Following are some Preliminary thoughts on the current siteplan versus earlier work done by
Calthorpe/Adamson that suggest we should step back and take into consideration of creating
place and a more connected city center.
Current Site Plan North-South Orientation of GTA Arena
Breaks East-West road network and limits connectivity across Markham Centre from Warden to Kennedy.
The GTA Arena Siteplan divides the Centre West Precinct from the Centre East Precinct.
Acts like a literal 600' wall between the precincts.
The arena will act as an Eastern anchor for Center West Precinct moving the centre of gravity to DowntownMarkham.
Land-locked by the arena, the Center East Precinct will become the "back-of-house" parking field for GO and thearena.
This severely limits the development potential of the Center East Precinct.
The arena will look like the presentation renderings of the GTA Center Arena shown at public meetings, anobject building in an open field periodically full of cars for decades to come.
suburban planning model
Arenas are large facilities and do create large blocks.
Orienting the arena North-South literally blocks or interrupts the predominant East-West movement acrossMarkham Centre, forcing traffic and pedestrians to go around this large object (i.e. like walking around a homedepot).
This arena sits into a 400x600' block. The scale of the facility is very large and not typically pedestrian friendlywhen it is not in event mode.
This is why arenas are now planned using an urban model to mitigate the scale of the building, limit the size of the block by enclosing it with buildings in close proximity and putting the emphasis on place making, ie goodpedestrian scaled streets to help bring daily life and activity to the context around a mostly lifeless box (arenabuildings are only active a few hours a day for a few days a week).
Object - Oval Design
The building is not rectangular, it is an oval.
This reinforces the suburban planning model of the object in the field.
It is difficult to make streetscapes when the building is set back and curving away from the curb or street wall.
The curvilinear design of the building reinforces the "building-in-the-round", with setbacks that increase as itcurves away from the rectilinear street.
This does not make good streetscapes.
Great streets require consistent street walls to contain and scale the street for the pedestrian.
This oval object building is suited for a suburban plan in a Greenfield and not an urban downtown city centre.
This oval object set back from neighboring blocks, with a wide margin all the way around it, will be a cold andwindswept open space much of the year and will not be an appealing pedestrian place.
Main Entrance on Enterprise
Enterprise Drive is not a pedestrian scaled street, it is a thoroughfare.
Try to walk it now.
It is now primarily for cars and buses moving at higher speeds from Warden to Kennedy.
It is wide and not conducive to pedestrians.