Toronto Waterscapes | ?m | 30s | Biddington | Graziani + Corazza

This 'Village Court' is the biggest piece of crap built down there since I've moved in back in 1996.

Did they hire a landscape designer or just get a city engineer to draw some crap on a napkin? The materials are crap (I'm a huge fan of the hideous railings)... Such a missed opportunity.

Now the obvious.. Where was Mark Grimes to demand a better design from the developer? (and Monarch has blessed us with countless crap towers and in return they should be building a square that costs more than $50k), where was the HBSCA? No leadership down there.. It's almost pathetic.
 
Agreed. I think most people are thrilled with it though as its now a space they can use as opposed to a pile of dirt. Although I would have to think that anyone who actually saw the original plans would be disapointed with the final result. There is not even any lighting in the new square which was surprising to me.
 
If you read my previous email, you'll note that it mentions that the lighting isn't in yet, and then in the third photo down you'll see one of the spots where it's going to be installed. There are at least four of those (if not six, can't remember) waiting to have lampposts installed.

No idea who the designer is.

Note that this square has been in the works for quite a long time now, maybe a whole decade or even more, and that the contract/agreement with the City (if not the design itself but quite possibly that too) would predate all of the more ambitious park designs that have been coming to town lately. We have definitely been getting used to much more imaginative and engaging parks over the last few years, and in this case Monarch would only be living up to fulfilling a site plan that was cast in virtual stone many years ago.

Meanwhile, the buildings in the area like the adjacent Monarch-built Voyager for example have incredibly lushly landscaped grounds, so the condo owners in the area will easily see the difference. Maybe the HBSCA will be moving to get improvements made.

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If you read my previous email, you'll note that it mentions that the lighting isn't in yet, and then in the third photo down you'll see one of the spots where it's going to be installed. There are at least four of those (if not six, can't remember) waiting to have lampposts installed.

No idea who the designer is.

Note that this square has been in the works for quite a long time now, maybe a whole decade or even more, and that the contract/agreement with the City (if not the design itself but quite possibly that too) would predate all of the more ambitious park designs that have been coming to town lately. We have definitely been getting used to much more imaginative and engaging parks over the last few years, and in this case Monarch would only be living up to fulfilling a site plan that was cast in virtual stone many years ago.

Meanwhile, the buildings in the area like the adjacent Monarch-built Voyager for example have incredibly lushly landscaped grounds, so the condo owners in the area will easily see the difference. Maybe the HBSCA will be moving to get improvements made.

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There was no design for this Village Square until late last year.

The original 'vision' by Monarch/Toronto is below and far more ambitious than the windswept crap we got in its place.

It even had a fountain! Personally I think the city is to blame. Parks said a fountain is too complicated for this site... LOL

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Toronto's Parks Department is so starved for cash that they would not have wanted to have to maintain another fountain—that's the main problem. They can barely maintain the parkland the city already owns. There was a fountain out front of Grand Harbour a kilometre to the west that was left to go to ruin a few years ago.

In this particular spot, 'windswept' may actually be a problem with a traditional spray fountain, but yes, at least a burbling low-to-the-ground water feature would make a difference here.

There's something about the Section 37 requirements for the buildings in Humber Bay Shores that was worked out years ago which means that the developers here were not saddled with as much as what's happening downtown. Also, you'll note there's no public art around these buildings, so they all escaped the Percent for Public Art program somehow. It definitely leaves the public realm duller. Something to do with the area plan zoning bylaw that was enacted by the City years ago when all the strip motels here were being assembled for this redevelopment.

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Toronto's Parks Department is so starved for cash that they would not have wanted to have to maintain another fountain—that's the main problem. They can barely maintain the parkland the city already owns. There was a fountain out front of Grand Harbour a kilometre to the west that was left to go to ruin a few years ago.

In this particular spot, 'windswept' may actually be a problem with a traditional spray fountain, but yes, at least a burbling low-to-the-ground water feature would make a difference here.

There's something about the Section 37 requirements for the buildings in Humber Bay Shores that was worked out years ago which means that the developers here were not saddled with as much as what's happening downtown. Also, you'll note there's no public art around these buildings, so they all escaped the Percent for Public Art program somehow. It definitely leaves the public realm duller. Something to do with the area plan zoning bylaw that was enacted by the City years ago when all the strip motels here were being assembled for this redevelopment.

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The Grand Harbour fountain is functioning, because the residents of Grand Harbour paid for it to be fixed (including me through my already high maintenance fees and property taxes).

Wonder if I'll get a tax rebate for the city's incompetence?
 
Toronto's Parks Department is so starved for cash that they would not have wanted to have to maintain another fountain—that's the main problem. They can barely maintain the parkland the city already owns. There was a fountain out front of Grand Harbour a kilometre to the west that was left to go to ruin a few years ago.

In this particular spot, 'windswept' may actually be a problem with a traditional spray fountain, but yes, at least a burbling low-to-the-ground water feature would make a difference here.

There's something about the Section 37 requirements for the buildings in Humber Bay Shores that was worked out years ago which means that the developers here were not saddled with as much as what's happening downtown. Also, you'll note there's no public art around these buildings, so they all escaped the Percent for Public Art program somehow. It definitely leaves the public realm duller. Something to do with the area plan zoning bylaw that was enacted by the City years ago when all the strip motels here were being assembled for this redevelopment.

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Would you be able to provide more clarity on that? It seems almost too hard to believe, but I wouldn't put anything past Mark Grimes. Slimey person, asked for the same considerations for the Mimico 20/20 redevelopment. Like you need more development incentives to develop waterfront land with the best views in the city!
 
Back for another look at Waterscapes, this time with a focus on the retail.

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A small number of the dozen or so units are now operating. The most southwesterly one is look for someone to lease it, while next door, a variety store has opened.
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On the other side of the residential entrance, Healthy Island is another variety store focusing on natural products.
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The big new deal here is the Firkin on the Bay, and it was doing a good business today about 5 PM.
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There are a number of shops up the side of the public square to the northwest of the Firkin, none of which have opened yet.

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The public square is worth another post. Just completed this summer, it's nice to have the greenery, the benches, etc., but it sure is an underwhelming landscape.

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Down here by Marine Parade, there's this area.
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This is nice enough…
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…but what's the deal with this incredibly cheap hardware?
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And what are these dark blobs created by the two-tone/tow-material bricks/stone supposed to mean?
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And what are the cones for? Are there to be fountain nozzles below the cones possibly? It's not very promising looking, and there's no indication of there being any drains here, nor slope to support shallow fountains, but, this has got to mean something, doesn't it? More than just what was on sale at Home Depot at least, I'm hoping. Anyone know?

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Wow, what awful looking retail. The Firkin is okay, but the ceiling should not be exposed. It works in some places, but not there.
 
I too wonder each time I walk by what the heck the paving stone blobs are supposed to represent? The court has improved a lot in the last couple of months with the lights and tables and the benches but that platform area remains an eyesore. Not to mention that yellowy discoloured brick as well.
 
From yesterday:

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