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  #41  
Old Posted Jul 14, 2013, 5:59 PM
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Every major Canadian city, has some sort of super-block shopping center (ex. Rideau Centre in Ottawa, Eaton's Center in Toronto, Edmonton City Centre in Edmonton etc.), and all of them with the exception of Hamilton's Jackson Square have been extensively renovated to be more pedestrian friendly and include access to public transportation. I still do not understand, why Hamilton has not considered investing money to do the same. In the 1970's the downtown core was built-up around such a project, and now with all this focus surrounding urban renewal we neglect to invest in this vital piece of infrastructure. I'm happy to see investment into the City Center, but upset that the structure still turns away from the street.
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  #42  
Old Posted Jul 14, 2013, 6:18 PM
Beedok Beedok is offline
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Originally Posted by lucasmascotto View Post
Every major Canadian city, has some sort of super-block shopping center (ex. Rideau Centre in Ottawa, Eaton's Center in Toronto, Edmonton City Centre in Edmonton etc.), and all of them with the exception of Hamilton's Jackson Square have been extensively renovated to be more pedestrian friendly and include access to public transportation. I still do not understand, why Hamilton has not considered investing money to do the same. In the 1970's the downtown core was built-up around such a project, and now with all this focus surrounding urban renewal we neglect to invest in this vital piece of infrastructure. I'm happy to see investment into the City Center, but upset that the structure still turns away from the street.
I have no idea what you mean about the Rideau centre being pedestrian friendly or better for transit. Sure is has the Transit Way beside it and a bunch of bus stops along the other side, but James Street and King Street have plenty of buses too. As for pedestrian friendliness, apart from going along Rideau Street it's definitely not. On average Jackson Square is much nicer to walk around (4 okay sides vs. 2 horrid, one okay and one good). Now it's been a while since I was at the Eaton's Centre in Toronto, but I don't remember it being much better either, apart from the PATH system and subway connection, neither of which are really fair to compare with Jackson Square.

As for other cities, those I've not been to.
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  #43  
Old Posted Jul 14, 2013, 6:34 PM
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In the case of Hamilton's Jackson Square, the owner, Yale Properties, has only really taken interest in upgrading the facilities in the past 5-7 years and the City Centre next door has bounced around between owners a few times now since Eaton's packed it's bags. I think both places are only going to get better in the coming years though and Jacskon Square in particular may end up rivaling many other Canadian downtown shopping centres. The new grocery store was a huge leap forward. There's been some serious talk from both property owners about opening the buildings up to the street and Yale seems to be reeling in some higher class tenants lately (relative to the usual dollar stores and no name clothing stores of the past).
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  #44  
Old Posted Jul 14, 2013, 6:49 PM
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I have no idea what you mean about the Rideau centre being pedestrian friendly or better for transit. Sure is has the Transit Way beside it and a bunch of bus stops along the other side, but James Street and King Street have plenty of buses too.l
And remember, Hamilton moved the Gore Park transit hub right beside Jackson Sqaure on MacNab St.
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  #45  
Old Posted Jul 14, 2013, 6:50 PM
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There's been some serious talk from both property owners about opening the buildings up to the street
This really piqued my interest. Can you elabourate with any detail?
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  #46  
Old Posted Jul 14, 2013, 6:55 PM
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And remember, Hamilton moved the Gore Park transit hub right beside Jackson Sqaure on MacNab St.
Right, I forgot that they moved it all over there.
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  #47  
Old Posted Jul 14, 2013, 10:55 PM
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Interesting points from all of you. I always love getting your perspective on things. The MacNab Transit Terminal was an idea that goes back to the late 1970's and took only until a couple of years back to bring it fruition. Meanwhile, although under different pretenses, the Toronto Eaton Center opened itself up to the subway system, trolleys, and buses. Rideau Center, although not as integrated stays open all night, to although for easier passage between stops. I will agree, that the new grocery store was a step in the right direction, but there is still much to be done. Can any of you, elaborate on these plans to open up some more street frontage? That point really intrigued me.
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  #48  
Old Posted Jul 15, 2013, 12:22 AM
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Both Jackson Square and the City Centre could be so much more than they are.

Market forces and downtown demographics may tip the balance for that to happen in the not-too-distant future.
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  #49  
Old Posted Jul 15, 2013, 3:06 AM
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Originally Posted by CaptainKirk View Post
This really piqued my interest. Can you elabourate with any detail?
http://www.thespec.com/news-story/22...reet-friendly/


"Jackson Square has hired a prominent local architect to figure out how to make the downtown mall more connected to the streets around it.

The mall was designed in the 1960s and built in the 1970s when the car was supreme, said David Premi, who has garnered international recognition for his redesign of the downtown library and farmers' market.

He says the discussions with mall owner Yale Properties are in the preliminary stages but he will look at bringing in more natural light, creating better signage and wayfinding inside the mall, and re-creating the mall's street entrances."
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  #50  
Old Posted Jul 15, 2013, 4:56 AM
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Hahahaha! Jackson Square will NEVER come close to even the standards of Square One! Haha and atleast Square One is going through renovations to make it more grand. JS has barely any natural sunlight (unlike Mapleview Centre nearby) and it's so small. Plus, it's soooo ghetto.

The City Centre on the other hand, is do-able. They just need to renovate the whole building to make it feel more luxurious and cozy. AKA warm wood tones and greenery. But in the end, it's a little too small anyways.

Praying one day that Hamilton gets their shit together.
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  #51  
Old Posted Jul 15, 2013, 5:16 AM
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Hahahaha! Jackson Square will NEVER come close to even the standards of Square One!
I certainly hope not!
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  #52  
Old Posted Jul 15, 2013, 6:17 AM
RaginRonic RaginRonic is offline
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Originally Posted by lucasmascotto View Post
Every major Canadian city, has some sort of super-block shopping center (ex. Rideau Centre in Ottawa, Eaton's Center in Toronto, Edmonton City Centre in Edmonton etc.), and all of them with the exception of Hamilton's Jackson Square have been extensively renovated to be more pedestrian friendly and include access to public transportation. I still do not understand, why Hamilton has not considered investing money to do the same. In the 1970's the downtown core was built-up around such a project, and now with all this focus surrounding urban renewal we neglect to invest in this vital piece of infrastructure. I'm happy to see investment into the City Center, but upset that the structure still turns away from the street.

It's pretty simple, Lucas.

Hamilton's city planners have one raging case of ADD. Their minds are locked in an infinite loop of thinking, and moving on to the next thought when they get physically tired.

Which is fine if you wanna crack a window on the top floor of the Standard Life Building and take a leak on the street below, like the mayor wants to do, but when trying to make Downtown a better place to shop and do things in, not so much.

Hope that helps.

=)
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  #53  
Old Posted Jul 15, 2013, 5:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Katrillion View Post
Hahahaha! Jackson Square will NEVER come close to even the standards of Square One! Haha and atleast Square One is going through renovations to make it more grand. JS has barely any natural sunlight (unlike Mapleview Centre nearby) and it's so small. Plus, it's soooo ghetto.

The City Centre on the other hand, is do-able. They just need to renovate the whole building to make it feel more luxurious and cozy. AKA warm wood tones and greenery. But in the end, it's a little too small anyways.
Jackson Square's building footprint is pretty big: that block is nearly 400m by 200m - that's comparable in size to the footprint of Lime Ridge and Mapleview (which is a bit longer). Big chunks of the land belong to the arena, library, and City Centre but it does stretch the entire block.

I think its warren of corridors is just too claustrophobic. It's like they initially tried to apply the design of some of Toronto's early PATH corridors, but in a building that is not underground and not beneath the same scale of office towers. It was kind of neat in the 70s and early 80s, but way out of date today.

If Yale properties is serious about improving that building, and willing to put out the money to do so, cutting out roof sections above the mall corridors (where possible) and installing high skylighting that arches upward would do wonders. This would vastly reduce the rooftop plaza, but it has never worked anyway. Maybe it's better to give up the plaza entirely and create a green roof.

City Centre looks very dated inside too, with faded and peeling pastel paints and tiles. But I think it's a nice space. Most of the stores inside just don't generate a lot of foot traffic through much of the mall. Re-purposing it for more non-retail uses would make a lot of sense; the third floor is already that way but does not make use of the atrium space very well, with basically just blank walls facing the mall walkways. Also, I believe the city still has offices in the old Eatons store space but I have to wonder whether it's being used effectively.

Whatever the plans are, they must include opening up the perimeter walls at street level. That's the biggest issue with these two malls today, and probably the least expensive option for improving them.
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  #54  
Old Posted Jul 15, 2013, 6:04 PM
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As is true of City Centre, Jackson Square could certainly use a multi-million-dollar facelift -- refreshed perimeter walls and brighter, airier entranceways -- but a walk around the megablock shows that the failure is primarily one of execution. It’s not that these elements don’t exist. It’s more that they were implemented in ways that lend little to no benefit to consumers and/or streetlife.

JS is almost entirely surrounded in wall-height glass windows, though the displays are typically meager, amounting to posters pressed up against the glass. Streetfront access directly into stores exists for virtually every unit on the outward face with the exception of Suzy Shier and the LCBO, but these entranceways are uniformly treated as secondary (if they are even unlocked).

The same is true to a lesser extent of the City Centre: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

I'm not for a second suggesting that these are sufficient or optimal, merely that they do exist. Between Copps and the Library/Market, York is almost entirely glass at street level from Bay to James. Remaining sections of CC – such as the runs between MacNab North and James North and again between York/Wilson and Rebecca may be deployed in ways that don’t necessarily invite storefront treatment... I'm honestly not sure.

A wild card is the fact that tenants are known to ignore the intended use of such features.
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Last edited by thistleclub; Jul 15, 2013 at 6:20 PM.
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  #55  
Old Posted Jul 15, 2013, 6:28 PM
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Although not directly related to the Hamilton City Center, does anyone here remeber Jim Balsillie's Copps Coliseum renovation proposal? I really wish that came into fruition. It was a superior design, and would have enhanced Jackson Square ten-fold.
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  #56  
Old Posted Jul 15, 2013, 6:38 PM
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It’s not that these elements don’t exist. It’s more that they were implemented in ways that lend little to no benefit to consumers and/or streetlife.
Agree completely. I should have clarified that I meant "opening up" in terms of street access - not just having doors either, but having inviting and attractive user-friendly entrances.

There may be places along the City Centre streetwall that cannot be open to the street because of what is inside. But the ones that do have doorways just don't look very nice, and the few businesses that actually use them have tiny or minimal signage on the windows without prominent street signs. I imagine there is a security concern among the retailers in having interior and exterior entrances, but there are ways around that.

The City Centre could benefit greatly by renovating the facade too. The brick is preferred (not a fan of its colour, nor that of the trim and entrance colours) but it's such a large expanse of it - some variety would help draw attention to businesses that open to the street.

Jackson Square probably has more limited opportunities for additional exterior entrances, but the ones it has aren't used very effectively in many cases.
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  #57  
Old Posted Jul 15, 2013, 7:17 PM
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Bowling alley? Didn't expect that. It could work if people want to go to a bigger one than the other lower city ones and don't want to truck all the way out to Mountain Bowl or whatever they call it now.
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  #58  
Old Posted Jul 15, 2013, 7:30 PM
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So, this is probably the totally wrong place for this, but I'm going to guess that Hamilton couldn't ever get a PATH system of it's own right?
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  #59  
Old Posted Jul 15, 2013, 8:26 PM
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So, this is probably the totally wrong place for this, but I'm going to guess that Hamilton couldn't ever get a PATH system of it's own right?
Probably not. I don't think there'd be enough high traffic destinations to warrant it. Even Toronto's PATH system is just an empty tunnel running from Union to Bay and Queen at pretty much any time other than rush hour or normal business hours. If Hamilton had one, it'd be even worse. Those kinds of systems need constant draws of people to common above-ground destinations to make them work safely and effectively.

I'd imagine we'd need many more, and busier office buildings spread throughout downtown and LRT stops to tie the PATH together. The subway stations in Toronto serve the same purpose.
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  #60  
Old Posted Jul 15, 2013, 9:53 PM
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Pretty sure there's a large creek running underneath the downtown area. Plus there's lots of abandon tunnels. Think the Armoury has active tunnels.
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