Comment 90004

By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted July 08, 2013 at 08:46:03

I think this gets to the heart of the issue. I know heritage properties are important to many folks, but my interests in it a purely aesthetic and structural - I'm more interested in the the city's stable of century-old schools with good bones and beautiful architecture than these ancient blocks. If I knew Blanchard going to tear them down and then start work on a new building with new small retail storefronts... well, as long as it looked better than that toaster-oven bank next door, I'd be happy.

But that's not what's going to happen. This is about property speculation. By tearing down these buildings he's getting out in front of any potential heritage designation in the future. He's also devaluing the neighbouring buildings with a vacant lot eyesore, allowing him to purhase them at a lower price. Eventually he'll be able to buy up a large portion of that block and build his mega-project... but the emphasis is on eventually.

To me, that problem is more important than the number of years these structures have stood. A massive pile of rubble in the heart of our city, year after year. It will hamper the downtown economy, both in terms of lost retail space in a critical location (facing the Gore Park promenade) and also in terms of an eyesore cementing downtown's "sketchy wasteland" appearance. Won't that be grand for the Pan Am Games?

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