St Lawrence Market North | 25.3m | 5s | City of Toronto | Rogers Stirk Harbour

ProjectEnd

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To be fair, how exciting can you make a courthouse? The whole thing is somewhat limited by it's function.

As for the ground floor, yeah hopefully that ends up being more engaging when there are vendors there.
Good point, there's probably nothing that RSHP can do about courthouse design...

1666722070556.png
 

Northern Light

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Good point, there's probably nothing that RSHP can do about courthouse design...

View attachment 434703

While your point is well taken, I have to say, I don't like the above at all, because its relationship to the street is a blank wall.

Architectural flourish is important, but so is getting the basics right. I prefer what we're getting here to the above.
 

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To each their own, but that's one place where I will actually agree with @TossYourJacket: the security concerns in Bordeaux are far higher than here in Toronto, hence the limestone plinth. You can read more about the project (and weep at the difference in the quality of design and construction) here: https://rshp.com/projects/civic/bordeaux-law-courts/
 

Pfloyd

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While I love Toronto, especially the good aspects which make this city a great place to live in, there are some undeniable truths about our lack of urban realm grand vision and unwillingness to spend money to acomplish it. In general, It really is sad the state of the public realm, wheather it is crappy sidewalks, street paving (even the lack of painting of 'zebra' crosswalks on most corners), horrible utility poles and wiring, street furniture (including crappy garbage container design), park design and maintenance, ugly street lights, lack of illumination of historical buildings, etc, etc. Add to that, the 'safe' bland design and cheap materials pushed by developers, and the lack of 'cojones' by architects to strive for better and more innovative building design (instead of copying the next door project a million times no matter how mediocre, just because it's safe). The result is the city we have, which feels OK at times but underwhelming most of the time. Where is the urban Chutzpah? Certainly, there have been improvements in the past decade and a half, but there are far too sporadic to accomplish a more cohesive effect. How do start solving it? I know it's complicated, but the public hast to expect and demand better design standards on all aspects, and City officials in charge have to care about good desgn and be held accountable-there have to be minimum design stardards for anyone tryng to build in this city, and they have to be enforceable. I get it that it's easier said than done, but we have to do something if we want to improve our city.

Whoever thinks I am exagerating (and I didn't want to do London, Paris, Madrid, Barcelona,etc- that would be plainly unfair) just take a look at two relatively minor cities: Malaga (warm weather city) and Oslo (cold weather city).

Malaga
Oslo:

I get that Europe is Europe, but we should take notice of what the world looks like outside our perceived urban bubble.
 
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Parkdalian

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While I love Toronto, especially the good aspects which make this city a great place to live in, there are some undeniable truths about our lack of urban realm grand vision and unwillingness to spend money to acomplish it. In general, It really is sad the state of the public realm, wheather it is crappy sidewalks, street paving (even the lack of painting of 'zebra' crosswalks on most corners), horrible utility poles and wiring, street furniture (including crappy garbage container design), park design and maintenance, ugly street lights, lack of illumination of historical buildings, etc, etc. Add to that, the 'safe' bland design and cheap materials pushed by developers, and the lack of 'cojones' by architects to strive for better and more innovative building design (instead of copying the next door project a million times no matter how mediocre, just because it's safe). The result is the city we have, which feels OK at times but underwhelming most of the time. Where is the urban Chutzpah? Certainly, there have been improvements in the past decade and a half, but there are far too sporadic to accomplish a more cohesive effect. How do start solving it? I know it's complicated, but the public hast to expect and demand better design standards on all aspects, and City officials in charge have to care about good desgn and be held accountable-there have to be minimum design stardards for anyone tryng to build in this city, and they have to be enforceable. I get it that it's easier said than done, but we have to do something if we want to improve our city.

Whoever thinks I am exagerating (and I didn't want to do London, Paris, Madrid, Barcelona,etc- that would be plainly unfair) just take a look at two relatively minor cities: Malaga (warm weather city) and Oslo (cold weather city).

Malaga
Oslo:

I get that Europe is Europe, but we should take notice of what the world looks like outside our perceived urban bubble.
I know, off-topic, but the reason is: English Canadians, like Americans, have a generally low view of culture as a whole. It's a nice-to-have, but not really essential. Europeans (and French Canadians) tie culture into national honour, so it tends to have wider support (at least theoretically). You can pile money into cultural projects and heritage in France and Spain and Norway and Quebec because it's about safe-guarding their culture against the onslaught of American culture.

English Canadians have basically given up on supporting a distinct culture aside from hockey and Tim Hortons and a vague sense of moral superiority over the Americans. So design and culture, unless it's tied into status (like eating out!), is basically unimportant to most Torontonians.

American cities are at least saved somewhat by philanthropy, which is a big part of American culture. Americans are generous - they just don't want to give money in the form of taxes. Whereas most Canadians feel like they've done their duty when they've paid their taxes.

I don't think see this attitude changing anytime soon. Despite the changing ethnic identity of the city, the city's power is still in the hands of aging WASPs (look at John Tory!).
 

Pfloyd

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I know, off-topic, but the reason is: English Canadians, like Americans, have a generally low view of culture as a whole. It's a nice-to-have, but not really essential. Europeans (and French Canadians) tie culture into national honour, so it tends to have wider support (at least theoretically). You can pile money into cultural projects and heritage in France and Spain and Norway and Quebec because it's about safe-guarding their culture against the onslaught of American culture.

English Canadians have basically given up on supporting a distinct culture aside from hockey and Tim Hortons and a vague sense of moral superiority over the Americans. So design and culture, unless it's tied into status (like eating out!), is basically unimportant to most Torontonians.

American cities are at least saved somewhat by philanthropy, which is a big part of American culture. Americans are generous - they just don't want to give money in the form of taxes. Whereas most Canadians feel like they've done their duty when they've paid their taxes.

I don't think see this attitude changing anytime soon. Despite the changing ethnic identity of the city, the city's power is still in the hands of aging WASPs (look at John Tory!).
I definitely do not want to divert from the original thread (thanks to alll contributors regarding construction progress photos and other information), however, since your are responding to my comments, I have to reply.
I disagree with you about the Spanish, Norwegian, and French responding to "american culture onslaught" by investing in their urban environment/culture, as you suggest. That is absolutely nonsense. Your comments almost leads me to believe you are a Quebecois living in Parkdale with an axe to grind against Anglo Saxon Canada, although it is pretty obvious you are not from Quebec. If the "anglo" heritage of Toronto was the issue, then London would not be one of the most amazing cities worldwide. British culture has given so much to the world. Note that some of the top countries in the world: Australia, Canada, United States, New Zealand are the direct product of British culture. Melbourne and Sydney are great cities. In addition, it is not all about the US and their massive cultural reach, as you say. The Spaniards, Norwegians, French, Italians Portuguese, etc, etc, etc. couldn't care less about Americans affecting the design of their cities.They have been there for hundreds of years prior to 1776, Let's get real, please.
 
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urbanexplorer

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I definitely do not want to divert from the original thread (thanks to alll contributors regarding construction progress photos and other information), however, since your are responding to my comments, I have to reply.
I disagree with you about the Spanish, Norwegian, and French responding to "american culture onslaught" by investing in their urban environment/culture, as you suggest. That is absolutely nonsense. Your comments almost leads me to believe you are a Quebecois living in Parkdale with an axe to grind against Anglo Saxon Canada, although it is pretty obvious you are not from Quebec. If the "anglo" heritage of Toronto was the issue, then London would not be one of the most amazing cities worldwide. British culture has given so much to the world. Note that some of the top countries in the world: Australia, Canada, United States, New Zealand are the direct product of British culture. Melbourne and Sydney are great cities. In addition, it is not all about the US and their massive cultural reach, as you say. The Spaniards, Norwegians, French, Italians Portuguese, etc, etc, etc. couldn't care less about Americans affecting the design of their cities.They have been there for hundreds of years prior to 1776, Let's get real, please.
Interesting. You asked in your original post “how do we start solving it” to which the poster responded with their thoughts. I personally thought they were well-reasoned. Your response sounds a bit thorny though, like you weren’t actually willing to hear what others had to say on the topic.
 

DSC

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Interesting. You asked in your original post “how do we start solving it” to which the poster responded with their thoughts. I personally thought they were well-reasoned. Your response sounds a bit thorny though, like you weren’t actually willing to hear what others had to say on the topic.
True, but this is NOT the thread for a general 'what's wrong with Toronto' fest.
 

Pfloyd

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Interesting. You asked in your original post “how do we start solving it” to which the poster responded with their thoughts. I personally thought they were well-reasoned. Your response sounds a bit thorny though, like you weren’t actually willing to hear what others had to say on the topic.
I certainly didn't mean to come off in a belligerent way. I just wanted to describe the physical state of the city as I see it, and the prevalent municipal mentality without blaming it on the historical heritage of the people that founded Toronto. That has been done many times, and I think it is a very unproductive approach, especially if we want to move forward with ways to improve it.
 

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