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Old March 23rd, 2007, 02:40 AM   #61
rbt
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What would be involved just in terms of engineering it would be horendous, before a single shovel went in the ground, or a light fixture purchased.
Indeed. Most new PATH connections in areas that weren't previously protected will often need to start by moving sewer, watermain, electrical, natural gas, etc. lines out of the way unless there happens to be a gap already. That alone can cost a couple million.

It might look like solid ground but there is a ton of crap under the streets.
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Old March 23rd, 2007, 05:01 AM   #62
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They would also have to contend with the fact that it does not have a clear connection to the subway station...it is surrounded by three other properties wich would also have to go in on it (CP Building, Traders Bank, and that office/condo conversion). The office-to-condo conversion building would be the obvious choice. But I don't see that condo board agreeing to it, as the entrance is basically already directly outside their building...why would they spend millions for practically no gain?

PATH has many possible expansions, but this just isn't one of them.




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Old September 16th, 2007, 04:24 PM   #63
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PATH about to enlarge

interesting article online today from the Toronto Star. Complete article:
http://www.thestar.com/News/GTA/article/257110


TheStar.com | GTA | A PATH through the maze

A PATH through the maze

map
A 3 1/2 hour journey
A 3 1/2 hour journey
I've lived in Toronto for just over a year, and never had occasion to use PATH until recently, when my editor thought it would be a good idea to set an unaccustomed reporter loose in the underground labyrinth.
Can Toronto's bewildering warren grow without creating more confusion?
Sep 16, 2007 08:09 AM
Leslie Scrivener
staff reporter

In the sunlit lobby of the Sun Life Centre tower, it's easy to get your bearings – across the way is St. Andrew's Church on King St. W., on the corner is a Sorel Etrog sculpture, and traffic roars up what is clearly University Ave. It's here, above ground, that we meet Stuart Ash, designer of the PATH system, who was once responsible for imposing order on Toronto's disjointed underground walkway.

Twenty years ago Ash and his partners began planning the signage for the pedestrian maze, which has expanded over the years to 27 kilometres, jogging hither and thither between the south building of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Union Station and the bus terminal north of Dundas Street. PATH is vaunted as the largest (and, some might also say, most confounding) subterranean shopping arcade in the world. Now that the system is on the cusp of a further extension – it's expected to double in size within the next decade – Ash offered to navigate the underground with the Sunday Star.

Can it double in size without becoming doubly confusing?

One of the abiding complaints about Toronto's underground warren, which links 50 downtown buildings and 20 parking garages (PATH goes right through the garage beneath City Hall) is that it's bewildering. In the depths of the shopping malls, which all seem the same as you move from building to building, it's a struggle to figure out where you are. There's no reference to landmarks at street level. And if you don't consult the PATH maps, which really do help you find your way, you can easily end up like Orpheus dragging his sad self through an unknown underworld. There are unexpected dead ends, and sometimes the only way to go north is to first go west.

Part of the problem is that each building, along with the space below it, is privately owned. From the beginning there was never a master plan to connect the buildings. The tunnels were added where it was convenient, not where it was most logical, though more recent connections have been less haphazard and better planned.

For the Star tour, Ash arrives with a map of the PATH system, taken off the City of Toronto website. It's clear from the start that when you find the signs, which are elegant and discreet, they are very helpful. But often, because they are small – they weren't supposed to compete with the retail signs – you don't notice them.

There are bright moments on our tour, such as when we arrive at First Canadian Place after studying PATH maps on walls, though it's clear there aren't enough of them. "Here's a major crossroads with lots of information," Ash says happily. "I'm amazed it's working as well as it does."

In the original plan, he and his partners Gottschalk + Ash International Design and Keith Muller + Associates planned for more signs, for compass points showing direction – it really helps to know which way is north – and for wall maps. "They were whittled down to the minimum, only 80 per cent of what we suggested," says Ash, whose internationally recognized firm has created signage for SkyDome ( now the Rogers Centre) and American Airlines Arena in Miami, and is working on the Chicago transit system.

The city of Toronto paid for developing the PATH concept, while the individual property owners paid for the manufacture and installation of the signage. Now about 35 corporations are part of the system. "It was like pulling teeth to get the property owners to introduce this," Ash recalls. The banks, for example, weren't keen to have signs that would direct customers to their competitors' buildings. In the intervening years, some companies have kept up the system and incorporated it into their own building signage while others have been lax.

There are some low points on our tour. We decide to go to BCE Place. "But how do you know where BCE Place is?" he asks. "I know it's that way (pointing east), but there's nothing directing me. Because of the lack of continuity, it's totally disorienting." From then on, it's guesswork and instinct. "It's a broken link, and that's why people are having trouble ... people don't really pay attention to way-finding, you should be there where you need it." In short, he says, "This needs work. Updating is required, and property owners need to be more consistent."

He's been told the city has no budget to add to the PATH system to help people find their way.

When the extensions are complete, there will be 45 new entry points to the system, which will expand to as many as 60 kilometres of walkways, says Al Rezoski, a senior City of Toronto planner.

Some of the new routes are already being used, such as the commodious walkway on either side of Bay St. below Front St. Others, like the underground path from Union Station to St. Andrew subway station, on a route yet to be determined, are still under environmental review.

There's pedestrian pressure to create these new walkways in the mostly underground system (which comes up for light, mole-like, in places like the SkyWalk from Union Station to the Rogers Centre).

City planners have counted pedestrians leaving Union Station during the morning rush and found 14,000 people emerging onto Front St. and another 19,000 headed toward the PATH network in one hour. With planned expansion of GO train service, those numbers are expected to nearly double in the next 15 to 20 years: 24,000 emerging onto Front St. and 36,000 heading underground.

"Now there is an ebb and flow as trains arrive," says Tim Lapsa, a transportation planning manager for the city of Toronto. "In 15 or 20 years, there will be no ebb."

If the desired expansions are approved, the PATH network will extend to College Park and include Ryerson University. Looking further to the future, the MaRS medical and biotech research district around the old Toronto General Hospital site at College and University Ave. may be linked to the underground.

Rezoski is confident the system will be easier to navigate. With the new developments, there's a chance to straighten out the network and its corridors, so the routing can be simplified, he says. For example, the redevelopment of the Richmond-Adelaide Centre, where a 48-storey building is proposed to replace a smaller building, promises a more orderly underground.

Planners are also looking at using more skylights so people walking below ground can glance up and see a familiar landmark. Another way of helping orient pedestrians is to have two-storey spaces, with escalators going up to ground level, to remind people where they are.

The city's priority for pedestrians is still sidewalks with attractive landscaping. "If we didn't have the PATH system, we'd be looking at severely congested sidewalks," says Rezoski. "This is a kind of relief valve."

To some, however, underground pedestrian networks are bastions of privatization and exclusion. Ute Lehrer, a planning professor at York University's faculty of environmental studies, notes that private security guards can move along the poor and dispossessed. "If you don't fit the normal profile of the normal user of these pathways, you are not welcome."

Privately owned undergrounds have hours of opening and closing, she points out. They are often desolate on weekends. "While on the sidewalk, you have Jane Jacobs `eyes on the street,' which you don't have in the underground. It's intriguing on Saturdays and Sundays because you feel comfortable and uncomfortable at the same time."

She links life in the underground to the condominium boom, and with that, she says, a less engaged society. "You no longer encounter the other – the homeless, people on the margins. You avoid them by using the PATH system or moving to a condo tower, where you can go down to your garage and drive off – it's a homogenized and sanitized environment."

But still, she can see comfort in the underground network, once you are familiar with it. "It gives a village experience – you know where the stores are, the access points to each building, which is the quickest way from subway to your workplace."

A lively underground, if well designed, can lead to a better city, with safer, more animated corridors, says planner Rezoski. Subterranean links to the subway attract business to the downtown, but they can also be appealing because of their access to residential buildings. He notes that PATH connects people to daycares, schools, libraries, grocery stores, community centres and theatres. "We are trying to make our downtown as family-friendly as possible. This is one component of that – it's a safe route for children, they don't have to deal with traffic, and the whole system has private security."

There's also the protection PATH affords pedestrians when winter howls through financial district wind tunnels. Though one recent, perfect summer day, when the temperature was 25C and humidity was low, the subterranean city was packed with people. Burrowing underground, it seems, has become a year-round way of life.
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Old September 16th, 2007, 05:40 PM   #64
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That's a huge enlargement!
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Old September 16th, 2007, 05:49 PM   #65
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I saw the map...
I was hoping it would go maybe until bloor, but its not possible for something like that...They said something about doubling in half..

but i was impressed however with it coming to Ryerson. It takes about a few minutes for most Ryerson students to go from the class to the subway and u gotta walk outside and then inside, which is a bit of a hassle, especially when there are pedastrians and construction and other students overhead.
This is a nice way to not only link Dundas subway, but to also link the schools together underground, making it virtually easy for people to walk and get to class or back home.
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Old September 16th, 2007, 10:40 PM   #66
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While the increase in size is most welcome, I was most disappointed that the PATH wasn't extended further west from Metro Hall over to the Film Festival Tower (and in my dreams further beyond to Spadina.) It would have made the winter walks to work much warmer...
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Old September 16th, 2007, 11:55 PM   #67
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Yay Ryerson!

It probably wont be around while im going to school there though
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Old September 17th, 2007, 01:36 AM   #68
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the path is pretty useful in winter time. i'm all for expanding it.

what i dont like about the path
- dead after 6 and weekends
- vacuums some of the pedestrian bustle off the street

what do you guys think?
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Old September 17th, 2007, 01:45 AM   #69
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true but our pedestrian traffic downtown is already very very high even with the PATH.


the Financial sector all day still has many people walking around it even after 5pm you still see people around it at 9pm. Of course i am talking about the summer.

Maybe if we did not have the PATH, we would have NY style pedestrian traffic but i found that to be rather a unpleasant experience in NY.
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Old September 17th, 2007, 01:59 AM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 401_King View Post
the path is pretty useful in winter time. i'm all for expanding it.

what i dont like about the path
- dead after 6 and weekends
- vacuums some of the pedestrian bustle off the street

what do you guys think?
In winter/rain, I love the PATH. I'm all for expanding it.
It is also one of the things that make TO unique, understanding Montreal also has an extensive system, but, that the vast majority of cities do not.

I hope that as residential living continues to expand DT, that maybe some of the retailers along the PATH will choose to stay open longer, or some will open to cater to after hours activities and make it more like the street retail.
It's only a matter of time.
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Old September 17th, 2007, 03:18 AM   #71
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I just waiting for the Path to make under Bay-Adelaide up to the Eaton Centre. I don't use it much, so whenever I use it from Union, I get lost by Scotia Plaza. I think I'll stick to the street. Still good news ... will be larger than Montreal's I assume.
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Old September 17th, 2007, 03:51 AM   #72
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Has anyone seen the movie waydowntown? It's an interesting study in this Canadian trend.

Also, does anyone have information on Yorkdale's underground path? How big is it? Can it feasibly be connected to the downtown one?
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Old September 17th, 2007, 04:05 AM   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kettal View Post
Has anyone seen the movie waydowntown? It's an interesting study in this Canadian trend.

Also, does anyone have information on Yorkdale's underground path? How big is it? Can it feasibly be connected to the downtown one?
Yorkdale is all the way up at the 401 and doesnt have any underground path. Do you mean Yorkville?
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Old September 17th, 2007, 04:08 AM   #74
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In Montreal, Yorkdale would be considered a part of PATH as it connects to the subway

Yorkville's PATH is pretty small basically connecting Manulife complex with the Cumberland Terrace/Holts/One Bloor West block and the HBC complex
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Old September 17th, 2007, 04:14 AM   #75
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Since a separate thread has cropped up on the new PATH expansions from the Toronto Star I thought I'd just post the map from the story here to make discussion easier.

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Old September 17th, 2007, 04:27 AM   #76
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Originally Posted by Tuscani01 View Post
Yay Ryerson!

It probably wont be around while im going to school there though
With your abstence and lazyness ontop of those ridicoulous marks...

i say your gonna be one of the first users to use the walkway..
but this would be cool.

I hate walking outside from Kerr Hall building to the RBB..
too many people on the streets and alot of human traffic jams!!! wheres your horn when you really need it!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old September 17th, 2007, 04:29 AM   #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 401_King View Post
the path is pretty useful in winter time. i'm all for expanding it.

what i dont like about the path
- dead after 6 and weekends
- vacuums some of the pedestrian bustle off the street

what do you guys think?

The problem is, with respect to the dowtown financial core (adelaine and king..etc) the dundas area is pretty busy after 6 and i think most stores inside the path will adjust to a more later enviornment type setting (resturants, bars...) im even thinking Ryerson will take it and use it for classes and a much needed underground store for books and goodies
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Old September 17th, 2007, 04:33 AM   #78
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those additions in the Bay, adelaide, Richmond area will help a lot.
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Old September 17th, 2007, 04:58 AM   #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuscani01 View Post
Yorkdale is all the way up at the 401 and doesnt have any underground path. Do you mean Yorkville?
yeah thats what i meant to say
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Old September 17th, 2007, 07:56 AM   #80
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Wow! I had no idea this antique thread existed, or I would not have made a new one. Maybe mine should be merged into this one....
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