I'd just like to clarify my comment at least. What I object to in Hume's column is not exactly anything about Tribeca, but his closing unjustified aside that somehow, refurbishing a sixties office tower in the burbs and not repositioning its front door means that we have a city in decline. Hume should be more judicious about his words.
"A city in freefall" - yeah i guess a new opera house, a new airport terminal, new wings for both our art gallery and major museum, record numbers of residents moving downtown, and despite what the media would have you believe, no significant increases in violent crime rates in years, adds up to freefall to me as well....
I basically agree with Hume that this condo at the major intersection does very little to make this an urban pedestrian friendly corridor. The Eglinton frontage is auto oriented, and the new townhouses and the parking lot across the street also do nothing to enliven the intersection. Sure having the building vacant or torn down would be even worse for the intersection if it were never to be redeveloped. However this is Toronto, not Detroit so a site at Eglinton and Don Mills should not be expected to remain vacant for years.
When Hume says that architecture in Toronto is in a freefall it shows that his expectations are higher than that of others. Hume is one of a very limited number of project reviewers who will give a review that is not always positive. Let's hope he is not muzzled by developers.
My ex-boyfriend and I went in to look at the show suites years ago when the renovation was only just under way. The parts of the building that had been stripped down and emptied out looked amazing... a very "Tribeca" loft look with wide-open spaces, exposed concrete, high ceilings. I was all like: Cool! Living in an abandoned 60s office building--what fun!!! But we were quickly escorted to the more "finished" floors which of course had been chopped up into small units, refitted with fussy windows and plastered over with frilly finishes to make it feel "homey." The loft feeling was entirely absent. *sigh* Years later when driving by I was dismayed to see that even the original jazzy 60s cladding (I think it was metal panels?) had been replaced with humdrum precast. Lost opportunity, I thought.