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Restaurant row faces off against King Street condo

Posted by Robyn Urback / September 26, 2012

king west condoTrolling along King Street West, you'd expect signs to read, "Welcome, visitors!" and, perhaps, "Don't mind that stalled streetcar!" But now, banners declaring, "Say no to condo developments on restaurant row" are taking over King West street side signage.

The banners are in reference to the new 47-storey, 304-unit condo proposed for 321-333 King Street West — right in the heart of the Entertainment District's "restaurant row." If brought to fruition, the building will maintain its front heritage facade, which will be integrated into a three-storey podium, set atop a five-level underground parking garage.

And while developer King Financial Holdings is all but tickled about the plans, the restaurateurs running their businesses along King West are not. They have expressed a number of concerns, including that of a wind tunnel effect and blocked sunlight. But most of all, says Kit Kat owner Al Carbone, the development threatens to erode the culture and atmosphere of the King West restaurant strip.

Al has become somewhat of a spokesperson for the restaurateurs along King Street West, especially since some business owners find themselves tied to a lease under the developer's name. "But most of the restaurants here are on board," Al says. "They don't want to see a tall tower being built."

Al plans to speak in front of the Ontario Municipal Board at an upcoming meeting on October 3. His goal for that day is essentially to postpone; in his words, "To get a new date so we have more time to get the professionals we need working with us and to create more public awareness."

The public awareness aspect is already underway with the aforementioned banners and a Save Restaurant Row website with more information. Al says with the right lawyers and city planners on board, he's optimistic he can halt the 47-storey project.

restaurant row condoBut if recent amendments to the plan show anything, the prognosis for stalling development looks incredibly bleak. The original proposal (which the City rejected) included 323-333 King West but not the land at 321 King West. That land (which eagle-eyed readers will recognize as the current address of Fred's Not Here) has since been included. As well, that first proposal showed a tower that was 39 storeys with 201 units, but with the inclusion of 321 King West, the proposed structure is now six storeys taller with over 100 additional units."It is going in the wrong direction," Al concedes. "But, still, we have to do everything we can to stop it."

"We've been here for so long," he continues, citing his 25-year business residency on the Street, "and now that we've developed and nurtured it, they want to come in. It will destroy the block." Although the development plans indicate a commitment to retaining the facade, and therefore some of the historic appeal of the row, they also speak to the inevitable short and long-term effects of construction, such as road closures, pollution, and even the deconstruction, and subsequent reconstruction, of portions of the "restaurant row" facade.

Tony Elenis, president and CEO at Ontario Restaurant Hotel and Motel Association, says the restaurants in the immediate way of the proposed structure are only the beginning (though can't confirm exactly what will happen to the businesses currently in the condo's way). "In the long term," he says, "I'm afraid it will ruin what has taken so long to build. That area is just not going to be the same."

Al says he and the other restaurant owners on restaurant row aren't necessarily opposed to some sort of development on the street, adding that there's a 33-storey building plan that will threaten his back patio sun that he's decided to leave alone. But the scale of this proposed tower will, simply put, dominate over the strip.

"It's the wrong place for a tall tower."

Discussion

67 Comments

tums for breakfast / September 26, 2012 at 09:21 am
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^^^ That's a hottt ad.
Slevy / September 26, 2012 at 09:23 am
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We need to knock these buildings down and build more condo's. The hipsters need a place to stay, come on people think of the hipsters.
Alex / September 26, 2012 at 09:24 am
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If those restaurants can survive the short term construction problems then they will reap the benefits of so many people added to the area who need places to eat.
AV / September 26, 2012 at 09:30 am
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Good luck going to battle with the OMB. Their pockets are well lined with developer's cash so I wish you all the best in your crusade Al.
well / September 26, 2012 at 09:31 am
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I just wanted to point out that there is absolutely nowhere to live in that core. The existing condos are so old, the maintenance to upkeep isn't reasonable to new residents.

The people who move into those condos are probably going to be the same clientele that eats at those restaurants. I walk by every day and see it. It's not a good or bad thing. You're just moving the same people from dinner plates to 550 sq ft units.
Some Guy / September 26, 2012 at 09:34 am
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With Adam Vaughn behind this the building will be built. He doesn't care about the life of a neighbourhood only killing it. He started with the club district and now is working on restaurant row. How has Toronto not woken up to this. I bet anyone he'll be there on the ribbon cutting, sorry to see these restaurants go.
iSkyscraper / September 26, 2012 at 09:37 am
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The bigger picture here is the lack of historic district legislation in Toronto. I'm not talking about individual landmarks, though those also need protection. I'm talking about districts -- entire areas that get landmarked because although not all of the buildings in the district might meet historic qualifications as individual structures, collectively they create a sense of place that is valuable to the city. i.e. King St West.

Historic districts do not override zoning and they cannot enforce a use (i.e. cannot force a protected building to act as a restaurant) but they do make any physical alterations go before the landmarks board which effectively makes property owners find a way to meet the public interest. They also increase property values.

New York has a ton of these, and they help keep New York looking like New York. To see a map of them, go to the city's awesome GIS map (this is what you get when Bloomberg is not your mayor instead of a trailer park buffoon) and click on "Designated Historic District" in the Landmark section of the legend. http://gis.nyc.gov/doitt/nycitymap/

You can also read more about New York's system here:
http://www.nyc.gov/html/lpc/html/home/home.shtml
http://hdc.org/

Toronto needs to create historic district legislation, and King St is a good place to start. Who will champion this?
iSkyscraper / September 26, 2012 at 09:39 am
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Sorry, meant to say "Bloomberg is your mayor", not "Bloomberg is not your mayor". Rob Ford gets me so apoplectic that I start typing like Rob Ford.
steve replying to a comment from Some Guy / September 26, 2012 at 09:42 am
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The entertainment district was a mistake, it should never have happened. It was the result of the city planning department and the city not have the backbone to deal with large format night clubs. They backed down to the nimby's, banned dance floors in the city and dumped them into an area they felt was a bunch of parking lots and little used warehouse space.
The developers saw the potential and moved in. What is happening here is far better for the city then a bunch of kids coming into the area on the weekends fighting and vomiting, costing 1000's of tax dollars in policing and cleaning.
It was inevitable that these clubs would close, they were a passing fad.
Sean / September 26, 2012 at 09:44 am
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These restaurants BRING people there, either locals or tourists. U.S. corporate-owned restaurants have already graced the lobbies of newer condos at the expense of the loss of neighbourhoods. Look around. Start at Yonge & Sheppard and look north.

When neighbourhoods get destroyed, so does the soul of the community.
Picard102 / September 26, 2012 at 09:49 am
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I wonder if the giant TIFF building across the street from KitKat has killed his precious culture.
Simon Tarses replying to a comment from Picard102 / September 26, 2012 at 10:04 am
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I have my doubts, and I also hope that this new condo can be fought off. As support, I'm going to go and eat food in one of these places each month from October, and take pictures of them just for the sake of remembering.

@steve: For YOU, these clubs were just 'a passing fad'-for others, they were a part of Toronto's city culture. What will come along to replace them, and what would/will you do when you're entertaining somebody from abroad and have no place to take them because all of the night clubs are gone due to the machinations of councilors like Vaughn and Perks?
jer / September 26, 2012 at 10:05 am
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Interesting argument. Will be interesting to see how it all unfolds but it seems like a condo bust is going to be what is needed to protect restaurant row. I think he is more concerned that his own building will get bought up and he will be forced to relocate.

Soon enough it seems everything will be condos in downtown Toronto
Marc / September 26, 2012 at 10:06 am
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You mean the King Westies who work in development are now concerned about developments going up in their neighbourhood?

Poor babies.

Cry me a river.
opl / September 26, 2012 at 10:08 am
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This is a horrible idea. The restaurant row is one of the best things about King West. In fact, the city should be promoting the street from Simcoe all the way down to Bathurst and beyond as a destination spot for locals and tourists to eat.
EveryonesOpinion replying to a comment from Slevy / September 26, 2012 at 10:15 am
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Hipsters don't stay in condos. They live in soft loft conversions.
steve replying to a comment from Simon Tarses / September 26, 2012 at 10:30 am
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There is no shortage of places to go for entertainment, the choice is interesting and exciting, plentiful spread across the city. I am never short of places to take myself or visitors. Toronto rivals many large cities for restaurants and night life. Large format clubs have disappeared not only in Toronto.
Pick up a Now or Grid and do some exploring, you will be surprised what is happening in our city.
Restaurant Joe / September 26, 2012 at 10:33 am
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This new condo development would bother me if restaurant row was not full of terrible restaurants. The only people eating in the row of craptacular restaurants are tourists who don't know any better. When's the last time any of you ate at any of those places?

However, as someone mentioned above, if these restaurants can survive the development, they'll be better off in the long run. I'll still never eat there.
Gazalle replying to a comment from Restaurant Joe / September 26, 2012 at 11:06 am
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You are so right Joe! Haha I went to a couple restaurants there but they are all the same...although I work near there and the patio scene after work in the summer was quite fun so I am divided in opinion.
Greedy Developer replying to a comment from AV / September 26, 2012 at 11:21 am
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It might seem that way but it's not accurate. Resident's groups (such as this one) typically have little in the way of funds to hire good lawyers/planners/consultants. Developers have no problem blowing a million defending a case at the Board. The OMB bases its decisions on whether or not proposals represent good planning, not on "We don’t' want it in your neighbourhood" arguments typically brought forward by area residents/businesses. So yes, they will probably lose at the OMB, but it's more a case of the developers having deep pockets rather than the OMB being corrupt.
Pani Tabeghanoon / September 26, 2012 at 11:32 am
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Makes me laugh to hear: No place to live in downtown core??"There are enough condos in every corner you look. How about protecting a very few historic district that are left in Toronto....I must say the idea does not make me as angry though since all those resturants are not really good!
Nick / September 26, 2012 at 11:42 am
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Love them or hate them, if you're for another condo going up right next door to approximately 4 or 5 other condos of about the same height (1 at John/Mercer, 3 at King/Blue Jays Way + whatever becomes of Mercer/Blue Jays) replacing half of these condos then you really don't understand what makes downtown what it is. I'm not saying downtown shouldn't be constantly changing, because it should, but these types of strips and stretches are what makes downtown what it is. And we don't have many left in the entertainment district.
Quick poll: Which intersection do you find more appealing; John and Richmond (Milestone's, Jack Astor's, Chapters and a chain movie theatre, otherwise known as a Mississauga plaza in disguise, save for the Ballroom) or John & King with its mostly independent restaurants, better architecture and TIFF headquarters/theatre? If you answered John and Richmond then maybe you shouldn't be weighing in on the argument and stop trying to turn the entertainment district into a vertical suburb.
Dick replying to a comment from Nick / September 26, 2012 at 11:48 am
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Translation: if you disagree with me you don't know anything so shut up.

Always a great counter to any dispute. Well done Deputy Dildo.
jameson / September 26, 2012 at 11:49 am
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The restaurants are really in a difficult situation. You have the TIFF building and the Hyatt that take up entire blocks right across the street. And this proposal is for a smaller size than those.

It's difficult to approve one project then immediately reject all similar projects. While the OMB doesn't work on precedent in a pure form, this will be a test of that notion and the power of the City's design guidelines. I could really care less about these restaurants, but if approved this will really be a massive canyon of concrete and steel if built.
Al / September 26, 2012 at 11:52 am
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If King West is the wrong place for a tall tower, then where's the right place? It's already surrounded by tall towers and the current buildings themselves will be preserved as the podium.
Aborted Fetus Eater replying to a comment from Al / September 26, 2012 at 11:58 am
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I think you know the answer, it goes something like "Not In My Back Yard". Basically, new developments should only be located in desolate abandoned industrial parks and open fields. Oh shit, wait, then you're going to displace a couple of homeless people and some cows so no, that won't work either....
Jer replying to a comment from Nick / September 26, 2012 at 12:02 pm
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What was in the TIFF location before TIFF went in? I can't remember, can you?

I think if the "restaurant row" gets replaced with condos (seems like a waste of space above these low rise buildings so close to the core, then the key is what goes back in those ground floor spaces. Require some community centres/etc for people living in the area.
Right replying to a comment from Dick / September 26, 2012 at 12:51 pm
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And your input was oh so relevant. Thank you very much for your deep insight.
Stick replying to a comment from Nick / September 26, 2012 at 01:18 pm
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You're completely wrong. Downtown is downtown because, well, it is closer to the lake, thus down town. A strip of mediocre and overpriced tourist trap restaurants, be they at John & Richmond or John & King, does not make a downtown. The 'entertainment district' that you refer to is primarily a bunch of clubs that cater to suburban kids. TIFF and RTH are not going anywhere.

Cities grow up like humans, vertically, in a physical sense. These condos will likely get built and, hopefully, their ground floors will be used for restaurants, grocery stores, and other amenities that will cater to the people that will live in them.

If any part of the city should be tall and cavernous, it should be downtown.
NIMBYS SUCK / September 26, 2012 at 01:19 pm
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NIMBYS do suck but I agree with them this time. We need historic district laws. Just wait until glass condos swallow up the brick on Spadina or King East. Once most of the old buildings are gone, everyone will wonder why this city looks like it's only 20 years old.
iSkyscraper / September 26, 2012 at 01:40 pm
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I find this discussion interesting also because it shows that Toroto has reached an important milestone in the rebuilding of downtown -- the surface parking lots are almost gone! In the 1980s and early 90s, working downtown was positively depressing because of the parking lots that were everywhere, sucking life from the street. Happily, most of them are now condos (including the car wash where TIFF is now).

So congratulations Toronto, you're now New York and can fight over redevelopment of existing buildings rather than throw stuff up willy-nilly onto vacant lots.

Again, we need historic district preservation laws.
jer replying to a comment from iSkyscraper / September 26, 2012 at 01:46 pm
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Thanks, yeah, I had forgotten that the Reitmans owned the car wash/parking lot there before hand and made arrangements with TIFF/developer/etc.
jameson / September 26, 2012 at 02:06 pm
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Of course downtown is the right place for development, but do you really want one street to have 45+ storey towers facing each other? There are plenty of places to build in this City, why does everything have to be east of Spadina, West of the DVP and south of Bloor?
Sriskandakumar OMalley / September 26, 2012 at 02:42 pm
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Reading these comments and playing "catch the douchey condo realtor" just isn't challenging anymore - you're gonna have to up your game, boys! Gentrification goes in waves, it seems, and I suspect it has something to do with the age cohorts involved. Immigrants come to Toronto, settle, and populate a business district. They're more or less peers of the same age and as a result, more or less die out within a few years of one another. At this point their douchebag kids who've been waiting around for years to cash in close up the USEFUL family business and either sell-out to a developer or a chain/franchise/clone tenant. That's one of the prime reasons districts change in waves - you can predict it from the obituary page. I guess you could call it the circle of douche.
Josh Rachlis / September 26, 2012 at 03:19 pm
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I wrote a screenplay a few years ago about a guy who can't make decisions. The opening scene is on restaurant row, with the guy trying to decide which restaurant to take his date to. He walks down the street with the girl, looking at each restaurant, until she finally just pulls him into one. When I wrote the scene, I didn't even know that the strip had the name "restaurant row." I just knew I loved that little strip. That's how iconic that block is. If we don't protect it, we'll never get back these little brick buildings with character. Downtown will be nothing but generic condo lobbies and Starbucks. Take a look a block west at the base of the "M5V" condo to see what I'm talking about. Giant condo on top of a Starbucks. Which is just a block from the Starbucks under the giant hotel at King/Peter. Which is just two blocks from the Starbucks under the giant condo at John/Wellington. Do we really want our last beautiful pockets of heritage turned into cold replicas of every generic suburb?
Shlomo Silverngoldweinbergerstein replying to a comment from Sriskandakumar OMalley / September 26, 2012 at 03:23 pm
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The kids these days, oy vey iz mir!
THANKS replying to a comment from Slevy / September 26, 2012 at 03:32 pm
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Please explain how this comment is supposed to make sense? Or how you tried to write something humorous when really it's completely irrelevant?
iPhone 5 Pro Photographer with Instagram replying to a comment from Josh Rachlis / September 26, 2012 at 03:36 pm
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How'd the screenwriting career turn out for ya?
Josh Rachlis replying to a comment from iPhone 5 Pro Photographer with Instagram / September 26, 2012 at 04:02 pm
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I entered the 1st draft of the screenplay into an LA screenwriting contest and it won 1st place: http://joshrachlis.blogspot.ca/2010/01/my-screenplay-focus-group-wins-2009.html
Ravi / September 26, 2012 at 04:18 pm
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In 10 years this city will be a clusterF*@k of large building with zero personality. I'm not one of those hippies that doesn't like development, but there are certain areas of the city that need to be recognized for what they currently are and maintained as such.

I don't get the "If something is working and thriving - redevelop it and make it bigger" mentality of the city planners. They are letting developers come into areas and creating sterile monstrosities that don't suite the area they are moving into or the effect it will have on things like congestion, transit, etc.

It all wreaks of dirty money or just plain incompetence to me on the part of the city.
iPhone 5 Pro Photographer with Instagram replying to a comment from Josh Rachlis / September 26, 2012 at 04:31 pm
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Oh, neat. Congrats.
Alex / September 26, 2012 at 04:52 pm
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This is just a cluster of restaurants on a street that already has some condos. I like restaurant row, but one more tall building won't kill it. Cities grow and change. For all we know the row will simply move westward, or something more iconic will pop-up in it's place, or it will be strengthened by all the new people moving in next door.

Places like this are fun, but they are also organic. If you try to preserve it with a heritage designation or refuse to allow it to change it could end up dying ungracefully anyway instead of going out with a bang.
sam / September 26, 2012 at 07:48 pm
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Adam Vaughn is a crook! First it’s the club district, then he limited Future’s famous late night patio (that I miss so much) because his best friend opened a restaurant next door. After that he has been secretly trying to put in low income housing in the Annex. He also signed off on a 1 million roof top patio on the Peter St. Homeless shelter, plus he is doing a horrible job with the parks in his ward. I have recently found out that he gets money through taxation from developments in a fund that is supposed to improve the ward; and refuses to be transparent with where the funds go. Most likely, it will be used to his political advantage. There is no doubt in my mind, that he has no concept of an area’s culture. What really scares me is that if he ever becomes the mayor, he will sink Toronto.
the lemur replying to a comment from sam / September 27, 2012 at 09:31 am
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Restaurant next to Future's? Which one is that?

Low income housing in the Annex? Where would that go?

As for the parks, he's actually doing a pretty good job - that 'money through taxation from developments' (otherwise known as fees paid by developers) is what is funding the parks renovations and not property tax funds. That's the whole point. So yes, he is being transparent.

@Some Guy: I have a hard time believing Vaughan would be behind this condo development.
resident replying to a comment from well / September 27, 2012 at 12:55 pm
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What on earth are you talking about? That neighborhood has one of the highest concentrations of residential buildings in the downtown core. You have absolutely no idea what your talking about, think before you speak.
resident replying to a comment from iSkyscraper / September 27, 2012 at 12:58 pm
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This. A serious dedication to preserving historic landmarks and buildings is absolutely what we need.
Hippstercratic Oath. replying to a comment from EveryonesOpinion / September 27, 2012 at 05:33 pm
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True. So very true. They also live in heritage homes in The Annex.
BubbleGoPop / September 27, 2012 at 05:36 pm
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What happens if/when Toronto's economy bubble pops, and they can't find enough whoevers to fill all these massive condos?
Me / September 27, 2012 at 05:37 pm
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Like most BlogTO "news", who cares?
Restaurant Construction / September 28, 2012 at 07:19 am
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It literally punched me in the face, it really blew my mind. ... on a park, with a ton of street frontage with different components to it; hotel, bars and restaurants and residential. .... So essentially we've connected King Street to the park.
Brent / September 28, 2012 at 04:07 pm
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Those restaurants are all terrible.
Simon Tarses replying to a comment from Brent / September 29, 2012 at 11:41 am
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Have you ever eaten at any of them to be able to make such a judgement?
L.C. replying to a comment from sam / October 1, 2012 at 01:45 am
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I AGREE WITH RAVI - 110%, ADAM V. IS IN IT FOR HIMSELF.
Brent replying to a comment from Simon Tarses / October 1, 2012 at 12:02 pm
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They're all generic tourist traps.
Kelly / October 1, 2012 at 12:41 pm
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I think this is such a bad idea. Don't do what they've done in Scarborough, which is knock down shops we could walk to and replace them with tonnes of townhomes so everyone has to drive to shop. Eventually you will have plenty of places to live and no nearby places to shop and eat.
Monika replying to a comment from Brent / October 1, 2012 at 04:20 pm
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How are they generic tourist traps? Maybe what's over at Yonge and Dundas, but along King west, they're almost all independent non-franchises.
Yes there's a Gabby's, but have you even tried the others? Within a single block you get a wide array of international food (French, Cajun, Indian, etc), along with live music and great ambiance. I can't think of too many other streets in Toronto with those kind of options that you can walk to from work
Brent replying to a comment from Monika / October 1, 2012 at 05:16 pm
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They're halfhearted attempts at ethnic / regional food to make people feel like they're having a "cosmopolitan" experience, but in reality they just cater to the masses. The "Cajun" restaurant you mention, for example, serves such authentic Louisiana fare as:

Veal Marsala
Herb-crusted Veal Chop
Rigatoni alla Vodka
Smoked salmon
Bruschetta

etc...
Zach Swan / October 1, 2012 at 08:39 pm
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This entire argument about these restaurants is irrelevant. When Mirvish tears down the Princess of Wales theatre for his 3x80 story condo project resulting in 2000 fewer theatre patrons per night coming to King St West (the primary source of customers for these places), every one of those restaurants down the street will be liquidating assets to pay their bankers before inevitable bankruptcy sets in.
Jimmy replying to a comment from Sriskandakumar OMalley / October 3, 2012 at 04:00 pm
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@Sriskandakumar OMalley, You have a very valid point.
Not Irish but like em / October 4, 2012 at 09:30 am
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I went to the OMB meeting - had a nice nap while one of the lawyers droned on - they decided to hold it all over till January. It was interesting, though, seeing the process as I'd never attended one before.

One thing one of the mouthpieces did say was that the lane behind the row is used for garbage collection and delivery - anyone who thinks of buying a proposed condo facing north onto that lane should think twice but they're often purchased by people who don't plan to live in them.

Also, read recently that soon there will be something like 15,000+ condos coming on the market for rent. Can the city really support more of them?

We don't need more big glass towers in that area; there's one going up on the southwest corner of John and Adelaide and another one to the west of it. They'll all be looking into each other's windows (or Hooters). They all look alike. They are all mostly characterless and now with windows that pop out.

I don't eat in those restaurants - my reason for caring is to save the buildings - another few years, we'll have to go to small town/city Ontario or England to see old buildings.

How long before the developers want to tear down the old houses on Widmer? And then move west across Spadina to tear down all those "old" places? What about Draper Street? Is it save?

And now we have David Mirvish wanting to tear down all the buildings on the north side - why, if he wants to build more condos doesn't he build on top of the present structures?

England has an historic building preservation policy with teeth - every single church, for instance, is "Listed". We need one.

By the way, Adam Vaughan's name came up in the group waiting for the OMB hearing to start - seems he is generally loathed.
Streeze replying to a comment from Not Irish but like em / October 23, 2012 at 04:12 pm
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I agree with Not irish But like Em on the comment made: "England has an historic building preservation policy with teeth - every single church, for instance, is "Listed". We need one." We definitely need preservation policies in place to maintain our historic buildings safe!! Looking forward to next hearing on January 8th at the OMB - great source for more info on all this: saverestaurantrow.com
Glennstar / January 29, 2013 at 04:08 pm
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I was listening to the radio and they were talking about closing down all those restaurants and building more condos, well, there are enough condos. I always thought downtown was an area for everybody. I'm not rich, but I'm not poor, but I have eaten and hung out all over downtown for over 40 years and have had plenty of great meals. Downtown is exciting and fun and I like the atmosphere of many areas, including King west. I haven't eaten at all the places on King west, but I have had my fair share of meals there. I just discovered this pretty good Mexican fast food place and it is pretty good. I don't mind Taco Bell sometimes, but this place is a step up from it. i like the Princess of Wales and the Royal Alex and to me, they should always stay there, so should the restaurants on King west, there is more to life than making money. I enjoy a good meal and I always will. I miss places around there like Ed's Warehouse. The food there was awesome. The only thing I won't miss is the clubs, I have been to a few and not into them much. I was walking down Yonge street recently, and you should see all the different and newer restaurants there, from crepe places to middle eastern to Mexican, I think if anything, King west should be more like those areas. I like Bloor west too, from Yorkville to Bathurst. Those areas have some character and I have seen all kinds of people of different income levels hanging out there and having fun. This is one of the things I like about downtown, the atmosphere and as a person who is passionate about food, I have eaten at many great places there too. King west shouldn't change too much.
Downtowner replying to a comment from Slevy / February 16, 2013 at 05:00 pm
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Hipsters don't like condos. I think you're thinking of yuppies. And don't worry, the city already plans itself around them. :P
Downtowner replying to a comment from Marc / February 16, 2013 at 05:02 pm
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Nope. It's the small business owners and people who are interested in the city actually maintaining any sense of a historic district who are concerned.
Downtowner replying to a comment from Al / February 16, 2013 at 05:03 pm
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The right place is on the countless parking lots.
Geoff / February 16, 2013 at 08:40 pm
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have any of you actually been to restaurant row? Those restaurants are terrible. Anything that can either force them to improve or drive them out of business can only be a good thing.
lisa / May 1, 2013 at 10:15 am
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We're killing the city with overbuilding of ill-conceived condos built without mind to aesthetics - not just of the building itself, but of its impact to the neighbourhood and to the city.

We're demolishing all the charm and scant history.
We're building at a rate which cannot be sustained.
And we're doing this without sufficient infrastructure to support the growth.

Leaving aside my sentiment about the city I've lived in for over 25 years, its sad to see Toronto fostering its demise.

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