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Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Regional Sections > Canada > Ontario > SSP: Local London > Buildings & Architecture, Urban Design & Heritage Issues

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  #1  
Old Posted Sep 28, 2011, 4:41 PM
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Proposed Downtown Redevelopment Plan

Here it is. Hold on to your socks!

http://www.lfpress.com/news/london/2...-18751161.html

All I can say is WOW.
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  #2  
Old Posted Sep 28, 2011, 5:05 PM
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Pretty neat. I love having a skyscraper in place of the parking lot of the JLC.


Artificial beach at the forks?!?!?!?


where is Tim Best's drive-thru liquor emporium?
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  #3  
Old Posted Sep 28, 2011, 5:57 PM
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Wow is right...lets see it happen

I like the idea of UWO taking over the old city hall and making it an education center it's a great area for something like that. Also that means a new City Hall would be built and they can stop leasing 20 different buildings downtown which does not make sense in the long run financially. It's okay if they are going to lease space outside the core in sections of the city, the downtown City hall should be able to accommodate everything that is needed in that building.

Last edited by MrSlippery519; Sep 28, 2011 at 6:36 PM.
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  #4  
Old Posted Sep 28, 2011, 7:49 PM
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Wow, that would be pretty amazing if London could pull all that off. What is the time frame for this to happen?
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  #5  
Old Posted Sep 28, 2011, 8:10 PM
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Originally Posted by north 42 View Post
Wow, that would be pretty amazing if London could pull all that off. What is the time frame for this to happen?
It would likely be sometime before things started to happen and truthfully some of the ideas will likely never happen....

However that said it seems like UWO wants the old city hall sooner than later so that part of the plan could realistically start to take place pretty soon. I feel that is the first logical step for any of this "vision"
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  #6  
Old Posted Sep 28, 2011, 9:35 PM
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Go Tall

Interesting proposals - wonder which one would be the new City Hall.

I am very much a GO BIG person and strongly feel that the area around the JLC should have taller buildings than this proposes....
  • The JLC parking lot one seems like a really 'outside the box' thinking one - but I would say that should be a 38 floor mixed use Hotel/Residential

  • The lot where the Heath Unit is should be THE prime downtown site - I would hope a 42 - 48 floor NICE glass residential (easily tall enough to be bigger than the 417 ft/43 floor Landmark in Hamilton, giving London the tallest between Mississauga and Winnipeg).

  • The Peter McGreggor should come down with a different 35 -40 floor NICE glass residential.

  • The land N of the Courthouse could go mixed use but should have a 35-40 floor residential along with a 30 floor companion (London has too many same-height 'Twins', need some staggered height projects).

  • Maybe another residential 30 - 35 on either the SW or SE corner of King and Talbot.

  • The above would make the west end of downtown AMAZING and it would feel world-class with the JLC surrounded by those towers, and that would be enough population for a full size Grocery STore and a bunch of new restaurants.

  • Maybe the new City Hall should go tall too 25-30 floors would give them the space they need and go nicely with what I suggested for N of the Courthouse or across from the Convention Centre, or maybe behind Moxy's Griis on the S side of Queens.

  • Performing Arts center could also go N of the Courthouse.

  • Could the Civic Square Apts come down and have a 25 - 30 floor UWO residence.

This would give the downtown multiple nodes and would be a really great skyline and overall would be similar to the transformation in Austin TX - a young hip city we should be using as a role model! Build all that and you'll not only get people staying after University/College, other will move here!
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  #7  
Old Posted Sep 28, 2011, 10:15 PM
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Why a link to the free press? Here's the actual PDF: http://www.london.ca/Planning_and_De...pt_28_2011.pdf

Nothing here is mentioned about a new City Hall or UWO taking up the current location. I'd love to see a new city hall though.

Big questions on this vision. Where is the bus terminal? With Dundas becoming a pedestrian mall and the loss of connections on Ridout and King, where will all the buses go?

Not sure I like that beach/pool thing, but freeing up the land where the health unit is a fantastic idea.
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  #8  
Old Posted Sep 28, 2011, 10:34 PM
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Amazing! My First impression and I am blown away! Sure, there are a few issues, mainly the pond/beach thing, and the designs of some of the buildings, but to know that the people that run your city are thinking like this is a great start! I really like the idea of a tower at the JLC, one north of the courthouse, and the two on the west side of Victoria Park. And Fontana is so serious, he is aiming for a 5 year completion scheduele! The optimist in me can't control my excitement about these downtown plans!
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  #9  
Old Posted Sep 28, 2011, 11:28 PM
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Yea the pond/beach thing is a bit extreme...I mean what would we do with it in the winter? Skating I suppose.
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  #10  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2011, 1:13 AM
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A few things to mention:

- All of the renderings in the presentation are nothing more than ideas. It is likely that none of the new buildings as rendered will actually be constructed as they appear in the renderings (if they get built at all).

- The new city hall is the green glass building at the forks.

- Most of the sites shown are currently underutilized public lands. There are other privately owned sites downtown that could develop at any time independent of this plan.

- Most of what is shown is private residential developments on public lands. The two exceptions are Farhi-held lands, which is of interest. There is half a billion dollars worth of private residential/retail development shown. Will the investors and developers come and build on these sites? A big question.

- Don't get too hung up on the beach. It's just a bold and intentionally unorthodox concept designed to show that the planning team wants to do something big on the waterfront and that's the key message. The final waterfront feature will likely end up being something very different.

- Because these are mostly just ideas presented, not all things shown will likely come to pass (such as the bridges over the river at Queen, and Wellington, being replaced with cable-stayed structures). The best bet for short-term action is Western getting the current city hall/Cooper square/Centennial Hall site and the City building a new city hall at the forks along with the waterfront feature. Even this is not a slam-dunk though and there will be a battle to get this passed. IMO, if that alone happened it would be huge enough.

-The important take-away from this presentation is the signalling of a paradigm shift. Basically, the "progressives" led by the mayor are saying that the City needs to "go big or go home" in all sorts of new and exciting ways. If they manage to win the day, things could get very exciting very fast.

- The burning question in my mind however is if the Dundas Steak House will be any good?
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  #11  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2011, 2:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snark View Post
- Because these are mostly just ideas presented, not all things shown will likely come to pass (such as the bridges over the river at Queen, and Wellington, being replaced with cable-stayed structures). The best bet for short-term action is Western getting the current city hall/Cooper square/Centennial Hall site and the City building a new city hall at the forks along with the waterfront feature. Even this is not a slam-dunk though and there will be a battle to get this passed. IMO, if that alone happened it would be huge enough.
Yup. If someone buys city hall that pretty much forces the construction of a new one. I like that.

Overall I like the vision. Joe wants to get a lot of this done in 5 years. He's got stones, I'll give him that.

If you've ever talked with the mayor, he has a very 'can do' attitude. What he wants done he wants done now, and the majority of it is good for the city, at least in my opinion.

...Now to await the nay-sayer's from this project in the Free Press and elsewhere.
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  #12  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2011, 3:23 AM
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Originally Posted by haljackey View Post
Yup. If someone buys city hall that pretty much forces the construction of a new one. I like that.

Overall I like the vision. Joe wants to get a lot of this done in 5 years. He's got stones, I'll give him that.

If you've ever talked with the mayor, he has a very 'can do' attitude. What he wants done he wants done now, and the majority of it is good for the city, at least in my opinion.

...Now to await the nay-sayer's from this project in the Free Press and elsewhere.
Windsor has a can-do positive attitude mayor and wants to get things moving, but if you read the comments at the Windsor Star they're full of naysayers and hostility. They are negative about everything and anything, it's disgusting. I feel a bit relieved actually to hear its not just a Windsor thing.

Last edited by Symz; Sep 29, 2011 at 3:34 AM.
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  #13  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2011, 4:41 AM
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Looks like it would be a great series of developments and hopefully London will not only get a new City Hall but a real performing arts centre.
Couple of things.............were do they propose to put the buses and what exactly are they going to do with Dundas?
Finally they should have high archetectural standing and forbid any more concrete monsters which looks like they have but I won't believe it until I see it writing.
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  #14  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2011, 5:23 AM
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GO JOE!!!!!!!!!!!
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  #15  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2011, 7:07 AM
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I hate to be a naysayer but it's all hypothetical "what if's" and "would've, could've, should've's" as far as the city is concerned.

The only one that is realistic idea is the revitalization of South Street hospital into some residential high-rise and that is only feasible if the provinces kicks in the money to tear down the old structure and a developer begins construction ASAP which quickest would be 2015.

New city hall!? I don't think that's needed, there's plenty of surplus office space in downtown London, which could either be rent, bought (i.e. expropriated from slumlord Farhi). The land south of London hydro HQ has yet to face an environmental assessment, which I'm sure would dredge up some nice violations/penalties courtesy of Labatt's. As well who wants to live within smelling distance of fermenting beer and electrical conversion!?

The area at Dundas & South of the forks is all a fantasy. Who is going to build a 40+ condo high-rise next to JLC?! What is the city going to do about west-bound traffic from riverside!? (no apparent connection to King street and Dundas is apparently a pedestrian). As well Dundas is going to be pedestrianized on w whim. And an artificial "beach" despite the fact there are 2 great lakes within 40-60 minutes of London.

I think the idea has good intentions, I'd like to see downtown revitalized as well. However like many of London's previous grand ideas just has the lack of money, government/public support and most importantly private financiers.

Wishful thinking, but not realistic!
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  #16  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2011, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Snark View Post
- Because these are mostly just ideas presented, not all things shown will likely come to pass (such as the bridges over the river at Queen, and Wellington, being replaced with cable-stayed structures). The best bet for short-term action is Western getting the current city hall/Cooper square/Centennial Hall site and the City building a new city hall at the forks along with the waterfront feature. Even this is not a slam-dunk though and there will be a battle to get this passed. IMO, if that alone happened it would be huge enough.
I agree and this is the key, if UWO buys the old City Hall it forces the city's hand and that is a good thing. From what UWO president Amit Chakma says it certainly sounds like this is something that is going to happen.
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  #17  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2011, 3:28 PM
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As great of a plan it is for your downtown, I really doubt that all or much of it would be able to get built in only 5 years. It's a great blueprint to have though to steer developement in the coming years. I can't wait to drive up and see some of it being implemented, very exciting.
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  #18  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2011, 3:20 AM
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Thumbs up

When I saw the LFP spread on the proposed reworking of the downtown core, I was gobsmacked with how ambitious the entire project is. Well, Joe Fontana did warn everyone that the plan to be presented would be astounding and I guess I wasn't prepared because I was expecting it to be the usual hyped-up ho-hum incrementalism.

If Mayor Fontana could push this proposal through and actually get it built, it could be the crowning achievement for his political career, and could even propel him into a second term, if he's wants one.

The project could also make downtown revitalization no longer just a dream, but reality. It could also turn London's fortunes around for the better, help pull it out of its hidebound, backwater, backwards-looking past, and plunk it down firmly into the 21st century. In other words, it could really and truly put London on the map. I can see it all now... tourist brochures and ads saying, "Come see what the other London has to offer!" The urban mini-lake and beach is really unique - I don't know of any other municipalities that have anything comparable.

However, the cynic in me is all too aware of how many times we've seen these kinds of proposals before, only to see them go nowhere, held up by 50 years of dithering, or be endlessly blocked by people and factions with an axe to grind.

London definitely needs a new city hall. A new building wouldn't cost substantially more than renovating the old one. Leasing a bunch of disparate buildings is not the answer - while it might save some money, it's a stop-gap
measure intended to deal with the problem of insufficient space. Sure, some governmental functions can be decentralized, but only where it makes sense to do so.

I'm just hoping that my initial amazement doesn't turn to disappointment later.
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  #19  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2011, 6:00 PM
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As long as transport is improved, this plan will succeed.

Let's get a bus terminal in the downtown and a a freeway which will provide quick, efficent access from the 400-series to central London.

It 'can' be done. We have the technology.
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Old Posted Sep 30, 2011, 8:59 PM
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As long as transport is improved, this plan will succeed.

Let's get a bus terminal in the downtown and a a freeway which will provide quick, efficent access from the 400-series to central London.

It 'can' be done. We have the technology.
There will never be a freeway from the 401 to Central London. The closest we will ever get is converting an existing arterial road to an expressway. The issue would be finding a corridor that has capacity for 6-8 lanes plus medians. Aside from maybe Oxford Street between Richmond and Adelaide, most existing corridors connecting the central city with the suburbs would require demolitions. That won't fly.
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