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Downtown Kitchener Tall Building Urban Design Guideline.
#1
Downtown Kitchener Urban Design Guidelines
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#2
Interesting article discussing the need for design guidelines on new "tall" buildings.  Only over 9 floors though.  So anything less can be designed however the builder wants?

http://www.therecord.com/news-story/6714...nsitivity/

And councilor Etherington taking at stab at Waterloo

Quote:But Coun. Frank Etherington doesn't want Kitchener to imitate the kind of development that has cropped up in neighbouring Waterloo, where highrises densely crowd along a stretch of King Street between University Avenue and Columbia Street.

"I think we definitely need some pretty solid rules. The last thing I want to see happening is what you see at the top end of Waterloo, which is hideous, all of those terrible-looking student housing buildings. They look atrocious," said Etherington, who represents a downtown ward.
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#3
They are talking about "guidelines" not "rules" or "regulations" so it appears these will be voluntary anyway, regardless of the height of the building -- of course incentives can encourage this, through bonusing or variances.
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#4
(06-10-2016, 10:32 AM)Spokes Wrote: Interesting article discussing the need for design guidelines on new "tall" buildings.  Only over 9 floors though.  So anything less can be designed however the builder wants?

http://www.therecord.com/news-story/6714...nsitivity/

And councilor Etherington taking at stab at Waterloo

Quote:But Coun. Frank Etherington doesn't want Kitchener to imitate the kind of development that has cropped up in neighbouring Waterloo, where highrises densely crowd along a stretch of King Street between University Avenue and Columbia Street.

"I think we definitely need some pretty solid rules. The last thing I want to see happening is what you see at the top end of Waterloo, which is hideous, all of those terrible-looking student housing buildings. They look atrocious," said Etherington, who represents a downtown ward.

I was quite taken aback by Etherington's comment.  We all know why those buildings look like they do and those circumstances do not relate to Kitchener.  Given that, to throw it up as the kind of thing Kitchener needs to avoid because it's not good enough for us seemed gratuitous and unseemly to me.  Even ii what he said was true, it was not necessary to say it.  I would have expected better of him.
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#5
(06-10-2016, 05:34 PM)panamaniac Wrote: I was quite taken aback by Etherington's comment.  We all know why those buildings look like they do and those circumstances do not relate to Kitchener.  Given that, to throw it up as the kind of thing Kitchener needs to avoid because it's not good enough for us seemed gratuitous and unseemly to me.  Even ii what he said was true, it was not necessary to say it.  I would have expected better of him.

Yes ... a quite unnecessary snide remark on Waterloo.
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#6
(06-10-2016, 09:50 PM)tomh009 Wrote: Yes ... a quite unnecessary snide remark on Waterloo.

Waterloo has to start hearing it. It is difficult for the independent thinkers there to influence the critical mass of cheerleaders, "team players" and rubber-stampers. Someone has to be willing to say "the Emperor has no clothes" and be heard.

Too many prime sites have been occupied by dreck. Compounding the problem is that quality may not want to build near the dreck.

$11 million dollars of public money has been set aside to "fix" Northdale. Might have been cheaper and better for Waterloo's long-suffering taxpayers if there had been more Etherington-type voices on the Council to the north early on.

The "good" news is that with unamalgamated cities, there is competition. Kitchener has been looking good, and the smart and stylish money has somewhere else to go while still generally benefiting the "Twin-Cities". Etherington's contribution to the competition may be helping both.
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#7
(06-11-2016, 12:33 AM)eizenstriet Wrote: Waterloo has to start hearing it. It is difficult for the independent thinkers there to influence the critical mass of cheerleaders, "team players" and rubber-stampers. Someone has to be willing to say "the Emperor has no clothes" and be heard.

Wow. I didn't realize that the 5-bedroom student towers of Northdale are considered beautiful accomplishments by Waterloo.

(06-11-2016, 12:33 AM)eizenstriet Wrote: $11 million dollars of public money has been set aside to "fix" Northdale. Might have been cheaper and better for Waterloo's long-suffering taxpayers if there had been more Etherington-type voices on the Council to the north early on.

I'm sure you know this as a long-suffering Waterloo taxpayer, just how early on were Etherington-type voices needed in Waterloo regarding Northdale? And what would they have done?
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#8
(06-11-2016, 12:33 AM)eizenstriet Wrote:
(06-10-2016, 09:50 PM)tomh009 Wrote: Yes ... a quite unnecessary snide remark on Waterloo.

Waterloo has to start hearing it. It is difficult for the independent thinkers there to influence the critical mass of cheerleaders, "team players" and rubber-stampers. Someone has to be willing to say "the Emperor has no clothes" and be heard.

Too many prime sites have been occupied by dreck. Compounding the problem is that quality may not want to build near the dreck.

$11 million dollars of public money has been set aside to "fix" Northdale. Might have been cheaper and better for Waterloo's long-suffering taxpayers if there had been more Etherington-type voices on the Council to the north early on.

The "good" news is that with unamalgamated cities, there is competition. Kitchener has been looking good, and the smart and stylish money has somewhere else to go while still generally benefiting the "Twin-Cities". Etherington's contribution to the competition may be helping both.

That would imply that there are people in Waterloo who don't recognize the issue.  I doubt that is the case.  The powers that be may have allowed it to happen, but "having to hear it" seems too much like "I told you so".  Plus, K and W are at their best when they cooperate, not when they compete.  You may be confusing us with Cambridge!  (LOL)
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#9
(06-10-2016, 09:50 PM)tomh009 Wrote:
(06-10-2016, 05:34 PM)panamaniac Wrote: I was quite taken aback by Etherington's comment.  We all know why those buildings look like they do and those circumstances do not relate to Kitchener.  Given that, to throw it up as the kind of thing Kitchener needs to avoid because it's not good enough for us seemed gratuitous and unseemly to me.  Even ii what he said was true, it was not necessary to say it.  I would have expected better of him.

Yes ... a quite unnecessary snide remark on Waterloo.

I've got to disagree.  Everyone thinks it, but no one says it?  Good for him to have the balls to say what everyone has thought
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#10
(06-11-2016, 09:32 AM)Spokes Wrote:
(06-10-2016, 09:50 PM)tomh009 Wrote: Yes ... a quite unnecessary snide remark on Waterloo.

I've got to disagree.  Everyone thinks it, but no one says it?  Good for him to have the balls to say what everyone has thought

We'll agree to disagree.  If he were a Waterloo councilor or resident I would agree, but I wouldn't make such public remarks about my neighbour's house, or my friend's car, or a colleague's clothes etc -- or about my neighbouring city.  But that's just me.
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#11
One thing Etherington left unsaid is that bad as King and Columbia are, they look better than 90% of Kitchener. I have visitors from out of town this week and while driving around several times they said, why is it so ugly around here? and every time it was when we had crossed from Waterloo to Kitchener. They were indifferent to the high rises in Northdale, while they actively disliked Kitchener. The "emperor has no clothes" argument here is that most of "heritage" Kitchener is actually rather mediocre and not worth the designation.

Second he makes it sound like the reason King and Columbia is bad is high rises, which is just an ignorant comment. It is possible to have a very nice town full of sky rises just it is possible to have a horrible town full of detached single homes.
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#12
(06-11-2016, 02:05 PM)BuildingScout Wrote: One thing Etherington left unsaid is that bad as King and Columbia are, they look better than 90% of Kitchener. I have visitors from out of town this week and while driving around several times they said, why is it so ugly around here? and every time it was when we had crossed from Waterloo to Kitchener. They were indifferent to the high rises in Northdale, while they actively disliked Kitchener. The "emperor has no clothes" argument here is that most of "heritage" Kitchener is actually rather mediocre and not worth the designation.

Second he makes it sound like the reason King and Columbia is bad is high rises, which is just an ignorant comment.t It is possible to have a very nice town full of sky rises just it is possible to have a horrible town full of detached single homes.

Dramatic statement for effect?  What has happened up in that particular part of Waterloo is pretty much universally recognized as ugly, not at the Regional but at the national level (although its not just a matter of height, as the newer mid-rise student apartment buildings are in many cases as bad as, if not worse than, the highrises.  Kitchener has nothing to compare (Drewlo's recent efforts notwithstanding), nor would it in the absence of a student ghetto.  This is why I found Etherington's comments inappropriate - they were completely pointless in the context of Kitchener, which will develop these guidelines to suit its own needs, which are different from those driving development in Northdale.   The risk of duplicating Waterloo's Northdale mistakes, when Waterloo has already recognized the problem and moved to start correcting it, seems remote to the point of near impossibility, imho.
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#13
To be honest. I think the skyline of Waterloo on university and around that area is very nice. It makes Waterloo look like the big city on the region while Kitchener doesn't come close. Even though Kitchener is twice the size of Waterloo in terms of population.

Our downtown is pretty bad right now tbh.
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#14
(06-11-2016, 02:05 PM)BuildingScout Wrote: One thing Etherington left unsaid is that bad as King and Columbia are, they look better than 90% of Kitchener. I have visitors from out of town this week and while driving around several times they said, why is it so ugly around here? and every time it was when we had crossed from Waterloo to Kitchener. They were indifferent to the high rises in Northdale, while they actively disliked Kitchener. The "emperor has no clothes" argument here is that most of "heritage" Kitchener is actually rather mediocre and not worth the designation.

Second he makes it sound like the reason King and Columbia is bad is high rises, which is just an ignorant comment. It is possible to have a very nice town full of sky rises just it is possible to have a horrible town full of detached single homes.

Agree 100%
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#15
(06-11-2016, 04:04 PM)panamaniac Wrote: Dramatic statement for effect?  What has happened up in that particular part of Waterloo is pretty much universally recognized as ugly, not at the Regional but at the national level (although its not just a matter of height, as the newer mid-rise student apartment buildings are in many cases as bad as, if not worse than, the highrises.  Kitchener has nothing to compare (Drewlo's recent efforts notwithstanding), nor would it in the absence of a student ghetto

What I'm saying is that Kitchener low raises/single family homes are equally hideous, though in a completely different style. That is what my out of town guests were latching on when they described Kitchener as the ugliest part of the metropolitan area.
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