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Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘condos

[BLOG] Some Friday links

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  • blogTO notes that a new Toronto condo building will have separate entrances for the rich and the poor.
  • Centauri Dreams has more about our galactic supercluster Laniakea.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper examining the atmosphere of very nearby sub-brown dwarf J085510.83-071442.5.
  • The Dragon’s Tales notes the deterioration of the Ukrainian military situation in the east.
  • Far Outliers notes how, in 1854, the French army was generally better than the British.
  • A Fistful of Euros’ Edward Hugh notes the critical role of expectations in driving economic growth and change.
  • Joe. My. God. notes the recent death of Joan Rivers.
  • Marginal Revolution considers whether or not basic minimum incomes will continue to rise in democracies.
  • pollotenchegg maps the very sharp population declines across Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts.
  • The Financial Times‘ Gideon Rachman notes France’s problems as seen from the perspective of a southwestern French village.
  • Torontoist and blogTO both note Ontario’s sale of the lucrative site of the Queen’s Quay LCBO store.
  • Towelroad notes protests over the partial and grudging inclusion of LGBT groups at New York City’s St. Patrick’s Day parade.
  • Window on Eurasia notes that Russian agriculture simply isn’t capable of feeding Russia in the sanctions era.

[BLOG] Some Friday links

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  • 3 Quarks Daily links to an article examining the plight of Iraqi immigrants in Arizona.
  • A Budding Sociologist’s Commonplace Book links to a discussion about the connection between the Coase Theorem and legroom on airplane flights.
  • blogTO notes a new townhouse development on Ossington above Dupont.
  • The Dragon’s Tales links to a paper examining the once-stable, newly-changing climate of northern Labrador.
  • Language Log notes that some Dalit in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh want to raise a monument to a goddess of the English language.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money notes that in the American situation, switching to a multi-party system wouldn’t make politics more responsive.
  • Marginal Revolution notes that Japanese exports are substantially below their 2008 peak, and observes that remittances lower crime rates in Mexico.
  • More Words, Deeper Hole’s James Nicoll reviews an anthology of Andre Norton’s science fiction.
  • The Planetary Society Blog notes that the search for SETI via optical signalling is newly ongoing.
  • Torontoist shares photos of the TTC’s new streetcars.
  • Towleroad links to a Gallup poll looking for the best and worst countries for non-heterosexuals around the world.
  • The Volokh Conspiracy notes contexts in which wearing Confederate flag T-shirts creates a hostile work environment, and links to an American judge’s scathing criticism of two states’ gay marriage bans.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the mobilization of Buddhists, lists potential Russian military targets in Ukraine, and suggests that a Russian war effort in Ukraine will be problematic.

[URBAN NOTE] “The view from a condo”

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Kanishk Bhatia’s June article at Spacing about the dynamic development of the condo-dominated neighbourhood of Fort York is a thoughtful consideration. When I moved to Toronto a decade ago and walked down there, I saw nothing but wasteland. So much change!

I sometimes pause to reflect on the change that has occurred on this particular plot of land between Bathurst Street and the Princes’ Gate (entrance to Exhibition Place) and bounded by historic Fort York to the north and Lakeshore Boulevard to the south. Much of this section of the city, together with surrounding land south of the rail corridor, was previously re-claimed from the lake and had a largely industrial character for decades. With the eventual displacement of industry, this “dead” space has been transformed into a new residential neighbourhood literally started from scratch – one of several such developments in Toronto in recent years. Today there are thousands of people living here who collectively represent a new chapter in Toronto’s continuing growth.

Unlike City Place to the east which has a relative “sameness” in terms of architectural style (due to much of it being built by a single developer), the ownership of plots was dispersed amongst four developers here, which has had the effect of a slightly more varied mix of building types sprouting up. The City of Toronto went through an extensive master planning process to guide the development of this new neighbourhood in line with its desired city-building principles around elements such as transit access, public realm elements and integration with existing heritage features.

While it could be argued that the term “neighbourhood” may be pre-mature given the area’s development is still very much a work-in-progress (new building construction is still on-going), one can start to see the early signs of a sustainable residential community taking shape. To be sure, it is easy to point out a number of shortcomings based on what exists today, such as the limited public amenities and lack of vibrant street life. However, given the still evolving nature of the development context, it might be wise to wait at least another 10 years before one can reasonably assess the success or failure of the city’s vision for this neighbourhood.

Written by Randy McDonald

August 27, 2014 at 7:55 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “The tale of a failed Toronto condo project raises red flags”

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MacLean’s Chris Sorenson writes about a very problematic condo development in Toronto.

With Toronto’s condo market still running on a full boil, it was only a matter of time before some unlucky buyers got burned.

CityNews reported Friday that Centrust, the developer behind a proposed hotel and condo project north of Toronto’s busy Highway 401, has allegedly skipped town with roughly $12 million in buyers’ cash. The story is still unravelling, but it appears the units first went up for sale in 2010, and Centrust later filed for bankruptcy without telling any of the purchasers. Now the company’s principals can’t be located, with some speculating they’ve left for Korea. All that remains is an empty lot and a bunch of angry people.

While real estate deposits are typically held in a trust account, at least one of the developer’s lawyers has also filed for bankruptcy. Police are investigating, although it’s unlikely the buyers will get their money back—at least not all of it. Buyers put down anywhere from $20,000 for condo units (the maximum covered by Ontario’s new home warranty corporation, Tarion) to $600,000 for commercial space.

The debacle should be a red flag for anyone eager to jump into the frothy condo market in cities like Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto, where gleaming new projects with tantalizing amenities—juice bars, splash pools—seem to pop up every week. All that money sloshing around is bound to attract inexperienced and, possibly, unscrupulous operators, with many experts saying the industry largely remains a “wild west” in Ontario when it comes to regulation.

Written by Randy McDonald

August 25, 2014 at 7:18 pm

Posted in Canada, Economics, Toronto

Tagged with , , ,

[PHOTO] Eight Toronto photos

Today’s posting is another aggregation of Instagram photos I’ve taken in Toronto over the past week, on Bloor Street, near Yonge and Dundas, around Church and Wellesley, and finally in Kensington Market.

(Normal posting will hopefully resume tomorrow, when I actually get a working laptop.)

Planters of the future, on Bloor west of Dovercourt

Planters of the future, on Bloor west of Dovercourt #toronto #torontophotos #gardens #bloorstreetwest #bloorstreet #bloor #dovercourtroad

Looking west on Edward Street

Looking west on Edward Street, evening #toronto #torontophotos #edwardstreet #yongeanddundas

The rainbow flag and the flag of Canada, outside of Buddies in Bad Times

The rainbow flag and the flag of Canada, outside of Buddies in Bad Times #toronto #Torontophotos #theatre #buddiesinbadtimes #churchandwellesley #flags #rainbow #canada

Construction tower for 66 Isabella, Church and Isabella

Construction tower for 66 Isabella, Church and Isabella #toronto #torontophotos #isabellastreet #churchstreet #churchandwellesley #condos

Front garden, 575 Church Street

Front garden, 575 Church Street #toronto #torontophotos #churchandwellesley #churchstreet #gardens #flowers #angles

Looking into Cawthra Park from Church

Looking into Cawthra Park from Church #toronto #Torontophotos #churchstreet #churchandwellesley #parks #cawthrapark #worldpride

Pink flowers, grey wall on Nassau Street

Pink flowers, grey wall on Nassau Street #toronto #Torontophotos #flowers #gardens #kensingtonmarket #nassaustreet

Looking north on Augusta Avenue

Looking north on Augusta Avenue #toronto #torontophotos #Augustaavenue #kensingtonmarket #nassaustreet #pedestriansunday

[PHOTO] Photos from a Canada Day walk across Toronto

I went on an extended hike east and south across Toronto

Of course, I wore my red-and-white plaid shirt. How much more Canadian could I get?

My red-and-white plaid shirt, perfect for Canada Day

I last shared a picture of this statue of King Edward VII, built for a park in Delhi but later relocated to Queen’s Park, in May 2009.

Equestrian statue of King Edward VII, Queen's Park

I love these art deco office buildings east of Queen’s Park.

Art deco office buildings east of Queen's Park

I like what a simple Instagram trick did for this shot on Bay Street, looking south at the towers.

Towers of Bay Street #bay #baystreet #toronto

This alley lies just west of Yonge Street on Wellesley.

An alley of Toronto, off Wellesley #toronto #alleys

The painting on the side of the Armen Art Gallery is worn.

Authentic Canadian Native Art #toronto #alleys

The display of some of the books on sale at the Glad Day Bookshop was fresh.

Book for sale at Glad Day #gladday #books #toronto #queer

The Paul Kane House, set in its own parkette and named after the famous 19th century painter of First Nations, is almost entirely surrounded by towers.

Paul Kane House among the towers #toronto

This mural at Church and Wellesley is part of a #pinbuttonpride street history project put on by the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives.

Pin button pride in the Village #toronto #worldpride #churchandwellesley #pinbuttonpride

Crews & Tango was still colourfully decked out for Pride.

Crews and Tango, Pride edition #toronto #churchandwellesley #worldpride

This rainbow of tulips planted outside a convenience store was adorable.

Tulips of Pride #torontopride #worldpride #churchandwellesley #flowers #rainbow #tulips

Outside Mies van der Rohe’s Toronto-Dominion Centre, the Pride flag flew alongside the flags of Canada and Ontario.

Pride in the Financial District #toronto #worldpride #financialdistrict #flags #miesvanderrohe

The twin towers of the Royal Bank of Canada headquarters, with their gold-impregnated windows, rise up.

Royal Bank of Canada towers #toronto #financialdistrict #rbc

[PHOTO] Hudson Condos, 438 King Street West

Hudson Condos, 438 King Street West

The 21-story Hudson Condos tower at 438 King Street West, on the northeast corner of Spadina and King, is a development that quite appeals to me visually with its dynamic lines.

Written by Randy McDonald

June 17, 2014 at 11:07 am

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