August 23rd, 2010
Last week’s announcement on who won the contract to develop Waterfront Toronto’s Bayside site got some huge attention over the weekend in the media and rightly so. It’s a great piece of land and an important one too.
We wrote about it on Thursday and were glad to read Lisa Rochon’s piece in The Globe and Mail on Saturday that echoed some of our concerns.
In case you missed it, the piece discusses several sites on the Waterfront including Sugar Beach and the Corus Entertainment HQ as well as the Bayside site.
Addressing the same concern that we had, namely the lack of a public process in the decision-making, Miss. Rochon says:
“Unforgivably, the process leading up to the naming, this week, of the winning Bayside development partner has been shrouded in secrecy. All players – including all consultants – have been required by Waterfront Toronto to sign confidentiality agreements, provoking secret, hushed exchanges of information.Bayside is the largest residential development to plant itself on Toronto’s waterfront in decades. But, though it spreads over publicly owned land, none of its new residential designs have been seen or debated by the public. Keeping the Toronto waterfront as a secret harboured by only a very few is an old idea that smacks of Toronto in the 1980s.”
Sounds all very cloak-and-dagger-like stuff to us.
What we really found interesting though was that the winning design by the Hines-Pelli consortium was NOT the design that was recommended by an independent committee of experts.
No, another competing bid by local architects Peter Clewes and Bruce Kabawara who joined up with the Walker Corporation from Australia and Toronto’s Cityzen Development Group was heavily favoured by this specially selected panel.
It really makes us wonder – the reaction to the released designs have been lukewarm at best and there was another bid favoured by a panel of experts. Why oh why would Waterfront Toronto not just open up the process to the public and avoid yet another bout of negative press?
We hate to sound like a broken record, but come on!!!! Are we the only ones that have an issue with this?!
To read Lisa Rochon’s full article please click here.