HomeDiagramsDatabaseMapsForum About
     

Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Regional Sections > Canada


Reply

 
Thread Tools Display Modes
     
     
  #1381  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2020, 1:08 PM
Acajack's Avatar
Acajack Acajack is online now
Astineux
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Canada (see below*)
Posts: 45,883
Quote:
Originally Posted by kool maudit View Post
Montreal is quite good at public realm design, IMO.
I'd argue Quebec City is better than Ottawa in this respect.

Prior to Jean-Paul L'Allier becoming mayor things had been relatively comparable in the two cities - which is to say largely uninspiring.

But L'Allier was mayor for about 25 years and he really transformed Quebec City. Polishing the jewel, so to speak. Régis Labeaume has been mostly cut from the same cloth.

Ottawa needs a L'Allier-esque mayor to work a similar type of magic.
__________________
*An assembly of shareholders that likes to pretend it is a close-knit family, in order to maintain access to grandpa's inheritance.

Still a really nice group of people to spend Christmas dinner with, though.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #1382  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2020, 1:40 PM
J.OT13's Avatar
J.OT13 J.OT13 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Ottawa
Posts: 10,906
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
I'd argue Quebec City is better than Ottawa in this respect.

Prior to Jean-Paul L'Allier becoming mayor things had been relatively comparable in the two cities - which is to say largely uninspiring.

But L'Allier was mayor for about 25 years and he really transformed Quebec City. Polishing the jewel, so to speak. Régis Labeaume has been mostly cut from the same cloth.

Ottawa needs a L'Allier-esque mayor to work a similar type of magic.
We would have needed to do this in 90s before amalgamation, when the City could have focused on old Ottawa, today's central core. With competing interest from sprawling suburbs and vast rural areas, injecting money in the urban core is a tough sell today.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #1383  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2020, 2:21 PM
kool maudit's Avatar
kool maudit kool maudit is offline
five one foreigner
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Stockholm
Posts: 11,764
This might be one of those things where underneath all the social democracy and SOFT POWER LEADERSHIP and all that, we're basically Michigan.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #1384  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2020, 2:28 PM
niwell's Avatar
niwell niwell is offline
sick transit, gloria
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Brockton Village, Toronto
Posts: 8,858
I do feel that Canada is getting better at the public realm, and that Quebec has always been a couple levels ahead. Likely due to what kool is referring to...

On the whole though, we still aren't doing that hot. I personally don't think it detracts from the vibrancy of our cities at all, but it can be jarring after returning from other places. In some cases I do think it is a positive, but we've been down that road on SSP and it goes nowhere.
__________________
Check out my pics of Johannesburg
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #1385  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2020, 3:30 PM
Acajack's Avatar
Acajack Acajack is online now
Astineux
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Canada (see below*)
Posts: 45,883
Quote:
Originally Posted by J.OT13 View Post
We would have needed to do this in 90s before amalgamation, when the City could have focused on old Ottawa, today's central core. With competing interest from sprawling suburbs and vast rural areas, injecting money in the urban core is a tough sell today.
Quebec City also went through a merger as you know. It was in 2002, so L'Allier's mayoralty actually was both pre- and post-merger.

He was there for the first 3 years post-merger, and stayed the course.

But after he left, a lot of city-lovers were worried when the colourful former suburban (Ste-Foy) mayor Andrée Boucher was elected to lead the new city. The concern was that she'd undo all of the good stuff L'Allier had put in place. She was known for being a no-frills, bare-bones, suburban-oriented "the city should stick to paving roads and picking up garbage" type of politician.

AFAIK she did not undo L'Allier's legacy, but she was also not there for very long. She died before she had even completed half of her term.

Since then they've had Labeaume.

And yes the majority of Quebec City denizens live in the suburbs. The former city had 175,000 people whereas the new city has around 580,000.

But even the suburbanites (at least most of them) appreciate the chic-ness and lustre that comes with sprucing up the city - and they have a strong emotional rapport with the older parts of town even if they don't live there.
__________________
*An assembly of shareholders that likes to pretend it is a close-knit family, in order to maintain access to grandpa's inheritance.

Still a really nice group of people to spend Christmas dinner with, though.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #1386  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2020, 3:34 PM
TorontoDrew's Avatar
TorontoDrew TorontoDrew is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 7,367
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #1387  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2020, 3:43 PM
Acajack's Avatar
Acajack Acajack is online now
Astineux
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Canada (see below*)
Posts: 45,883
Quote:
Originally Posted by kool maudit View Post
This might be one of those things where underneath all the social democracy and SOFT POWER LEADERSHIP and all that, we're basically Michigan.
I think that in terms of stuff like urban realm, in most of Canada you have a historically embedded Scottish thrift in the culture that naturally tends to view such things as unnecessary "frills".
__________________
*An assembly of shareholders that likes to pretend it is a close-knit family, in order to maintain access to grandpa's inheritance.

Still a really nice group of people to spend Christmas dinner with, though.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #1388  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2020, 3:44 PM
wave46 wave46 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 2,918
Quote:
Originally Posted by isaidso View Post
Love the thread but with each photo my thoughts instantly focused on how to fix the public realm. When you've just spent a few weeks in a country (Australia) where their public realm is attractive the grim, unwelcoming, primitive look of Canada's public realm is a shock. I suppose it will take me a year before it becomes less jarring to my eyes.

These below are stunningly bleak and this is our national capital. Canada does lots of thing very very well but we're absolutely hopeless when it comes to design.
These pics don't exactly have the weather and lighting in their favour. Canada is a pretty hard place to take beautiful pictures of in the winter, unless it happens to be one of those fluffy snow days. A photograph of Niagara Falls can look mundane under gray skies in November.

Australia's cities always struck me as bland-ish, the older areas of Melbourne aside.

That being said, yes, the parsimonious nature of government means that there's a lot of cheap looking tower blocks.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #1389  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2020, 3:51 PM
Acajack's Avatar
Acajack Acajack is online now
Astineux
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Canada (see below*)
Posts: 45,883
Quote:
Originally Posted by wave46 View Post
These pics don't exactly have the weather and lighting in their favour. Canada is a pretty hard place to take beautiful pictures of in the winter, unless it happens to be one of those fluffy snow days. A photograph of Niagara Falls can look mundane under gray skies in November.
.
That was my initial reaction too but now that I've thought about it more, Ottawa CBD south of Wellington St. (the parliamentary district) feels pretty bare-bones even in mid-summer.
__________________
*An assembly of shareholders that likes to pretend it is a close-knit family, in order to maintain access to grandpa's inheritance.

Still a really nice group of people to spend Christmas dinner with, though.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #1390  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2020, 3:56 PM
wave46 wave46 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 2,918
Quote:
Originally Posted by Acajack View Post
That was my initial reaction too but now that I've thought about it more, Ottawa CBD south of Wellington St. (the parliamentary district) feels pretty bare-bones even in mid-summer.
Oh, Centretown is a hole. A functional hole, but a hole nonetheless. Indeed, it could be any mid-sized North American city - some tall buildings, some older stuff with 'character' and a mishmash of everything else.

If you want to flatter Ottawa, you take pictures of the Canal, Parliament Hill and the Byward Market.

I'm mostly saying that somewhere like Auckland doesn't exactly set it afire either in large potions of its CBD.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #1391  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2020, 4:05 PM
J.OT13's Avatar
J.OT13 J.OT13 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Ottawa
Posts: 10,906
Quote:
Originally Posted by wave46 View Post
Oh, Centretown is a hole. A functional hole, but a hole nonetheless. Indeed, it could be any mid-sized North American city - some tall buildings, some older stuff with 'character' and a mishmash of everything else.

If you want to flatter Ottawa, you take pictures of the Canal, Parliament Hill and the Byward Market.

I'm mostly saying that somewhere like Auckland doesn't exactly set it afire either in large potions of its CBD.
To be clear, the Central Business District is a generic "hole". The Escarpment District just to the west is a "hole". The Parliamentary Precinct is a soulless collection of monolithic buildings.

I would not define Centretown, the residential area between the CBD and the Queensway, as a "hole".

There was a big conversation last week about the equivalency of the Beltline, Oliver and Centretown, so I don't want to confuse anyone.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #1392  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2020, 4:08 PM
wave46 wave46 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 2,918
Quote:
Originally Posted by J.OT13 View Post
To be clear, the Central Business District is a generic "hole". The Escarpment District just to the west is a "hole". The Parliamentary Precinct is a soulless collection of monolithic buildings.

I would not define Centretown, the residential area between the CBD and the Queensway, as a "hole".
I mean purely from a design standpoint only.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #1393  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2020, 4:08 PM
Martin Mtl's Avatar
Martin Mtl Martin Mtl is online now
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 7,227
Quote:
Originally Posted by J.OT13 View Post
We would have needed to do this in 90s before amalgamation, when the City could have focused on old Ottawa, today's central core. With competing interest from sprawling suburbs and vast rural areas, injecting money in the urban core is a tough sell today.
Yet Montreal’s beautification of its public realm has boomed since amalgamation.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #1394  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2020, 4:33 PM
someone123's Avatar
someone123 someone123 is online now
hähnchenbrüstfiletstüc
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Vancouver
Posts: 24,168
One thing about Ottawa is that the urban planning was clearly a bit timid going back even to the 1800's. There's no downtown street that follows the Parliament Hill alignment. It's quite odd, and as soon as you cross Wellington you're pretty much in "normal" territory. Had Wellington Street and that central axis been turned into something special extending as a parliamentary precinct over to the canal it would feel like a more expansive and cohesive area (basically, you'd be able to stand in a lot more places and see only better than average Parliament Hill type buildings and finishings).

Most of downtown Ottawa reminds me of Edmonton or Calgary with a height limit and lack of landmark commercial buildings (you don't get the Bow by selecting the low bid when doing a federal office tender), while the neighbourhoods are a mix of Ontario and Quebec style architecture. Unfortunately the Ottawa height limits were not very well planned; it's in the same boat as Halifax except with even more office space crammed in.

The Chateau Laurier addition to me seemed representative of the way things often go in Canada. It's a unique building in a special area with a distinctive style that represents just one small part of the city that would have to be protected. Yet it's still subject to profit maximization and that meant wanting to attach a glass box to it. We don't seem to have a lot of urban districts that we really invest in or maintain their integrity. Anything goes for the most part. The old part of Quebec City is one exception.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #1395  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2020, 5:51 PM
Kilgore Trout's Avatar
Kilgore Trout Kilgore Trout is offline
菠蘿油
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: hong kong / montreal
Posts: 5,559
I've only been to Melbourne but its CBD feels so much more polished than anything in Canada. That's not necessarily true for the rest of the city. Neighbourhoods like Fitzroy feel roughly similar to their equivalents in Toronto – eclectic architecture, lively atmosphere, but pretty basic public space.

Montreal is pretty good at urban design. Vancouver is good too, especially in the downtown area. Ontario is really in a league of its own and not in a good way. The whole province has a culture of low investment in the public realm which is what gives Toronto its uniquely shabby look in spite of all the money and flashy new developments. Whereas Montreal invests in beautifully landscaped sidewalk bulb-outs and Vancouver puts lushly planted traffic islands in residential intersections, Toronto has crumbling concrete planters full of cigarette butts and dead vegetation.
__________________
urbanphoto.net
urban issues + photography
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #1396  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2020, 7:37 PM
TorontoDrew's Avatar
TorontoDrew TorontoDrew is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 7,367
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kilgore Trout View Post
The whole province has a culture of low investment in the public realm which is what gives Toronto its uniquely shabby look in spite of all the money and flashy new developments.

What a loaded and absolute bullshit comment. Are we to assume you've traveled across all of Ontario and visited each municipality and town within it? Such an ignorant comment meant to do nothing more then insult and stir the pot. Maybe if Montreal spent a little more on it's infrastructure it wouldn't have bridges that collapse onto hwy's or they wouldn't need to buy Toronto's old Go Trains. See I can be an ass as well.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #1397  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2020, 7:50 PM
rousseau's Avatar
rousseau rousseau is online now
Registered Drug User
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Southern Ontario
Posts: 6,028
Quote:
Originally Posted by TorontoDrew View Post
What a loaded and absolute bullshit comment.
Not at all. It's patently true that the public realm in Southern Ontario is shabby and mostly an afterthought in comparison with most places. Look at our telephone poles and hydro wires, our lack of benches on public streets, our lack of squares, our chain-link fences surrounding public parks, etc. etc.

Not much is manicured or purposefully aesthetically pleasing in our shared public spares here. That Toronto's greatest charm, its hodge podge, higgledy piggledy mish-mash of privately constructed buildings and structures with little over-arching design or plan, is also its greatest weakness, is an old truism that's long been hashed out on SSP.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #1398  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2020, 8:07 PM
J.OT13's Avatar
J.OT13 J.OT13 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Ottawa
Posts: 10,906
Quote:
Originally Posted by wave46 View Post
I mean purely from a design standpoint only.
Oh yeah; 90% of buildings constructed after 1955 have been mediocre at best.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Mtl View Post
Yet Montreal’s beautification of its public realm has boomed since amalgamation.
Montreal, even after amalgamation, is still mostly urban. We're talking about a city that's 431.50 km2 vs Ottawa's 2,790.30 km2. The former City of Montreal represents about 65% of the population while old Ottawa only represents about 35% of the population.

If the entire Island of Montreal (which was the initial amalgamation before the referendums), Laval, Longueuil and a bunch of other suburbs came together to form one city, it would be much harder to get things done in the former City of Montreal.
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #1399  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2020, 8:10 PM
MonkeyRonin's Avatar
MonkeyRonin MonkeyRonin is offline
¥ ¥ ¥
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Toronto
Posts: 7,516
There are no shortage of cute, well-maintained main streets across Ontario, and Toronto has been making some promising strides in streetscape investments in recent years; but otherwise, yeah, most of urban Ontario's public realm ranges from shabby to utilitarian. Even in city centres, where the big yellow street lights and high-visiblity street signs look no different from those on a 6-lane suburban arterial.

Not sure how every other province compares, but Quebec and BC at least seem to do a bit better on average (of course, the mild climate also helps in the case of the latter).
__________________
Reply With Quote
     
     
  #1400  
Old Posted Apr 9, 2020, 8:22 PM
niwell's Avatar
niwell niwell is offline
sick transit, gloria
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Brockton Village, Toronto
Posts: 8,858
There have definitely been big improvements on this front in Toronto, both in terms of city parks and general streetscaping improvements - the latter often led by BIAs. Small things like street furniture / art at corners of commercial intersections are a welcome change. The redo of College West is quite nice for instance with interlock paving (project debacles aside), though the hydro poles remain. And won't be going anywhere for some time. On the park front I've actually been very impressed with the improvements done to Queen's Park, which illustrate how relatively minor things make a big difference. In this case paving elements and benches.
__________________
Check out my pics of Johannesburg
Reply With Quote
     
     
This discussion thread continues

Use the page links to the lower-right to go to the next page for additional posts
 
 
Reply

Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Regional Sections > Canada
Forum Jump


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 9:30 PM.

     

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.