would be rather hostile and not provide a good experience on the ground (again judging very preliminary).

I'm thinking that maybe they are going all out with this, so that they can pretend to "compromise" later on with just 2-3 towers instead. I'd still prefer this to JUST be a great park, but I'll take a couple towers over this.
 

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