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Old Posted Sep 7, 2006, 1:25 AM
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Northern Ontario developments!

I thought i'd start this thread to show that there is indeed development going on in some of the cities and towns of Northern Ontario, so anyone who lives up in this neck of the woods please feel free to contribute pics and articles here!

Here are some pics and articles highlighting some of the development going in my city of North Bay.

Today i went and took these pics of the construction site of the new Watersun condominium on Lakeshore Drive, too bad it's not taller, but it's coming along nicely!







This pic is looking down the beach towards another condo building called 'The Beaches'.


I was on the city bus a few days ago and (somewhat unsuccessfully) snapped this pic of the tower crane at the site of the new city filtration plant on Trout Lake.


Construction is also getting underway on the new city transit terminal on Oak Street in downtown North Bay, here's a recent article about the project:


Finally, here's a small rendering of the 6 storey phase of the Marina Point development that is currently under construction two blocks to the west of the transit terminal. The 3 and 4 storey phases are well underway, so hopefully this next phase will start construction soon. Tomorrow i'll take some photos of the site, when it's completed it going to be a huge development and will bring quite a boost to the downtown core!


More to follow! So, what else is happening up here in the so-called North?
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Old Posted Sep 7, 2006, 6:35 PM
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There was an article in the Chronicle-Journal about the new waterfront project, I can't find it online though.

Anyway, they're rethinking their plan. Again.

They're going to make the former pool six site a market place / hotel, with the main enterance of the hotel near the new park street enterance of the area. The hotel will be in the 4-10 storey range. They market place will be 1-2 storey mixed locally owned and major chain businesses, but they're looking for a pedestrian feel. It'll probably have stuff like Tim Hortons or McDonalds or whatever; anyway, in the middle of that is supposed to be a park/plaza, lots of trees and probably fountains. On one side is the cruise ship dock and on the other is an expansion to the civilian marina. Along the road going from Marina Park to the pool six site, mostly parking and greenspace, alot of walking paths on the entire site. They're going to move the train tracks closer to Water street (the tracks along wilson street headland were ripped up years ago, they're going to move tracks back to there and use the part where tracks are in the plan, apparently) and have alot of greenspace there.

The condos that were supposed to go with it have moved to where the bus terminal is now, and that will either be moved to Intercity (it will be combined with the one in Fort William, with will likely be replaced by the proposed new consolidated courthouse) or moved to another part of the downtown core (probably on the other side of the provincial building, between Marina Park Tower and Marina Park Place) and the condos will be 'Vancouver style' with shoppes and crap on the main floor podium and one or two ten storey towers (that will not exceed the hieght of the hydro building for historical purposes) will be built there depending on demand. The main business/hotel component will likely be finished by 2011, the residential part may not even be built. We do tend to have hotel room shortages because they're used as temp housing for displaced natives when they have to be evactuated from their reserves for reasons that shouldn't exist in this hemisphere.

In non-waterfront news, the Shelter House is almost finished (it's located across from the Royal Eddie, about a block or two from the old one which is a sneeze away from collapsing on itself), and a new ten unit hospice is being built, it will be the first of its kind in Canada outside of Toronto where each patient gets an entire suite, allowing them to pass away in peace with their family, as opposed to the current hospice which has very small rooms in the main hospital and is quite impersonal.

The University recently installed a pedestrian underpass to allow students to cross LUDrive easier, and it will be renovated to connect to the new proposed Lakehead Convention Centre should that be built, all they need is funding (they have an okay to build it, from what I understand)

Condo/Retirement home construction has wound down this year, but Pine View II should begin construction next spring, and sales of pphase III are begining. The city wouldn't let the developer build a highrise with parkspace around it that would be shared with the neigbouring retirement home (at the corners of Red River, Pine and Dorothy) because it would 'cast a shadow' so he built the thing sideways in 2 4 storey and one yet-undetermined-height condos.

The court house isn't really a stale proposal, there's just a dead lock because while downtown has alot of vacancies, none of them are big enough to support even a slender highrise, other than the parking lot by Paterson Park which is dearly needed (our downtowns have insufficient parking for the demand, amazingly enough. You have to pay almost 24 hours a day, and youre lucky if you can park within 3 blocks of where youre going) but I figure they could add another level or two to the Victoriaville parkade (or rebuild it to something nicer, if thats impossible) and put it there, making a triangle shape of Parterson tower, Royal Eddie and the courthouse (all 30-45m high)

That's all I can think of.. none of these are really recent stories just going from memory, but that's most of the developments we've got. In the past few years we've opened the 6 storey ATAC centre, the most technologically advanced building in NWO, the medical school, the new hospital and neighbouring profession building, and no less than 450 tim Hortonses.
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Old Posted Sep 7, 2006, 9:46 PM
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So today i went and snapped some pics of the Marina Point development and the new transit terminal site, sorry about the picture quality -- my camera sucks.

Here's a shot of the 3 storey phase of the development looking from the area of the our current (open air) transit terminal. You can see how big this building really is.


Here are a few shots of the 4 storey section -- the big pit in the last pic is where the 6 storey phase is going to go -- i can't wait!




Here are some shots of the new transit terminal site, when it's completed nobody will ever have to freeze their asses off in the winter or die of heat-stroke in the summer while waiting for their bus again!

This is the existing building that will be renovated and expanded in order to house the new waiting facilities and offices.


Here's the back of the building, say goodbye to the grit!


The next few shots just show some of the work being done on the site, an old cinderblock warehouse building is being demolished to make way for the bus platforms.




This project and the nearby Marina Point will go a long way to furthering the improvements to Oak Street, which has long been regarded as being a run down and seedy downtown street. Here's a pic of the new face of Oak Street that was in the paper recently.
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Old Posted Sep 7, 2006, 10:51 PM
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that looks like some good density being added (although i have to admit that i know basically nothing about the area). who will be buying these new units? are they selling to people from the area or to people from further south as second/vacation homes?

nice reuse of an existing building for the bus station.

and IMO, its good to see some development in the northern cities being represented on the forums. cheers.
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Old Posted Sep 8, 2006, 11:47 AM
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Most of the buyers in those units will likely be retirees and local elderly. Up here, almost everyone who lives in Condos is over the age of 50.
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Old Posted Sep 8, 2006, 7:31 PM
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Yeah, it's mostly a mix of retired people from points further North who want to be closer to their children who moved down South, local empty nesters, and retirees from the GTA who want a change of lifestyle who are buying these units.
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Old Posted Sep 8, 2006, 11:50 PM
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Here's another recent project that was completed last spring in downtown North Bay, it's called the 'Empire Terrace Suites' and it nicely filled in a big hole in the streetscape along Mcintyre St.
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Old Posted Sep 9, 2006, 9:44 AM
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What Thunder Bay has to do is run out to the suburbs and exurbs, pick up all the construction from out there (dozens of oldfolkes sprawlplazas) and pile them all up downtown. Hell if they were all in one building we could easily have something as big as Spire at least. Thats how many of the damn things there are. One near my school is about 200m long. :X
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Old Posted Sep 9, 2006, 7:11 PM
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Here's an article about the transit terminal i copied from www.baytoday.ca
http://www.baytoday.ca/content/news/details.asp?c=15427

The city hosted an official groundbreaking ceremony today at the corner of Oak and Wyld Streets where the new transit terminal will sit.

With eight designated bays the new terminal will make it much easier for people to find their bus as well as grab a cup of coffee from a coffee shop that will also sell bus passes.

“It will be much more convenient for the drivers to have everything on one level rather than having to run up a couple of flights of stairs to get to our current facility,” says transit manager Peter Reid.

Reid also points out that the new facility will offer other amenities that are long over due including washroom facilities that are sadly lacking at the moment.

Downtown Manager Jeff Serran says the new terminal brings the area one step closer to seeing the finished product of new face of the Waterfront development.

“It’s going to mean more beautification and vitalisation of the downtown core and we’re really looking forward to the completion of the transit terminal,” says Serran.

“It’s going to mean more people downtown, and the more people coming downtown is good for the businesses, so we’re really excited about this project.”

Councillor Dave Mendicino, Chair of the Community Services Committee, says it has been twenty years in the making but he is pleased that all three levels of government came together to help make the project a reality.

“When I was told it was since 1988 that this has been in the works, and for various reasons mainly budgetary that it was never able to happen it kind of made us more determined to see if we could do something,” says Mendicino.

“When we came on council one of the first things that was identified was that if we could possibly make something like this happen a new transit terminal that would certainly be a step in the right direction, considering everything else that’s been going on downtown.”

Mendicino says the department is excited with the positive change the new terminal will bring about but says the real focus is on the riders.

“It’ll be nice that while they’re waiting for a bus here that they’ll be able to wait in the comfort of a heated building. You’re going to see the state of the art bays develop, we’re certainly injecting a lot of funds into the transit operation in general not to mention the upgrade of the transit fleet.”

Nipissing MPP Monique Smith echoed Mendicino stating the province was delighted to be a partner in the project through the gas tax initiative.

“I think that the new terminal is just going to be a real bonus to the riders, I think it may increase ridership and I think it will be an added attraction to the downtown.”
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Old Posted Sep 10, 2006, 10:37 PM
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Thunder Bay: 'Fuckin' boring.'

I think that's on the back of the EEkos building, or the one beside it. It's along Cooke Street anyway.
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Old Posted Sep 11, 2006, 5:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by softee
Here's another recent project that was completed last spring in downtown North Bay, it's called the 'Empire Terrace Suites' and it nicely filled in a big hole in the streetscape along Mcintyre St.

very nice development its good to see a new building being built right out to the sidewalk (somewhat). it fits in nicely with the older building beside it.

thanks for the pictures.
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Old Posted Sep 14, 2006, 4:48 AM
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^ You're welcome, thanks for the comment.

http://www.nob.on.ca/industry/constr...6-building.asp
North Bay experiencing building boom not seen in 20 years

By IAN ROSS

Retail development in North Bay is catching up with its robust home building boom.

The arrival of Home Depot two years ago has kick-started the arrival of new power shopping centres on McKeown Avenue and the Highway 11/17 bypass.

McKeown Avenue is hot property for new and expanding retail in North Bay. MTO is examining the city’s future retail and traffic growth with a proposed new expressway at the Highway 11/17 interchange. The city is experiencing a building boom not seen in 20 years.

“McKeown is hot property,” says City of North Bay planning manager Ian Kilgour. “Northgate Square plaza likely has future expansion plans, and the corner of Seymour and the highway bypass will continue to grow.”

Canadian Tire’s 30,000-square-foot addition is underway and rumours persist of Loblaw’s opening a Big Box grocery outlet between the highway and McKeown.

A new pharmacy centre is being proposed nearby and North Bay businessman John Hopper has two-and-a-half acres of commercial property on the street that is slated for commercial development. On the east end of McKeown, on the way to the airport, Bradwick Property is building a strip mall.

On the highway, half of the current North Bay Chamber of Commerce property will be annexed for a 120-room Marriott hotel next door to the Home Depot. An adjacent nine acres of vacant city-owned land, once a City Public Works yard, is being designated for commercial purposes.

A Chrysler dealership is relocating from Lakeshore to the Highway 11/17 corridor with a Hyundai dealership relocating on Trout Lake Road.

Kilgour credits the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development for identifying gaps in a retail market study and actively recruiting new retailers to come to North Bay.

Institutionally, construction of the North Bay Regional Hospital mega-project on Highway 17 is expected to begin by year’s end.

Across town, a $45-million water treatment plant is underway to replace a 75-year-old pumping station with a modern water filtering system.

In June, groundbreaking began on the new Ecole Publique Elementaire, a new $11-million French elementary school on Connaught Avenue, which will be open September 2007.

North Bay’s vibrant home building market continues unabated well into 2006.

Dalron’s $25-million Marina Point seniors’ development is progressing on North Bay’s waterfront and the Watersun Condominium project on Lakeshore Drive was being framed in early August.

Figures released in July by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) indicates North Bay leads the four major cities in northeastern Ontario in housing starts.


“So much for plateauing,” says Warren Philp, CMHC’s Northern Ontario market analyst, who predicted home starts would slacken off in 2006 from the historic highs of the previous two years.

Since 2000, single detached starts in North Bay have risen from to 70, 89, 105, 123, 139 and up to 163 in 2005, with the city on track to better that mark.

Philp says North Bay and its neighbouring townships recorded 72 home starts until the end of July, up 9.1 per cent from 66 during last year’s first seven months.

Total starts — including single and multi-family units — were recorded at 115, up from 66 during the same period.
The resale market has also been remarkable, says Philp.

As of June 30, sales recorded were 779 semi-detached units, up from 698 last year, a healthy 11.9 per cent increase in sales. Home prices on average were in the $161,773 range, “clearly the strongest resale market from a price standpoint in Northern Ontario,” says Philp.

With all types of residential units sold through the multiple listing service of the North Bay Real Estate Board, price figures were up 10.1 per cent from last year.

Philp says as more land has been made available, potential homeowners have the choice to buy or build new. “There’s been some pent-up demand that’s been satisfied in the last few years.”

Based on his conversations with local real estate agents, homebuyers are a combination of retirees and people who have done well in the community and starting to take advantage of wealth and move up in the market. “I’ve been surprised by the number of people who are empty nesters and still wanting that bigger house or new house with everything they want.”

The cottage market continues to boom with appraisers in North Bay talking about the effect of twinning Highway 11 North and how cottage prices were moving in tandem with the road-widening project.

Kilgour confirms new subdivisions are coming on line with 30 mid-priced lots planned for the Kingsway subdivision near the future North Bay expressway and 40 lots are planned for the Thelma subdivision in West Ferris.

Forty, more upscale, lots are in the works for the Stone Manor project next to Kenwood Hills Drive.

To handle the surge of building applications, the City of North Bay recently instituted a DART (Development Application Review Team) program designed to fast-track planning applications.

Meeting twice monthly, the 10-member team includes all the city departments plus a conservation authority member.
The idea being to ease applications more efficiently through the planning process, says Kilgour.

“We changed it from a paper process to more of a consulting process and it allows us to speak with one voice.”
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Old Posted Sep 14, 2006, 4:52 AM
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http://www.nob.on.ca/regionalReports...9-06-hwy17.asp
Improving traffic flow along the Hwy. 11-17 corridor

By IAN ROSS

The Ministry of Transportation (MTO) is dusting off a 50-year-old plan to improve traffic flow through North Bay, and hopefully ease some development frustrations, with a new Highway 11/17 bypass.

For years, ‘Route 6’ has been the big ‘X’ factor that city planners, developers and the business community have known only too well when siting new business on the highway.

With retail space along Lakeshore Drive and McKeown Avenue in the city’s North End shopping district close to being maxed out, new development is shifting over to the Highway 11-17 corridor.

The success of the two-year-old Home Depot outlet and a likely expansion to Northgate Square plaza has rejuvenated developers’ interest in being located on one of Northern Ontario’s busiest thoroughfares.

The plan to create a new highway by-pass or expressway has been on the MTO’s books since the 1960’s. A route later was identified in the mid-1970’s for a four-lane divided highway.

Known as Route 6, a new alignment would run just to the northeast of the current route, behind the present-day Northgate Plaza.

Though the MTO has slowly accumulated property for the potential right-of-way, no construction has taken place.

Some in the business community argue it’s stalled some highway development in anticipation of the new alignment going through.

“Whenever there’s a planning project anywhere near it, they (MTO) mention Route 6,” says Mark King, president of the North Bay and District Chamber of Commerce, who also serves on the city’s planning board.

As a consulting agency, MTO approvals are required for municipal rezoning applications and the issuance of building permits.

King says in cases where developers are required to make road improvements such as turning lanes or install traffic lights, who pays for the upgrades? “We don’t know.”

“You don’t want to give the impression we’re not open for development,” says King, who also serves on the City of North Bay’s planning board.

But Ian Kilgour, the City’s manager of planning, calls any animosity between the City and the MTO “last year’s news” and cites the ongoing 30,000-square-foot expansion of Canadian Tire as a sign no development is being held up.

“We’re on very good terms with the MTO and we respect their processes.”

Kilgour says city staff are on the same page with MTO’s senior planners who regard the expressway study as a top priority.


The cost of any future road upgrades for future development will likely be a combination of the City of North Ba and the developer negotiated on a case-by-case basis.

The MTO has retained Stantec Consulting of Hamilton to do some preliminary design work and an environmental assessment study.

The consulting engineer has established a website (www.northbayhighwaystudy.ca) to allow locals to track the progress of the study and provide feedback.

King admits the existing 11/17 highway corridor is outdated but instead of creating a new alignment, he favours widening the existing route with interchanges at the three busiest intersections at Algonquin Avenue, Trout Lake Road and Seymour Street.

Though construction is years away, King would also like to see some short-term fixes.

Most notably to deal with an Ontario Northland Railway (ONR) crossing on Highway 17 that backs up traffic and offers few detour options for rush hour commuters and emergency vehicles.

King also says Trout Lake Road — Highway 63 to Quebec — “is one of the busiest two-lane highways around” that hasn’t seen since significant upgrades in years.


MTO spokesman Gordan Rennie says the future Highway 11/17 alignment will include an overpass where it crosses the ONR line but there is no feasible short-term solution to deal with the crossing.

The expressway will be a divided four-lane freeway with no plans for an elevated expressway.

“The ministry is not certain if more or less property will be required for the future highway. That is one of the objectives of the current planning study.”

Public information sessions are planned for this fall and next year before the planning study wraps up in summer 2007.

But King still believes new provincial planning legislation is warranted to stimulate growth in Northern Ontario.

He supports a brief prepared by the Northern Ontario Municipalities and Planning Board which was sent to provincial Municipal Affairs Minister John Gerretsen calling for a “new deal” for planning in the North.

“We’ve got southern Ontario rules in Northern Ontario and growth does not happen here that easily.”

With population decreases in northeastern Ontario predicted over the next 25 years and the cyclical nature of the region’s resource-dependent economy, King says the province’s development rules are stifling growth.

www.northbayhighwaystudy.ca
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Old Posted Sep 14, 2006, 10:44 PM
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Chartwell Home opened today. I can handle 100s of old people. It's their second location in town!

And bears haven't been seen in the urban area since Monday! A new record!
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Old Posted Sep 16, 2006, 11:05 PM
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Here are a couple more pics i snapped today of the Marina Point development taken from the other side. The 6 storey building will go up in that sand duny area just to the left of the 4 storey building.


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Old Posted Nov 1, 2006, 1:48 AM
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From today's North Bay Nugget:
City OKs new 100-room hotel; Traffic study finds development won't affect intersection

Gord Young
Local News - Tuesday, October 31, 2006 @ 08:00

City council gave the green light Monday for a proposed 100-room hotel near Home Depot, after a traffic study found changes are not required at the intersection of Seymour Street and the highways 11-17 bypass.

Councillors lifted a special holding designation placed on the zoning of the property pending the study to determine if any intersection improvements would be needed for the hotel due to increased traffic.

"It's a go," said Coun. Dave Mendicino, community services chairman, noting the construction could begin this fall with developers hoping to move forward as soon as possible.


The Chamberlain Management Group has a tentative land purchase agreement with the city and plans to build the four-storey hotel between the North Bay and District Chamber of Commerce and the home renovation centre. Mendicino said the chamber office and Dionne Quints Museum will remain in their current locations as part of the plan.

He said the traffic study, financed by the Chamberlain Group, indicates the proposed hotel development will not generate a large amount of traffic or significantly affect the existing intersection. Mendicino said both city staff and the Ministry of Transportation have signed off on the study.

But he said a second phase will look at needs to accommodate the anticipated full build-up of surrounding lands, particularly the 3.6-hectare parcel behind Home Depot. Mendicino said the city is footing the bill for the second phase of the study, because it expects to recoup the cost through future land sales.

The ministry has said reconstruction of the intersection two years ago was meant to satisfy increased traffic due to the Home Depot and the True North auto dealership, and additional improvements may be necessary for any further development.

Intersection improvements, according to the ministry, could include a fourth entry lane at the northeast corner, longer acceleration and deceleration lanes and tapers, widening Seymour Street to have a double left turn onto the westbound bypass, median islands on both city street approaches, upgraded traffic signals and a second municipal access to Seymour Street south.
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Old Posted Nov 1, 2006, 2:14 AM
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YOU'RE getting a hotel near Home Depot too?????? It's going to be four storeys too????

WOW!

Thunder Bay is getting one too!!
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Old Posted Nov 4, 2006, 10:19 PM
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From the same thread at SSC

Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny D View Post
Thunder Bay North side Waterfront development... Needs some work though

http://www.thunderbay.ca/docs/waterfront/2745.pdf

Page 55+ has the bulk of the information about the project we have completed phase 1, with improvements being made to the rail way crossings for better access to the water... also it includes moving the rest of the Pool 6 rubble from the site and and getting designs drawn up for the condos/stores ect... we also have plans for a hotel to start construction next year which will be 5-6 storys and condos will also be around that height... Thunder Bay has finally started this plan... it only took 20 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by vid View Post
I read the condos will be less than 4 storeys. The city doesn't want to go over the four floor threshold for some unknown reason.

The Marriott Hotel will be 4 floors. If it goes past four floors the city will 'take action'

I also read somewhere they they want to relocated Water Street Bus Terminal, and put condos there.

Lets hope the next city council does something other than sit on their fat asses.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny D View Post
Well now i know that they want to build a Marriott here i dont know why city council didnt face them towards waterfront property... would have saved them alot of trouble later in finding another hotel to go in there. i know for some reason they dont want to go over the 4-5 story limit of the CN station in PA. just doesnt make any sense to me anyways... why build 6-8 4 story condos when you can build 2 to 3, 6-7 story condos... that would make a nice addition to downtown.. and if they incorparated the retail on the bottom floor they can save some more space on the water front... we should attend some town hall meetings Vid and maybe talk some sense into our damn stupid (and old) city council... make a presentation on the waterfront development for the next meeting late winter, thats what thunder bay really needs to do is tell city council what to do not just let them do whatever they want...
This is a new plan, it looks interesting. Though the buildings have all been scaled back to 4 storeys due to 'complaints'.
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Old Posted Nov 5, 2006, 2:20 AM
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Location: Somewhere over the rainbow
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vid
What Thunder Bay has to do is run out to the suburbs and exurbs, pick up all the construction from out there (dozens of oldfolkes sprawlplazas) and pile them all up downtown. Hell if they were all in one building we could easily have something as big as Spire at least. Thats how many of the damn things there are. One near my school is about 200m long. :X
Maybe they should just close the city down and move it to downtown Toronto.
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  #20  
Old Posted Nov 5, 2006, 4:00 AM
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Danny D Danny D is offline
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Muahahaha... Vid will be jealous to know that i just realized that i know one of the lead/one of the only architects in town you do know what that means right? *cough* http://members.shaw.ca/artitech/thes...velopment.html
*cough*

i am also going to be looking at some of the condo designs

that is the accepted plan that they have come up with for the heritage center and docks for the cruise ships that annual stop by here... but for the last 20 years have not been able to completely accommodate here due to no formal docking... the city also wants to obtain the CN North rail yards which will then be dug up and used for a train tour of tbay using existing and new lines...

Last edited by Danny D; May 15, 2009 at 3:18 AM.
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