Toronto: Awful city, awful people

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Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Well spotted, oda!

I see the SUP yoga is getting a better response than I expected. Maybe all Torontonians are closet Vancouverites? Maybe that's the problem?

Nevermind. I give you: 

Vancouver manifests crapulous real estate hubris in grotesque paean to post-apocalyptic capitalism

 

 

How else is this monstrosity possible? How else does this become a real thing that real human beings meticulously designed and said to each other, "yes, let us put it here" in good faith and in all seriousness? Michael Kluckner dubbed it "The Icepick," apparently after Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct. The "building" (sic) itself is terrifying, in a Fritz LangMetropolis kind of way. But the way it fits into the existing urban landscape (the 1914 Waterfront Station building, a heritage site, is next door) is much like it must have looked when Cthulhu awoke from his slumber and prepared to swallow the world.

In his defences of The Icepick, Vancouver's director of planning and development Brian Jackson has insisted that "provocative" architecture is necessary for a modern and "mature" city like Vancouver. I guess. If your idea of "provocation" is walking into a house party with a white t-shirt with the words "I AM SO RICH" printed on it. While draped in a headdress of solid gold.

 

KenS

[choking sounds]

Is that thing on track to be built ?!!

I mean there is "proposed," and there is proposed.

Leaving aside the drop dead shock factor [hey, 'ugly' is nothing next to frightening].... just on process questions...

Is that kind of density likely to fly in Gastown? and at that site??

lagatta

I know Vancouver has one of the mildest climates among cities in Canada, but still, anything made of inverted triangles that requires central heating is ridiculous. And I thought the extension on the museum in Toronto was ugly!

sineed, that is one of the reasons housing co-operatives should be fostered. They do encourage their members to take part in upkeep, greening the neighbourhood etc.

However, they are not right for all low-income tenants. Some people need more support due to various problems, and sadly, the Feds have stopped funding new "public housing units".

Some of us worked for years to get the city and borough to take action against a notorious slumlord here. A balcony of one of his buildings crashed to to ground; mercifully nobody on the balcony or beneath it was hurt or killed.

MegB

It's not Toronto (the city Canada loves to bash) or Vancouver per se - it's expensive, conjested big city living.

lagatta

I like urban living. Of course I don't like expensive living anywhere, as it excludes a lot of us, and a lot of other people.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Yes, it is on track to be built KenS. And since the space doesn't need to be rezoned, there will probably not be any sort of hearing on it. I should point out that the brick building it is attempting to crush with its giant glass incisor directly on its left is a heritage building: Waterfront Station, the old CPR Terminal, and one of Vancouver's last remaining buildings more than five years old.

lagatta

It really is an ugly, arrogant thing. One needn't share Prince Cholls' very traditionalist and aristocratic (duh) views on architecture and planning to agree with his dismay of the much larger arrogant, ugly buildings infesting London's skyline.

http://www.bigissue.com/features/4340/poundbury-is-prince-charles-dorset...

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

We built this one in Toronto, you'll build that one in Vancouver, we'll build a third in Calgary, then when the resonant frequencies of all three crystals harmonize, the First Beings will return.  Don't you want to be able to tell your kids you were part of that?

Slumberjack

For all of what Toronto represents to the non-Torontonian, I'm not down with collective rebuke's upon the entire city, unless it involves the moneyed class down on Bay Street.  The good times in Toronto figure most prominently in my mind, and there were many of those.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Hahahaha I forgot about the ROM. God I love "provocative" architecture.

We are ruled by wankers.

KenS

First Gastown, now the ROM. I certainly heard that a mostrosity was going in at the ROM.

But its there! And oh my god.

 

I'm not a purist. I like a lot of modernist stuff. And I do design- there are a lot of ways to fit in with the spirit of an existing building, including some pretty counter-intuitive ones. I'm even amenable to allowing that designs are complementary, even if they are not to my liking.

But that thing....

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

The ROM is hideous.  Even worse, it's also a bad design for gallery space.  So much unusable floor area! 

Pity Vancouver is being derivative. 

Dislaimer:  It's not that I'm opposed to modern architectures - some of it really works.  Just not in combination with older style architecture.  One thing Winnipeg (surprisingly!) has done right: 

KenS

Where is that?

lagatta

Yes, that is very attractive, and beautifully situated.

A modernist design would have been fine beside the old stone building housing the ROM. But I'd have opted for a sleek, simple one.

Jean Nouvel's minimetro works fine in medieval Perugia. Attention, HORRIBLE distracting soundtrack on this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFzsA9qZM7k

Sineed

Timebandit wrote:
The ROM is hideous.  Even worse, it's also a bad design for gallery space.

I disagree with the "hideous" part, though it's a matter of taste and we can agree to disagree. However...I took the kids when the crystal first opened. It was jam packed and the dinosaur gallery in particular was full of parents and young children. Many small children discovered that if they got close to the inward-sloping walls, they could scoot along at top speed while their parents remained stuck in the throngs. My kids - young teenagers - and I were bemused by all the parents, wedged tight in the crowds, calling frantically for their giggling spawn, who were running all along the periphery of the gallery where the wall was about two feet high.

So yeah; silly design. It's okay if you visit when it's not crowded and I like all the natural light. But you shouldn't have to worry about bumping your head on a wall when you're walking as upright as the average hominid.

Sineed

KenS wrote:

Where is that?

McCaul Street north of Queen West. It's gentrified quite a lot around there in the past 25 years. Hipsters thick on the ground.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

The good news is, though, that you can visit OCAD ("The Hut on Pipecleaner Legs") and if it offend thee, you can just walk another sixty seconds northward and rinse your eyes at Frank Gehry's AGO.

[IMG]http://i58.tinypic.com/20u4fsw.jpg[/IMG]

Note: it's not actually curved like that, nor is Dundas Street.

Sineed

...and at the end of your day, you cross to the north side of Dundas to enjoy a pint at the Village Idiot.

 

Slumberjack

Is it their clientelle that they have such a low opinion of?

Basement Dweller

Nope

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/gastown-tower-rejected-by...

Before it was rejected by the panel, the modernist glass and steel design was criticized for looking like a "geometric blob."

"It looks to me like a Jurassic Park rodent has chewed away at the ground," heritage advocate Anthony Norfolk told the Early Edition last week.

 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

NOW what am I going to do with this brick?

lagatta

No shortage of targets in van...

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Failing that, I've heard that the best way to roast a duck is stuffed with a brick.  Roast @350F for 4 hours, basting occasionally with pan juices.  Rest for 20 minutes tented with foil.  Discard duck; eat brick.

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

Mr. Magoo- doesn't eating the brick cause one to exceed the daily recommended calcium intake?

robbie_dee

This seemed like a good place to post this: [url=http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2015/01/29/toronto-named-best-place-to-l... named best place to live by the Economist[/url].

Quote:

Toronto has been ranked the best place to live in a recent [url=http://safecities.economist.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/EIU_Safe_Citi... on urban safety[/url] published by the Economist.

It may not boast a winning hockey team, but Toronto topped a list of 50 cities all measured based on their placement in the Safe Cities Index as well as livability rankings, and three national indexes, including the Democracy Index, Business Environment Rankings and Global Food Security Index.

“Toronto is a consistent performer across the five other indexes, putting it top overall,” the report read. Toronto’s worst performance was in the cost of living category.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Mr. Magoo- doesn't eating the brick cause one to exceed the daily recommended calcium intake?

Yes, but on the good side you'll get so much fibre you'll sh... nevermind, I can't. :)

lagatta

Well, now there is a CBC comedy on a shitty place, which isn't Toronto.

Can Renzo and I have Magoo's spare roast duck?

Slumberjack

Toronto named world's best city to live? - Economist Magazine

Quote:
If you ask any Torontonian, they’ll probably already tell you they live in the best city in the world, but thanks to a series of ego-inflating studies by The Economist, now there’s some validation.

Is anyone's ego really inflated by this?

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Quote:
Mr. Magoo- doesn't eating the brick cause one to exceed the daily recommended calcium intake?

Yes, but on the good side you'll get so much fibre you'll sh... nevermind, I can't. :)

On the good side? Frankly, Magoo, I doubt the sewer system could handle the results.

lagatta

Don't Winnipeg and Longueuil have enough in the way of water problems without adding in Toronto?

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Can Renzo and I have Magoo's spare roast duck?

What if we split it three ways?

I love duck.  Truth is, the joke is usually told involving a coot, but I didn't want to have to explain what a coot is.

lagatta

I do know what a coot is. But I don't quite get the joke.

We both love duck as well, as do practically all my human friends, except the vegetarians.

NS NS's picture

Toronto ranked the best city to live in the world

 

Toronto has been ranked the best city to live in the world by the Economist. The ranking aggregates Toronto's performance across a range of indexes, which include safety, livability and cost of living. National level rankings like the Economist's Democracy and Global Food Security Index were also factored into the overall rank. So, like, we're the best. Give yourself a pat on the back.

The overall rankings come as part of a new survey from the Economist Intelligence Unit that ranks cities based on how safe they are. According to this report, Toronto is the safest city in North America and eighth-ranked city in the world, trailing Tokyo, Singapore, Osaka, Stockholm, Amsterdam,  Sydney, and  Zurich. The safety index is ranked according to the following criteria: digital security, health security, infrastructure and personal safety.

A reflection on Toronto's awful people?

 

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
I do know what a coot is. But I don't quite get the joke.

They're apparently greasy, tough and horrible (and as such, even a brick is more appetizing).  Dunno though, as I've never tried coot.

I once bought some duck wings in Chinatown, thinking that since I love chicken wings, and I love duck, how could I not love these?  Grilled them up nice and almost destroyed my dental work trying to eat them -- I think we opted for a pizza slice that night.  I used some that I hadn't cooked to make a nice stock, but the wings themselves were like trying to eat sinew.  Live and learn.

Recently a Pavao meats near me had turkey wings for sale, two to a (very large) tray.  My guess is that extended, these wings would have been 15" - 18" long in total.  Maybe I'll grill two of those some day.

[IMG]http://i60.tinypic.com/set3z8.jpg[/IMG]

 

lagatta

You can cook the wings - I've done a batch of wing "drummettes" from Le Canard libéré duck shop - but basically you have to poach them in a slow-cooker (or other very slow heat) at least overnight before doing the final grilling. They are very good done that way. Indeed, just roasted or grilled would be impossible to eat, at least for humans.

I bought a turkey leg yesterday - that is, the drumstick and thigh together, quite a size. Very good quality poultry from Fernando - Zinman (these are basically the same company, offspring of the old Zinman poultry on Roy, just of the "Main". That was Central - Eastern European Jewish, of course, though its fame spread far beyond that client base. Nowadays Fernando is Portuguese (and makes great poultry sausages) and Zinman, closer to me, is Italian.

I didn't buy my leg at either of those places, but at the new PA Nature, the "natural foods" grocery opened by Supermarché PA, which is Greek. PA is good, and not expensive, so it is packed. Even their "natural" place is much less extravagant than its rivals (not everything is really organic) and I got some good value.

This of course has nothing to do with Toronto and how awful it is, except perhaps a nostalgia for the Kensington Market area about 40 years ago, when I was VERY young, and that kind of places.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

You shopped at Kensington back when it was still sort of "the Jewish Market"?    That must have been fascinating.   One of the last old Kensington holdouts, a butcher right at the corner of of Baldwin and Augusta called Max and Son, closed a few years ago and was reborn as Sanagan's who ran the place "old school style" complete with sawdust on the floor.  Then Sanagan's moved down the block to take over the old European Meats location, and now the classic old butcher is a fish store called Hooked.  All local and sustainable fish, but also not overly cheap.

lagatta

Only to a very limited extent. There were still a few Ashkenazi Jewish places, but by then it was probably more Portuguese than anything else, as was the immediate neighbourhood.

Same here, back then the original Zinman's management was really a holdover, but there were still quite a few Eastern European small shops on St-Laurent ("the Main") some but not all of them were Jewish. I bought pretty scarves in fine wool that were really nice to wear in the seasons between summery wear and thick mufflers.

Unionist

I used to buy halvah at Simcha's. And smoked meat at Kravitz's (never could stand Schwartz's). And fresh hot loaves early in the morning (or late at night) at the Jewish bakery north of Pine. And whatever I wanted at Warshaws. And don't get me started on Peloponnesos... or Alfa Pizza... or Rainbow Sweets... One day, I'll buy a stone at Berson's! Or someone will for me.

Wait a sec - how did we get to the Main in this Toronto thread??

Sineed

But we also have this:

A British relative, upon clapping her eyes on this for the first time, remarked, "That is ridiculous! It looks like a licorice All-Sort!" (She also hated the ROM crystal.)

I kinda like how stuffy staid Toronto allowed this.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Wait a sec - how did we get to the Main in this Toronto thread??

The same way an army marches -- on our stomachs.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

I dunno, but I'd like a guided tour by both Unionist and lagatta the next time I blow into Montreal!

lagatta

I've been kicking myself not remembering the name of that bakery. I lived nearby, on Laval and on Hôtel-de-Ville (places I could never afford now) near Prince-Arthur. I went to that bakery all the time, and so did everyone else. Wonder why it closed? Yes, the centre of gravity of Jewish Mtl had moved, but people of all ethnic and cultural origins liked their rye bread. Sometimes these inexplicable closings are the result of an overly-greedy landlord tripling the rent, family discord, or many other factors.

Simcha practically died in his shop - he was very, very old.

Bersons is a gravestone artesan, by the way, in case anyone thinks Unionist was going to plump for a pricy gem. Of course gravestones are more costly still, but often familiy or friends can chip in if needed. Bersons specializes in stones with Hebrew lettering. It is a monument itself, on the street.

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