News   Apr 18, 2024
 1.2K     3 
News   Apr 18, 2024
 345     0 
News   Apr 18, 2024
 739     1 

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

The aspect I dislike so much about the existing square is that it’s all one ugly grey tone.
It's one of those depressing things that in the renderings, the square was to have noticeable lines running across it north to south, with the entire surface done entirely in granite.
A fortune was spent, and the granite procured, but all of it was of the grey colour we all know and love - which is practically indistinguishable from asphalt. I couldn't believe so much care and money was used to produce such a drear result.

The lines are still in there, faintly distinguishable from the broader bands between them. It would cost money, again, but if the majority of the grey was replaced with a warm-coloured granite instead (say, not unlike Scotia Plaza), it might cheer the place up a bit.
 
K. What YDS should be like is Berczy Park, a nice place for sober and sane folks to enjoy some downtown public space.


This is the last thing it should be. We have lots of parks in the city. If you like Berczy Park, go to Berczy Park or Love Park. We are the biggest city in Canada, and we should have something that competes with Times Square or Piccadilly Circus. It's not perfect and absolutely could use some tinkering, but the goal of that area is to keep it vibrant. Young tourist like to check it out despite the fact it's a lame knock off Times Square. Turning it into a park isn't going to magically make drug users go away. Take a short walk over to Allan Gardens and tell me how that works out for you. Try not to step on any needles while your over there.

It's not for everyone, but there are still lot's of people that really like it. It just needs some TLC.
 
Last edited:
It's a cheap version of Times Square that has managed to capture the rot of NYC in the 70s. There is a DIS literally in the square.
 
It's a cheap version of Times Square that has managed to capture the rot of NYC in the 70s. There is a DIS literally in the square.
Isn't that the point? I don't know many new yorkers who hang out at Times Square either.

I don't like having hornet traps on my balcony, but it keeps them localized to a certain spot. Dundas Square is the same for tourists
 
I didn't mind the black/grey granite at all (though it didn't age terribly well - the once crisp edges had been roughened up), as much as one has to wonder what a more CCxA approach to hardscape along the lines of Berczy would have been like. What I do have issue is all the cheaply built accoutrements around the square - the girthy concrete columns so lacking in grace; the ponderous tower/pavilion that announces itself to the world with its' ugliness; the parking garage masquerading as a stage with that rusting post-industrial canopy thing-ma-jig that looked like it once belonged to the Hearn; the graceless video displays redolent of 80s sensibilities and design aesthetics (zig-zag motif along the north canopy - really?) and most damningly, the all around crap landscaping that surrounds the square itself - what the design failures of the square itself couldn't achieve alone, the sheer dilapidation of what's around it pushed it through the finish line of urban failure.

And yes, I didn't forget for one second the so called "architecture" around the square itself.

<end rant>

AoD
 
Last edited:
It's a dumpy crap hole, full of tourists and drug addicts, surrounded by giant billboards, with very little greenery, but you know what... I like it! Sure it needs some tweaks, but I personally would not want to see it replaced with a park.

What's missing are surrounding ground level restaurants and patios. The closing of the Hard Rock Café really hasn't helped. There is nothing of interest fronting the square anymore. The patios for the 10 Dundas restaurants are all on upper floors and add nothing to the vibrancy.
 
I'll agree with the dumpy crap hole part. But I won't agree to the blaming of the type of people it attracts...because it reeks of exclusion for a public space despite all it's faults is for everyone regardless of who they are, IMO. And furthermore, people are not the problem...but rather the design elements and it's surroundings that needs to be addressed. You know, the crap around the hole that needs to be removed before it starts look and smell like roses.
 
This is the last thing it should be. We have lots of parks in the city. If you like Berczy Park, go to Berczy Park or Love Park. We are the biggest city in Canada, and we should have something that competes with Times Square or Piccadilly Circus. It's not perfect and absolutely could use some tinkering, but the goal of that area is to keep it vibrant. Young tourist like to check it out despite the fact it's a lame knock off Times Square. Turning it into a park isn't going to magically make drug users go away. Take a short walk over to Allan Gardens and tell me how that works out for you. Try not to step on any needles while your over there.

It's not for everyone, but there are still lot's of people that really like it. It just needs some TLC.

Why anyone thinks Times Square is desirable to emulate is beyond my comprehension.

Dundas Square is loud, ugly, over lit, overly consumeristic, and overcrowded (yet somehow also desolate), but these sacrifices deliver almost no benefit.

Perhaps if there were legitimately interesting shopping, experiences, or entertainment, I would accept these tradeoffs. But there ain't.

We have somehow been bamboozled into thinking that billboards, terrible architecture, a lack of greenery, and nowhere to relax are required to make a place "vibrant".
 
I agree with other users who have noted that more restaurants, food stalls, patios or beer gardens would make for a better space.
 
I'll agree with the dumpy crap hole part. But I won't agree to the blaming of the type of people it attracts...because it reeks of exclusion for a public space despite all it's faults is for everyone regardless of who they are, IMO. And furthermore, people are not the problem...but rather the design elements and it's surroundings that needs to be addressed. You know, the crap around the hole that needs to be removed before it starts look and smell like roses.
I agree it should be for everyone (most would I hope) - but it is it for every kind of behaviour? I think we should distinguish.
 
I agree it should be for everyone (most would I hope) - but it is it for every kind of behaviour? I think we should distinguish.
I specifically excluded behavior because it falls under how folks conduct themselves, to which is separate to who they are as far as I am concerned. And while not perfect, there are already laws and protocols in place to deal with behavior if it becomes disruptive...

...but to dial it back here, none of this would help in addressing what's wrong with this square.
 
Why anyone thinks Times Square is desirable to emulate is beyond my comprehension.

Dundas Square is loud, ugly, over lit, overly consumeristic, and overcrowded (yet somehow also desolate), but these sacrifices deliver almost no benefit.

Perhaps if there were legitimately interesting shopping, experiences, or entertainment, I would accept these tradeoffs. But there ain't.

We have somehow been bamboozled into thinking that billboards, terrible architecture, a lack of greenery, and nowhere to relax are required to make a place "vibrant".


People sitting around under trees on grass is your idea of vibrant?

I mean there's only so many things you can do make an interesting gathering point in the heart of the city. As others have mentioned, maybe a some restaurants and patios in the area but anything to do with greenery here just doesn't fit with the concept of what the area is for. Despite what people think, those flashy billboards gives the area some life. Tourist come out of the Eaton Centre and it's a bit of eye candy along with the preachers and buskers. Take those flashy billboards away and it's just another dull intersection.
 
Last edited:
It is enormously filthy too. It seems to me that city crews clean it as if it were at Yonge & Lawrence with no recognition that it is the busiest intersection in the country. You don't go to Times Square in NYC without seeing someone cleaning some bit of it, but like a lot of our public spaces, we let it go to sh*t.

To be honest, I have more of an issue with that than the design itself.
 

Back
Top