News   Jun 14, 2024
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Downtown Decline - Future of Toronto's Downtown Core

That's using rather different boundaries. Toronto has those kinds of numbers in a roughly 5-6 square mile area (Yorkville to the lake, Don River to Spadina/Bathurst). A comparably extensive area of Downtown/Central San Francisco will have far more than 40,000 people. I'd say upwards of 150,000 people, depending on the exact boundaries.
I mean, let’s be real… downtown Toronto is what I would call hyperdense. It’s pretty hard to compete with even if we measured perfectly comparable areas. Even if SF is comparable, Toronto has more of it anyhow. Use the SEDAC population estimator if your super curious.
 
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I mean, let’s be real… downtown Toronto is what I would call hyperdense. It’s pretty hard to compete with even if we measured perfectly comparable areas. Even if SF is comparable, Toronto has more of it anyhow. Use the SEDAC population estimator if your super curious. I might report back with it.
San Francisco is very dense too though, especially in the downtown adjacent neighbourhoods. Using SEDAC, looks like about 240,000 for Toronto vs 190,000 for SF in a comparably sized area. I'd rather use census tract data though if you have a particular area you want to nail down for Toronto. And it's not like those 5 square miles is all SF has, it maintains high population densities into Castro, Mission, Pacific Heights, Haight-Ashbury, even Richmond.
 
The Globe has a very thorough piece on the vacancies in downtown that goes into useful detail on which buildings and their locations and age. A casual glance shows that many of the buildings with the highest vacancies are often smaller, older and ripe for either complete redevelopment or conversion. I also think that there is a huge opportunity for the post-secondary sector to take advantage of this situation.


 
That's using rather different boundaries. Toronto has those kinds of numbers in a roughly 5-6 square mile area (Yorkville to the lake, Don River to Spadina/Bathurst). A comparably extensiouve area of Downtown/Central San Francisco will have far more than 40,000 people. I'd say upwards of 150,000 people, depending on the exact boundaries.
Just to add to this there were about 10,000 residential units occupied in 2023 and an estimated 15,000 for 2024 in the downtown area of Toronto. Not sure about how boundaries correspond but the entire City of SF added about 5,000 units per year on average in the last decade and that is comparable to the area of the Old City of Toronto which would have added four times that amount.
 
The Globe has a very thorough piece on the vacancies in downtown that goes into useful detail on which buildings and their locations and age. A casual glance shows that many of the buildings with the highest vacancies are often smaller, older and ripe for either complete redevelopment or conversion. I also think that there is a huge opportunity for the post-secondary sector to take advantage of this situation.



Ah behind paywall.

So in addition to intitual space (though given we are now starting limiting foreign students I wonder if there's really going to be increased demand) I wonder about pharmaceutical research space. But beyond that, of course residential conversion I suspect will pick up a bit - but I'm not sure if it's going to be economical in all situations - less high end conversion.
 
This is probably a really radical and unrealistic pipe dream, but when the Berlin wall fell down, artists from all over reinhabited vacant spaces with very cheap studio spaces. That made it the cultural hub it is today, because collectors, buyers, and a variety of business was generated because of this artistic rapport. In a time where Toronto arts organizations are being priced out, as well as a lack of affordable rehearsal spaces, this might be a unique opportunity to consider creative or alternative uses.

Oftentimes companies like google, or music studios, or advertising/game companies are attracted to neighbourhoods with high concentrations of artists. I think Toronto could make a comeback and lease out commercial spaces through an international artist residency program. This would help in terms of our global image and attractiveness, create visibility and dynamism and compete with culturally-saturated cities like Paris, Berlin, London, Montreal etc.

I don't know how that would work really. Some strategic investment. It wouldn't be that simple at all, but an interesting concept for interim usage.
 
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It's a great idea on paper but I do not really see it working out ... anyway, 401 Richmond west was already an attempt to do something along those lines ? The areas you're talking about typically develop naturally over time often stimulated by very cheap rent. Moreover, how much would that really scale, maybe the city tries to repeat 401 Richmond by leasing out the majority of space in a single B/C class older office building in the core ?
 
Ah behind paywall.
There are no paywalls. Just go to www.archive.ph and paste the url you want and it opens. Here’s the article:


Or, use your TPL card and the Press Reader app and download the print editions of any paper you want for free, that’s how I get my NYT and Toronto Star each morning, and the latest Economist and Foreign Affairs magazines - and best of all, unlike Archive.ph the publishers still get paid (by the TPL), if we care about such things. For example, here’s my current reading list, this selection would have cost me over $100 for just these single issues.

IMG_3146.png
 
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There are no paywalls. Just go to www.archive.ph and paste the url you want and it opens. Here’s the article:


Or, use your TPL card and the Press Reader app and download the print editions of any paper you want for free, that’s how I get my NYT and Toronto Star each morning, and the latest Economist and Foreign Affairs magazines - and best of all, unlike Archive.ph the publishers still get paid (by the TPL), if we care about such things. For example, here’s my current reading list, this selection would have cost me over $100 for just these single issues.

View attachment 561731
Thanks for sharing that useful tip - I had no idea the library offered all that. I can finally get my Economist on for free!
 
I knew the library had that, but had never actually set up PressReader on my ipad, so I just did that. Will be reading the Economist at lunch time!
 
Thanks for sharing that useful tip - I had no idea the library offered all that. I can finally get my Economist on for free!
I knew the library had that, but had never actually set up PressReader on my ipad, so I just did that. Will be reading the Economist at lunch time!
I've made a post just now to share this further.

 

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