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ADRM

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I can't support an MZO here because some of the local opposition to the project is irksome. That's insufficient cause for a very heavy-handed power.

I certainly take the point about there being value in having a more clearly prescribed set of circumstances guiding the use of MZOs, but I think this is where we differ in this particular case: "local opposition to a project" should not, in my opinion, be sufficient grounds on which to object to the use of an MZO, because it gives too much credit to the motives of the local opposition.

I have a pretty good private understanding of how the "local opposition" came to be in this case, and the answer is that a literal handful of wealthy and connected neighbours just don't like the design, and more or less every argument that has been made by the cadre of RAs they have assembled/co-opted to advance their cause is a disingenuous attempt at veiling their own personal distaste for the design. This is simply not how community consultation or city planning should work, because it's too subjective, too insubstantive, and places too much power in the hands of a few grumpy neighbours.

I know, too, for what it's worth, that there is a goodly number of residents who are ostensibly represented by the aforementioned RAs who are rightly pissed off that so much time and energy is being spent on the personal crusade of the ring leaders (especially given the litany of neighbourhood issues that actually affect quality of life to which the RAs could and should be dedicating their resources).
 

Northern Light

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I certainly take the point about there being value in having a more clearly prescribed set of circumstances guiding the use of MZOs, but I think this is where we differ in this particular case: "local opposition to a project" should not, in my opinion, be sufficient grounds on which to object to the use of an MZO, because it gives too much credit to the motives of the local opposition.

I have a pretty good private understanding of how the "local opposition" came to be in this case, and the answer is that a literal handful of wealthy and connected neighbours just don't like the design, and more or less every argument that has been made by the cadre of RAs they have assembled/co-opted to advance their cause is a disingenuous attempt at veiling their own personal distaste for the design. This is simply not how community consultation or city planning should work, because it's too subjective, too insubstantive, and places too much power in the hands of a few grumpy neighbours.

I know, too, for what it's worth, that there is a goodly number of residents who are ostensibly represented by the aforementioned RAs who are rightly pissed off that so much time and energy is being spent on the personal crusade of the ring leaders (especially given the litany of neighbourhood issues that actually affect quality of life to which the RAs could and should be dedicating their resources).

I'm fine w/that summation of facts; but there is an avenue of appeal here in the form of LPAT.

Lots of projects face opposition of this type, and sometimes, it's hard to separate the good from the bad, MZOs barring broad consent, should be a tool of last resort.
 

ADRM

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I'm fine w/that summation of facts; but there is an avenue of appeal here in the form of LPAT.

Lots of projects face opposition of this type, and sometimes, it's hard to separate the good from the bad, MZOs barring broad consent, should be a tool of last resort.

Yeah, I definitely see that perspective. I think where I come down on this one is that the extant form of appeal (LPAT) is a lengthy and (in this case) unnecessary process whose conclusion we have a very good sense of, meaning the delay it would impose would be entirely avoidable (which is unfortunate given that the university really does need this space), to the detriment of the future students and faculty who will use this building.
 

AlbertC

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CursedWaffles

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I'm of the view that removing the existing faculty of Music building would probably be the way to go.

Yea, as I posted in this thread earlier the Edward Johnson Building needs a ton of work if it's going to continue to exist as the Faculty of Music's main space. If they're going to demolish or undertake a serious renovation of it, the time is before a huge new building is plunked in front of it, not before imo.
 

Johnny Au

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It would be great if the University of Toronto could sell the naming rights for the Centre for Civilizations, Cultures, and Cities to video game creator Sid Meier. Why? First, he's Canadian (he was born in Sarnia), and second, it would be called Sid Meier's Civilization Centre, just like the popular video game series he created.
 

AlexBozikovic

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Settlement docs are up. It's a bit shorter, massing has been rearranged, the back wing of Falconer Hall gets sacrificed. No final design, only massing envelope. Link.

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Northern Light

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Settlement docs are up. It's a bit shorter, massing has been rearranged, the back wing of Falconer Hall gets sacrificed.

Silly question? Where did you find this?

I looked at the E-Status and see the next hearing scheduled for July 30, no decision posted.

Nothing new in the AIC.

Obviously I missed something!
 

emphur

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Settlement docs are up. It's a bit shorter, massing has been rearranged, the back wing of Falconer Hall gets sacrificed. No final design, only massing envelope. Link.

View attachment 337828View attachment 337829View attachment 337830

From the preliminary massing this feels like a terrible 'compromise'...

Less height to 'fit into neighborhood character' wouldn't totally bother me if the architectural expression could be left intact, but the concerns over the expression itself lead to it now looking like the massing of another MaRS building.

I'm not trying to place any blame, but the neighborhood folk who drummed up a lot of concerns over heritage ended up leaving us with less of the original heritage building and nothing to show for it... I can hope the final design has some unique finishes to at least not make this a boring write off in a heavily viewed part of campus.

I do chuckle at the fact some of the same folk who worry about neighborhood character would be mad if that stretch of road was narrowed to its original width, before that intimate street was ripped apart.
 

Northern Light

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Not an improvement!

As someone who basically liked the proposal, but also did feel it was a bit overwhelming for its context; this looks like a solution that will please no one.

The building is still bulky and overwhelming, maybe moreso in some respects.

We can't really pass final judgement at this stage, but I'm really not encouraged.
 

saynotofaux

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I can't believe the University kowtowed to these shameless NIMBYs when they had the full support of City staff prior to this latest round of revisions. I frankly don't see how any of these revisions make this proposal "better" or address any of the purported heritage issues raised by the Residents Associations. In fact, it does the opposite and hacks off one of the character-defining elements of Falconer Hall (the Billiard Room) while achieving a modest height reduction that has no tangibly positive impact in comparison to the prior iteration.

It's the involvement of HVRA in this one that really kills me - the sheer audacity of their clamouring to the table to impose their opinions in an application that is nowhere near their catchment area, and has zero impact whatsoever on their residents.
 

ADRM

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Anyone trying to ascribe any good faith arguments to the opponents of this project are being substantially too generous to them. A bunch of rich white folks saw a proposal they didn’t like and weaponized their privilege to get their way; simple as that.

It’s a pretty good encapsulation of all that is wrong in “public consultation” in this city (and many others). To say the process by which the City engages the public is in dire need of a dramatic overhaul is an extreme understatement.
 

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