.... It would be great if we had some permeability. This would, on the other hand, be influenced by the uses and design of adjacent buildings so it might be hard to implement a permanently vibrant place if those key aspects are outside of the project's scope.
Given that there is and will be parking underneath, along with building foundations on two sides, there is limited room for real permeability, unfortunately. You could do it, but you have to directionally flow that water somewhere, and there aren't a lot of good spots to send it.
The St Lawrence pedestrian lights help give this place its charm and they're in many places, including Market Street, so it would be much better to use them to continue the historic feel of this district.
This ^^^^ The Victorian lighting also ties the space to Market Street in the south and to St. James Park to the north.
I'm kind of iffy when it comes to public sinks, drinking fountains, and hand-warming stations but that might be because it's never been done before in Toronto, a concern that they won't fit in well in terms of their design, and that they might become a magnet for homeless people. I'd appreciate it if someone rebutted this idea.
Drinking fountains are a great public asset in parks, period, for everyone.
I'm not as sold on the public sinks idea, particularly since this will be a seasonal feature. Better to make the public washrooms in the adjacent building accessible year round, and for extended hours of operation. Services the same purpose, but does it more effectively.
Hand warming stations...... I'm not sold on that myself. I don't see anything wrong w/it per se............. I just think that when it comes to making Toronto winter-friendly, you want to have fully heated spaces for people, when they need that; and/or heated transit shelters are a proven idea as well.
Most people are likely wearing gloves/mitts on a cold day; if someone lacks those, providing them might seem a preferable choice.
Finally, I don't think one should generally be concerned about attracting the homeless somewhere. I think we should be concerned that there are homeless people.
I think to the extent that one is concerned about a space seeming unwelcoming to others, generally because of some type of undesirable behavior.........that is best addressed by making the space successful and well used; and by making sure
that you avoid issues such as public urination, by providing public washrooms!