Toronto Waterlink at Pier 27 | 43.89m | 14s | Cityzen | a—A

I used to love visiting the little Greek islands where freshly caught squid would be hanging out to dry, and piles of sponges - or whatever they were, along the quaysides. There used to be pelikans wandering the quay on Mykonos. Isn't there anything exotic living in our great big lake that we can catch and sell on the waterfront promenade as street meat for tourists?
Continuity has been a problem with the central waterfront for a long time but the new boardwalk and H20 park should help open it up to the public more. As per the above discussion of restaurants I'd really like to see more retail and pubs etc down there- there's great opportunity for establsinments overlooking the water. I also like the powerplant and studios concept, more cultural attractions like a Toronto museum would certainly add to appeal of the area as a yearround destination.
"Isn't there anything exotic living in our great big lake that we can catch and sell on the waterfront promenade as street meat for tourists?"

Sadly I don't think the thought of food taken from lake ontario is very appealing to most people. But i suppose tourists wouldn't know that- maybe we can hawk it off on them.
In England they sell cockles and mussels and rubbery welks. Also, in Norfolk, you used to be able to buy sanfire, though there's so much pollution in the North Sea from oil tankers that few do anymore. Perhaps we can sell zebra mussels - call it Zebra of the Lake or something exotic sounding?

Ah, talking of exotic, what about all those exotic lakeside iconic buildings that we've missed out on ... Metronome is but a distant memory; the group that proposed a Really Big Aquarium to anchor their Port Lands Estuary competition entry didn't win; the rendering that showed Iconic Giant Balls of Horse Manure at the foot of Jarvis turned out to be a modest office building for Corus ...
We could always sell fresh carp from Hamilton harbour. Yummy!

This nice new Clewes development also reminds me a bit of Grad House as well as OCAD. I wonder when we get to see phase 2?
Very nice, though perhaps a tad bulky.

I take it this means the park that was supposed to go in this location is a no-go?
The tabletop is set at a jaunty angle to the site, and the two blocks of apartments it hovers above are asymmetrical - memorable little tweaks that remind me of the Spire balconies that are narrower at one end than the other.
What's wrong with this picture? - GTA - What's wrong with this picture?


May 30, 2007
Christopher Hume
Urban Affairs Columnist

Everything about Pier 27 is great, except for one thing – the location.

Designed by one of Toronto's finest architects, Peter Clewes, this dramatic complex consists of two 12-storey slabs joined by a three-storey "bridge" that contains condos. If the pictures are any indication, the result will be a civic icon, a genuine landmark, gateway and framer of views. The language of glass and white steel also has a subtle nautical theme, obviously appropriate for the area.

The trouble is that it will occupy land that should be dedicated to a public purpose – that means a square, plaza, piazza, a park, whatever. The point is that it should be public.

What we're talking about here is the 9-acre site on the edge of Lake Ontario just east of Yonge St. Though there's enough space here for all the players to get what they want, it doesn't seem headed for a happy ending.

Not all is lost, however, as the development will include a 25-metre promenade along the west and south edges of the property. And to be fair to the builders – Fernbrook Homes and Cityzen – they appear committed to ensuring that the precinct will remain public in feel if not always in fact.

Given what they have the legal right to build, the scheme announced yesterday could have been much worse. Keep in mind that the city approved 1.5 million square feet of residential construction a decade ago and the Ontario Municipal Board upheld that in 2001.

Perhaps if the Toronto Harbour Commission (forerunner of the Toronto Port Authority) hadn't sold the land in 1986 to a private developer, the problem would never have arisen. Perhaps if the Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Corp., the city and the provincial and federal governments had been able to work out a deal with Fernbrook and Cityzen, a better solution could have been reached.

In fact, the developers are still talking to the TWRC. But at this point it's unlikely that any changes will be made, at least on the west end of the site, where construction is due to begin in a year or less.

In other words, the corporation's desire to have a clear public space extending from Queens Quay to the water's edge along the Yonge St. slip won't be realized. There will be a promenade, and at 25 metres it will be significant, but given the importance of Yonge, the TWRC rightly wanted more.

Critics would point out that it had the chance to reach an agreement last year but at the last minute, it and its federal and civic partners walked away from the table. The problem was that the developers would only have given up land in return for greater height, something no politician could agree to in a city where tall buildings are anathema.

But because Clewes is a very clever designer, and also a member of the Waterfront Design Review Panel, he has done something relatively sympathetic to the goals of waterfront revitalization. His clients – who wear loud striped suits and large sunglasses – want to start as soon as possible. Indeed, the plans revealed yesterday cover the first of four phases. It was clear no one's had the time yet to figure out what will happen on the eastern half of the site, where the bulk of building will eventually occur.

Clewes mentioned the idea of extending Freeland St. south of Queens Quay and creating another north/south "finger." But this would be a road for cars as well as pedestrians, which flies in the face of creating a public precinct. "It needs something incredibly important," Clewes rightly observes.

Condos, no matter how brilliantly designed, are not it. There was a time once when Torontonians were talking about getting Frank Gehry to design an art gallery or an opera house in this location. That would have been incredible. But that isn't going to happen.

And by the way, what has become of the TWRC's much touted commitment to green building? The word wasn't mentioned once.