feb0806_dundsq.jpg

Metropolis Plans, all the RAGE.

A couple days ago, I posted about the new Metropolis building set to cast upon Dundas Square. Comments poured in. Torontoist soon followed suite and comments poured in there as well. Call us haters, but there was a lot of anti-ugly-montrosity-building rage happening in the threads. This morning, Marc at Paved.ca noted the blogosphere explosion on the issue but resolved that many will be happy to see its arrival -- it is, after all, in line with the revamp that's happening in the area.

One point that stood out to me in the discussion was that this structure was approved in 1998. First, I wondered if the proposed facades were as ugly as what we're looking at now. Perhaps, upon construction, the firm felt confident to unleash the real ugly. The photo pictured above is already a slightly classier looking depiction and it's a more dated illustration.

Secondly, would it have even struck a chord witih us back then? The '90's were hardly a notable time for the city and we certainly had no person or organization championing the cause of pride in our megacity. Speaking of megacities, 1998 was ALSO the year the amalgamation went down, so to be fair, the 416 was rightfully distracted at the time. (All the better for planners)

Comparing the level of Toronto pride that embraces our city now, versus 1998, it's easy to see the difference 8 years has made. Groups like the Toronto Public Space Committee, Spacing , and heck, all of you here, on this blog, participating in city issues and everyday life in our beloved, T-dot (does one mention a successful hip-hop track about the T-dot that would never have flown previously?)

So perhaps the project is a product of it's time. It should have been built back then too, but internal battling and decision-making has brought it forth into a different era of Toronto conciousness... and yes, we're not pleased about it.

Metropolis has no substance and no actual social value. And please, before anyone even bothers to point out that the structure is a fully functional movie theatre, might we keep in mind that another development in the last 8 years (and even back then) is that movie-going has gone seriously downhill, with major movie chains facing some serious crisis trying to get people to cough up big bills to see movies and eat junk.

We've already got Famous players in all its rubix glory on Richmond St, so once those profits get divided with the AMC, perhaps the porn-shops will be putting in bids to save the Metropolis by returning to open up in their place.

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UPDATE: Councillor Kyle Rae's office has promised a response/rebuttal piece to Spacing's original post on the topic.


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