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

Some of these are good ideas, but how about we stick to what's realistic?

Did I not start by using the word 'fantasy'? I could swear I used it right near the top of my post. It seems the post was popular, as if people wanted to give thought to the potential here.........

That fantasy is not totally unrealistic in that 10 Dundas East was the product of a previous City expropriation.
The value of the properties, due to the hospital helicopter path is far less than you might think (still a lot); and nothing lies outside the realm of being quite practical.

Do I think its likely to happen in the near term? No. Do I think it should? Probably not, in as much as the City has so many pressing needs right now, that would be hard to justify; though the City could lay the ground work for something in the future.

****

As to immediate, low-cost, actions, there really is very little to be done with YDS. The nature of its design and its surroundings pose a great number of technical challenges to improving the space. So you ask for realistic, and I show you a new few flower pots and some new furniture. Not terribly exciting, is it?
 
Very well said, and let me ad this:

What else are you going to put there??? Green space like the article suggest? It doesn't fit at all with the area. Go over to the island for green space (or Jesse Ketchum Park....lol)

It's a commercial area for God sake...lol. It's a nice place just to stop, sit down, have a street sausage but still feel like your in an urban setting. As you stated, I think if we're going to do this, we should be doing everything possible to make it more like Time Square. If we're going to do it, do it right.

Can you imagine a green space here? It would be turned into an encampment and public toilet within hours of opening. The safe injection site is right there and the old Bond Place hotel is homeless shelter. It's not the right place to build a zen garden lol
 
I don't have an issue with the commercial sensory overload of places like Shinjuku or Dundas Square. Like most things in Toronto it comes down to execution. Generally speaking, Ontario is terrible at design and utterly hopeless when it comes to public realm. We need to import Danes to show us what a good looking condo looks like and Quebecois (Cormier) to design our parks. This is no different.

Dundas Square was a dud from Day 1. The building is a giant tin shed inside and out. Who thought fake fans on the exterior was a good idea? The square itself is awkward and putting a parking garage underground just made things worse. So where to go from here?

We're so obsessed with not wanting to visually offend that we demolish whatever isn't on trend and build bland, sterile, boring, soul less buildings in volume. Dundas Square may be jarring but it's also one of the most photographed places in the country. Instead of dismantling one of the few places that inject some visual interest, we should improve it. Perhaps a trip to a Chinese city will show how electric, engaging, and beautiful an area with video screens/LEDs can be.

The Guardian (UK newspaper) described Toronto this way: it's Prozac in city form. Cheeky, but they weren't entirely wrong.
 
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Just to add to this lively discussion: 1)the areas around the square are densifying rapidly and will change how it is used. 2)The Burtynsky show last summer was stunning and well attended and the projection series being put on by TMU this May will further cement the space’s use by the arts. 3)I feel that it is well used during the warmer months and when they place tables and chairs in it makes it a great people watching place. Trafalgar Square is probably empty when it is below zero in the middle of January. All in all, minor surgery rather than a complete overhaul.
 
Getting rid of cars altogether in the area and adding art installations on the square like Places-des-Arts in Montreal (when there are no big events happening) would go a long way.
 
Getting rid of cars altogether in the area and adding art installations on the square like Places-des-Arts in Montreal (when there are no big events happening) would go a long way.

Yonge will be pedestrian priority here and reduce the presence of cars to some degree.

Removing cars from Dundas is a non-starter for the foreseeable future, given that Queen will be closed to cars for the next several years.

At some point after Queen re-opens, one could consider such; though there may be some discussion around EMS access to the hospital and various other considerations.
 
I'm not convinced that minor alterations will get Dundas Square to where it needs to be but removing that south side lane connecting Victoria to Yonge would be an improvement. The square could be expanded with little disruption to car traffic. The bigger issue is north of the square. That whole block to Gould will eventually have to be re-built from scratch. It's one of the most important blocks downtown and plain awful. This below is only an example but it's absolutely possible to combine the sensory feel of Dundas Square with a refined building.

1677299451914.png

 
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Yonge will be pedestrian priority here and reduce the presence of cars to some degree.

Removing cars from Dundas is a non-starter for the foreseeable future, given that Queen will be closed to cars for the next several years.

At some point after Queen re-opens, one could consider such; though there may be some discussion around EMS access to the hospital and various other considerations.
I'd rather parts of Queen become pedestrian-streetcar-only over Dundas.
 
I'm not convinced that minor alterations will get Dundas Square to where it needs to be but removing that south side lane connecting Victoria to Yonge would be an improvement. The square could be expanded with little disruption to car traffic. The bigger issue is north of the square. That whole block to Gould will eventually have to be re-built from scratch. It's one of the most important blocks downtown and plain awful. This below is only an example but it's absolutely possible to combine the sensory feel of Dundas Square with a refined building.

View attachment 458471
I agree that removing the south side lane would be an improvement. Then we could convert the Shopper's into a restaurant with outdoor seating sprawling into the square which would give it a much more European vibe.
 
They used to have a restaurant there that had a patio (Hard Rock). That it's a Shoppers now isn't a great indication to me that another one would do well.
 
They used to have a restaurant there that had a patio (Hard Rock). That it's a Shoppers now isn't a great indication to me that another one would do well.

For one, back when the Hard Rock was there, it wasn't really "Yonge and Dundas Square". It just happened to be a busy intersection. Second, The Hard Rock Cafe sucks which is why so many of them closed.
 
They used to have a restaurant there that had a patio (Hard Rock). That it's a Shoppers now isn't a great indication to me that another one would do well.

Hard Rock lasted more than 2 decades there, which is an eternity in restaurant terms.

For a place that was only ever about the 'vibe' as opposed to the food; I think it did quite well.

It was a tired concept, I think they folded it simply because there wasn't a financial case to be made for paying more in rent, which the location now demands.
 
Hard Rock was awful but it was always packed and the patio was a great place to people watch. it was still better than having yet another Shoppers Drug Mart. It would have been nice to see a better restaurant in its place but the greedy landlord wanted something nuts like $2 million per year in rent. No restaurant can afford that. So we are stuck with big box crap like a Shoppers Drug Mart flagship.


It would have been fantastic if the building was broken up into smaller units for restaurants, cafes, bars. Close the one way street and have the patio's spill out onto the road. That would have given the square more energy and better atmosphere at night.
 

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