Pinnacle One Yonge | 312.5m | 95s | Pinnacle | Hariri Pontarini

fedplanner

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We can build great cities without resorting to 'supbertallss11!1!', and Toronto has long neglected its public realm. We should be demanding that all new buildings meet the street nicely and contribute to building great neighbourhoods. Our priority should be the well-being of residents, not height.

RC8, I'm probably the most pro-development and pro-density member on this forum but my beliefs are 100% consistent with your post. A couple follow up points I want to make:

Are height and buildings that positively contribute to the public realm mutually exclusive?

Can density and tall buildings be designed in such a way that the street level be attractive, animated, and human-scaled?
 

diminutive

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We can build great cities without resorting to 'supbertallss11!1!', and Toronto has long neglected its public realm. We should be demanding that all new buildings meet the street nicely and contribute to building great neighbourhoods. Our priority should be the well-being of residents, not height.

Isn't this a bit of a false dichotomy though? I think everyone ultimately acknowledges the priority is the residents' quality of life, even if there are multiple ways of achieving that quality of life.

With projects like this, Mirvish-Gehry & Oxford, they're all occurring in areas with tons of existing high-rise development. Clearly there seems to be demand among (potential) residents for this kind of project, so height and resident well being are hardly exclusive. And, in terms of street impact, is a 30 story tower really any better than a 100?
 

DtTO

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Nobody is arguing that street interaction is the top priority. However, that doesn't mean we have to rule out "supertall!!!11" for "pedestrians!!!11one11." I'm all for promoting lively street interaction, but I also believe that this site is worthy of supertall. There's nothing wrong with thinking that our city deserves buildings that serve as a monument to its prowess by highlighting the land values required to make them economically sensible.
 

gmeo

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This is quite the tights sight for four buildings that are 70+. Never mind the sales phasing, but the construction phasing will be longer than Pinnacle Centre (10+ years for 4 buildings). If the market goes up and down, they could take 20 years to sell and construct these four buildings.
 

gristle

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I'm all for promoting lively street interaction, but I also believe that this site is worthy of supertall. There's nothing wrong with thinking that our city deserves buildings that serve as a monument to its prowess by highlighting the land values required to make them economically sensible.

The height of the building is inevitably based on economic sensibility. As much as people want monuments, such a project is dictated by commercial viability.
 

TrickyRicky

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Toronto is not, nor will it ever be, a monumental city. Toronto is a pragmatic city. It's in our DNA culturally and probably biologically. Our built form not only reflects this it probably should reflect this. I have no conceptual problem with supertalls or whatever, but in general these buildings make no practical sense and so you will likely not see them on this site or for the most-part elsewhere in the downtown.

This is a city where a citizens group can successfully sue a building owner because the architecture of their structure kills too many birds, and where the landlord does remedy this problem because it is more important to them than the architecture of the building. A landlord that is by the way an arm of a pension fund run by conservative professional managers who probably have degrees in accounting etc. Sound, practical, playing by the rules, conservative, Toronto. That's how it is and that's how we like it. Supertalls are for players and gamblers.
 

T-Bor

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CN TOWER.jpg

you're right, no dreaming big here
 

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Ramako

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This is a city where a citizens group can successfully sue a building owner because the architecture of their structure kills too many birds, and where the landlord does remedy this problem because it is more important to them than the architecture of the building.

Wow, that actually happened? Do you happen to know the name of the case?
 

marcus_a_j

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Wow, that actually happened? Do you happen to know the name of the case?

I think TrickyRicky is referring to the case of Ecojustice vs. Menkes, however the courts ruled that Menkes was not liable for the bird deaths occurring at their Scarborough Consilleum Corporate Centre buildings. Ecojustice recently lost their case against Cadillac Fairview (story here). In both cases, Menkes and CF have both installed a film on their respective buildings to reduce the amount of bird deaths.
 

dt_toronto_geek

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I think TrickyRicky is referring to the case of Ecojustice vs. Menkes, however the courts ruled that Menkes was not liable for the bird deaths occurring at their Scarborough Consilleum Corporate Centre buildings. Ecojustice recently lost their case against Cadillac Fairview (story here). In both cases, Menkes and CF have both installed a film on their respective buildings to reduce the amount of bird deaths.

Cats kill billions of birds a year, more than glass windows, take that to Ecojustice.
 

isaidso

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Toronto is not, nor will it ever be, a monumental city. Toronto is a pragmatic city. It's in our DNA culturally and probably biologically. Our built form not only reflects this it probably should reflect this. I have no conceptual problem with supertalls or whatever, but in general these buildings make no practical sense and so you will likely not see them on this site or for the most-part elsewhere in the downtown.

This is a city where a citizens group can successfully sue a building owner because the architecture of their structure kills too many birds, and where the landlord does remedy this problem because it is more important to them than the architecture of the building. A landlord that is by the way an arm of a pension fund run by conservative professional managers who probably have degrees in accounting etc. Sound, practical, playing by the rules, conservative, Toronto. That's how it is and that's how we like it. Supertalls are for players and gamblers.

Those are valid points, but there was a time when Toronto had a taste for the grandiose and the monumental: Union Station, College Park, CN Tower, the 401, the CNE grounds, and even the Skydome. I agree that Toronto is a staunchly pragmatic place, but that doesn't mean it will always be. The city is going through a historic boom which will leave the city transformed not just physically, but in every way imaginable. A culture is one that always changes at a snail's pace, but a generation that grows up under affluence and privilege develops a taste for opulence and grandeur. It's the natural progression of things.

Our past may have been blue collar industrial Presbyterianism, but our future is increasingly white collar ambitious and glamourous. It will take another generation before the cultural shift manifests itself in a desire for the opulent/extravagant, but it will happen. Lets not forget that the world is showing up at our door and many of them don't share those conservative cultural values. Like it or not, the dominant culture of Toronto will change and already has in many ways.
 
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isaidso

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Our priority should be the well-being of residents, not height.

Surely we're smart enough to accomplish both. The height is clearly a reaction to demand and land prices not vanity. If it were ego driven, we'd be building 400m+ buildings.
 
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Critique

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Those are valid points, but there was a time when Toronto had a taste for the grandiose and the monumental: Union Station, College Park, CN Tower, the 401, the CNE grounds, and even the Skydome. I agree that Toronto is a staunchly pragmatic place, but that doesn't mean it will always be. The city is going through a historic boom which will leave the city transformed not just physically, but in every way imaginable. A culture is one that always changes at a snail's pace, but a generation that grows up under affluence and privilege develops a taste for opulence and grandeur. It's the natural progression of things.

Our past may have been blue collar industrial Presbyterianism, but our future is increasingly white collar ambitious and glamourous. It will take another generation before the cultural shift manifests itself in a desire for the opulent/extravagant, but it will happen. Lets not forget that the world is showing up at our door and many of them don't share those conservative cultural values. Like it or not, the dominant culture of Toronto will change and already has in many ways.


Definetly agreed.

Also, you have to remind yourselves that Toronto is becoming more ambitious with the hordes of people moving downtown. Surely, with these businesses and young vibe with the many universities and colleges, Toronto will become a city of more risks. Also, we have seen Toronto transforming with landmark developments being proposed and some being built so something like 1 Yonge doesn't worry me.
 

Mongo

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During the 1960s and 1970s, Toronto was right up there with other cities in terms of architectural design. Off the top of my head, it saw the completion of:

City Hall (1965)
TD Tower (1967)
Ontario Place (1971)
Royal Bank Plaza (1976)
CN Tower (1976)
Eaton Centre (1977)

At the time that each of these was built, they were considered exceptional architecture. The idea that Toronto is hopelessly conservative is not really true, even today there are a number of excellent designs being built (i.e. Pier 27, L Tower, Ice, and Picasso).
 

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