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The SkyWalk is once again up for demolition

Posted by Chris Bateman / July 8, 2014

toronto skywalkThe famous SkyWalk linking Union Station with the CN Tower and Rogers Centre could be partially knocked down and replaced with a new structure, if development plans recommended in a new city report get the green light.

Under plans that first surfaced last year, the west end of Station Street would be closed for a new 48-storey office tower and the remainder of the street turned into a pedestrian plaza. Construction would also require alterations to several heritage buildings, including the limestone building at 20 York Street and a low brick wall along the south side of the street that used to be part of a CN Express horse shed.

toronto skywalkThe portion of the SkyWalk along Station Street would lose its distinctive barrel vaulted roof for a more "environmentally appropriate" enclosure, the report says. The latest designs incorporate the portion closest to Simcoe Street into the building's lobby.

The interior of the SkyWalk is undergoing extensive renovations to make room for the new Union-Pearson Express rail station, which is due to be completed next year. It's hoped the new Station Street pedestrian plaza will improve conditions for pedestrians exiting the new station and entering the city.

The SkyWalk was built in 1989 as a way to provide a direct pedestrian link between Union Station and the SkyDome, thereby reducing the need for parking at the stadium.

It's not clear how long the proposed renovations will take to complete.

The report will be considered by Toronto Preservation Board on July 17.

Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.

Image: stevejonesphotos/blogTO Flickr pool, Allied Properties REIT.

Discussion

21 Comments

TorontoMan / July 8, 2014 at 03:05 pm
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Unacceptable.
Matthew / July 8, 2014 at 03:21 pm
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Thank god. The Skywalk is a echoing mausoleum to failed late 80s mall designs. The sooner that space is gone the better.
scottd / July 8, 2014 at 03:24 pm
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"environmentally appropriate" . who comes up this this stuff?

Jason / July 8, 2014 at 03:50 pm
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I like the Skywalk, it does remind me of the eighties. That is not all so bad though.
Freddy F / July 8, 2014 at 06:13 pm
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Just what we don't need.

While we're at it, why don't we just chop off the top of the CN Tower and build a condo up there...
SkyWankor / July 8, 2014 at 06:31 pm
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Garbage decision, the Skywalk properly implemented could have been quite an attraction and public space for the city, instead the entrance is hidden somewhere in the back of Union Station and the architecture (shall we call it) has been haphazard and cowardly. A very sad ending, sacrificed to our new overlords in taste and design, the condo developers.
Steve replying to a comment from Freddy F / July 8, 2014 at 06:48 pm
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Did you bother to read the article or did you just need to jump at commenting on residential towers. It is an office tower. A lot of of people setting up homes in the residential towers in the area. They need Jobs and business are responding by creating jobs. How is that bad?
ne / July 8, 2014 at 07:05 pm
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Bulldoze everything and replace it with condos! Because jobs! Business! Jobs!
Steven / July 8, 2014 at 07:54 pm
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Once the lifespan of condos, about 5 years or so comes up, tear them down and build newer condos! jobs, jobs, jobs
MB / July 8, 2014 at 08:34 pm
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A 1980's shopless mall designed to keep people off the street or a 48 story office tower attached to the transit hub if the city. Nice trade up.
Freddy F replying to a comment from Steve / July 8, 2014 at 08:47 pm
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"Did you bother to read the article or did you just need to jump at commenting on residential towers."

Duhhh, I down't wreed vedy wells.

No, my point about the CN tower was making a contrast to how Toronto likes to rape a lot of its notability and landmarks for the almighty developer's dollar, be it office buildings, condos, or otherwise. There's a lot of other places you can put another office tower.
Holy Thundering Jesus / July 8, 2014 at 09:36 pm
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where are they gonna shoot all those movies at fake airports now?
JP / July 9, 2014 at 03:15 am
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Building an office tower right next to the city's biggest transit hub makes lots of sense.

And we're talking about replacing some of the skywalk, not bulldozing the Annex. C'mon. Don't get those who dogmatically see any development as a negative.
JP / July 9, 2014 at 03:15 am
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Building an office tower right next to the city's biggest transit hub makes lots of sense.

And we're talking about replacing some of the skywalk, not bulldozing the Annex. C'mon. Don't get those who dogmatically see any development as a negative.
Spike replying to a comment from Freddy F / July 9, 2014 at 11:13 am
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THIS.

Also goes hand in hand with what's going to happen to the Hotel Waverley/Silver Dollar and anything else that isn't a condo (and the Skywalk's a modern thing too.)
CW replying to a comment from Spike / July 9, 2014 at 01:43 pm
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You pretty much have it. But really, what would you like the owners of these failed businesses to do? One is a dismal hotel and the other a covered sidewalk in prime real estate.
SteveM / July 9, 2014 at 01:46 pm
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That's a shame, the office tower proposal is great and would do wonders to that stretch, but of course it would be ideal to somehow keep the arched roof of the Skywalk.
MikeTO / July 9, 2014 at 01:55 pm
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Putting an office tower there would make the original plan of an indoor mall work! Food court and retail for the office people.
junctionist / July 9, 2014 at 06:30 pm
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The arched ceiling is beautiful. It evokes Union Station's Great Hall while also looking high-tech and modern. We can't demolish that. Future generations will regret it.

We're so used to seeing ceilings like that because they were so common in the 1980s--they're banal to us. But they are sophisticated works of architecture that ought to be incorporated in any new redevelopment scheme.
me / July 9, 2014 at 06:40 pm
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I actually don't think having a large office tower directly attached to union station and the airport express is a good idea.

In fact it's a terrible idea. These two spaces are for moving as many people as possible. It doesn't make sense to clog the spaces with a whole bunch of office workers.
memr / July 9, 2014 at 06:49 pm
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This is dumb. Ever been to a country where you walk through the lobby of an office tower to get from the train station to the airport train?

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