Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Bell Machine

As a cyclist, I'd never had a reason to enter the parkade at Place Bell (160 Elgin) until recently. Even though its 10 floors are shorter than a regular one (since it's just exposed concrete), it's still dwarfed by the 27-storey Place Bell. This is looking from the roof of the parkade to the top of Place Bell.

In addition to learning the parkade's height, I also discovered that the parkade is square. If I understand correctly, they needed to build it above-ground because of the soft soil underneath the site.

Claridge is building four more towers of the same height next door to this parkade--two across Nepean as part of the 187 Metcalfe development (the one that Council sped through the approvals on the promise of a portrait gallery--since changed to a grocery store), and two more at 89-91 Nepean. 70 Gloucester, the twin of 89-91 Nepean, went to Planning Committee on Tuesday.

When the Centretown Plan was developed, it went up to Gloucester Street, except for a notch to exclude Place Bell due to its obvious incongruence with the neighbourhood. It's a shame, then, that Claridge got away with using 1960s buildings to justify heights far above those in the development plans for the neighbourhood.

[Look for more one-photo posts under the label Singles]


  1. I am really disturbed by the pace and number of projects in this area. What about the right to some degree of life without constant construction. If you live in this corner of the downtown get used to an endless stream of dumptrucks and cement mixers for the next few years. The city needs to slow things down.

  2. Why does the city need to slow things down?