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Old 03-05-2017, 01:30 PM
 
Location: Vancouver
11,405 posts, read 7,851,433 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fusion2 View Post
This is 'dead' Yonge/Dundas Square that Botti is getting his panties all in a knot over..

Excuse the dumb music in the video but its far from being the ugliest or dead of places in the world imo anyway.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udBDxXLCc8o

An old euro style square simply wouldn't work in this area!
Hmmm. I don't know Fusion2. I think you could cram a few more hundred thousands into that space before Botti would be happy.

Botti opinions about cities seem so black and white. A city MUST be a certain way or it has failed somehow, and for Botti that means NOTHING in Canada will qualify. Take his remark about Vancouver.

"Vancouver with 2.3 million people feels like a little seaside port town,..."

Vancouver has purposely taken advantage of it's situation. It doesn't want to be NYC or London or Beijing.

We have purposely put in the myriad of small parks, especially in the downtown core, with connecting bike paths and the seawall so that people DO slow down and enjoy nature. Traffic calming mini-parks in the West End are an example.

Saying it's a little seaside port town is of course ridiculous to anyone who has ever been here, but we do take pride in the fact that you can have an urban environment that is slower paced...some days.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZg269Omt8E




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Old 03-05-2017, 03:04 PM
 
Location: Toronto
12,581 posts, read 10,450,254 times
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A square or town/public square is a place used for public gatherings. It doesn't mean it has to be found in Europe and must be 500 years old and must have a monument or statue commemorating some General or King who conquered far and distant lands. Oddly enough I stumbled upon this article in Wikipedia and Yonge/Dundas Sq is cited as one of the examples of a popular and modern urban square.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Town_square

As I said though, in the case of Y/D it just wouldn't work to put a historic or traditional square in that area. What works for Y/D is that it accomplishes the goal of what a square is supposed to be - used for public gatherings and it does so quite well.

As for Vancouver I think it takes advantage of its natural gifts very well and that is it is located in one of the most beautiful city locations on earth. It is also a pretty bustling city and has a busy DT area for a metro of 2.5 million. The DT core is actually one of the most dense on the continent. The comment about it being like a little seaside port is again just to get a rise and is another example of being disingenuous.
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Old 03-05-2017, 03:22 PM
 
Location: Vancouver
11,405 posts, read 7,851,433 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fusion2 View Post
A square or town/public square is a place used for public gatherings. It doesn't mean it has to be found in Europe and must be 500 years old and must have a monument or statue commemorating some General or King who conquered far and distant lands. Oddly enough I stumbled upon this article in Wikipedia and Yonge/Dundas Sq is cited as one of the examples of a popular and modern urban square.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Town_square

As I said though, in the case of Y/D it just wouldn't work to put a historic or traditional square in that area. What works for Y/D is that it accomplishes the goal of what a square is supposed to be - used for public gatherings and it does so quite well.

As for Vancouver I think it takes advantage of its natural gifts very well and that is it is located in one of the most beautiful city locations on earth. It is also a pretty bustling city and has a busy DT area for a metro of 2.5 million. The DT core is actually one of the most dense on the continent. The comment about it being like a little seaside port is again just to get a rise and is another example of being disingenuous.
Vancouver has lacked your typical public square. We did have the plaza in front of the Old Court House on Georgia Street, now the Art Gallery ( soon to relocate once the new one is built ), but it was an awkward gathering space since a major fountain with pools took up a lot of room.
It has now been redesigned, and is currently undergoing reno's.

Dramatic Redesign Proposed for Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza | Inside Vancouver Blog

I think it will get used a bit more since it's more central than the newer square, Jack Poole Plaza. Yes those people are doing Yoga. It IS Vancouver after all




When I think of public squares in Europe, I remember people strolling by and relaxing. Mainly warmer months.

Vancouver lack of public square may be explained that the beach, English Bay for one, and the seawall, serve the purpose of a public square.
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Old 03-05-2017, 03:46 PM
 
Location: Toronto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Natnasci View Post

I think it will get used a bit more since it's more central than the newer square, Jack Poole Plaza. Yes those people are doing Yoga. It IS Vancouver after all




When I think of public squares in Europe, I remember people strolling by and relaxing. Mainly warmer months.

Vancouver lack of public square may be explained that the beach, English Bay for one, and the seawall, serve the purpose of a public square.
Actually believe It or not they have a yoga meltdown session at Y/D in the summer here in Toronto too


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TldWf9qwjvc

That pic of the square you posted in Vancouver - is that where the New Years fireworks celebrations are located? I think I saw a picture of that place at New Years and a bunch of people were watching fireworks from there.
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Old 03-05-2017, 03:57 PM
 
Location: Vancouver
11,405 posts, read 7,851,433 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fusion2 View Post
Actually believe It or not they have a yoga meltdown session at Y/D in the summer here in Toronto too


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TldWf9qwjvc

That pic of the square you posted in Vancouver - is that where the New Years fireworks celebrations are located? I think I saw a picture of that place at New Years and a bunch of people were watching fireworks from there.
Yes, that is where the New Year's fireworks are. Less spectacular than the firework competitions in summer which are held on a barge in English Bay. Honda Celebration of Light in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. Actually I can't find Toronto this year..do you guys still have them?
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Old 03-05-2017, 04:22 PM
 
Location: Toronto
12,581 posts, read 10,450,254 times
Reputation: 3716
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natnasci View Post
Yes, that is where the New Year's fireworks are. Less spectacular than the firework competitions in summer which are held on a barge in English Bay. Honda Celebration of Light in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. Actually I can't find Toronto this year..do you guys still have them?
No I think you guys stole them from us Sheesh and that DavePa guy was accusing US Torontonians of stealing from other cities in the Toronto forum.. pffft!
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Old 03-06-2017, 05:29 AM
 
10,847 posts, read 10,590,807 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fusion2 View Post
Yonge/Dundas Square is far from dead and you know it! It might be a bit tacky but its practically always busy and I actually find the area pretty visually stimulating - lights/billboards/buildings and most importantly events/people. There is almost always an event or concert going on (festival/parade in summer) and the diversity of different people in one place is tough to beat almost anywhere. A square is a gathering place for people, it doesn't have to be a 500 year old work of art to do its job and Yonge/Dundas like it or lump it - does its job of attracting people to it as a focal point in the DT core! You are embellishing things because you prefer European architecture and Europe in general. I personally don't think it would work to have a square where Yonge/Dundas is that is designed with inspiration from an old Euro city. That would be totally FAKE because Toronto is too new and modern for that - particularly this part of Toronto. Maybe an older style square near the Distillery or U of T/Annex and some of the older parts of Old Toronto would work - fountains and sculptures and all but not at Dundas and Yonge lol - talk about completely out of place and delusional.

I do agree with you that European cities (Add to it S.A/African/Asian to boot) generally have more energy than Canadian or American cities but talk about going over the top with this post! As Nat said, lay off the cheap 2 euro wine you are getting at Carrefour!

Nonsense again - Yonge street IS vibrant by almost any measure. Its not as beautiful as Istiklal street or La Ramblas or the Gran Via obviously and it certainly doesn't have the ped crush of many of the worlds megacities' major arterials, but busy and vibrant with pedestrian crush - sure is and yes I've been around!.. Yet again just some silly cheap shots to entertain your preference for Europe and more specifically its architecture and also to get a rise out of people. I can buy the whole Europe has better architecture argument but to argue Yonge street isn't vibrant is totally disingenuous and underscores that you seemingly have a bone to pick!
Fusion, I never said "Dundas square is dead". I lived very closed to it and know it is not. However, it is ugly and poorly designed, not to mention being way too small for the city's needs.

You have a point that Dundas square shouldn't be like a public square in Rome or Madrid, however, it is not "new" or "modern" either. It simply looks ugly, small, boring and incredibly provincial. It looks like a square for a midsized city from a mid income country. Even the pavement of Dundas Square (and NPS) is an indication of total lack of imagination. And the fountains are just so blah. And the so-called "winter garden" which took years to finish, is a total disappointment.

Downtown Yonge street definitely has a lot of pedestrians, myself being one of them often. I don't deny that. My point is, for a city of Toronto's size, Yonge street can't be described as "vibrant". Put aesthetics aside, go to Yonge st north of Elm or south of Queen, at 7pm on Sundays or Tuesdays (outside the summer peak time during the weekends). It is usually NOT vibrant at all. And that's why I keep asking: where the hell are the 6M people?

Not to mention a city like Toronto should have 5 or 6 commercial streets as busy as Yonge.

Vancouver's vibrancy is nonexistence in my opinion. Not even worth picking on. It is simply way too quiet for a city of 2.3M - a fairly large population.

I am frequently accused of picking on Canadian cities, but what I said is very objective. I just can't stand all the compliments about the "vibrancy" thing, considering the level of such vibrancy is not impressive whatsoever in the context of these cities' population. Yes, a city of 6M rivals cities with 1.5m in terms of street vibrancy, is it something to celebrate? You have been to Lisbon for example, a city half of Toronto's size, are the street vibrancy even on the same level? I went in February and I think it is busier than Toronto overall on any day.
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Old 03-06-2017, 05:42 AM
 
10,847 posts, read 10,590,807 times
Reputation: 7539
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natnasci View Post
Hmmm. I don't know Fusion2. I think you could cram a few more hundred thousands into that space before Botti would be happy.

Botti opinions about cities seem so black and white. A city MUST be a certain way or it has failed somehow, and for Botti that means NOTHING in Canada will qualify. Take his remark about Vancouver.

"Vancouver with 2.3 million people feels like a little seaside port town,..."

Vancouver has purposely taken advantage of it's situation. It doesn't want to be NYC or London or Beijing.

We have purposely put in the myriad of small parks, especially in the downtown core, with connecting bike paths and the seawall so that people DO slow down and enjoy nature. Traffic calming mini-parks in the West End are an example.

Saying it's a little seaside port town is of course ridiculous to anyone who has ever been here, but we do take pride in the fact that you can have an urban environment that is slower paced...some days.

I am aware of Vancouver's assets and lushness.

However my comment was regarding people on the streets. None of your nice photos show the street level vibrancy. The fact is for a city the size of Vancouver, you see too few people. And trust me, I don't like NYC or Beijing.

If the purpose is to create serenity, yes, Vancouver achieved its goal (many people love this, with good reasons). I am not saying a city HAS to be busy (although that's my personal preference), but let's not pretend Vancouver excels in urbanity. Just comparing Lyon with it and you would immediately know Vancouver is very quiet in comparison. And french cities are known to be relatively conservative and uneventful compared their Italian and Spanish counterparts.

And are you saying Vancouver has great success in containing traffic? It has one of the worst traffic in North America as far as I know, on the level of Los Angeles, a city 6 times its size. Very different from the calmness you described.

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Old 03-06-2017, 01:06 PM
 
Location: Vancouver
11,405 posts, read 7,851,433 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
I am aware of Vancouver's assets and lushness.

However my comment was regarding people on the streets. None of your nice photos show the street level vibrancy. The fact is for a city the size of Vancouver, you see too few people. And trust me, I don't like NYC or Beijing.

If the purpose is to create serenity, yes, Vancouver achieved its goal (many people love this, with good reasons). I am not saying a city HAS to be busy (although that's my personal preference), but let's not pretend Vancouver excels in urbanity. Just comparing Lyon with it and you would immediately know Vancouver is very quiet in comparison. And french cities are known to be relatively conservative and uneventful compared their Italian and Spanish counterparts.

And are you saying Vancouver has great success in containing traffic? It has one of the worst traffic in North America as far as I know, on the level of Los Angeles, a city 6 times its size. Very different from the calmness you described.
Ah, but you are Botti, you are.

I never said Vancouver had great success in containing traffic. What I did say is that the West End is a good example of CALMING traffic patterns by building mini-parks and roundabouts. Before the mini-parks were built, traffic would use the West End, a residential neighbourhood, as an easy and quick route. Making the West End traffic busier than it should be. It has been VERY successful in that regard.

As for the LA comparison. Man, it's amazing how this myth persists. I believe we've even agreed on this before? Comparing LA's traffic to Vancouver is bizarre and totally misguided. It started with ONE poorly done survey by ONE GPS company and is totally flawed.

Yes Vancouver, LIKE EVER CITY ON EARTH, has traffic issues.

Lyon is a great place I love it, but it never felt busier than Vancouver..

As urbanity. What does that exactly mean?

Oxford

"In, relating to, or characteristic of a town or city.'

What makes a city successful in it's urbanity? Well obviously this is where we disagree. I say Vancouver has been VERY successful, and is recognized as such, in creating a very livable urban environment. How anyone can argue that this view isn't very urban, I don't know. I also think you underscore the vibrancy on Vancouver's streets. Seems busy enough to me, not NYC busy, but because you have thousands upon thousands living in a small area downtown area that walk a lot, it certainly isn't dead.


Last edited by Natnasci; 03-06-2017 at 01:20 PM..
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Old 03-06-2017, 04:12 PM
 
Location: Toronto
12,581 posts, read 10,450,254 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
Fusion, I never said "Dundas square is dead". I lived very closed to it and know it is not. However, it is ugly and poorly designed, not to mention being way too small for the city's needs.
Ugly is pretty subjective. I disagree with you but i'm ok to agree to disagree. That said it is a small area because it is really an urban and busy/congested intersection. Really it is a small concert and event venue imo more than a 'square' - so if you look at it for what it is it is fine really. A place to host some city events and offer free concerts. That imo is GREAT and regardless of aesthetics it attracts people to it be it for events/concerts/protests so for me that it does what it needs to do and more. I'm not sure what you expectation is for that area really. If you want a majestic type square in the city - the best location is where NFP is.... To be honest with you - I actually find NFP rather ugly! I've seen Revells work in Finland and I'm not impressed! I think NFP is the only area of the DT core where we can house a majestic square and look at what we got instead in the largest square in the country. The Toronto sign is cool as is the skating rink but there is so much more that could be done in such a large footprint that you can't do in the small area of Y/D.. Yonge/Dundas I think does its job WAY better in that it caters to what it was designed for and it blends locals with tourists much more intimately. The people and the experience there is raw and real.

Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
You have a point that Dundas square shouldn't be like a public square in Rome or Madrid, however, it is not "new" or "modern" either. It simply looks ugly, small, boring and incredibly provincial. It looks like a square for a midsized city from a mid income country. Even the pavement of Dundas Square (and NPS) is an indication of total lack of imagination. And the fountains are just so blah. And the so-called "winter garden" which took years to finish, is a total disappointment.
I think I addressed this in my first paragraph. I'll simply agree to disagree with you. I also keep expectation in check but I think Y/D does it job well. I do totally disagree with your comments about it being boring and provincial belonging to a 'midsized' city in a mid income country. Again, that is your opinion but I think the entire intersection is an interesting visual and illuminated space. I'm quite happy with the overall interplay of sights/sounds/people in the area. As a matter of fact and I say this as someone as you know who is well travelled, Yonge/Dundas Square and surrounding area has some of the most eclectic, odd, interesting, diverse and strange group of humans almost anywhere I've been to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
Downtown Yonge street definitely has a lot of pedestrians, myself being one of them often. I don't deny that. My point is, for a city of Toronto's size, Yonge street can't be described as "vibrant". Put aesthetics aside, go to Yonge st north of Elm or south of Queen, at 7pm on Sundays or Tuesdays (outside the summer peak time during the weekends). It is usually NOT vibrant at all. And that's why I keep asking: where the hell are the 6M people?
For a metro of 6-7 million in North America Yonge street is almost at the pinnacle of ped crush and vibrancy in Canada/U.S (Mexico is more akin to S.A in this regard so I will exclude). I would also exclude NYC for obvious reasons as it is a megacity and in the Canamerican sense in a league of its own. I'd say you'd get only near or the same crush in CHI, S.F, Montreal, Boston and Philly. I'd need to experience L.A's main arterials to get a better sense.

Aesthetics wise Yonge street is hit and miss. Some of the older buildings can use some TLC to make them look great but they still have lots of character. The new development happening is striking however so I see it as a work in progress. I think Yonge street - an already vibrant and busy street will get better with time. Remember - Canada and the U.S people simply don't go out as much as pretty much every other continent in the world, so i'd say for a Canamerican metro Toronto's ped vibrancy is actually top 5. I know that is a low bar for you but I don't think i'm being inaccurate here when in comes to Canamerican cities. We simply live in a different culture here. On other continents life is more on the streets for a variety of reasons. Some of that having to do with needing to make a living I might add! If you don't sell your wares on the streets practically all hours of the day in these places - you'll go hungry!

Quote:
Originally Posted by botticelli View Post
I am frequently accused of picking on Canadian cities, but what I said is very objective. I just can't stand all the compliments about the "vibrancy" thing, considering the level of such vibrancy is not impressive whatsoever in the context of these cities' population. Yes, a city of 6M rivals cities with 1.5m in terms of street vibrancy, is it something to celebrate? You have been to Lisbon for example, a city half of Toronto's size, are the street vibrancy even on the same level? I went in February and I think it is busier than Toronto overall on any day.
What you said is 'objective' lol.. We all think we are right but quite frankly I think you're being mainly subjective. Especially with your comments about aesthetics and vibrancy. Practically anyone would comment that Yonge and several other major arterials in Toronto - Bloor, Queen and King at the top are vibrant. So no I don't think you're being objective at all - I just think your expectation for a Canamerican city is not realistic given the culture we have in the U.S and Canada.

Toronto's core is also growing by approximately 50K per census update so in 5 years we are looking at 260K residents in the core and in 10 about 300K. That is astonishing growth for a Canamerican Downtown core. Try to see the forest through the trees.

Any event - Berczy Park is going to have a nice fountain for you in a more historic part of the city this summer. It'll even have cute doggie and kitty sculptures on it :P - A great place for you to hang out this summer in an environment more to your liking while you read the Art of the Deal by your hero Donald Trump haha

Last edited by fusion2; 03-06-2017 at 04:39 PM..
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