This is Lloyd Alter's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Lloyd Alter's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Lloyd Alter
Recent Activity
I am confused about the system. Heating is underfloor radiant; cooling is ceiling mounted radiant; fresh air is delivered through the vertical ducts on the outside walls. I am not up on the number of air changes required for a room full of people, but doesn't the fresh air requirement completely dominate?
In Toronto, they recently tried to put a sign on the top of Mies's TD Centre and the City rejected it, thankfully. http://torontoist.com/2011/12/city-says-no-to-oversized-signage/
Toggle Commented Jan 13, 2012 on Ugh--a new sign atop 333 W. Wacker at Cityscapes
Since the last newsletter I have visited theSouth Bruce Grey branch, speaking at the ACO's biggest asset, the Victoria Jubilee Hall, and touring a part of Ontario that I did not know very well at all. Then on Saturday I was in Brantford, a town I sometimes feel that I know too well, having spent much of last year in the battle to save the south side of Colborne Street. Visiting the site of this vandalism, one has a dramatic vista of a casino, a parking garage and a shopping plaza, I could only shake my head. (I am told... Continue reading
Posted Apr 18, 2011 at Acorn
The postcard view of Ontario's Parliament Buildings won't be the same after the developers finish building condos on Bloor Street; Here is our latest press release and a link to the latest study: The Architectural Conservancy of Ontario (ACO) is asking the Government of Ontario to put in place emergency legislation to protect the view of the silhouette of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario (LAO) from development appearing in the background. Once emergency protection is established, the Province should work with the City of Toronto to further develop the legal framework needed at both levels of government to protect the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 18, 2011 at Acorn
Every summer we hire a student to help us out in the office, thanks to a great Summer Experience Program supported by the Provincial Government. During my term I have worked with Lauren Archer and Shannon Clayton, and they are tough acts to follow. Last year we got deluged with computerized applications, often from people who didn't even know who we were. So I suggested that applicants do a little essay this year about why they want this gig. Official description below: We are seeking a Built Heritage Conservation Assistant for a seven-week position funded by the Provincial Government under... Continue reading
Posted Apr 18, 2011 at Acorn
The conference in Cobourg is getting close; early bird signup ends on May 1. (Register here). But while the attendance looks good, they could use a little help on the sponsorship front. Malcolm Wardman writes (IN ALL UPPER CASE SO I HAD TO RETYPE THE WHOLE THING, DON'T DO THAT AGAIN MALCOLM!!!): The conference committee is pleased to announce that registrations for the conference are proceeding rapidly with over 100 full day registrations to date and 20 student registrations. To avoid disappointment they urge you to book today as there is a capacity limit of 200 registrations plus panelists. The... Continue reading
Posted Apr 18, 2011 at Acorn
Facebook, like all the new social media, doesn't happen by itself. Former Board member Byron Burley and I set up a group page two years ago that didn't draw flies. Then volunteer Hilary Vaillancourt schooled us on how you do this right, started up a new page and populated it with a ton of content, and turned it into a great source of news, information and discussion. I mean, newsletters like Acorn in a Nutshell are so two weeks old. The Facebook site is now fun, up to date and a great source of information and interaction. I have never... Continue reading
Posted Apr 18, 2011 at Acorn
Touring South Bruce-Grey with Branch Past President Henry Simpson last weekend, I saw string of under-utilized, empty and endangered heritage hotels, like this one in Paisley, photographed by Catherine Nasmith. They are such an important part of our history, almost always sitting at the main intersection of town. The former (now cured) real estate developer in me looks at them and thinks of all the boomers wanting to cash out of Toronto and wonders why they are not being renovated, converted, turned into wonderful apartments in these gorgeous, walkable small towns. Everywhere I have gone in this province in the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 18, 2011 at Acorn
Image
The Architectural Conservancy of Ontario (ACO) is asking the Government of Ontario to put in place emergency legislation to protect the view of the silhouette of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario (LAO) from development appearing in the background. Once emergency protection is established, the Province should work with the City of Toronto to further develop the legal framework needed at both levels of government to protect the dignity of Ontario’s most important ceremonial space. Because of our concerns following the recent OMB decision on 21 Avenue Road, ACO asked the Centre for Landscape Research at the University of Toronto (CLR),... Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2011 at Acorn
I am the President for a little while yet, so my name goes on the top of the press releases. But when one looks at the work that has been done over the past few years on the Queens Park file, you cannot help but admire past president Catherine Nasmith for her tenacity and determination. Last night she brought forward new research, new documentation prepared by The Centre for Landscape Research (CLR) and Du Toit Allsopp Hillier. It's damning stuff, modelling the new towers at Bloor Street, showing how they destroy even the classic postcard view. She says "There was... Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2011 at Acorn
Obituary for Paul Oberman John Bentley Mays wrote a lovely obit for Paul Oberman in the Globe last weekend: When death came for Toronto real-estate entrepreneur Paul Oberman, 53, in a remote Maine forest on March 7, Canada's architectural inheritance lost one of its most devoted friends and defenders. More in the Globe and Mail. CN Attacks Kingston's Heritage, Canada's Heritage; Where is the Federal Government? We don't have a branch in Kingston; they have their own very active Frontenac Heritage Foundation. They are fighting to save a so-called "protected" railway station from demolition by neglect, notwithstanding that there is... Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2011 at Acorn
Last week we noted that there was a workshop in Kitchener at the REEP house; I asked Kayla Jonas to report on it. She writes: This past weekend the Heritage Resources Centre at the University of Waterloo held a workshop on older homes and energy. The workshop took place at the REEP House in Kitchener, a century home that has been retrofitted to make it as energy efficient as possible. Saturday consisted of looking at the theory behind the concept of embodied energy. Professor Geoff Lewis of the School of Planning at the University of Waterloo focused on Life Cycle... Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2011 at Acorn
Chris Hume writes in the Toronto Starabout Mackenzie House, the museum on Bond Street in Toronto: "Toronto in the 19th-century might not have been as tall as it is in the 21st, but it was no less urban. The virtues we are now painfully and noisily relearning - connectivity, cohesion and compactness - were obvious to Torontonians of the 1800s. And really they had no choice. It wasn't until the advent of the automobile that the basic principles of city-building could be ignored and ultimately forgotten." Coincidentally on the very same day, my students and the Ryerson School of Interior... Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2011 at Acorn
Image
“Tall Buildings, Inviting Change in Downtown” Needs More Work Download Queen's_Park_height_study Lloyd Alter, President of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario, says its back to the drawing board for proposed tall buildings policies for downtown Toronto. ”It looks like the proposed heights policies in the study have not been tested against at least one of the three critical views that the report so clearly states should be protected, the Legislative Assembly of Ontario (LAO), We conclude that unless the recommendations are adjusted, the silhouette of the LAO building will be lost to future generations.” ACO is calling on Premier Dalton McGuinty... Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2011 at Acorn
I try to get this newsletter out on Tuesday mornings, but I was recovering from speaking to a full house at the London Branch's AGM. It has been one of the great pleasures of this job, getting out of the city and visiting branches all over the Province. Past President Catherine Nasmith said that she would be happy to continue doing them if I was too busy, but I never gave her a look-in. Ian Gillespie of the London Free Pressinterviewed me before the meeting, and I have to say that it was one of the most pleasurable interviews I... Continue reading
Posted Mar 23, 2011 at Acorn
When I was finishing architecture school, many of my contemporaries were spending months drawing the complex and wonderful tile patterns that formed the floor of the Eaton Centre, something that can be done in hours on modern computers but that took months then. Others were detailing the fabulous handrails that bent and curved and twisted, they were a marvel. Now they are all being ripped out; the mall owners want to "reinvigorate the retail experience". Tye Farrow and Sharon Vanderkaay reflect on what is being lost in Built Heritage News: Charles Eames, the eminent American designer wrote, "The details are... Continue reading
Posted Mar 23, 2011 at Acorn
ACO Manager Rollo Myers has been instrumental in the fight to save the Parliament Buildings site. He reports: The return of the site of Upper Canada's first Parliament Buildings 1798 (Front & Berkeley) to public use has been sought since the mid-1990s. The archaeological dig in 2000 showed foundations and evidence of burnt floorboards dating to the American attack in 1813 which prompted the retaliatory attack on Washington in 1814 that saw the burning of the White House. It's a site of importance to all Canadians. There are three parcels involved: one owned by the City; one by the Province;... Continue reading
Posted Mar 23, 2011 at Acorn
The ACO has been trying a number of initiatives to attract a new generation of heritage activists, and would prefer to do it without losing great swathes of historic buildings like we did last year. Kayla Jonas of the committee writes: The Architectural Conservancy of Ontario would like to hear your opinions. We have created a survey to gauge the interest of youth (both students (up to age 26) and young professionals/artisans) in the organization. Your answers will be confidential and the survey will take approximately 5-10 minutes. This week is the last week for responses to the survey; it... Continue reading
Posted Mar 23, 2011 at Acorn
Board member Kayla Jonas organized a wonderful tweetfest a few weeks ago; I asked her to explain and review: At the beginning of March was the first ever #builtheritage Twitter chat. It was hosted by myself (@jonaskayla) and two co-moderators from the National Trust for Historic Preservation in the U.S (@presconf and @@presnation). For those of you not familiar, Twitter allows you to write messages in 140 characters. A twitter chat is a designated time for people to chat about a certain topic; a hashtag (for instance #builtheritage) means that you can see everyone else that is talking about that... Continue reading
Posted Mar 23, 2011 at Acorn
A spirited debate has been raging around whether older buildings are energy gluttons, costing huge amounts of money to heat, or whether they are the poster children for conservation. Vinyl window salesmen prowl the streets selling their wares on the promise of fuel bill savings and freedom from maintenance forever. Building contractors tell us that new buildings with LEED certificates of various colours will help us save the planet from global warming. This workshop addresses many of the myths and polemics with solid research evidence designed to clear the fog and assist homeowners, planners and building officials to make intelligent... Continue reading
Posted Mar 23, 2011 at Acorn
While the editorial board of the National Post may complain about heritage, we can always count on Peter Kuitenbrouwer to defend it and write terrific articles, like he did with Demolition by Neglect. He complains about the rotting away of two of Toronto's most prominent buildings and gives the last word to Past President Catherine Nasmith: Cathy Nasmith, a prominent heritage architect in Toronto, notes that "enforcement on demolition by neglect tends to be complaint-driven." In that case, consider this my complaint. More in the National Post. Continue reading
Posted Mar 23, 2011 at Acorn
Paul was killed last night, while flying from Halifax to Quebec City. It was an honour last fall to stand with Paul Oberman as the ACO gave him an award for his tireless work trying to save the hangars at Downsview Airport. In fact, whenever there was a heritage issue during my time as President, I would consult with Paul. He had a real vision of heritage, and spared no expense to do it right. His projects are the background for almost every heritage image of Toronto; I used to joke with him that if he had a nickel for... Continue reading
Posted Mar 8, 2011 at Acorn
The National Post has been one of the biggest media supporters of heritage in Ontario, often editorializing about it. But they lost it last week, looking at the issue of property rights in an editorial on Friday.: "The absence of a constitutional protection for property rights -Canada is one of few industrialized countries without one -means that municipalities and provinces can run roughshod over property rights without fear of reprisal. They can impose Heritage Building designations, which prevent the redevelopment of buildings even when they are in a state of disrepair. They can declare land to be part of a... Continue reading
Posted Mar 1, 2011 at Acorn