Toronto Loft Conversions

Toronto Loft Conversions

I know classic brick and beam lofts! From warehouses to factories to churches, Laurin will help you find your perfect new loft.

Modern Toronto Lofts

Modern Toronto Lofts

Not just converted lofts, I can help you find the latest cool and modern space. There are tons of new urban spaces across the city.

Unique Toronto Homes

Unique Toronto Homes

More than just lofts, I can also help you find that perfect house. From the latest architectural marvel to a piece of our Victorian past, the best and most creative spaces abound.

Condos in Toronto

Condos in Toronto

I started off selling mainly condos, helping first time buyers get a foothold in the Toronto real estate market. Now working with investors and helping empty nesters find that perfect luxury suite.

Toronto Real Estate

Toronto Real Estate

For all of your Toronto real estate needs, contact Laurin. I am dedicated to helping you find that perfect and unique new home to call your own.

 

Can old Toronto survive the new?

Christopher Hume – Toronto Star

If things are looking up in downtown Toronto, it’s largely because of the towers that seem to appear weekly. Many have been built; more are in the works. So many, in fact, one can’t help but wonder what the city’s main street will look like in a decade or two.

Though most of the discussion will focus on height, there are other more important issues; namely, how these towers meet the street, and what will become of the heritage buildings that still line much of Yonge.

Given Toronto’s sorry history on such matters, these remaining historic structures will most likely be torn down or, almost as unfortunate, reduced to a façade. Examples abound. Indeed, tearing down a building but for a wall or two has become so widespread it has its own name – façadomy.

Still, a building is not the same as a streetscape. Few would disagree that bringing density downtown is desirable, never more so than in a time of gridlock, untrammeled growth and global warming. Left to their own devices, however, developers would destroy the city in order to save it.

The new battleground will be on Yonge north of Wellesley, where builders have big plans for the street. For the most part, their projects are condo towers about 50 storeys tall. If that sounds vertiginous, keep in mind that the residential skyscraper under construction down the road at Yonge and Gerrard will be 78 storeys. Another at Yonge and Bloor will be 75. Further south on the waterfront, a second 75-floor tower is planned, along with two more at 70 storeys.

But again, the real issue isn’t height. More critical is the impact these towers will have on the city. As Toronto’s high street, Yonge deserves special consideration, something it has rarely enjoyed.

The recent success of Celebrate Yonge, the temporary street closure that has transformed the street from Gerrard to Queen, only hints at the pent-up energy of this thoroughfare. Though the remake looks makeshift, incomplete, even shabby in places, it suggests new ways of using the street, and locals and tourists are lapping it up.

Yonge’s highrise boom confirms the promise of the street festival. Indeed, it had done so long before Celebrate Yonge was a twinkle in its organizers’ eyes.

Like it or not, Toronto is a highrise city. According to a report issued late last year, more towers are under construction here – 132 – than any other North American city. The closest, Mexico City, had a paltry 88.

And so the question of heritage looms larger, if not taller, than ever. Every development project in the old city must be approached as infill, which means integrated design, architectural accommodation and planning sensitivity.

This is a lesson we have yet to learn, and as a result the city has been badly damaged. Though the worst excesses of the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s are behind us, heritage architecture is threatened at every turn.

Yet half a century later, heritage has never been a more valuable civic asset. After all, there’s a finite amount left. Once it’s gone, it’s gone forever.

Though developers realize there’s money to be made downtown, they haven’t figured out how to make it without wreaking havoc on the existing streetscape. Left to their own devices, they would eventually kill the goose that lays their golden egg.

For their good, as well as ours, the city must start to demand more and learn to say no when necessary. At this point in its history, Toronto’s problem isn’t that it lacks growth, but that there’s too much.

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Contact Laurin Jeffrey for more information – 416-388-1960

Laurin Jeffrey is a Toronto Realtor with Century 21 Regal Realty. He did not
write these articles, he just reproduces them here for people who are
interested in Toronto real estate. He does not work for any builders.

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