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Yonge-Dundas Square: You've Come a Long Way, Baby

Let's be honest, Yonge-Dundas Square has not exactly gotten rave reviews from the Toronto blog scene over the past few years. And if all you read are Toronto-focused blogs and zines you couldn't be blamed for assuming that the much lauded square was a complete failure. But recently, a couple of high profile urban affairs writers, Richard Florida and Christopher Hume, have come out not just in defense of the square, but actually gushing with praise for it. Did I miss something? Since when did Toronto's attempt at building a shrine to the god of consumerism become praise-worthy? Is this the turning of the tide for Yonge-Dundas Square?

Richard Florida, founder of the Creative Class Group, urban guru, and serial blogger for the Globe, as well as Toronto Star urban affairs and architecture writer, Christopher Hume, both loved the square so much they decided to express their love in the form of flash video tours of the site. Florida says there is "something for everyone" and Hume calls it an "urban oasis".

Florida I can understand because the guy is so ultra-positive about his newly adopted city it has earned him some criticism. But Hume, as recently as 3 weeks ago, wrote a scathing critique of the new Toronto Life Square building calling it "horrorchitecture". How can it be that the square is a success yet the flagship building that likely will define the square is a failure?

Yonge-Dundas square is often described in terms of its polarizing effect: you either love it or hate it. If this is true, certainly the 'hate it' side has been a lot more vocal than the 'love it' side over the past several years. Now that the square is nearing completion and gaining some A-List supporters, is it time for us to reevaluate Yonge-Dundas Square?

Photo by wvs from the blogTO Flickr pool.

Andrew la Fleur is a registered real estate agent and regular contributor to blogTO.


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