The question that is unanswered by city hall’s dismissal of our North Market redevelopment as now too expensive is: How do you know it’s run over budget?
The city hall dwellers, elected and otherwise, who blithely decided the price-tag is over estimates don’t know what they’re talking about. There are at least two outside participants in the cost figure and how much do they account for?
Is it the cost of courts that has run the price up? They want more sound-proofing and opaqueness than the glass walls of the approved “Red” design permit. The courts are to bear their share of the costs of the entire redevelopment if they’re to occupy space in it. Do the current occupants of city hall realize that?
How about the parking authority? They’ve demanded four levels of underground parking. Has that been worked into the new cost mix? Because if it has, that’s their cost, not the Market’s.
But the current crop of city hall folks are lead by don’t-tax don’t-spend Mayor Rob Ford and his seeming don’t-ask don’t-know approach. They might find it easy just to not build a North Market replacement which has been in the works for years.
This drawing of a historic-style brick building from B+H Architects shows a proposal by the Toronto firm from input with the early citizen’s group that began looking at replacement possibilities in 1998, the year Mike Harris ruined our city and its suburbs with a costly amalgamation that is still costing us all, including the suburbs. What Harris didn’t know (among so much else) is that senior bureaucrats in all the amalgamated city halls had high-priced long-term contracts. So the amalgamated mess he created is awash in them. It dumps the low-paid people who actually do work so the new megacity could find the money to pay unnecessary bureaucrats.
Thus, it was a later set of civil servants who took over the North Market committee and decided to spike everything that had been done and invite people around the world who have no stake in Toronto to submit proposals.
Mainly, as BIA executive George Milbrandt writes below, we need a new North Market and we need it done without undue delay. It would be best for all if the new structure pays tribute to the historic site where it will sit. But we do need a new North Market and we need it ASAP!