Pinnacle One Yonge | 344.58m | 105s | Pinnacle | Hariri Pontarini

cc46

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@bleu,

re parking

I'm meerly pointing out that the current parking is viable, serving the office workers and the event goers and island tourists.

Yes likely some are 905ers.

Likely the parking rev is in the $1.7m range per year.

If I were the developer, I might want to maintain that revenue stream.
 

mrjun18

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Today there was a fire alarm in my building. I had to walk down 33 floors to begin my commute. You couldn't get back up even if you wanted to because stairs are inaccessible from outside or the ground floor, and elevators stopped working automatically.

In buildings this large, fire alarms happen fairly frequently. How would you like to walk your 70 year old grandfather down 50 sets of stairs in the event of a fire?

Have any of the people clamouring for residential supertalls ever lived for an extended period of time in a tall building? No one I know who has lived above 30 stories for a while would want to live any taller than that. Ever.

What about the thousands of people that live in Manhattan skyscrapers? How do they get down the stairs in that situation.
 

RC8

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What about the thousands of people that live in Manhattan skyscrapers? How do they get down the stairs in that situation.

1) I believe Manhattan is a very poor role model for cities in general.

2) The number of people living in Manhattan above a 30th floor is actually really, really, really small. The vast majority of people live in mid-rises. The proportion of people living in high rises in Toronto's downtown will be massive in comparison in a few years.
 

kris

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Majority of skyscrapers in Manhattan and New York city in general are offices, they do have many luxury residential towers and highrises but most people that are above the 30th floor are there when working(still this equates to a big portion of ones day)

probably there is at least 10x more people working above the 30th floor in ny then toronto, but I would bet once all these proposals are built we could have more residents living above 30th floor
 

buildup

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Agreed. Torontonians are bi-modal. They live in tall condos or townhouses - with little in between. New Yorkers live in neither, they are in low-rise high density blocks.
 

Big Daddy

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Toronto and NY grew at very different times. If residential high rises were as big 40 or 50 years ago as it is today, there would be a lot more in NY. Mid rise or downtown brownstones were all the rage then so that's what was built. Now high rise residential is where it's at - especially when it is as well located as most of downtown T.O.'s projects are. Many of downtown Toronto's projects are in perfect live/work/play (walking distance to everything) territory and connected via the PATH. These are very important factors.
 

RC8

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We are building high-rises because of very specific planning and geographical attributes within the GTA. Other cities around the world are still building mostly mid-rises, as opposed to the high-rise + sprawl combo we see here in Toronto.

If we applied planning policies such as the one NY had in place in at the turn of the 19th/20th century we'd see massive amounts of mid-rise take over Toronto almost overnight.
 

fedplanner

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We are building high-rises because of very specific planning and geographical attributes within the GTA. Other cities around the world are still building mostly mid-rises, as opposed to the high-rise + sprawl combo we see here in Toronto.

If we applied planning policies such as the one NY had in place in at the turn of the 19th/20th century we'd see massive amounts of mid-rise take over Toronto almost overnight.

A big obstacle to the construction of mid-rise buildings is the current zoning regime. Toronto's Chief Planner is in the process of revising Toronto's zoning bylaws along the Avenues to allow mid-rise buildings to be constructed "as-of-right." This means new mid-rise development would not have to go through the expensive and time consuming amendment process.

Assuming everything goes to plan, Toronto may have planning policies to support mid-rise developments on the books in the near future. It took Jennifer Kessmatt, new blood in the planning department, to recognize the problem and influence change. Planning in Toronto is very much reactionary. That needs to change. This thread is drifting off topic, but to bring it back consider this proposal.

This land is ripe for redevelopment, but Toronto planning did nothing for years. It wasn't until preliminary discussions on this massive development started that they realized they should have done something. They asked the developer to hold off on submitting an application for rezoning until they can start and finish a year long planning study for the area, which is a shaky legal argument as the planning department as no right to tell a developer not to submit an application. This planning study should have happened years ago. In a way I'm pleased that the developer blew off the planning department and submitted their application anyway as it will further encourage the planning department to be progressive rather than reactionary.
 

innsertnamehere

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If argue that the world is accepting the high rise more now than it ever has. Europe has traditionally been hostile to them, but now London's skyline is exploding, along with Paris's growth, and moscow's. china is in love with building structures 600+ meters tall it seems, and even australia has quite a bit 250+m buildings proposed in Melbourne. Obviously the Middle East has embraced te skyscraper, with a new worlds tallest building starting soon. (Over 1000m) South America is full of shorter high rises, such as in São Paulo. The only place that isn't really building tall isafrica, but that is understandable due to the tough economic conditions there.
 

Urban-Affair

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A big obstacle to the construction of mid-rise buildings is the current zoning regime. Toronto's Chief Planner is in the process of revising Toronto's zoning bylaws along the Avenues to allow mid-rise buildings to be constructed "as-of-right." This means new mid-rise development would not have to go through the expensive and time consuming amendment process.

Assuming everything goes to plan, Toronto may have planning policies to support mid-rise developments on the books in the near future. It took Jennifer Kessmatt, new blood in the planning department, to recognize the problem and influence change. Planning in Toronto is very much reactionary. That needs to change. This thread is drifting off topic, but to bring it back consider this proposal.

This land is ripe for redevelopment, but Toronto planning did nothing for years. It wasn't until preliminary discussions on this massive development started that they realized they should have done something. They asked the developer to hold off on submitting an application for rezoning until they can start and finish a year long planning study for the area, which is a shaky legal argument as the planning department as no right to tell a developer not to submit an application. This planning study should have happened years ago. In a way I'm pleased that the developer blew off the planning department and submitted their application anyway as it will further encourage the planning department to be progressive rather than reactionary.

^Great news regarding the streamlined midrise development along avenues, its about time. That kind of development was always seeming to get dragged down by mass nimbies.
 

marcus_a_j

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A big obstacle to the construction of mid-rise buildings is the current zoning regime. Toronto's Chief Planner is in the process of revising Toronto's zoning bylaws along the Avenues to allow mid-rise buildings to be constructed "as-of-right." This means new mid-rise development would not have to go through the expensive and time consuming amendment process.

Assuming everything goes to plan, Toronto may have planning policies to support mid-rise developments on the books in the near future. It took Jennifer Kessmatt, new blood in the planning department, to recognize the problem and influence change. Planning in Toronto is very much reactionary. That needs to change. This thread is drifting off topic, but to bring it back consider this proposal.

The City has been revising the zoning along the Avenues for a while following each Avenue Study. These are being implemented in the City's harmonized zoning by-law, a difficult process that has been going on for several years to bring together the dozens of zoning by-laws in force all over the amalgamated City. You can't just wave a wand and *poof* new zoning along our Avenues!! Avenue Studies alone are a cost- and time-consuming process, which is hindered by lack of resources, being both staff and funding. While I am happy that Ms. Keesmatt has been appointed Chief Planner, it's naive to think that it took "new blood" to bring about change. What Ms. Keesmatt has done is garner the media's attention to the issue. The 2002 Official Plan has policies related to mid-rise development and Avenues, plus the Avenue Studies that have been completed. There is also the Avenues and Mid-Rise Study that was adopted in 2010 as another example. Transit City was another example of growing along the Avenues with mid-rise buildings and densities.

It would be difficult to implement new zoning for mid-rise development all in one shot. I think the Avenue Studies are a step in the right direction because they provide an analysis of the local context of where the Avenues are located. Toronto is very diverse in its built form and what may work on Lawrence East in Scarborough may not necessarily work on the Queensway or Kingston Road. Even with new zoning in place to support mid-rise development, a developer may still wish to amend the zoning for their specific development. Perhaps it could be a minor variance application for setbacks or an extra floor, but they will still have to submit a Site Plan Approval application that are timely and cost-consuming as well. The as-of-right zoning may reduce timing and costs spent at the OMB, but that's about it.

This land is ripe for redevelopment, but Toronto planning did nothing for years. It wasn't until preliminary discussions on this massive development started that they realized they should have done something. They asked the developer to hold off on submitting an application for rezoning until they can start and finish a year long planning study for the area, which is a shaky legal argument as the planning department as no right to tell a developer not to submit an application. This planning study should have happened years ago. In a way I'm pleased that the developer blew off the planning department and submitted their application anyway as it will further encourage the planning department to be progressive rather than reactionary.

It's common for planning departments to ask for applications to be withheld until a planning study is completed, Toronto and elsewhere. And often it takes a development proposal to get the planning department's attention to a specific area. The City could have passed an Interim Control By-law before the application was submitted (though the ICBL could be appealed to the OMB). But let's not kid ourselves, Pinnacle is proposing a MASSIVE development for these lands. I am sure there were discussions between the City and The Toronto Star prior to the sale of the lands on potential redevelopment scenarios, but you think the City could have foreseen a redevelopment plan including 6 towers, 5 of which are 70+ storeys, for these lands a few years ago? I applaud Pinnacle's ballsy approach, taking "go big or go home" to a whole 'nother level, but I doubt any planning study the City could have prepared would have planned on this much density and building height for these lands. No where even close. Even half of what is proposed is still a shitload!
 

RC8

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Indeed. A lot of Toronto's planners apparent lack of action has to do with the problems brought by amalgamation. If we de-amalgamated Toronto would solve the majority of its problems in a heartbeat.
 

fedplanner

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The City has been revising the zoning along the Avenues for a while following each Avenue Study. These are being implemented in the City's harmonized zoning by-law, a difficult process that has been going on for several years to bring together the dozens of zoning by-laws in force all over the amalgamated City. You can't just wave a wand and *poof* new zoning along our Avenues!! Avenue Studies alone are a cost- and time-consuming process, which is hindered by lack of resources, being both staff and funding. While I am happy that Ms. Keesmatt has been appointed Chief Planner, it's naive to think that it took "new blood" to bring about change. What Ms. Keesmatt has done is garner the media's attention to the issue. The 2002 Official Plan has policies related to mid-rise development and Avenues, plus the Avenue Studies that have been completed. There is also the Avenues and Mid-Rise Study that was adopted in 2010 as another example. Transit City was another example of growing along the Avenues with mid-rise buildings and densities.

The 2002 Official Plan is an excellent planning document. It spells out the vision for Toronto: a vibrant downtown core, a revitalized waterfront, intensification in the various centres and mid-rise buildings lining the avenues. The problem in reaching this vision is the zoning bylaws, which are not consistent with Toronto's Official Plan 11 years after it's passing. The current zoning is about 20 years old and is based on an Official Plan policies from 40 years ago. How this can be justified as acceptable I don't know. In my experience many states require zoning to be consistent with a jurisdiction's plan. The zoning bylaws absolutely should have been updated with the Official Plan's passing. I don't accept the argument that Avenue studies are a prerequisite or that there is a lack of staff. The priorities of the planning department are out of whack because zoning should have been the first thing updated. This is likely the reason why most developers can steamroll over the planning department's recommendations at the OMB. I strongly believe that Jennifer Keesmatt is a positive introduction to the planning department, and all I can go buy is her admittance that current zoning in Toronto is a hindrance towards the development of mid-rise developments and she's committed to change that.

It would be difficult to implement new zoning for mid-rise development all in one shot. I think the Avenue Studies are a step in the right direction because they provide an analysis of the local context of where the Avenues are located. Toronto is very diverse in its built form and what may work on Lawrence East in Scarborough may not necessarily work on the Queensway or Kingston Road. Even with new zoning in place to support mid-rise development, a developer may still wish to amend the zoning for their specific development. Perhaps it could be a minor variance application for setbacks or an extra floor, but they will still have to submit a Site Plan Approval application that are timely and cost-consuming as well. The as-of-right zoning may reduce timing and costs spent at the OMB, but that's about it.

Agreed. My issue is with outdated zoning. What is a reasonable time to update zoning so it is consistent with Toronto's Official Plan?


It's common for planning departments to ask for applications to be withheld until a planning study is completed, Toronto and elsewhere.

I strongly disagree. The whole concept of planning is to get ahead of the development proposals. It doesn't work very well when planning is done after the fact.

And often it takes a development proposal to get the planning department's attention to a specific area. The City could have passed an Interim Control By-law before the application was submitted (though the ICBL could be appealed to the OMB). But let's not kid ourselves, Pinnacle is proposing a MASSIVE development for these lands. I am sure there were discussions between the City and The Toronto Star prior to the sale of the lands on potential redevelopment scenarios, but you think the City could have foreseen a redevelopment plan including 6 towers, 5 of which are 70+ storeys, for these lands a few years ago? I applaud Pinnacle's ballsy approach, taking "go big or go home" to a whole 'nother level, but I doubt any planning study the City could have prepared would have planned on this much density and building height for these lands. No where even close. Even half of what is proposed is still a shitload!

No, I doubt anyone would have anticipate a development of this magnitude on these lands. The Ghery+Mirvish and Oxford MTCC are similarly sized mega proposals that no one was anticipating either. The difference with respect to Ghery+Mirvish is that the city went ahead and processed the application and will let the community and elected politicians have the final say. I have an issue with city staff asking a developer to hold off on an application for an unspecified period of time without it going public; Had it not leaked on UrbanToronto, this development would still be unknown. And whatever they were trying to do with Pinnacle failed miserably because they went ahead and submitted their application.
 

marcus_a_j

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The 2002 Official Plan is an excellent planning document. It spells out the vision for Toronto: a vibrant downtown core, a revitalized waterfront, intensification in the various centres and mid-rise buildings lining the avenues. The problem in reaching this vision is the zoning bylaws, which are not consistent with Toronto's Official Plan 11 years after it's passing. The current zoning is about 20 years old and is based on an Official Plan policies from 40 years ago. How this can be justified as acceptable I don't know. In my experience many states require zoning to be consistent with a jurisdiction's plan. The zoning bylaws absolutely should have been updated with the Official Plan's passing. I don't accept the argument that Avenue studies are a prerequisite or that there is a lack of staff. The priorities of the planning department are out of whack because zoning should have been the first thing updated. This is likely the reason why most developers can steamroll over the planning department's recommendations at the OMB. I strongly believe that Jennifer Keesmatt is a positive introduction to the planning department, and all I can go buy is her admittance that current zoning in Toronto is a hindrance towards the development of mid-rise developments and she's committed to change that.

It's no secret that the City's zoning by-laws are out of date, I'm not arguing against that. And yes the zoning by-law is to conform to the Official Plan, as per the Planning Act. The difficulty is that there is one City of Toronto OP, but many zoning by-laws in force from the pre-amalgamation days. How do you update the zoning by-laws from the former Cities of Toronto, York, North York, Etobicoke, and Scarborough and the Borough of East York to be consistent with the OP, when all of these ZBLs are not consistent with each other (and based on six different OPs)? The harmonized Zoning By-law project was started sometime around 2007 (I forget exactly when), underwent numerous public consultations, approved by Council in 2010, was subject to hundreds of appeals to the OMB, withdrawn, more revisions made, and brought back to the Planning and Growth Management Committee last year. It's now on the April 3-4 City Council agenda.

Outdated zoning is only one of the many hindrances to mid-rise development. There's also construction costs, land acquisition, and neighbourhood and Councilor objections, to name a few, just like any other development proposal. I've worked on mid-rise projects that had planning's full support and was consistent with the various policies in the OP, but the local councilors had no interest in entertaining the ideas. Avenue Studies are local area plans, if you don't prepare them, how do you determine the appropriate zoning to conform to these plans? Many mid-rises have been proposed and built following the completion of the many Avenue Studies, as well as many that have gone ahead without an Avenue Study in place.

Agreed. My issue is with outdated zoning. What is a reasonable time to update zoning so it is consistent with Toronto's Official Plan?

Under Sub-Section 26(9) of the Planning Act, municipalities have three years to bring their zoning by-laws in conformity to the official plan. As I have alluded to, it's easier said than done in the case of Toronto's many zoning by-laws.

I strongly disagree. The whole concept of planning is to get ahead of the development proposals. It doesn't work very well when planning is done after the fact.

No, I doubt anyone would have anticipate a development of this magnitude on these lands. The Ghery+Mirvish and Oxford MTCC are similarly sized mega proposals that no one was anticipating either. The difference with respect to Ghery+Mirvish is that the city went ahead and processed the application and will let the community and elected politicians have the final say. I have an issue with city staff asking a developer to hold off on an application for an unspecified period of time without it going public; Had it not leaked on UrbanToronto, this development would still be unknown. And whatever they were trying to do with Pinnacle failed miserably because they went ahead and submitted their application.

The proponents behind the G+M proposal were talking to Councilor Vaughan and the planning department for at least a year before the proposal came to light in the public and an application was made, so it was definitely anticipated. Also, just look at the numbers, it's half the size of the 1 Yonge proposal. Each proposal is also in different parts of the City with their own local context, and thusly not necessarily an apples-to-apples comparison. The G+M proposal is subject to the King-Spadina Secondary Plan area, whereas the 1 Yonge proposal is within the Central Waterfront Secondary Plan area, and within the Lower Yonge Precinct Plan that is still under review. An update to the Lower Yonge Precinct Plan can be found here. Here is the UT Thread. How is it unreasonable to ask the developers to hold off on their application until the Lower Yonge Precinct Plan is completed? It's clear that the City is planning "to get ahead of the development proposals". If you read the October 2012 update report, you will also note that the City was anticipating a development application for the 1 Yonge site, and therefore completely public knowledge. All that was leaked on UT were some massing drawings showing the scale of development that Pinnacle is proposing, which wasn't much of a surprise here on UT because we were aware of how the huge purchase price of the lands was. Pinnacle is a major stakeholder and should be part of the process to determine an appropriate transition from the core to East Bayfront. With Pinnacle's application, it seems their vision for the lands is different than what the City would like see.

Nonetheless, the City will process the 1 Yonge application just the same way it will process the G+M application with the required public consultations and reviews against the policies in-force for the site and surrounding areas. The Planning department will make their recommendations and Council will then make a decision. I wouldn't be surprised if the 1 Yonge application gets appealed to the OMB based on a lack of decision by Council within the required amount of time prescribed by Planning Act. But how do you expect the elected politicians to make an informed decision when the proposal is within an area that is still under review?
 

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