Talk:Yonge–Dundas Square

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Square's Appearance[edit]

Must we call it waterplay? It sounds like a sick fetish.

My congratulations on the re-writing. I share the opinion that the square looks like a GO bus station, but the idea that it's up to Torontonians to make something of it is reasonable. Some grass would have been nice, though, and a monument or two. PBrain 17:30, 25 Apr 2004 (UTC)

  • Agreed. I don't think the square really qualifies as a landmark, as indicated in Toronto right now, but whatever. Krupo 02:56, Sep 10, 2004 (UTC)

I'd be curious if you've used the space. Obviously when the fountains are not running, it's like an empty parking lot, but when the surf's on, the sinusoidally varying rhythmic pounding of the surf transforms the space into a beautiful urban oasis. It's a truly magical and enchanting space when the fountains are running. I think it's a true landmark stroke of genius on the part of Brown and Storey Architects, and Dan Euser. Most of the people who are critical of the space have not spent a couple of hours there while the fountains are running. If you try it, I'm sure it will change your mind. The wide open empty black granite space, i.e. the empty hard rock, combined with the gentle splashing surf, is the true stroke of genius. Grass would destroy the wonderful juxtaposition of rock and water. Monuments would also compete with the very subtle but beautiful water sculpture. Glogger 01:46, 9 Oct 2004 (UTC)

  • I've been there both when the water's on and off. I've also seen totally kick-ass public fountains and squares in other cities. DS pales in comparison, IMHO. If you don't compare it to other places, it's not *all* bad - seeing it used as a parking lot for police cruisers (during hockey playoffs) makes it look worse, though. Nevertheless, it's still better than the old rag stores that used to occupy the space(!)

Compared to the fountains in the gardens of the Palais de Chaillot, for example, the Dundas Square fountains seem less impressive to me. And the gardens of the P de C are gardens, with trees and flowers and grass you can sit on while eating lunch and getting drenched by the fountains. I suspect the old rag stores attracted more people, too.

  • Alot may depend on personal taste. Personally I don't like to sit on wet grass while eating my lunch. Black textured granite is a much nicer surface and less slippery when it is wet. Are the Palais de Chaillot fountains intended for waterplay or splashing in? I don't get the sense that the Palais de Chaillot is such a good splashing area. Consider for example that most other wet areas, such as municipal swimming pools, use concrete rather than grass around the pool. Grass and dirt also attract alot of organisms that would contaminate the bathing fountains. If the Palais de Chaillot fountains are bathing fountains, how do they keep the water clean with all the grass, dirt, flowers, and leaves present in the area? Glogger 04:00, 14 Nov 2004 (UTC)

As for grass ruining the juxtaposition of rock and water, the juxtaposition of rock, water, and grass hasn't stopped people from paying huge sums for lots in Muskoka, which is widely considered to be beautiful. John FitzGerald 14:44, 12 Nov 2004 (UTC)

  • There is an important difference between a natural lake that has fish and ecosystems to keep the water clean, and a pool or splash fountain that uses chlorine or bromine with chemical treatment. The Dundas Square water treatment plant ensures the water is clean, and I am not sure how this would be possible otherwise. Although they could put a lake with fish and a swimming area, in the middle of the city, I'm not sure that that's what Brown and Storey and Dan Euser had in mind. Glogger 04:00, 14 Nov 2004 (UTC)

As you say, it's a matter of taste. To me, the problem with Dundas Square is that it's too much a creation of Kyle Rae's taste. Not that his taste is bad, but he does seem to have dominated the project. My idea of a pleasant public space – in summer, anyway – is the treed snd follied space south of Little Trinity. Actually, a Dundas Square-type fountain would really work there. My favourite public space in Toronto is Queen's Park, for reasons which I have described here. John FitzGerald 16:26, 16 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Well, it's February now, and the square looks really sharp, don't it? Nathan Phillips Square, though, which shares the same esthetic, still attracts people because there's something to do there. Dundas Square, though, is the perfect symbol of the void which is official Toronto's soul.

Shape[edit]

the shape of the square is actually like a square with a triangle taken out of one side.

Isn't that an irregular pentagon? Krupo 19:10, Oct 12, 2004 (UTC)

Advertising?[edit]

This article smacks of advertising hyperbole. The reason why no one uses the space is not overzealous security guards. It's because the entire square is an uncomfortable concrete slab with minimal visual stimulation. Toronto is locked in winter for a significant portion of the year, and during these months, lacking any fountain displays, it looks and feels like a parking lot.

  • The fountains run more than 6 months a year. During the winter they are shut down, but also at that time there is less of a need for outdoor spaces because people spend less time outdoors then. The space was designed for use primarily outside the winter months, and during those times, in my opinion, it has met its objectives. Glogger 04:00, 14 Nov 2004 (UTC)
  • The problem is the objectives, not the execution (although a friend of mine also tells me that the shift away from the initial concept during design and construction was significant). The issue is that the space looks horrible and is unusable for a significant portion of the year. Regarding year round use in a Canadian environment, I don't see Nathan Philips Square having too many problems.

Given the general opinion of the city's populace (that the square is an awkward pander to New York sensibilities and of limited social or practical value), I would suggest that this article's slant on Dundas Square is disingenuous at best.

I removed the more obvious POV (which took some bleeding time, eh?), and added the point that if critics haven't used the space maybe it's because it's uninviting. It still looks like a GO Bus terminal to me. John FitzGerald 14:40, 12 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Problems seemed to be solved when Intelligarde number 8008 was removed[edit]

Just for the record, it was one security guard, with epaulette number 8008, who was chasing people out of the fountains and telling people not to loiter. My 2 year old daughter and I were chased out of the fountains by this guard, and so we contacted the architects Brown and Storey, as well as fountaineer Dan Euser, as well as Councillor Kyle Rae, as well as Ron Soskolne (Chair of the Board of Dundas Square) as well as the Dundas Square manager Patrick Carnegie, as well as Christine, and all of these people confirmed that waterplay is one of the acceptable uses of the space, and is also that waterplay is one of the original intended uses of the space. They were also very professional and apologetic, and genuinely wanted to make the space welcoming. One of the other guards also told me that he was asked, by 8008, to leave the Square when he was off duty. The problem guard 8008 did not know that the other person was also a security guard. Apparently 8008 had been asking many people to leave, and finally got into trouble when asking a person who was actually another security guard to leave. Additionally we were harrassed by 8008 for taking pictures of one of the fountains. Now that 8008 has been eliminated, the character of the place has improved dramatically, and it is alot more inviting in general. Glogger 04:29, 14 Nov 2004 (UTC)

  • Litmus test

And are people suddenly flocking to the square after the removal of the dastardly 8008? Nope. Why? Because security guards aren't the major issue.

  • This year, now that the fountains are back on as of Monday April the 11th, the place seemed packed with lots of people. Today (April 19th) a nice warm day, there were no empty chairs, or places to sit. I actually had to sit on the ground because all the chairs and benches were in use during the peak of the day. Later we (my wife, daughter, and one of my colleagues) managed to get some chairs, after waiting a while. Unfortunately the music was a little loud, so we had to move away from one of the speakers to really enjoy the soothing sound of the surf. Glogger 04:21, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • Of course people are going to use it - if I had to be in that part of town and someone set up a vinyl lawn chair beside an overturned cardboard box I would use it. The fact that DS is marginally less uninviting than everything else around there is neither a difficult achievement or an endorsement of the square. As for "security guards not being the major issue," they are an issue nonetheless, and a significant one for a lot of people. The problem still remains that security and the Board are given vast discretion in terms of what they can and can't do to keep people from using the square. The fact that they've been choosing to exercise that power less frequently lately doesn't make it a truly public square, it just creates the illusion that it's a public square. They are still ultimately beholden to the business interests behind what is more akin to an outdoor shopping mall than a park.

Picture[edit]

Here's a picture I took... don't know if anyone thinks it would help the article. If you do, feel free to use it; it's Creative Commons licensed: http://flickr.com/photos/sanchom/2749072004/ Sancho 06:29, 10 August 2008 (UTC)

Name[edit]

Most Torontonians call it Dundas Square. "Yonge-Dundas Square" is an aberration that needs a citation and some history to back it up. Torontonian1 (talk) 14:27, 26 July 2009 (UTC)

Take a look at the official site, which is listed in the External links section: [1], This was very, very easy to find. It is hardly an aberration. Ground Zero | t 18:48, 26 July 2009 (UTC)

Not only does the website refer to the square by the name "Yonge-Dundas Square" the official logo (as seen on the website, on garbage cans and hording in the square etc) is a graphic stylization of a street map showing the Cross Streets (labeled) of "Yonge" and "Dundas" with an oblong object and the word "Square" that loosely matches the footprint of the square in the lower corner. See it for yourself at http://www.ydsquare.ca 99.232.105.15 (talk) 22:07, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

Convincing reply. I didn't suppose that the square had a website so didn't Google it, although its need for management would seem to require one. ("Yonge-Dundas Square" still seems like Toronto for dummies, however, and replaces an associated geographical name that had survived from the 19th c. It was doubtless devised by some bureaucrat from Wawa. Thanks for your responses.) Torontonian1 (talk) 16:01, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

The square's website is linked at the bottom of the article. I live just a few blocks from YDS and I don't see any problem with that name. I hear people use the full name and I hear people shorten it too. Dundas Square is the name of the street to the south of the square. The open space that the square now occupies is of course something very new: it was until the late 20th century occupied by building. I am not aware that bureaucrats in Wawa are making decisions for Toronto City Council. Kyle Rae, who has been the champion of YDS on City Council has lived in Toronto for a very long time, and has represented the ward for 18 years now. Ground Zero | t 16:28, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

Commonly called Dundas Square[edit]

An editor added a line about YDS being "commonly called Dundas Square" with a citation. I have removed it. I don't object to the name or to mentioning it in the lead of the article if it is properly referenced. The citation provided says only this about "Dundas Square":

Name: Bruce Bell. Occupation: Organizes walking tours in downtown Toronto. Favourite walk: Yonge St. from King St. to Bloor St., west on Bloor to Avenue Rd., south on Queen's Park Cres. and University Ave. to Queen St. W., east to Yonge St. Why: "It shows a lot of Toronto, how the city has changed and has embraced so many different parts of the world. I really like walking by Dundas Square ... where you can see hundreds of tourists every day. I think this walk also shows how the businesses are doing. It takes me about three hours to complete the circle and it shows the essence of Toronto.

So Bruce Bell calls it Dundas Square. Even though he is a tour guide and a local newspaper columnist, one man calling it "Dundas Square" does not make it "commonly called". This will need more rigorous sourcing than this one reference. Ground Zero | t 11:16, 15 June 2010 (UTC)

Did the right thing. POTB. ʘ alaney2k ʘ (talk) 22:14, 15 June 2010 (UTC)
I added many more sources, from WP:RS, from a large span of dates. - Epson291 (talk) 11:18, 16 June 2010 (UTC)
That's what I was looking for. Although it is incorrect to call it Dundas Square, which is actually the street on the south side of the square, this selection of articles shows that it is a fairly common misappellation. Ground Zero | t 13:38, 16 June 2010 (UTC)

Main Picture[edit]

Can we get a serious main picture for the main page, and not something so artsy? The picture is nice and all, but it does not belong in an encyclopedia article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 70.30.89.225 (talk) 11:02, 31 December 2010 (UTC)

Agreed, some might think it's a nice HDR photo but that's not how the square looks.Josephers (talk) 01:16, 8 February 2011 (UTC)

pronunciation?[edit]

Could someone please add a pronunciation? It is not immediately apparent how "Yonge" is pronounced. — Preceding unsigned comment added by CMEHalverson (talkcontribs) 17:07, 20 May 2013 (UTC)

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