Paula Virany

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September, 2021

Paula Virany's projects

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Commented on Engage East Harbour 2 days, 9 hours ago
The destruction of the Unilever Soap Factory has made this site much uglier and robbed it of its initial charm before Cadillac Fairview brought the project. Government officials talk about the Manhattanization of Toronto. But Manhattan has old brownstones, historic museums (the Frick, the Met, and simple things like the Meat Packing District) that give Manhattan a feeling of history, character and soul. It is a sad failure that the Unilever Soap Factory is not being kept in the design in some way -- even if it is just a facade that is kept. The original plans had charm. Cadillac Fairview's plans lack design and instead have a lot of cement. I understand that Cadillac Fairview wants to maximize profit -- that's okay -- I believe in the free market. But if we continue to build without history and charm will we achieve the Manhattanization of Toronto? Or the Calcutta-ization of Toronto? Even modern Kolkata is 40% slum. Don't throw out history. It is the author of the charm and soul of a city. Shame on Cadillac-Fairview.
Commented on Engage East Harbour 2 days, 10 hours ago
Someone who lives close by
Supported a comment by Tyler Walker on Engage East Harbour 3 weeks, 2 days ago
Tyler Walker
At ground level you have made efforts to keep with the aesthetic of neighbourhood. i.e. Red brick and industrial. But with this project as well as metrolinx Ontario line, we are loosing a signification amount of our untouched green space that acts as the backdrop of our neighbourhood. It is what makes this such a wonderful area to live in the city no glass towers and green space. The world is getting warmer, plant twice as many trees, even if it is on the roofs of train stations and buildings and don't go as high with the glass tower. Use red brick (not grey) higher like 88 colgate ave. Downtown of the east is not what is wanted we have a down town, lets keep it there. People in this neighbourhood don't want to live downtown. We don't like the feel of it there when it comes to our home life. We want to live in a quiet, not too modern (no glass and grey), family oriented, green community. Would love to see further effort made to tie this community into the riverside, leslieville, don valley at every level not just the first 6 stories. It currently will stick out like sore thumb with our current skyline and neighbourhood feel. Complete outlier, please bring more options to the table as this could be an exciting development as opposed to another the the neighbour dreads.
Supported a comment by Stefan R on Engage East Harbour 3 weeks, 2 days ago
Stefan R
Retaining heritage structures.
Supported a comment by Chris Barker on Engage East Harbour 3 weeks, 2 days ago
Chris Barker
There’s definitely not enough priority on protecting / retaining heritage structures. In most cases, a wall or 2 are kept and soon there won’t be anything left to show what Toronto was. In addition, many of the businesses lost as the buildings they’re in get demolished, can’t afford to relocate and pay the higher rent in new buildings
Commented on Engage East Harbour 8 months, 3 weeks ago
Is it the Manhattanization of Toronto or the Strip Mall-ization of Toronto?

Cadillac-Fairview's plan is to destroy all heritage buildings on the site. It would be illegal for them to do that, however the Ford government passed legislation that allows destruction of heritage buildings via MZO's (a very aggressive, undemocratic approach.) It led to public demonstrations when the government moved to destroy the Foundries Building. Luckily demonstrators stopped that.

There are three beautiful old brick buildings on the East Harbour site. They are the Unilever building, 433 Eastern and the old Consumers' Gas company building at 419 Eastern. These buildings must be kept intact or incorporated into the new design. It is the history of a city that gives it character, charm and ultimately liveability.

Policy makers often explain that Toronto is going through “Manhattanization” i.e. it is becoming a large, dense city. This is accurate, however one of the reasons that NYC is so fantastic is that it's FULL of gorgeous historical buildings, such as the old brownstones (many are now condos) Greenwich Village, the Meat Packing district etc. All these add beauty and charm to NYC.

If Toronto keeps levelling all its heritage buildings this will not be Manhattanization. It will be a soulless mess.

Can Cadillac Fairview serve our great city and country and keep the heritage buildings? Isn’t that their civic duty?

Will these buildings be left intact or be incorporated into the design? As lobbies, parts of buildings or facades?