A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘condos

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

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  • The Dragon’s Tales links to news of remarkably thorough reconstruction of Neanderthal and Denisovan genomes.
  • Eastern Approaches visits eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region.
  • Geocurrents’ Martin Lewis notes that Pakistan still apparently lays claim to the former Muslim-run princely state of Junagadh in Gujarat.
  • Joe. My. God. and Towleroad both note a proposed bill before the Russian parliament that would require the fingerprinting of all HIV-positive people in a national database.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer notes a continuing crisis in the availability of rental spaces in the American housing market, linking it to low-density zoning.
  • Torontoist notes the sad loss of a pet pigeon on Queen Street West.
  • Towleroad notes continuing controversy over the use of the HIV drug Truvada as a prophylactic against infection.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy visits controveries over affirmative action in the United States where different minorities (here, Asian-Americans) have different claims.
  • Window on Eurasia visits the increasingly problematic lot of Crimean Tatars in their Russian-occupied homeland, notes that traditionally pro-Russian Belarus is newly wary of its eastern partner, and quotes from a journalist who predicts catastrophe from a Russian pursuit of empire.

[BLOG] Some Saturday links

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  • blogTO describes Toronto’s Great Fire of 1904.
  • Centauri Dreams and D-Brief react to the discovery of Kepler-186f, The Dragon’s Gaze linking to a paper that models potential climates on the world.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes, as does io9, that an Earth-like planet doesn’t need a stabilizing moon to be habitable. If anything, a shifting axis may help a planet avoid ice ages.
  • Eastern Approaches notes that the Czech Republic isn’t getting a Russian corporation to renovate its nuclear power plants.
  • Geocurrents notes the ongoing maritime border dispute between Romania and Ukraine.
  • Language Log notes an example of Chinese characters being used as annotations for Vietnamese script.
  • The Map Room’s Jonathan Crowe links to a copy of the only fantasy literature setting map needed. (The cliches are cringe-worthy.)
  • Marginal Revolution takes note of the ongoing real estate boom in Vancouver.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer notes that Ukraine needs to keep Odessa, not only because of the city’s importance as a coastal port but because of its oil refinery.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog links to a paper analyzing the different kinds of processes of depopulation in European Russia.
  • Towleroad notes that a photo exhibit showing same-sex couples kissing in Catholic churches, closed down in Rome, is now up in New York City.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy notes that it’s quite rare to actually see police officers suffer serious penalties for lying.
  • Window on Eurasia points readers to the writings of Andrey Piontkovsky, who argues that Putin’s push for territorial annexations is more destabilizing (because more uncertain) than the Cold War.
  • Yorkshire Ranter Alex Harrowell observes an uncanny congruence between maps of England showing ancient patterns of Viking settlement and contemporary patterns of areas with benefit cuts.

[NEWS] Some Friday links

  • io9 shares wonderful illustrations of Titan’s methane showlines.
  • The Atlantic Cities notes that the coastline of Louisiana is receding so quickly mapmakers are hard-pressed to keep up.
  • BusinessWeek wonders how great cities, like New York City or Rome, reconcile change and tradition.
  • Christianity Today features a Philip Jenkins article noting that the origins and alliances of the Crimean crisis can be traced back at least as far as the Crimean War.
  • Ha’aretz notes that Israelis are moving to Tel Aviv, abandoning peripheral areas (with large Arab population) like Galilee and the Negev.
  • MacLean’s notes that condo construction is set to boom in Toronto.
  • Tablet Magazine notes that Crimea, immediately after the Second World War, was positioned as a potential homeland for Soviet Jews.
  • According to Time, changes in Canadian immigration law may be discouraging rich Chinese immigrants.
  • Universe Today notes that China’s Yutu moon rover can’t properly move its solar panels.

[PHOTO] CityPlace, December 2013

In December 2013, I took a walk west from Spadina into the new neighbourhood of CityPlace. This neighbourhood–bordered, as Wikipedia notes, by Bathurst Street to the west, Lake Shore Boulevard to the south, and Front Street to the north and Blue Jays Way and the Rogers Centre to the east–is the veritable heartland of Toronto’s condos.

Built on the old Railway Lands west of Union Station used by the old Canadian National railway for storage and repairs, since the 1960s the area has been slowly built up. The CN Tower’s construction occurred in the first phase of the Railway Lands’ redevelopment. In the past decade, condo construction in CityPlace west of Spadina has boomed. Metro Toronto’s Matt Elliott noted in 2012 that the electoral riding of Trinity-Spadina which includes CityPlace has one of the fastest-growing populations of any riding in Ontario, and the largest of any in Toronto. The Grid‘s Edward Keenan wondered in 2011 if, in future years, as the buildings deteriorate and if street life and transit links don’t improve, CityPlace might become something of a ghetto.

For now, though, CityPlace is a dynamic neighbourhood with sky-reaching architecture. I’m a particular fan of the Puente de Luz pedestrian bridge spanning the still-used rail lines between Spadina and Bathurst (photos 6 through 8).

CityPlace, December 2013 (1)

CityPlace, December 2013 (2)

CityPlace, December 2013 (3)

CityPlace, December 2013 (4)

CityPlace, December 2013 (5)

CityPlace, December 2013 (6)

CityPlace, December 2013 (7)

CityPlace, December 2013 (8)

Written by Randy McDonald

March 2, 2014 at 9:08 am

[PHOTO] Queen and Lisgar, looking south, August 2013

Queen and Lisgar, looking south, August 2013

Facing south at Queen and Lisgar, a minor intersection east of Queen and Dufferin, and looking past the old Canada Post office slated to become a theatre centre, you can see a rising nest of condos that won’t be shown on Google Maps’ street view. They didn’t exist when Google last went through town.

Written by Randy McDonald

February 27, 2014 at 2:00 pm

[PHOTO] Aura, looking up, March 2014

Looking north at Aura, March 2013

I’ve taken several pictures of the Aura mixed-used skyscraper on the northwestern corner of Yonge and Gerrard. (See these photo posts from February 2012, April 2012, August 2012, September 2012, and March 2013.)

It is so beautifully high.

Written by Randy McDonald

February 25, 2014 at 3:02 pm

[URBAN NOTE] Three Torontoist links on changing Toronto neighbourhoods

The posts date from July of last year, but their issues remain relevant.

  • The first describes an effort by residents of Kensington Market to crowdfund studies and activism opposing new condo and shopping developments in their area.
  • The second, published after news of the eventual sale of the Honest Ed’s building, celebrates the aging megadiscount store’s history.
  • The third takes a look at the Hotel Waverly, a hotel at Spadina and College that has served as something like Toronto’s version of New York City’s Chelsea Hotel.

[URBAN NOTE] On the World’s Biggest Bookstore becoming Restaurant Row

World's Biggest Bookstore, 10 Edward Street, 14 February 2014

The above is a quick shot I took this evening of the exterior of the World’s Biggest Bookstore, located on 20 Edward Street just north of Yonge and Dundas.

I learned as early as June 2012 that , was set to close. I was quite surprised to learn that the bookstore will be replaced not by condos, but by a row of restaurants. blogTO‘s expression of surprise was understandable.

The iconic World’s Biggest Bookstore in downtown Toronto will become a row of four restaurants by fall of 2015, promises the developer which bought the property last year.

The new property owner, Lifetime Developments, is building a “new culinary mecca” at 20 Edward St.

No restaurants have been named as possibilities for the space, but the developer has offered “multi‐level patio opportunities, soaring ceiling heights, column free space, and common ‘back of house’ elements.”

The plans began when the closure of the World’s Biggest Bookstore was announced in November of last year. It will close in March.

Written by Randy McDonald

February 15, 2014 at 4:05 am

[PHOTO] Queen and Dufferin as the condos rise, August 2013

Queen and Dufferin as the condos rise, August 2013 (1)

Queen and Dufferin as the condos rise, August 2013 (2)

Queen and Dufferin as the condos rise, August 2013 (3)

Queen and Dufferin as the condos rise, August 2013 (4)

Written by Randy McDonald

February 14, 2014 at 9:42 am

[PHOTO] Dominion Building, Charlottetown

Dominion Building, Charlottetown

The Dominion Building, located on the southwest corner of Queen and Richmond in downtown Charlottetown, was built in the 1950s to serve as a headquarters for federal government work on Prince Edward Island. This brutalist building never fit in well with the more small-scale and traditional downtown of Charlottetown, and when the federal government moved its offices out a few years ago I expected the building might be torn down. Instead, in 2007 the building was transferred to the Canada Lands Company, which in 2010 sold the building to condo developers.

The Charlottetown Guardian‘s Dave Stewart reported in March of 2012 that tenants were starting to move in then. A quick search suggests that there have been some complaints, discussion forums about high prices (high for Charlottetown, maybe) and comments in least one blog post complaining about building issues.

Written by Randy McDonald

January 14, 2014 at 1:11 pm


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