News   Jul 15, 2024
 465     0 
News   Jul 15, 2024
 570     1 
News   Jul 12, 2024
 2.1K     1 

Yonge-Dundas Square/Sankofa Square (Brown + Storey Architects)

Completely idiotic concept in my mind. There's lots of green space in this city. No need for another one in the heart of commercial district.

Lots of people like the square with the flashy billboards and lights, and you need a central place like for events and gatherings. Yes it might be a cheap knocked off of Times Square, but it's still attractive and vibrant and fits right in with what that part of the city is intended to do.
 
(move over CN Tower ;) )… commission the world’s tallest totem pole (2” taller than Alert Bay) for the square, and have Jully Black sing O Canada at the unveiling.

Our home on native land.

the-world-s-tallest-free-standing-totem-pole-is-in-bc-you-can-barely-see-the-top.jpg

Narcity
 
And yes, placing a big honking totem pole tastefully and respectfully would likely be off to a good start in the proposed full redesign in the same opinion.
 
A totem pole? An indigenous symbol of a particular First Nation whose lands are several thousand kilometres away? They don’t even technically belong in Seattle or Vancouver.
Fair enough. But even so, it would be far better than what they got there now.
 
I’m so torn on Y&D square. I find it overwhelming and hostile as a pedestrian - but it’s also insanely popular during the evening and for events. I always see people hanging out beside the mall watching street buskers. Is it fair for me to turn my nose up at something that brings a lot of people joy? Is it tacky? Yeah, but there’s charm in its tackiness. Could some gentle interventions make it a better space for pedestrians and residents of T.O? Also yes.

There’s so much revenue tied up in those billboards and they’ll literally never go, at least not without a big fight.
 
I could see some sort of meta/digital/social media art concept working here. Maybe devote a couple of digital screens to selfies people take while visiting the square in real time (they can upload the images/videos to the related website which randomly chooses which ones to display)

I'm sure this kind of things has been done in other places, so some additional kink could be incorporated to make it more interesting. For instance, every now and then a facial recognition AI could quickly post some trivial personal information of the selfie taker: last item ordered on Amazon, halloween pics from their instatgram, recent conversations with ChatGPT, etc...etc...

(edited for content)
 
I could see some sort of meta/digital/social media art concept working here. Maybe devote a couple of digital screens to selfies people take while visiting the square in real time (they can upload the images/videos to the related website which randomly chooses which ones to display) .

I'm sure this kind of things has been done in other places, so some added kink could be added to make it more interesting. For instance, every now and then a facial recognition AI could quickly post some trivial personal information of the selfie taker: last item ordered on Amazon, recent postings on reddit, halloween pics from their instatgram feeds, etc...etc...

Aside from running afoul of privacy legislation; even in respect of the party taking the selfie, you have issues involving what/who else maybe captured in said photo; and also the small matter of people taking, 'inappropriate' selfies. The world's largest phallic post is not something that would add value, LOL
 
Aside from running afoul of privacy legislation; even in respect of the party taking the selfie, you have issues involving what/who else maybe captured in said photo; and also the small matter of people taking, 'inappropriate' selfies. The world's largest phallic post is not something that would add value, LOL
Yeah, that's true. I was just spitballing, mostly in jest. Certainly there are more doable ideas out there....
 
I’m so torn on Y&D square. I find it overwhelming and hostile as a pedestrian - but it’s also insanely popular during the evening and for events. I always see people hanging out beside the mall watching street buskers. Is it fair for me to turn my nose up at something that brings a lot of people joy? Is it tacky? Yeah, but there’s charm in its tackiness. Could some gentle interventions make it a better space for pedestrians and residents of T.O? Also yes.

There’s so much revenue tied up in those billboards and they’ll literally never go, at least not without a big fight.
Perhaps we need to advocate for a series of tweaks that would bring it more inline with Shibuya Crossing or Piccadilly Circus or just plain make it unique so it stops getting compared to a shabbier version of Times Square. Bring on the 3D ads on all those screens (and art from time to time), replace the cavernous Winners with a coffee shop & several smaller stores, fix the canopy over the stage, demarcate better where "performers" can stand so they don't impede pedestrian flow, build some proper bike storage with security in the parkade, get better garbage bins, hire more cleaners, etc.
 
I get how some see Yonge-Dundas as shabby and tacky. Perhaps that's becuase we reside here and see it on a daily basis. But from a tourists’ perspective, what do they see? I wonder if New Yorkers find Times Square tacky?

Personally I feel that Yonge Dundas is trying to be everything but doesn’t quite excell at any of them; a Times Square, a event hosting venue, a public park/square.
 

Back
Top