Rail Deck District | 227.23m | 70s | Craft Dev Corp | Sweeny &Co

ProjectEnd

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Instead of codifying the architect - codify the end product and deny permits that deviate significantly from proposed designs for which they get approvals for. Don't let cheapening slip away.

AoD
In the end, that is supposed to be what SPA is intended to do. But again, within Toronto Buildings, next to no one cares about the aesthetic final product, so we get cases like Nobu where not only was a particular 'look' pursued, but literal products were specced that never made it on site. And Madison will get away with it, too. Platform on Danforth is another particularly egregious example.
 

daniel_kryz

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I'm surprised that Safdie didn't know what he was getting into but I'm happy to see some integrity from him. At least he spoke his mind instead of keeping it private.
Everyone needs to speak out against sly developers that make beautiful renderings simply to get a permit.

*** Personally, I don't like some of his ultra-modernist builds but much of his work is exceptional, such as Jewel Changi Airport in Singapore and the Mamilla District in Jerusalem. Monde is only good in its shape and addition to the skyline, but is quite disappointing in its bland ground-level experience, low-quality materials, and lack of up-close character.
 

3Dementia

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I'm surprised that Safdie didn't know what he was getting into but I'm happy to see some integrity from him. At least he spoke his mind instead of keeping it private.
Everyone needs to speak out against sly developers that make beautiful renderings simply to get a permit.

*** Personally, I don't like some of his ultra-modernist builds but much of his work is exceptional, such as Jewel Changi Airport in Singapore and the Mamilla District in Jerusalem. Monde is only good in its shape and addition to the skyline, but is quite disappointing in its bland ground-level experience, low-quality materials, and lack of up-close character.
I never tire of videos of "Jewel", thanks (hard to believe there's a ✈️ check-in somewhere).

I want one exactly like this for Toronto and would like it plunked in the middle of Nathan Phillips Square (I'll arrange an off-site skating rink nearby).
 

Woodbridge_Heights

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Yeah that site plan basically says to the city here's the place for your rail deck park if you want to build it.

Obviously the city should negotiate the deck construction at minimum... and then Northern Light can lead a UT team to deliver the spectacular landscape plan (bring shovels, boots and proper saplings).

edited for clarification

Young Lindens.

*secretly hopes this lands*
 

3Dementia

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Young Lindens.

*secretly hopes this lands*

@Northern Light was probably up until 4 am working on client stuff($), while balancing his more important job... posting hundreds of project updates and greening the conversations in dozens of landscape/public realm threads, here at UT.

He'll likely reply after 2 morning coffees. 🏡
 

Northern Light

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Young Lindens.

*secretly hopes this lands*

@3Dementia is right, I do need a second coffee.......

As to what would be planted; the challenge remains, it's a proposed, strata park.

What that means, best case scenario is that all vegetation will be scraped off (and all soil) every few decades to redo membranes and make repairs.

Worst case is wholly inadequate soil depth, drainage issues etc etc. Above and beyond any normal, hostile urban conditions.

For that reason, I'd be disinclined to put Lindens or other trees that grow relatively slow and become very large with time. It means you'll never really see the full effect from them; and at the same time, their sheer weight and bulk (and water requirements) will likely accelerate maintenance issues and make them far more costly.

I'd be inclined, were I to put trees down in this scenario, to make use of fast-growing species that are likely to live about as long as the deck and not much longer.

Aspens would probably top my list; Birch and Balsam Poplar could be considered, but the former is not very urban tolerant and that would have to be considered (salt, car exhaust, in this case, for at least a little while, diesel, etc.)

One could include a smattering of others stuff for visual interest, especially in winter, but I'd be inclined to maximize shrubs and grasses for that.

Another thing to watch for here will be wind modelling. Many species, especially more Carolinean ones (we're at or slightly beyond the northern edge of their natural range) are particularly susceptible to high winds, especially in winter.
 

3Dementia

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@3Dementia is right, I do need a second coffee.......

As to what would be planted; the challenge remains, its a proposed, strata park.

What that means, best case scenario is that all vegetation will be scraped off (and all soil) every few decades to redo membranes and make repairs.

Worst case is wholly inadequate soil depth, drainage issues etc etc. Above and beyond any normal, hostile urban conditions.

For that reason, I'd be disinclined to put Lindens or other trees that grow relatively slow and become very large with time. It means you'll never really see the full effect from them; and at the same time, their sheer weight and bulk (and water requirements) will likely accelerate maintenance issues and make them far more costly.

I'd be inclined, were I to put trees down in this scenario, to make use of fast-growing species that are likely to live about as long as the deck and not much longer.

Aspens would probably top my list; Birch and Balsam Poplar could be considered, but the former is not very urban tolerant and that would have to be considered (salt, car exhaust, in this case, for at least a little while, diesel, etc.)

One could include a smattering of others stuff for visual interest, especially in winter, but I'd be inclined to maximize shrubs and grasses for that.

Another thing to watch for here will be wind modelling. Many species, especially more Carolinean ones (we're at or slightly beyond the northern edge of their natural range) are particularly susceptible to high winds, especially in winter.

I don't know if a rail deck park is a suitable host for this, but I've been secretly screaming for 567,000 more evergreens in the city. In winter, they would be a literally transformative foil for the grey skies (and too many grey towers ;-)... should have happened in CityPlace.

Shade trees are important obviously, but barren 5 or so months a year. I want a year-long Green party. 🌲🌲🌲
 

Northern Light

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I don't know if a rail deck park is a suitable host for this, but I've been secretly screaming for 567,000 more evergreens in the city. In winter, they would be a literally transformative foil for the grey skies (and too many grey towers ;-)... should have happened in CityPlace.

Shade trees are important obviously, but barren 5 or so months a year. I want a year-long Green party. 🌲🌲🌲

Evergreens could eventually be fine, but are super susceptible to high winds in winter when young. It dries them out.

You're probably looking at the need to burlap them through at least their first winter, and maybe their second. That would be true in any high wind environment. (strata or not)

Conifers are generally pokey growers too. A really happy White Pine can surprise, though it still adds only one set of branches per year, the only question is the distance between each row.

FWIW, I agree we under-utilize evergreens, both in parks and as street trees in the right conditions.

I suggested the City look at natural pairings, such as Aspen and Spruce, where you do trenches Aspen/Spruce/Aspen/Spruce.

They are difficult to pair closely w/most hardwoods though as the hardwoods will grow faster, over top and then shade the evergreens out.
 
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3Dementia

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Evergreens could eventually be fine, but are super susceptible to high winds in winter when young. It dries them out.

You're probably looking at the need to burlap them through at least their first winter, and maybe their second. That would be true in any high wind environment. (strata or not)

Conifers are generally pokey growers too. A really happy White Pine can surprise, though it still adds only set of branches per year, the only question is the distance between each row.

FWIW, I agree we under-utilize evergreens, both in parks and as street trees in the right conditions.

I suggested the City look at natural pairings, such as Aspen and Spruce, where you do trenches Aspen/Spruce/Aspen/Spruce.

They are difficult to pair closely w/most hardwoods though as the hardwoods will grow faster, over top and then shade the evergreens out.
My mother planted dozens of seedlings decades ago and her property now has a 35 foot wall of cedars* (*possibly the Juniper mentioned below) between the neighbouring school yard and her garden.

So what's your take on this one (via a quick internet read?) for inclusion in a proposed green all year city revolution?

The Eastern Red Cedar (actually a Juniper aka Juniperus virginiana)

Cons: invasive in poorly managed sites and occasionally host to cedar-apple rust (keep away from Apple stores ;-).

Pros:
1. Resistant to extremes of drought, heat, and cold.
2. Tolerant of a wide range of soils — poor dry soil, alkaline soil, and dry rocky outcrops, as well as wet swampy land.
3. Tolerant of windy conditions (used as windbreaks!!)
4. Salt tolerant! 🧂
5. A significant source of food and shelter for wildlife.
6. Life-span: Some specimens live more than a 100 years (even up to 500 years!).
7. Cultivars can be tall and narrow or short and spreading (and everything in between)
eg. ‘Emerald Sentinel’ - has a narrow, conical-shaped form and grows about 25’ tall or taller and up to 8’ wide... which retains its dark green colour throughout the winter months. Bingo! :)
 

Northern Light

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My mother planted dozens of seedlings decades ago and her property now has a 35 foot wall of cedars* (*possibly the Juniper mentioned below) between the neighbouring school yard and her garden.

So what's your take on this one (via a quick internet read?) for inclusion in a proposed green all year city revolution?

The Eastern Red Cedar (actually a Juniper aka Juniperus virginiana)

Cons: invasive in poorly managed sites and occasionally host to cedar-apple rust (keep away from Apple stores ;-).

Pros:
1. Resistant to extremes of drought, heat, and cold.
2. Tolerant of a wide range of soils — poor dry soil, alkaline soil, and dry rocky outcrops, as well as wet swampy land.
3. Tolerant of windy conditions (used as windbreaks!!)
4. Salt tolerant! 🧂
5. A significant source of food and shelter for wildlife.
6. Life-span: Some specimens live more than a 100 years (even up to 500 years!).
7. Cultivars can be tall and narrow or short and spreading (and everything in between)
eg. ‘Emerald Sentinel’ - has a narrow, conical-shaped form and grows about 25’ tall or taller and up to 8’ wide... which retains its dark green colour throughout the winter months. Bingo! :)

Red Cedar and White Spruce are the two most urban-tolerant conifers.

They're a good choice, they do give you that very columnar look, but can spread a bit if given lots of room (they'll grow to fit to some degree).

I've never seen them behave invasively in Toronto.

They can be very slow to get going (only six inches, again?) but .....once established will pick up the pace a bit.
 

MichaelZ

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Safdie’s design had absurdly massive skybridges so it makes sense the developers cut those. But the increased density seems almost pointless. It just makes the units stuck in permanent shade worth a lot less. Not to mention the greatly increased mass complicating building so many support column over railway lines.

At most it could be a few extra % in net profit if everything goes as planned, if that.
 

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