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An image from Frank Gehry’s designs for David Mirvish’s project to remake his properties at King Street West and John St. in Toronto. (Courtesy of Gehry International Inc.)
An image from Frank Gehry’s designs for David Mirvish’s project to remake his properties at King Street West and John St. in Toronto. (Courtesy of Gehry International Inc.)

You said it: Readers weigh in on Mirvish’s vision for Toronto’s entertainment district Add to ...

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“Why does Toronto need more condos? If this vision concentrated on providing an affordable arts space for all citizens maybe I could get behind it and believe it could be something great for the city. As it stands, building more overpriced condos in downtown Toronto serves to further separate the haves from the have nots.”

– Kirin Wright, Toronto

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“It’s great, I really like it. Time for T.O. to be bold and different. I know its so un-Toronto like, but time to play with the big boys and girls. Only concern would be how the podiums meet the street. I don’t care how high they go. Why not 100 storeys? Keep going Toronto, don’t look back. Time also for new east-west subway line along King or Queen.

– Dom Gaetano, Toronto

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“I’m an architect and I have great respect for Frank Gehry. However, the creative energy to develop this project should be distributed to various architects – even young architects who have a fresh perspective on the city. Gehry’s work is outdated and out of touch with contemporary discussions in architecture and city building. Toronto needs great buildings but great architecture is not about surfaces which resemble toilet paper. Great buildings come from understanding a context and program and responding carefully to the problem.”

– Gabriel Fain, Toronto

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“Good for Mirvish! He brought King Street West to life with his theaters, and I think this is a great next step. Sure he plans to make money from it, but with that will come more people, and a lively King Street. I’ve had the privilege of travelling to a lot of other cities, and I think Toronto is going in a great direction, livening up the core!”

– Jason Stobbe, Toronto

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“Great. Boldness and interesting design – what’s not to like. I don’t think they’ll make much money, but that’s not my problem.”

– Dan Gould, Toronto

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“My initial reaction to the design is that the simple sketches provided so far give no sense of the quality of street-level experience. As for the business proposition, I believe Mr. Mirvish is using the Frank Gehry name to gain support for a density that is not appropriate here. I doubt that either Mr. Gehry or Mr. Mirvish will see the project to completion. There will be another architect of record and another condo developer will build it. So, given the projected softening of the Toronto condo market, it will likely end up like the vision for the Crystal at the ROM, where the glittering vision that we were initially sold ended up as a contorted pile of cheap metal siding.”

– Thomas Hatcher, Toronto

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“There’s nothing ‘bold’ about this. This is, at best, a craven attempt to leverage a whopping huge cash windfall for Mr. Mirvish from what is already a congested, overextended stretch of King Street West. Speaking as a long-time Toronto resident who both works and lives just blocks from the downtown core, I feel I can speak on behalf of my fellow area-residents when I say that we are literally sick and tired of high-density condominium developments – and that no amount of ‘starchitect power,’ no amount of expedient sops – will bring us around. No sale, Mirvish.”

– John Currie, Toronto

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“Toronto suffers from a glut of ‘so-so’ architecture – all the uniform glass boxes with little imagination and cheap execution. it is just about time that we should get another set of iconic towers, to rival the TD Centre. Frank Gehry’s architecture can transform the most abysmal of cities (LA, Bilbao) – it’s Toronto’s time to get his treatment. The buildings will be controversial, due to their sheer size. But hopefully, they will dwarf the ridiculous Metro Hall and other nearby ‘architecture.’ If Mississauga can be bold enough for the buildings some call the best design of the last decade in North America (the ‘Marylin‘ towers), maybe it is time for the stodgy Toronto to reject practical, modest and cheap in favour of brilliant?”

– Robert Tomas, Toronto

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“About time. Torontonians should stop talking about their city as being world class and start acting like it is, by supporting ambitious initiatives like this one. One should also remember that the Princess of Wales Theatre was constructed to be temporary, has no historical significance and is privately owned.”

– Thomas Vesz, Toronto

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“A complex of condo towers isn’t bold. It’s overdone, outdated and unnecessary in that neighbourhood. King Street is already a gridlock at any time of day; this project will only make it worse. Not a good idea by any means. What would be bold in this case would be a multiuse green space. Now that’s bold in an area chock-full of concrete, steel and glass.”

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