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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 ...

– Karolina Pochwat, Toronto

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“Development in the downtown core is a good idea as it prevents the hollowing out of many American cities. However, such massive development in an established entertainment disctrict should surely also include reincorporating commercial theatre space. Also, given the number of units in the project, consideraion MUST be given to developer support for improvements to the TTC in the core. In fact, ALL condo developments should pay a significant fee to support capital and operating improvements to TTC. Intensification of development and public transportation are intimately connected and MUST support each other symbiotically.”

– Andrew Hazen, Thornhill

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“I’m not impressed. Surely the still fairly new Princess of Wales Theatre could be factored into this vision somehow. I’m pretty sure Frank Gehry could accommodate that. What an awful waste if the theatre is demolished.”

– Robert Harries, Orangeville

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“Yes, this is an exciting project for downtown Toronto. The skyline of Toronto is filled with monied mediocrity at present and Gehry’s playfulness would be a relief, adding signature buildings that would help define Toronto locally and internationally. What also needs to considered, though, is how lower and street levels would animate street life (the OCAD U connection would really help with that) and, in another context, how these buildings would affect the barely adequate public transit networks nearby. But, generally, bringing more people to live downtown seems a desirable thing.”

– Vid Ingelevics, Toronto

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“Overall, I think Toronto needs this kind of initiative – unusually bold in its concept and scale. It will hopefully inspire other creative ventures in its vicinity to effect a needed change in the cityscape. With a few exceptions, Toronto today seems to project a bland sameness of architecture (dull brown or grey brick turn-of-the-century buildings punctuated by boxy skyscrapers and glass block condos) with hardly any spaces or developments to really draw and inspire its citizens – consider the haphazard development along the harbourfront or the missed opportunity with the extremely subdued opera house. I just wish that the Mirvish plan also included a unique theatre or performing arts venue of some kind.”

– Vineet, Bapat, Toronto

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“This iconic stretch of Mirvish’s culture of performing arts on King St. is part of Toronto’s heritage and should be treated as that. Ed Mirvish was a great man with extremely great vision. To dismantle King St. and to reform into condos is something that will be a cultural loss to all Torontonians and our future children. I’ve grown up in Toronto all my life, and I can’t even imagine what the meaning of Toronto is without the Mirvish performing arts building. I can empathize with the idea David has and the revenues that can be produced from such a venture, but none the less, I do not believe it should be at the cost of his father’s and Toronto’s legacy.”

– Vishal Gupta, Toronto

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“For 19 years this theatre housed some of the best large-scale production the city has seen – Miss Saigon, The Lion King, The Sound of Music and War Horse to name a few. And now David Mirvish is trying to sell three condos, an art gallery and an OCAD classroom as a ’cultural destination’? This reeks of corporate greed from a producer who just sold out. When the biggest theatre producer doesn’t support his own theatre, you know there’s something wrong with the arts in Toronto.”

– Matt McNama, Toronto

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“This is fantastic! Let Gehry work his magic! I hope they would go a little more for the culture part and a little less condos. Considering we only get 1,200 hours of sunshine here per year it, would be nice to have a little less shade. Toronto, being not that pretty, would benefit greatly from Mr. Gehry’s work, whatever he does.”

– Steve Stojanovich, Aurora

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“Amazing to think that Mirvish started off as Honest Ed’s to developing a wonderful theatre district. Seems to me like everything the Mirvishs do turns to gold and their hearts really seem to belong to Toronto. So I say “Go Mirvish”. Maybe he could buy the Leafs.”

– Lynne Carlson, Aurora

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“Torontonians always talk about Toronto being a world-class city (and it really does have a potential to be a world-class city) but judging from the negative comments about this project, it shows that Torontonians are not willing to do what it takes for Toronto to realize that potential. Yes, this is a bold vision and Toronto needs hundreds more of these bold visions. The fact that we have to ask if this is a good idea simply tells me that Toronto is still not ready to play with the big boys.”

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