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What will the next big thing be?

TonyV

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Just musing, today. We've seen a lot of action in Toronto in the past decade. What will be the next big thing? There are lots of things just getting underway but we all know what those are: condos, condos, and more condos.

Some dreams, while I've got time to kill:

Will our new administration at City Hall come up with a comprehensive way to make Yonge appealing?

Or maybe a big hair architect will get hired on to some local project (I am inspired by the proposed Ryerson Student Learning Centre idea at Yonge & Gould, if it were to become a reality, that would be cool).

Maybe sidewalk / streetscaping initiatives all over downtown. I know, I'm dreaming.

Or maybe (yawn) a couple of supertalls ... please, not just blocky things, something refreshing S.V.P. And preferably office buidings - we still have to fight to keep jobs downtown.

Maybe another public square or meeting place fronting on Yonge, this time on the west. I doubt that one. But it's undeniably a nice dream.

Does anyone out there care to muse with me? What's next? This city is on a roll, and I have a feeling the past decade has merely been setting the table - I think Toronto is in for a huge expansion, the kind that no one is expecting. Do tell, all you soothsayers.
 
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Bogtrotter

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There was some talk of a massive office tower for the parking lot across fromm the ACC, but I'm not sure if that was a serious proposal or just wishful thinking by height focused UTer's. I would really to see a revamping of Yonge street between College and Bloor.
 

sodapop

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a yonge street revamp would be awesome! if they could restore some of the older buildings that have been neglected over the years and encourage new stores to move into the area. that'd be really nice.
my big hope for the future though is just to see better architecture :p these days it seems like all we get are glass boxes! with exceptions such as absolute world...whether that means putting more money into buildings, or just more time. something needs to be done
 

TrickyRicky

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We still have a significant pool of projects in the pipe of all kinds so I sense "big things" announcements may be scarce in the coming years. But forget about that for the moment. I think major announcements could include:

-resolution of major transit project commitments
-a major new attraction at Ontario place or the Exhibition grounds
-major announcement of new sports facilities such as a new stadium
-A new dedicated home for modern or contemporary art
-A number of new nodal developments. That is large commercial / retail / residential complexes at key transit nodes or existing malls and complexes in need of revitalization
-I would say new tallest residential tower announcement but there really is an avalanche of condo inventory yet to be sold in existing projects
 

Davin

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I think the next "BIG" thing is the redevelopment of the Portlands. With all the potential of that massive blank canvas it could becoming a cultural/tourist/residential/commercial area that everyone would want a piece of. Not to mention the terraforming posibilities such as small canals and massive waterfront parks!
 

TonyV

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^ Davin, I think your response is spot-on. In general that development will inspire more than anything else that is going on in Toronto right now. It will open up a lot of eyes.
 

buildup

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Not sure if this fits the thread, but i would like to see something inteesting occupy the entire 2 blocks currently occupied by the greyhound terminal and the block north of it currently a parking lot al NW of Dundas and Bay. This area is a cancer in the exact center of our city.
 

TrickyRicky

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I think the portlands is a big thing but not "the next" big thing. When we are talking the Portlands I think we are really talking about another 20 year horizon. The next big thing would be the Donlands re-development starting to take shape.
 

old boy

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I think a big thing that may be overlooked is the efforts this maturing city will see toward the public realm. There's been talk of a financial district BIA, and we've seen Bloor Street sidewalk improvements. The whole eastern side of the downtown is developing, and not, hopefully, with the kind of disparate and isolated development models this city is familiar with. Big projects in Toronto will fit in, rather than stick out. With the local climate, people in Toronto ache to get outdoors with the good weather, and Toronto should be a great city for the downtown pedestrian. So, the next big thing is already happening.
 

nfitz

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When we are talking the Portlands I think we are really talking about another 20 year horizon.
If that. We've been talking railway lands now for what ... almost 40 years? And it's still going. Portlands is a much bigger area. If we are seeing large-scale development in only 20 years, I'd be (pleasantly) surprised.
 

TonyV

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Having read all the responses, I sum up by saying I would be happy (and totally surprised) if the City made an initiative of turning downtown Yonge into a great, inviting place. That would be a big thing, and to be brutally honest it is the missing piece in Toronto. What a shabby stretch the main drag is now.

Think "boulevarding". Can it be true that I am the only boulevardier type around? I just love to walk around, take things in ... can't do that on Yonge; instead, I choose Bloor, or Queen West, or King West, or Spadina .... maybe Queens Quay some time down the road.

We ought to open this up into a new thread. Can anyone come up with some outside-the-box ideas for Yonge, from Bloor to Front?
 

buildup

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When you walk down Yonge and closely observe the buildings its incredible how many original structures remain.
 

CanadianNational

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My dream list: I think Toronto would benefit from having:

a) A spectacular new Planetarium

b) A lakeside honkey-tonk amusement park (and big lakeside central park, too). Why wait for Portlands redevelopment in terms of complicated buildups, when it could be made into one of those parks we envy, in short order?

c) A rival opera house.

d) An official city circus and festival of oddities.

e) A vast enclosed year-round public park, with a botanical garden. Winters get long, and there's no greenery. A big neo-Buckmister Fuller type project could remedy that.

f) A giant wave pool.

h) A permanent burlesque revue.

i) A Winter Love Carnival.

l) A mind-blowing year-round indoor skateboard park.

j) A branch of the Tate, Guggenheim, Louvre or Prado (one or more)

k) A mythic history (one or more)

l) Intricate, intimate and winding streets, laden with fruiting trees, redolent of mystery

m) Harbour & Lake Waterborne Transit

n) A newfangled, never-before-seen wild urban 'transit roller coaster' linking tourist sights. Or aerial tramway.

o) A monumental social generator for the arts, either in the form of an interior-spaced live-work skyscraper co-operative, or a massively refurbished Hearn Generating station. A combination of massive deregulation and re-organization within select zones to encourage highly spontaneous and original social interactions, individual production and new architectures devoted to non-commercial means.

p) Over fifty percent of public video screen time dedicated to non-commercial citizen's videos and video art

q) Picturesque ruins

r) Yonge Street between Queen and Bloor into made something between a Boulevard and an Urban Linear Park.

s) A spaceport.

t) Removal of all traffic and rail from the Valleys and ravines, and the restoration of parks, small farms, wilds and wetlands to these areas.

u) A proper red-light district

v) Raising the mystique and attractiveness of downtown through The lessening of traffic through it. Widespread widening of sidewalks (with plantings), expansion of lawns, fees for incoming vehicles, and increase in the number of pedestrianized zones - some partially glass-roofed for winter and rain - would be a good start.

w) Little fun fairs here and there featuring follies, critters, fanatastical and non-functional architecture. That, and better street food.
 
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pman

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my fantasy

It will never happen, but I'd love to see the old Ontario Hydro building at College and University converted to medical research labs, possibly with a linear extension running west behind the old Board of Education building and linking with a companion research facility at the southwest corner of McCaul ad College.

And while I'm at it I'd also be thrilled to see a Waterloo University clone set up somewhere in 416.
 

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