HomeDiagramsDatabaseMapsForum
     

Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Discussion Forums > Buildings & Architecture

About The Ads  This week the ad company used in the forum will be monitoring activity and doing some tests to identify any problems which users may be experiencing. If at any time this week you get pop-ups, redirects, etc. as a result of ads please let us know by sending an email to forum@skyscraperpage.com or post in the ads complaint thread. Thank you for your participation.


Reply

 
Thread Tools Display Modes
     
     
  #1  
Old Posted Jun 12, 2007, 5:25 AM
Nunavuter's Avatar
Nunavuter Nunavuter is offline
Coping with the Cosmos
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Toronto
Posts: 143
Hip to be Square?



The corner of Yonge and Dundas across from the main entrance of the Eaton Centre circa 1997.

The other threads I've started here are about putting things in, so I figured I'd start one about taking things away. The above image reveals the run-down but useful nature of the Yonge-Dundas intersection in the 1990s. After it opened in the 1970s, the Eaton Centre acted like a gravity well that pulled all the decent and "mid-scale'"stores on this part of Yonge into it, leaving low-rent bargain stores to take their place.

The World's Biggest Jean Store (that was their claim, don't know how true it was) sold slightly irregular jeans and denim items, the Jewelery Exchange — as its name suggests — was really a sort of pawn shop, and Lick's Burgers featured singing counter staff. The Hard Rock Cafe was across the road south (to the right in the picture) of Lick's Burgers.

Behind this view was an almost triangular parking lot that faced the graffiti and fire escapes on the back of the three structures.



The area today from roughly the same angle. Something needs to be done to provide a more permanent barrier to prevent cars from accidentally driving onto the Square. Perhaps planters that could be moved when necessary.

In 1997 city council decided to revitalize the Yonge-Dundas area by tearing down the buildings in the first picture, putting the parking lot underground and demolishing another cluster of run-down buildings north (to the left) of Dundas. One of these places was a falafel place that had beaded curtains, Arabic table cloths and $2 falafal-drink specials that i appreciated as a student at Ryerson University.



The Eaton Centre got a makeover, with new windows and doors facing onto Yonge Street (previously the building ignored Yonge) and large advertising scaffolds were added above the main entrance opposite the new Dundas Square, which was essentially completed in 2002.



The "media tower" on the northwest side was added soon thereafter, as well as a smaller media tower to the east of the square.



The square is essentially empty except for some fountains on the south side near the Hard Rock Cafe and a stage erected over the entrance to the underground parking garage. Tables with umbrellas are usually set up on nice days for people to have lunch, and the square hosts a few events a year but is otherwise generally not packed with people.



multiple exposure of a man running through the fountains



The north side of Dundas Square has been delayed for many years. The old buildings were knocked down in 1998, but a number of delays (including the bankruptcy of one of the builders) has meant that the blue wooden hoarding that went up eight years ago is finally about to come down. Construction of the Metropolis complex should be completed by next spring, so the whole project will be ready for September 2007.



The 10-storey Metropolis complex (now the curiously named Toronto Life Square) looks like something out of Bladerunner.

It's really a media overkill situation, and that is indeed intentional. The building will feature 20,000 square feet of electric signage, and will extend from the square up Yonge Street to the HMV near the soon-to-close Sam Record Man.

I hope the neon records gracing this landmark Toronto store are moved to Dunda Square rather than being chucked into a landfill.

The level of electric signage in place right now was just about right, because the Square was being defined by the structures around it more than by its own low-key features.

I would have gone for a more Piccadilly Circus look with a few outdoor patios (there aren't many patios on Yonge Street), which would create a permanent presence next to the square rather than just another shopping venue, of which there are many already nearby. I think the proposed level of signage will overwhelm any activities held in the square, and has introduced a derivative element. It's rather obvious what the inspiration for "Toronto Life Square" is.



You guessed it.

Perhaps in twenty years or so the area will evolve naturally and the 'add water and mix' Times Square effect will be improved upon.

We can only hope.
__________________
I nukshuk, you nukshuk, we all nukshuk
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #2  
Old Posted Jun 12, 2007, 5:26 AM
Nunavuter's Avatar
Nunavuter Nunavuter is offline
Coping with the Cosmos
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Toronto
Posts: 143
I made a typo in the thread title... shit.

Little help from those who can...
__________________
I nukshuk, you nukshuk, we all nukshuk
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #3  
Old Posted Jun 12, 2007, 7:56 AM
olga's Avatar
olga olga is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Malmo Sweden
Posts: 3,386
That's quite a change. From one kind of boring buildings with ugly signs to another.

Actually, I love neon.

A photo I took in 1995:


More pics in this thread.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #4  
Old Posted Jun 17, 2007, 1:40 PM
KevinFromTexas's Avatar
KevinFromTexas KevinFromTexas is offline
again
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: down the street from the taco trailer
Posts: 49,246
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nunavuter View Post
I made a typo in the thread title... shit.

Little help from those who can...
Done.
__________________
Smoke marijuana, not Americans.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #5  
Old Posted Jun 17, 2007, 2:01 PM
lawsond lawsond is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 554
i just hope to god the metropolis frontage isn't going to be all back lit slab ads.
they are ugly and boring.
more neon!
there's a move afoot to get the 'sam the record man' neon sign repositioned to the metropolis site.
facebook has at least two petition groups to that end.
the LG sign is the only neon ad of note at the moment on the site.
overall though, it's good to have a central brightly lit square ala times square.
it's getting a lot of criticism from torontonians who think a) it's too much and b) it's not enough.
and from the outside that it's a poor copy of times square.
i think there's some measure of envy involved. most cities would love to have a cool, energy generating square downtown.
it's simply a matter of getting it RIGHT.
and dundas square isn't quite there yet.
__________________
lawsond
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #6  
Old Posted Jun 17, 2007, 6:06 PM
MonkeyRonin's Avatar
MonkeyRonin MonkeyRonin is offline
¥ ¥ ¥
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Toronto
Posts: 6,992
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nunavuter
and the square hosts a few events a year but is otherwise generally not packed with people.
ehh? You serious, its always packed with people. Even in the winter there are a fair amount of people there. Even when there aren't events, you get plenty of people sitting or playing in the fountains there, accentuated by being right at the city/county's busiest pedestrian intersection.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nunavuter
I hope the neon records gracing this landmark Toronto store are moved to Dunda Square rather than being chucked into a landfill.

The level of electric signage in place right now was just about right, because the Square was being defined by the structures around it more than by its own low-key features.

I would have gone for a more Piccadilly Circus look with a few outdoor patios (there aren't many patios on Yonge Street), which would create a permanent presence next to the square rather than just another shopping venue, of which there are many already nearby. I think the proposed level of signage will overwhelm any activities held in the square, and has introduced a derivative element. It's rather obvious what the inspiration for "Toronto Life Square" is.
The Sam signs are to be auctioned off (so, no landfill), but Ryerson is considering keeping them if they aquire the building...so I'm holding out some hope for them.

I'm also confident Metropolis won't turn out as awful as the renderings have. So far, it seems pretty good. A little bland with nothing on it, but hopefully the advertising won't be so disjointed. Oh, and patios - there will be outdoor patios a few stories up on the thing.
__________________
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #7  
Old Posted Jun 18, 2007, 6:32 AM
Nunavuter's Avatar
Nunavuter Nunavuter is offline
Coping with the Cosmos
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Toronto
Posts: 143
The Square is slowly evolving. I suspect it will be a few more years before it reaches its natural relationship with the city. it is being used more in the last year than I remember it being.

About the patios. I only learned of the outdoor patios recently. They were never highlighted in any renderings. Sitting up there will be unique.
__________________
I nukshuk, you nukshuk, we all nukshuk
Reply With Quote
     
     
End
 
 
Reply

Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Discussion Forums > Buildings & Architecture
Forum Jump


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 8:17 PM.

     

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.