Once a week I pass through the intersection of Yonge and Bloor. Most people see the Yonge-Bloor intersection as one of the city’s most prominent crossroads. This was reaffirmed by Spacing readers over two years ago when senior editor Dylan Reid asked people if they had to meet someone in Toronto at a certain time, but they didn’t know where, and couldn’t contact the person ahead of time, where would they go? The leading votes were for this intersection.
The retail shops on the southeast corner have been demolished to make way for the 1 Bloor condo/hotel/retail behemoth to be built with Russian oil money. But since the economic downturn took hold, any sign of construction has stopped.
Once I exit the subway station, I end up walking through the middle of the empty construction site with fences on either side of me. On the last few walk-bys, I’ve come to the conclusion that this location could be an excellent spot for a public square. While Yonge-Dundas Square is nearby, Yonge and Bloor is a different type of intersection in terms of what type of people pass through (I can’t explain what “type” of people, it just feels different). Once I experienced the openness of this space, with the combination of high rises on one side and the small, human scale stores on the west side of Yonge, the idea of a square seemed obvious. And since Toronto seems to be devoid of civic squares, I see no problem with adding a few more.
I’d be interested to read our readers’ thoughts on this location or other places where public squares should be considered.