Mandated civil planning to create artificial architectural detailing



The street level component of a  proposed condo development on Annette St.  is set  to end up  a rather bland infill under the  design requirements of the City of Toronto.

Looking  at the image above it can be  clearly seen the developers are designing under the city  requirement to build into the building an element that aligns the  portion of the building that runs parallel with the height of the existing buildings on either side of the new building to create a sight line that unifies the running height along the street-scape.

While this is an important consideration for some new infill buildings, such as where a historical building  would be diminished in view or scale. Requiring the rule to be applied to all construction extremely limits designers and builders ability to build for use and needs to the people who are actually going to live in the building.

As more people in the city choose condo living, why not explore the opportunistic appeal of condo living, designing and creating buildings that mold in the new fabric created by the people though the their use of their community.

Below is an image of the a contemporary housing project by IKEA – the furniture company, which also builds housing. This project in Scotland, does not work to align window height,or maintain traditional fenestration coverage. It does not conform to roof design norms in the area  but it does add and fit into the areas older group of buildings, being designed to bring new visual entrance  views for both the roadway turn and the buildings connection to its area.

As the greater amount of Junction residential stock changes from buildings of two and two and half story houses to a greater volume of condos in the next 5 to 7 years, attention and a change will be necessarily in the communities directions to its elected persons to develop a a greater interest in urban participatory design or the community will end up with artificial build environment.  [1.a predication extrapolated  from the number of condo development under consideration and available lots for condos}


Contemporary Housing · IKEA Scotland · Newcastle Architect Studios


The front faces of a lot of the buildings along that section of Annette St. (obviously with a couple of exceptions) generally have a strong roofline at the level of the third storey. It is almost a characteristic of this street – although counter-examples of course can be observed. I like that visual continuity and sense of scale. The picture you have shows how set-backs can be used to good effect, and still end up with a viable development project. Why do you argue for historical continuity on the streets that you frequent and out-of-scale alien insertions on streets where you don't live/work?

One point I disagree with is that the blog argues for historic continuity in certain areas and not for others. One example being I do really like the proposed project for the old McBrides site. I would really like to see the empty lot on Vine Ave be converted to a live – work building/s with a height of about 1.5 in ratio of the surrounding houses, an area i see many times a day.

I agree with you on setbacks being a good item in most locations.

I guess in my naive way I would like to historical continuity right next to current builds that help people structure current living wants.

If the architecture was more contextual, I'd be open to some more diverse rooflines. But it's design considerations like the continuous rooflines that can allow a streetscape to retain a sense of attractive cohesiveness even as the style of architecture changes drastically. Sometimes opportunities present themselves when the rooflines don't matter as much and a building that breaks away from the conventions is most desirable. These opportunities are often at unusual sites like at a curve in the road or at a major or unusual intersection. (Speaking of which, the wedge-shaped site of the coffee shop at Dundas and St. Johns would allow for a interesting flatiron building.) Sometimes it's best for architecture to stand out; other times, it's best for it to fit in.

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