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

Northern Light posted this on the other thread:
Make sure to fill out the downtown Yonge BIA survey, I think a lot of you guys' ideas would be great. There is a draw for a bunch of prizes if you submit.

Heres the link:
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeC63URsUhuSHzBbrfjjQ468K8zfd4Ev9hFK0GRuUVRK4WgoA/viewform
I did the survey and I hope someone takes the time to read it lol 😂
I went all it. You never know someone may actually care and take note. fingers crossed 🤞
 
C1C3AA71-3EED-4DB6-A9BE-9BB0440CBCA1.jpeg
 
The latest missive in The Star that YDS is failing.

Paywall free: https://archive.ph/oshax

Biggest issues at YDS:
1) The underground parking lot feels unsafe and stairwells are covered in piss. Security and staff do nothing.
2) The area seems to be surrendered to intoxicated, mentally ill and unpredictable/unstable folks. Open drug use is common.
3) It‘s one big asphalt slab with no shade trees to sit under and enjoy the day.
4) It’s often too loud, when I come up from the piss-smelling stairs the racket hits me. Often this is due to some corporate-sponsored event.

So, in summary, YDS is unsafe, smelly, untidy, shadeless and loud. How that seemed like a good idea to the Square’s designs IDK. What YDS should be like is Berczy Park, a nice place for sober and sane folks to enjoy some downtown public space.
 
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Some people I know are scared to go there. Plus they have a high end mall right next to it. And what‘s worse is that no one is doing anything about it. Bryant park is nyc is so much better. chairs, trees,. Needs to be cleaned and fixed up ASAP.
 
Paywall free: https://archive.ph/oshax

Biggest issues at YDS:
1) The underground parking lot feels unsafe and stairwells are covered in piss. Security and staff do nothing.
2) The area seems to be surrendered to intoxicated, mentally ill and unpredictable/unstable folks. Open drug use is common.
3) It‘s one big asphalt slab with no shade trees to sit under and enjoy the day.
4) It’s often too loud, when I come up from the piss-smelling stairs the racket hits me. Often this is due to some corporate-sponsored event.

So, in summary, YDS is unsafe, smelly, untidy, shadeless and loud. How that seemed like a good idea to the Square’s designs IDK. What YDS should be like is Berczy Park, a nice place for sober, sane and serene folks to enjoy some downtown public space.

This forum and I myself have discussed many of the design shortcomings here.

Amongst us collectively, there is broad agreement it can/should be better, though a fairly substantive difference between those of us would prefer less of a 'Times Square' vibe; and those who think it hasn't gone far enough in that direction.

I won't rehash all the positions taken up thread, including my own, at this point. (except to say I'm in 'The Anti Times camp); but we can all agree w/e one aims at, the current set-up ain't working.

****

Edit to add:

This was my relatively low cost, straight-forward plan to make the square work better:


This was my ambitious, lets not rifle for loose change in the couch, but rob Ft. Knox to pay for the re-do version:


****

Both versions would benefit from the safe injection site's re-lo or closure which is likely now pending.
 
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Most downtown folk I know don't go to Dundas Square or the Eaton Centre. Both are over run with loud obnoxious people who've commuted there from points many miles away. I don't hate either place, do enjoy the sensory overload of the square, but I'll only head there if I absolutely have to. And yes, I'd also take Bryant Park over Dundas Square.
 
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As its featureless, cheap built form perfectly encapsulates the soulless, vapid qualities of the mainstream corporate culture that it's surrounded by, it essentially openly mocks the dull masses who make the journey to visit it.

It's brilliant.

Ok, I like dumping on the Square for its many shortcomings as much as anyone; but I do think you're ranging into the territory of hyperbole here.

Brown and Storey are about as un-corporate a design firm as you'll find, they're very civic minded; and there's actually a fair bit of money in the Square (the water feature is not nothing burger, and the entire square is granite).

It was well intended, but has not functioned as well as one might have hoped in part because too much was asked of a tiny plot of land (the parking garage really makes a hash of things); and also limited by the terrible choices the City
and PenEquity made in the developing what surrounds the square as well.

From Wikipedia:

1695593636269.png


Aside from design shortcomings; the Square is also struggling to fund programming as they've lacked a program sponsor since the pandemic came about.

That's a big factor in the lack of more frequent concerts/events.
 
There was nothing Mr Towered said that was hyperbole, IMO...if anything, I thought he was being a bit too polite about it. >.<
 
I’ve always wondered, does the parking garage do well? I’ve never ventured in to take a look.

The aspect I dislike so much about the existing square is that it’s all one ugly grey tone.

Personally I think a nice large fountain would be great for the square. Dare I say to hand over the square to CCxA to work their magic? Lol.
 

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