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OldDartmouthMark
Sep 30, 2014, 8:39 PM
The slope from the top of Thistle to down to Alderney is even worse. Your suggested routing also takes people away from where they want to go and adds significant distance also. Fixing Victoria would be much easier. It should have been done in the '70s. It is difficult to understand how the city allowed the existing mess to carry on for so long. Dartmouth has never been a place that embraces change, and actually fights progress quite often. But this is really a no-brainer.

I hear you, and I admittedly haven't spent much time in the neighborhood over the past several years, but spent most of the first 30 years of my life there. I've always looked at that area as a place that is best served to remain residential, in fact I think that Park Ave. is a little gem of an area that most don't really know about.

The vision in my mind is more like West End Halifax, where there are some older residential neighborhoods that are actually quite peaceful and liveable, with major, functional arterials diverted around them.

You make good points, and maybe my ideas wouldn't float, but I still think if car traffic can be reduced through other methods, then we don't need to make room for major traffic everywhere, instead route it around a perimeter with many entry points for influx - and keep residential as is. Truthfully, if I lived in those neighborhoods and worked in DT Dartmouth, I would never commute by car, as the area that could be a potential business district is all within a 15 minute walk of most nearby residential.

scooby074
Sep 30, 2014, 10:02 PM
i skim read the article - its quite the opposite of what you said - its not residents encroaching, its HRM getting pushback trying to prevent future noise complaints by restricting building. Land owners are naturally upset, since it limits what they can build, thus reduces the value of their land, and they don't care about noise in a future sub division.

<RANT> it also quotes the NS Home Builders Assoc. who in one breath tells us how good its members are at producing a quality product, not shoddy etc, but then goes on advocating for subdivisions within the noise envelope of an airport. Ugh </rant>

HRM is being proactive to cut out the subdivision of land and increased population in the area. This is a good move on HRMs part. Subdividing the land and increasing population will interfere with airport operations as it has in so many other places.


There is definitely Nimby sentiments. Or at least I take them as such.

"hen public input time came at the meeting, there were many residents willing to speak up with their concerns and questions for Harvey and Healy.
One woman explained that her dishes rattle and even her radio flickers so that she actually hears the air traffic controllers guiding in the planes safely.
“It’s very annoying,” the woman added."

FuzzyWuz
Oct 1, 2014, 1:26 PM
This makes me imagine the Dartmouth of today but with a couple of dreary 2 million square foot federal government office complexes and a museum.

My father used to tell me once upon a time the three worst places to find yourself were Hell, Hull and Halifax.

ScovaNotian
Oct 1, 2014, 4:14 PM
My father used to tell me once upon a time the three worst places to find yourself were Hell, Hull and Halifax.
This refers to another Halifax; see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halifax_Gibbet . :)

counterfactual
Oct 2, 2014, 12:36 AM
This refers to another Halifax; see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halifax_Gibbet . :)

Oh, zing! You're move, Hull.

Colin May
Oct 4, 2014, 12:12 AM
http://www.theguardian.com/cities/2014/oct/03/-sp-wooden-skyscrapers-future-world-plyscrapers

Can we be bold ?

Keith P.
Oct 4, 2014, 1:04 AM
I do not believe the article's claim about the fire properties of these things. Any new home build with manufactured wood goes up like a roman candle once it catches fire.

In any event, Halifax has yet to build its first steel or reinforced concrete true skyscraper, so I imagine we'll all be dead and gone before one of these makes an appearance here.

Ziobrop
Oct 4, 2014, 2:14 AM
Dimensional lumber actully has very good burn properties. That's why in older houses you could leave the floor joists exposed in the basement. Most builders now use osb for sheathing and manufactured floor joists. These require additional fire protection as the glue can melt out and cause it to fail.

Are these safe compared to concrete and steel? Dunno. Everything can fail in a fire, you really need to make sure everyone can get out. I think we might see a lot of 6-10 story wood buildings but I'm not sure they will go beyond that

Colin May
Oct 4, 2014, 2:25 AM
I do not believe the article's claim about the fire properties of these things. Any new home build with manufactured wood goes up like a roman candle once it catches fire.

In any event, Halifax has yet to build its first steel or reinforced concrete true skyscraper, so I imagine we'll all be dead and gone before one of these makes an appearance here.
I presume state and national authorities have conducted a thorough technical analysis.
The Norwegians aren't stupid and their offshore oil and gas regulatory system is a model for the world.

gm_scott
Oct 4, 2014, 1:05 PM
I presume state and national authorities have conducted a thorough technical analysis.
The Norwegians aren't stupid and their offshore oil and gas regulatory system is a model for the world.

Agree with that.
I feel like allowing up to six stories would let us do infill a little cheaper, hopefully passing those savings on to the buyer/renter.

Keith P.
Oct 4, 2014, 4:29 PM
Agree with that.
I feel like allowing up to six stories would let us do infill a little cheaper, hopefully passing those savings on to the buyer/renter.

Can't see how it would be cheaper. And I sure as hell wouldn't want to live on the top floor of a 6-storey wooden crate.

Colin May
Oct 4, 2014, 6:56 PM
Agree with that.
I feel like allowing up to six stories would let us do infill a little cheaper, hopefully passing those savings on to the buyer/renter.
The forest industry in the Maritimes would be rejuvenated by provinces quickly adopting the construction standards of BC and the countries mentioned in the article. For Irving this could be an entirely new industry in New Brunswick or Nova Scotia helping meet climate change goals and providing employment in rural areas.
As well as ceasing the export of wood chips and providing a better quality and more valuable product.

terrynorthend
Oct 4, 2014, 10:45 PM
Agree with that.
I feel like allowing up to six stories would let us do infill a little cheaper, hopefully passing those savings on to the buyer/renter.

Didn't they already do that, and call it "Highfield Park"?

gm_scott
Oct 5, 2014, 3:12 PM
Didn't they already do that, and call it "Highfield Park"?

Not really. I am not saying I want the kind of buildings they build in Clayton Park or Highfield. That is an issue with form and how the buildings interact with the street, not materials. I am saying there is no reason why some of the smaller buildings around Halifax can't be built in this way. For example, 1592 Barrington is a nice, small, infill project that is six stories tall. Maybe if we allowed wood construction that project could be cheaper to build. I don't really know that for sure, but it is worth exploring. Even looking past the cost to build, if both methods are equal in price there are a lot of benefits to using all wood.

someone123
Oct 5, 2014, 8:46 PM
It does feel like there are PR issues with wood. Cheap wooden buildings are bad, but not all wooden buildings are cheaply built, and construction technology is going to continue to evolve.

One big advantage to wood is that it can be a lot better for the environment, assuming the wood itself is grown and harvested sustianably.

Drybrain
Oct 5, 2014, 10:17 PM
Not really. I am not saying I want the kind of buildings they build in Clayton Park or Highfield. That is an issue with form and how the buildings interact with the street, not materials. I am saying there is no reason why some of the smaller buildings around Halifax can't be built in this way. For example, 1592 Barrington is a nice, small, infill project that is six stories tall. Maybe if we allowed wood construction that project could be cheaper to build. I don't really know that for sure, but it is worth exploring. Even looking past the cost to build, if both methods are equal in price there are a lot of benefits to using all wood.

Here's what looks like a pretty high-quality, urban-scaled, ten-storey wood-framed structure in Melbourne. (http://www.ibtimes.com/how-wood-high-rises-could-save-planet-1575562)

And in Los Angeles.
(http://buildinglosangeles.blogspot.ca/2014/01/squat-apartment-building-heads-to-condo.html?m=1)

And let's not forget that large, mixed-use wood frame buildings are common in some countries. England and Germany have loads, like these very famous timber-framed buildings in Frankfurt.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/bd/Frankfurt_Römerberg_Ostzeile.jpg

So saying that wood framing is equivalent to cheap or insubstantial architecture isn't true at all. There are loads of new and old example of large-scale wooden buildings. They're still a pretty new idea in a lot of places, hence the knee -jerk reaction that they're inferior to steel or whatever.

fenwick16
Oct 6, 2014, 1:01 AM
Here's what looks like a pretty high-quality, urban-scaled, ten-storey wood-framed structure in Melbourne. (http://www.ibtimes.com/how-wood-high-rises-could-save-planet-1575562)

And in Los Angeles.
(http://buildinglosangeles.blogspot.ca/2014/01/squat-apartment-building-heads-to-condo.html?m=1)

And let's not forget that large, mixed-use wood frame buildings are common in some countries. England and Germany have loads, like these very famous timber-framed buildings in Frankfurt.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/bd/Frankfurt_Römerberg_Ostzeile.jpg

So saying that wood framing is equivalent to cheap or insubstantial architecture isn't true at all. There are loads of new and old example of large-scale wooden buildings. They're still a pretty new idea in a lot of places, hence the knee -jerk reaction that they're inferior to steel or whatever.

There are numerous wood framed buildings in Halifax and Dartmouth. I would guess that that the majority of 4 story apartment buildings from the 50's and earlier are wood framed. Some have brick exteriors so they might not appear to be wood framed, but here is an example of a style that seems to be quite common in Halifax and since I lived in this particular building I know it is wood framed (5261 Kent Street) - https://www.google.ca/maps/@44.6381579,-63.5713766,3a,75y,320.53h,92.14t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1smJ8WXOGk7Hfsube5HXKaGw!2e0

There are also modern examples, one is the Q lofts which is 6 storeys - http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=198176&page=5

I would just like to point out that wood framed apartment buildings aren't unheard of in the Halifax area, it is just that many apartment developers prefer the longevity of concrete and steel.

Drybrain
Oct 6, 2014, 2:33 PM
I would just like to point out that wood framed apartment buildings aren't unheard of in the Halifax area, it is just that many apartment developers prefer the longevity of concrete and steel.

I was just responding to the idea that wood-framed buildings are inherently inferior or suburban in style.

I think to assume steel or concrete has greater longevity is a bit of a fallacy. There are lots of concrete, steel and masonry buildings that develop structural issues after a few decades. We also have some wooden buildings that are entering their third century.

The idea that large wood-framed buildings—as major, important buildings, not just cheap rentals off at the edge of town—are some kooky hippie dream doesn't doesn't really bear out when you look at projects like these. (http://www.theguardian.com/cities/2014/oct/03/-sp-wooden-skyscrapers-future-world-plyscrapers)

I mean, if they're building timber-framed buildings in Christchurch—where hundreds of old masonry structures, not to mention newer steel-framed high-rises—suffered catastrophic structural damage in the 2011 earthquake, there must be something to it.

Colin May
Oct 6, 2014, 4:33 PM
Good discussion, keep it going.
Germany lost many historic towns and wooden buildings to Allied firebombing in WWII, Lubeck a prime example. The Yanks were greatly opposed to bombing civilians, preferring a concentration on attacking manufacturing infrastructure.
For horrific descriptions read 'Fire and Fury' Randall Hansen (teaches at U of T)

OldDartmouthMark
Oct 6, 2014, 4:44 PM
Good discussion, keep it going.
Germany lost many historic towns and wooden buildings to Allied firebombing in WWII, Lubeck a prime example. The Yanks were greatly opposed to bombing civilians, preferring a concentration on attacking manufacturing infrastructure.
For horrific descriptions read 'Fire and Fury' Randall Hansen (teaches at U of T)

I concur that was a good read, a real eye-opener for me.

Colin May
Oct 7, 2014, 2:56 AM
Non core office towers attracting investor interest :

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/streetwise/welch-brothers-see-big-value-in-non-core-office-towers/article20954266/#dashboard/follows/

“Core strategies do make sense, but that doesn’t mean that other areas don’t grow as well,” Blair Welch said in an interview at the company’s offices Friday. While being close to downtown is attractive, there are reasons to like the suburbs.

“Union Station, subways – those matter. But the airport, major highways, those are pretty important pieces of infrastructure.”

He notes that 67 per cent of office properties in Canada do not fit into the definition of core. And demographically, much of Canada’s growth is in suburban areas. What’s more, buildings are so much cheaper that there is more protection should the real estate market go soft and rents underperform.

Ziobrop
Oct 7, 2014, 11:48 AM
Out of core office space can work, but it still needs to be concentrated in an area that can be serviced easily with supporting businesses. - kind of like a mini core. offices here and there throughout an industrial park isn't good for anyone.

I suspect that Halifax tried this - Solutions Drive and Innovation drive come to mind, but after one office was built, the rest became apartments.

counterfactual
Oct 7, 2014, 10:19 PM
Non core office towers attracting investor interest :

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/streetwise/welch-brothers-see-big-value-in-non-core-office-towers/article20954266/#dashboard/follows/

“Core strategies do make sense, but that doesn’t mean that other areas don’t grow as well,” Blair Welch said in an interview at the company’s offices Friday. While being close to downtown is attractive, there are reasons to like the suburbs.

“Union Station, subways – those matter. But the airport, major highways, those are pretty important pieces of infrastructure.”

He notes that 67 per cent of office properties in Canada do not fit into the definition of core. And demographically, much of Canada’s growth is in suburban areas. What’s more, buildings are so much cheaper that there is more protection should the real estate market go soft and rents underperform.

Let's make a big planning mistake in response to another big planning mistake. That is, encouraging sprawl offices in order to service sprawl surburban development.

Sheer lunacy in terms of planning.

Sprawl is already costing us too much in this city-- billions and billions.

Are you not even aware of the Stantec report? And the last big battle at Council over the Regional Plan?

http://spacing.ca/atlantic/2013/06/18/a-3-billion-boondoggle-regional-planning-and-sprawl-in-halifax/

It's already well established that you dislike pretty much all of the downtown developers in Halifax.

And that no one is actually living in any downtown developments, despite developers selling them.

And you think people *living* downtown are just a bunch of "yuppies"

And now you're advocating for sprawl offices.

Colin, do you live in a suburb in GTA or something? Seriously.

hokus83
Oct 8, 2014, 1:08 AM
Let's make a big planning mistake in response to another big planning mistake. That is, encouraging sprawl offices in order to service sprawl surburban development.

Sheer lunacy in terms of planning.

Sprawl is already costing us too much in this city-- billions and billions.

Are you not even aware of the Stantec report? And the last big battle at Council over the Regional Plan?

http://spacing.ca/atlantic/2013/06/18/a-3-billion-boondoggle-regional-planning-and-sprawl-in-halifax/

It's already well established that you dislike pretty much all of the downtown developers in Halifax.

And that no one is actually living in any downtown developments, despite developers selling them.

And you think people *living* downtown are just a bunch of "yuppies"

And now you're advocating for sprawl offices.

Colin, do you live in a suburb in GTA or something? Seriously.

I dont think Colin May could point to where Halifax is on a map

JET
Oct 8, 2014, 1:13 AM
I dont think Colin May could point to where Halifax is on a map

Manners, manners, no need to be insulting. Colin can easily point across the harbour. :yes:

Colin May
Oct 8, 2014, 1:20 AM
Let's make a big planning mistake in response to another big planning mistake. That is, encouraging sprawl offices in order to service sprawl surburban development.

Sheer lunacy in terms of planning.

Sprawl is already costing us too much in this city-- billions and billions.

Are you not even aware of the Stantec report? And the last big battle at Council over the Regional Plan?

http://spacing.ca/atlantic/2013/06/18/a-3-billion-boondoggle-regional-planning-and-sprawl-in-halifax/

It's already well established that you dislike pretty much all of the downtown developers in Halifax.

And that no one is actually living in any downtown developments, despite developers selling them.

And you think people *living* downtown are just a bunch of "yuppies"

And now you're advocating for sprawl offices.

Colin, do you live in a suburb in GTA or something? Seriously.

Nope. The whole post is lifted from the Globe; I added nothing. If you and another poster had read the link you would have realised it was all taken from the column.
I have never advocated for sprawl offices - that cat is long out of the bag. I'll remind you that HEMDCC ignored Tim Olive of Downtown Dartmouth Business Commission when they approved office development for Dartmouth Crosssing. And offices in downtown Dartmouth and Bedford are not sprawl. Blackberry chose Bedford for reasons unknow.

Colin May
Oct 8, 2014, 1:23 AM
Manners, manners, no need to be insulting. Colin can easily point across the harbour. :yes:

I probably lived in Halifax before he, and many other posters, was born.

Hali87
Oct 8, 2014, 2:03 AM
Let's make a big planning mistake in response to another big planning mistake. That is, encouraging sprawl offices in order to service sprawl surburban development.

Suburban expansion* is still going to happen to some degree as the city grows though. It doesn't make sense to force all office growth to be in Downtown Halifax when it is already reasonably hard to get to for people living off the peninsula. I'm not sure if some people expect Mainland Halifax, Bedford, Sackville, and 90% of Dartmouth to dry up into ghost towns as all the suburbanites move en masse to brand new condos on the Peninsula, or if they just have a "punish the suburbanites" mentality, but from what I can tell there will always be living in these places and it makes sense to make jobs available to them near where they live, rather than forcing them to commute deeper into the city where they will be adding to traffic. I'm not saying all office development should be in the suburbs, but there needs to be a balance (this does not necessarily mean 50/50 or any specific ratio). I'm not sure where you've learned all of these "planning 101" lessons, but good planning is never as simple as "downtown good, suburbs bad".

*This doesn't necessarily have to be "sprawl". A lot of new suburban communities are being designed as pedestrian-oriented and mixed-use, basically following new urbanist principles. The Motherhouse and/or Rockingham South are examples (I always get those two mixed up).

And you think people *living* downtown are just a bunch of "yuppies"

The young professional ones are, by definition.

Just out of curiosity, where do you live?

miesh111
Oct 8, 2014, 12:25 PM
What is the 'core'?

Is core only the downtown business district?

What about up Quinpool? Or up along Barrington and into Gottingen / Agrocilla? Is the the Young / Kempt area the limit? What about up Bayers Road into Fairview?

We need to reassess what we call the core of the city. To me, anywhere there is existing infrastructure with an already (relatively) high density, we are still talking about core areas.

The Bedford downtown project, the Kings Wharf project, The new Dutch Village skyline, these are all important contributions to creating vibrancy across the municipality. Just like we cannot focus on the sprawl only, we cant focus on the downtown only either.

JET
Oct 8, 2014, 3:24 PM
"The young professional ones are, by definition.

Just out of curiosity, where do you live?"

If you have to ask; you're really not paying attention.

OldDartmouthMark
Oct 8, 2014, 3:32 PM
Suburban expansion* is still going to happen to some degree as the city grows though. It doesn't make sense to force all office growth to be in Downtown Halifax when it is already reasonably hard to get to for people living off the peninsula. I'm not sure if some people expect Mainland Halifax, Bedford, Sackville, and 90% of Dartmouth to dry up into ghost towns as all the suburbanites move en masse to brand new condos on the Peninsula, or if they just have a "punish the suburbanites" mentality, but from what I can tell there will always be living in these places and it makes sense to make jobs available to them near where they live, rather than forcing them to commute deeper into the city where they will be adding to traffic. I'm not saying all office development should be in the suburbs, but there needs to be a balance (this does not necessarily mean 50/50 or any specific ratio). I'm not sure where you've learned all of these "planning 101" lessons, but good planning is never as simple as "downtown good, suburbs bad".

*This doesn't necessarily have to be "sprawl". A lot of new suburban communities are being designed as pedestrian-oriented and mixed-use, basically following new urbanist principles. The Motherhouse and/or Rockingham South are examples (I always get those two mixed up).

Very well-thought-out, common-sense post. :tup:

OldDartmouthMark
Oct 8, 2014, 3:34 PM
Manners, manners, no need to be insulting.

I agree - no need to get personal. Stick to the information presented and leave personal attacks out of it, please.

JET
Oct 8, 2014, 3:47 PM
I agree - no need to get personal. Stick to the information presented and leave personal attacks out of it, please.

us old guys have to stick together. :tup:

OldDartmouthMark
Oct 8, 2014, 3:56 PM
us old guys have to stick together. :tup:

LOL... true enough, but professionalism and mutual respect should have no age boundaries. :2cents:

Keith P.
Oct 8, 2014, 5:27 PM
LOL... true enough, but professionalism and mutual respect should have no age boundaries. :2cents:

Bah... the young whippersnappers need a cuff to the head or a boxing of the ears every now and then to keep them in line. :haha:

JET
Oct 8, 2014, 5:44 PM
Bah... the young whippersnappers need a cuff to the head or a boxing of the ears every now and then to keep them in line. :haha:

I was attempting to recall without success your endearing term for the young'uns; ah, the memories.

TheNovaScotian
Oct 8, 2014, 7:01 PM
Colin, the problem I have with the article is a recurring issue. One of the issues an urban planner runs into, after going to school and being accredited is that economists, MBA's and other financial wizards seem to think that they know whats best simply due to the profit motive. The masses back in the 50's through till the 70's thought "housing projects" were the bee knees. So we bought into the model and created giant social issues because of them. The financial world doesn't weigh social issues into its calculations due to many of them are hard to quantify. :yuck:
A MBA did his job right when he finds a company he can liquidate for a profit, an urban planner did his job right when he cut down your commute time, made the world a more beautiful place and figured out how to make everyone feel at home in a city. Who would you want planning your city?:notacrook:

So when he says suburban offices are more attractive to investors, he's speaking from a dollars and cents attitude. Most suburban offices developers use cheap materials and low end designs to keep costs down but that also makes areas less livable. When creating spaces for people in suburban settings, more time has to be taken to ensure we arent subsidizing the suburbs at the cost of the downtown with cheap unserviced land that will require a larger investment and lower return for the city.:cheers:

Colin May
Oct 8, 2014, 7:32 PM
Colin, the problem I have with the article is a recurring issue. One of the issues an urban planner runs into, after going to school and being accredited is that economists, MBA's and other financial wizards seem to think that they know whats best simply due to the profit motive. The masses back in the 50's through till the 70's thought "housing projects" were the bee knees. So we bought into the model and created giant social issues because of them. The financial world doesn't weigh social issues into its calculations due to many of them are hard to quantify. :yuck:
A MBA did his job right when he finds a company he can liquidate for a profit, an urban planner did his job right when he cut down your commute time, made the world a more beautiful place and figured out how to make everyone feel at home in a city. Who would you want planning your city?:notacrook:

So when he says suburban offices are more attractive to investors, he's speaking from a dollars and cents attitude. Most suburban offices developers use cheap materials and low end designs to keep costs down but that also makes areas less livable. When creating spaces for people in suburban settings, more time has to be taken to ensure we arent subsidizing the suburbs at the cost of the downtown with cheap unserviced land that will require a larger investment and lower return for the city.:cheers:

I posted the article as it describes the reality of what we all face.
I was the only person who publicly spoke out against office buildings in Burnside and that was over 20 years ago. It did result in the buildings being restricted to 3 storeys. Ben Macrae, John Lindsay and others all new of my opposition and were among many who labelled my opposition as being against 'progress'.
Downtown Dartmouth was never of much concern to councillors or developers because Burnside was available at below cost courtesy of the city pouring millions into rock blasting, installation of sewer,water and streets streets and then selling the land at a loss; all designed to steal business from Halifax

halifaxboyns
Oct 8, 2014, 9:56 PM
One other option for office locations is to consider the multiple downtown theory. Since HRM was amalgamated there is technically 3 downtowns - Halifax, Dartmouth and Bedford (I consider the Sunnyside mall area the 'dt' of Bedford).

So if we want to focus office locations in the typical 'downtowns' - then redo the zoning of those areas to facilitate large scale office/mixed use complexes in these locations. Then change the zoning in industrial parks so that the maximum floor area ratio for an office outside of the downtowns is lower.

Think of it this way:
If I have a site in Bayers Lake that is 50,000 square feet in area and as an office, I have a floor area ratio of 1 - then I can build a 50,000 square foot building but I can take that and place it however I want to meet the setback, parking and landscaping needs (so I might be a 5 storey building of 10,000 square feet each level). We if Bayers Lake is an area where I don't want office development to occur in great amount, set the FAR to 0.25. So now I can only build a 12,500 square foot office building.

Calgary has an industrial district call I-B (Industrial Business) which is where the prestige suburban office buildings can be located. But typically the FAR for those sites is 0.5 (half the total area). It hasn't fully slowed the desire of office location outside of the core; but we've been seeing a huge demand of office buildings dt anyway.

The other thing to keep in mind is that even if the downtowns are the place where office development should be focused - Halifax DT is likely going to run out of vacant sites first (there aren't many parking lots left). Dartmouth has more potential; as does Bedford but at some point they will building out either as office buildings or mixed use. So then what?

counterfactual
Oct 9, 2014, 2:00 AM
Suburban expansion* is still going to happen to some degree as the city grows though. It doesn't make sense to force all office growth to be in Downtown Halifax when it is already reasonably hard to get to for people living off the peninsula. I'm not sure if some people expect Mainland Halifax, Bedford, Sackville, and 90% of Dartmouth to dry up into ghost towns as all the suburbanites move en masse to brand new condos on the Peninsula, or if they just have a "punish the suburbanites" mentality, but from what I can tell there will always be living in these places and it makes sense to make jobs available to them near where they live, rather than forcing them to commute deeper into the city where they will be adding to traffic. I'm not saying all office development should be in the suburbs, but there needs to be a balance (this does not necessarily mean 50/50 or any specific ratio). I'm not sure where you've learned all of these "planning 101" lessons, but good planning is never as simple as "downtown good, suburbs bad".


*This doesn't necessarily have to be "sprawl". A lot of new suburban communities are being designed as pedestrian-oriented and mixed-use, basically following new urbanist principles. The Motherhouse and/or Rockingham South are examples (I always get those two mixed up).

Compared to other major cities in Canada, Halifax has among the lowest percentage of its overall office space located in the core. We already have more suburban office space than pretty much any other major or comparable city.

So while your rousing defense of the status quo is inspiring, we have balance. In fact, we're more than balanced-- to our detriment in terms of infrastructure costs.

The fact that most of our development is happening in the suburbs is a problem to battle with better planning, not to genuflect to, and serve, with sprawl service.

Our rate of suburban growth is just not sustainable, cost wise, whether its ugly concrete sprawl or little fake urban "walkable" streets like those in Dartmouth Crossing; if they Exurban or Suburban, they still need to be serviced by storm drainage, water, electricity, transit, streetscaping, policing, fire services, etc, etc, etc, all that costly infrastructure that we've been told, in study after study, and by experience everywhere else, it's not sustainable.

"Downtown good, surburbs bad" is not good planning. But neither is "balance" when "Balance" not only preserves but promotes status quo problems. Not sustainable.


The young professional ones are, by definition.

Just out of curiosity, where do you live?

Young professionals are not "by definition" yuppies. It depends on your definition of yuppie. There are lots. Most are derogatory.

I live on a farm in West Pubnico.

Hali87
Oct 9, 2014, 2:19 AM
Young professionals are not "by definition" yuppies. It depends on your definition of yuppie. There are lots. Most are derogatory.

I thought it was short for "Young Urban Professionals"

counterfactual
Oct 9, 2014, 2:21 AM
I thought it was short for "Young Urban Professionals"

The history is a little more complicated

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yuppie

Hali87
Oct 9, 2014, 2:22 AM
I live on a farm in West Pubnico.

Why do you have to be sarcastic about everything?

fenwick16
Oct 9, 2014, 2:58 AM
Compared to other major cities in Canada, Halifax has among the lowest percentage of its overall office space located in the core. We already have more suburban office space than pretty much any other major or comparable city.

Halifax is different than most cities in Canada. Take for example London, Ontario. Maybe it makes sense in London to have offices concentrated in the core since London isn't divided by a large harbour. The same goes for Regina, Calgary, Edmonton, and Winnipeg. Figure 14 of this report - https://www.regina.ca/opencms/export/sites/regina.ca/residents/urban-planning/.media/pdf/study-1.pdf - gives statistics on the downtown/suburban office splits for various cities throughout Canada.

At one time it seemed as though the urban plan for the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) was to focus office buildings downtown with highways, subways and commuter trains transporting people downtown and then out of the city after work. Over the past 20- 30 years office buildings have been distributed more throughout the GTA and numerous condos towers are being built in downtown Toronto. I think this has been good for the city. Downtown Toronto has become a vibrant city with people living and working in the core. Neighbouring communities, such as Mississauga, North York, Markham can also support both work and residential spaces. Since the late 1960's the office space distribution in the GTA has gone from over 80% in the downtown core of Toronto to under 50% (Figure 12 of the same report - https://www.regina.ca/opencms/export/sites/regina.ca/residents/urban-planning/.media/pdf/study-1.pdf)

Personally, I think Halifax is moving in a logical direction as far as office construction is concerned. Office buildings are being built where people live. And now condos and more apartments are being built in the Halifax core where many people work.

counterfactual
Oct 9, 2014, 4:30 AM
Why do you have to be sarcastic about everything?

Why is it totally unbelievable that I live on a farm in West Pubnico? I could be a retired yuppie living on a ranch; tired of the rat race and eager join a world of quiet writing and reflection and arguing about urban planning on SSP.

I live on the peninsula. Somewhere in Waye's riding.

counterfactual
Oct 9, 2014, 4:41 AM
Halifax is different than most cities in Canada. Take for example London, Ontario. Maybe it makes sense in London to have offices concentrated in the core since London isn't divided by a large harbour. The same goes for Regina, Calgary, Edmonton, and Winnipeg. Figure 14 of this report - https://www.regina.ca/opencms/export/sites/regina.ca/residents/urban-planning/.media/pdf/study-1.pdf - gives statistics on the downtown/suburban office splits for various cities throughout Canada.

At one time it seemed as though the urban plan for the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) was to focus office buildings downtown with highways, subways and commuter trains transporting people downtown and then out of the city after work. Over the past 20- 30 years office buildings have been distributed more throughout the GTA and numerous condos towers are being built in downtown Toronto. I think this has been good for the city. Downtown Toronto has become a vibrant city with people living and working in the core. Neighbouring communities, such as Mississauga, North York, Markham can also support both work and residential spaces. Since the late 1960's the office space distribution in the GTA has gone from over 80% in the downtown core of Toronto to under 50% (Figure 12 of the same report - https://www.regina.ca/opencms/export/sites/regina.ca/residents/urban-planning/.media/pdf/study-1.pdf)

Personally, I think Halifax is moving in a logical direction as far as office construction is concerned. Office buildings are being built where people live. And now condos and more apartments are being built in the Halifax core where many people work.

The table in that report is pretty bad. We're even worst than I thought. It seems the only two regions we clearly better on the core/suburban split for office space, are Waterloo and Guelph, two truly ugly cities/regions. Ottawa we're neck and neck with, and Ottawa is, at times, a bit of a sprawling nightmare due, in part, to strict height limits and other development restrictions in the core-- much like Halifax.

Anyways, I think Toronto has to build out more into the suburbs almost as a necessity; it's just too big, and still growing. It's a massive city. Halifax, we don't have anywhere near the population numbers, and thus not the tax base to support that kind of model.

Toronto can afford to put some office towers in the suburbs because it has a massively wealthy corporate and property tax base to draw on. We don't have that either. So we need to be smarter, and focus on more residential AND office downtown.

So, I agree in part-- more residential downtown is the right direction, but I wouldn't adopt the Toronto model of suburban office space. We're too different.

It seems cities more comparable to our size on that chart -- Regina, Victoria, Saskatoon, Winnipeg-- are kicking our butts badly in terms of downtown office share. There's a reason for that, I think.

Drybrain
Oct 9, 2014, 1:03 PM
Halifax is different than most cities in Canada. Take for example London, Ontario. Maybe it makes sense in London to have offices concentrated in the core since London isn't divided by a large harbour. The same goes for Regina, Calgary, Edmonton, and Winnipeg. Figure 14 of this report - https://www.regina.ca/opencms/export/sites/regina.ca/residents/urban-planning/.media/pdf/study-1.pdf - gives statistics on the downtown/suburban office splits for various cities throughout Canada.

At one time it seemed as though the urban plan for the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) was to focus office buildings downtown with highways, subways and commuter trains transporting people downtown and then out of the city after work. Over the past 20- 30 years office buildings have been distributed more throughout the GTA and numerous condos towers are being built in downtown Toronto. I think this has been good for the city. Downtown Toronto has become a vibrant city with people living and working in the core. Neighbouring communities, such as Mississauga, North York, Markham can also support both work and residential spaces. Since the late 1960's the office space distribution in the GTA has gone from over 80% in the downtown core of Toronto to under 50% (Figure 12 of the same report - https://www.regina.ca/opencms/export/sites/regina.ca/residents/urban-planning/.media/pdf/study-1.pdf)

Personally, I think Halifax is moving in a logical direction as far as office construction is concerned. Office buildings are being built where people live. And now condos and more apartments are being built in the Halifax core where many people work.

Toronto office space has been distributed throughout the GTA because the region's horrifying sprawl makes it impossible to commute, but the percentage of its office space downtown is still far higher than Halifax (a less sprawly city where it's easier to commute downtown).

And the suburbification trend is now reversing, with downtown office space is now so in demand in the GTA that a whole derelict former industrial area between downtown and the harbour is now becoming the "South Core" office district. Offices are actually moving from the burbs into downtown (https://www.collierscanada.com/en/News/2014/Toronto%20Q1%202014%20Industrial%20and%20Office%20Market%20Report#.VDaF29R4qZY) to an unprecedented degree, so if you're saying the Toronto model is one of dispersed offices throughout the region, that's really not true, certainly not anymore--downtown is the number-one office-space growth area in the entire region, by far.

As for a city like Calgary, it actually would make more sense, given the car-dependent, dispersed nature of the city, to have a less centrally focused office district. But oil companies love to be physically near each other. They're like banks that way.

I do agree in theory that it makes sense to have several regional office centres throughout a metro region, and that it makes sense for Halifax to get residential space downtown and not just office space. But Halifax can definitely stand to have the balance of office space tipped more toward the old downtown for a few years—it's been left out in the cold far too long, as Counterfactual said.

halifaxboyns
Oct 9, 2014, 3:58 PM
I think we have to keep in mind the difference between Toronto and the GTA - Greater Toronto Area. If you look at the GTA - yes office space is sprawling all over the place. But in Toronto the distribution of office space is quite consistent - the Downtown office/financial core and then at nodes along the subway (in Transit Oriented Development Areas).

I had a look at this thread last night again and I'm starting to wonder if Halifax isn't moving in the right direction with divesting a bulk of the offices to other locations? We seem to think about downtowns as the place where all the offices should be - but if you look at cities where the downtown is just office; it empties out at night and these areas are dead. I live in the office core part of Calgary and there are only a few apartment buildings - I can tell you it's pretty dead.

Maybe we need to rethink how we see 'downtown' and focus on the mixing of uses. More residential population through multi-residential development - maybe that will bring the right number of people to begin encouraging more office development. I honestly wouldn't want to see the downtown full of offices - we have that for the most part now and Barrington is pretty dead at night.

hokus83
Oct 9, 2014, 8:30 PM
I think we have to keep in mind the difference between Toronto and the GTA - Greater Toronto Area. If you look at the GTA - yes office space is sprawling all over the place. But in Toronto the distribution of office space is quite consistent - the Downtown office/financial core and then at nodes along the subway (in Transit Oriented Development Areas).

I had a look at this thread last night again and I'm starting to wonder if Halifax isn't moving in the right direction with divesting a bulk of the offices to other locations? We seem to think about downtowns as the place where all the offices should be - but if you look at cities where the downtown is just office; it empties out at night and these areas are dead. I live in the office core part of Calgary and there are only a few apartment buildings - I can tell you it's pretty dead.

Maybe we need to rethink how we see 'downtown' and focus on the mixing of uses. More residential population through multi-residential development - maybe that will bring the right number of people to begin encouraging more office development. I honestly wouldn't want to see the downtown full of offices - we have that for the most part now and Barrington is pretty dead at night.

We have so much empty space Downtown that there is room for both, we should fill some of that before we start throwing things everywhere else, I think Dartmouth it s great place to expand to in the near future but having worked in Bedford and Burnside for years and Living downtown I hated, I find them both awful places to have to work in. IF you want to go another on your lunch hour in either locations you pretty much have to drive to one, Bedford wasn't as bad but youre pretty limited and the company I was working for moved to Burnside just recently instead of downtown where their demand is greatest; the choice was because they foolishly felt there was no parking downtown for clients. If I'm a client for a company I personally wouldn't enjoy having to go to Burnside.

Keith P.
Oct 9, 2014, 11:07 PM
A St. Patrick's-Alexandra decision!

The court of appeal ruling is in the next couple of weeks, it will be interesting if anything changes

Well, it took months longer than it should have, but good news:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/jono-developments-wins-st-pat-s-alexandra-appeal-1.2794147

Nova Scotia's highest court has sided with a developer in a battle over the disposal of a surplus school building in Halifax.

Jono Developments appealed a lower court ruling over the sale of St. Patrick's-Alexandra. The city had sold the school to Jono, but community groups took the city's decision to court.

The Nova Scotia Supreme Court sided with the community groups. But in a decision released Thursday by the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal, two judges say the city acted properly in its initial sale to Jono.

A spokeswoman for the city says the legal department is now assessing today's decision. Tiffany Chase says lawyers will hold an in-camera session with city councillors on Oct. 21, and then council will decide what to do.

...

Several community groups challenged the move in court and a judge struck down the deal in September 2012. Jono Developments appealed that ruling. The Court of Appeals ruled with Jono Developments.

It said Halifax had satisfied its duty of fairness. The judges found ample evidence to support HRM's price for the site, which it said was not under market value.

Finally, the motions judge did not err in awarding partial costs against the appellant. However, in light of the appeal being overturned, the costs award was nullified, the ruling says.

Apparently the community groups have also been ordered to pay Jono $28,000 in costs. However their lawyer is trying to talk them into an appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. Shameful.

Colin May
Oct 9, 2014, 11:33 PM
A St. Patrick's-Alexandra decision!



Well, it took months longer than it should have, but good news:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/jono-developments-wins-st-pat-s-alexandra-appeal-1.2794147



Apparently the community groups have also been ordered to pay Jono $28,000 in costs. However their lawyer is trying to talk them into an appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. Shameful.

The Chief Justice dissented, only on the issue of duty of fairness, and I guess the next step is SCOC.
Read the decision here : http://www.courts.ns.ca/Decisions_Of_Courts/documents/2014nsca92.pdf

The issue of procedural fairness is serious enough that this should go to SCOC.
Allow me to explain the frequent abuse of the duty of fairness by HRM Council and Community Council.
Last week HEMDCC held a Public Hearing to consider an application by NS Housing for 32 units in Cole Harbour.
The applicant presented at least 8 images during his time allowed. No other person spoke to the issue. If a member of the public had spoken she/he would be limited much less time and allowed to briefly show only two 2 images.
The Administrative Order covering Public Hearings makes no mention of a limit of images that may be shown by an applicant or a member of the public yet it is now normal practice to limit the ability of a member of the public to illustrate their opinion with images.
Planning applications are as much about the visual image of a development and its impact as it is about other issues.
And the 'community groups have to pay an additional $6,000 plus disbursements to Jono.
The payback of $28,000 is to HRM and Jono.

counterfactual
Oct 10, 2014, 12:01 AM
The Chief Justice dissented, only on the issue of duty of fairness, and I guess the next step is SCOC.
Read the decision here : http://www.courts.ns.ca/Decisions_Of_Courts/documents/2014nsca92.pdf

The issue of procedural fairness is serious enough that this should go to SCOC.
Allow me to explain the frequent abuse of the duty of fairness by HRM Council and Community Council.
Last week HEMDCC held a Public Hearing to consider an application by NS Housing for 32 units in Cole Harbour.
The applicant presented at least 8 images during his time allowed. No other person spoke to the issue. If a member of the public had spoken she/he would be limited much less time and allowed to briefly show only two 2 images.
The Administrative Order covering Public Hearings makes no mention of a limit of images that may be shown by an applicant or a member of the public yet it is now normal practice to limit the ability of a member of the public to illustrate their opinion with images.
Planning applications are as much about the visual image of a development and its impact as it is about other issues.
And the 'community groups have to pay an additional $6,000 plus disbursements to Jono.
The payback of $28,000 is to HRM and Jono.

I'm not a lawyer or anything so I could be wrong, but I can't see the Supreme Court taking this case. It's just not a case of national importance or whatever. This is a rinky dink stupid land sale that somehow, as usual, HRM managed to turn into a utter boondoggle with a spineless Council and overly litigious community groups.

I always found the lower court's ruling on Fair Market Value made no sense-- Jono was willing to pay $4m if certain market conditions held, but those conditions didn't hold, so they offered a lower amount. The Court somehow took this as evidence of HRM selling land below FMV. Huh? The Court of Appeal thought it was bunk too, I guess.

The $21,000 in costs order against the Community Groups (paid equally) plus disbursements is a thunder bolt.

That, plus the payback (as Colin notes) of costs paid by Jono and HRM previously to the Groups, should be a pretty strong deterrent effect against other frivolous litigation like this!

Ziobrop
Oct 10, 2014, 1:17 AM
ugh. this one is a mess.

if council puts a policy in place, they should follow it to ensure fairness to all. i think we all as citizens should expect rules set by council to be followed by the city. its fair, and its predicatable.

that said, there is nothing that binds council to follow their own rules - they can change their mind. they can do what they want. in this case they had a signed agreement to sell, they should be bound to honour it.

I have to say, I was impressed by the community groups proposal the second time around. it was much more complete then i thought it would be. i have concerns about the amount of financing and government money required to complete it, plus I think their assessment of the building conditions is to optimistic, but it was more reasonable then i thought.

the better plan i think would have been for the city to Sell to Jono up front, with the understanding that the development would have X sq ft for community use to meet the groups requirements.

on that note HAlifax Council, for the quinpool school, take the 5 million and run. its a good price, and the city is protected from demo and zoning cost overruns.

hokus83
Oct 10, 2014, 2:02 AM
This would be flat out rejected by a Supreme Court of Canada appeal, you just can't appeal every ruling, you need a legal reason on why the Nova Scotia Supreme Court was wrong and they would be fighting a huge up hill battle trying to prove why the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia was in the wrong. I dont think this even falls under federal jurisdiction.

Colin May
Oct 10, 2014, 2:33 AM
This would be flat out rejected by a Supreme Court of Canada appeal, you just can't appeal every ruling, you need a legal reason on why the Nova Scotia Supreme Court was wrong and they would be fighting a huge up hill battle trying to prove why the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia was in the wrong. I dont think this even falls under federal jurisdiction.

The Chief Justice of Nova Scotia dissented on the issue of the duty of procedural fairness - a very important issue. He lays out his dissent
Read the judgement and also google 'procedural fairness' .
Councils can't just go around making it up as they go along. They have rules to follow, rules laid out in statutes and rules of procedure they establish themselves for conducting the business of the municipality.
The group/s may seek leave to appeal and be rejected by SCOC or it may be granted and then it is a long wait before a hearing.

counterfactual
Oct 10, 2014, 3:06 AM
The Chief Justice of Nova Scotia dissented on the issue of the duty of procedural fairness - a very important issue. He lays out his dissent
Read the judgement and also google 'procedural fairness' .
Councils can't just go around making it up as they go along. They have rules to follow, rules laid out in statutes and rules of procedure they establish themselves for conducting the business of the municipality.
The group/s may seek leave to appeal and be rejected by SCOC or it may be granted and then it is a long wait before a hearing.

Thing is, the Court of Appeal, highest court in NS, just said that Council wasn't making things up, but acted fully in accordance with the law.

There was a duty of fairness and involving groups in the RFP process discharged that duty.

They should not have sued. Now have their comeuppance.

Jonovision
Oct 11, 2014, 7:08 PM
Two paint jobs happening downtown.

https://31.media.tumblr.com/970ced89194a59576bc3faba96f83460/tumblr_ndan48rDcD1sk8kjeo1_1280.jpg

https://33.media.tumblr.com/d88828ad9409a252b531d3238c1765e8/tumblr_ndan59bFlR1sk8kjeo1_1280.jpg

Colin May
Oct 11, 2014, 9:04 PM
http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2014/10/11/charles-montgomery-welcome-to-happyville-how-we-can-improve-our-lives-by-designing-smart-cities/

A good read.

Keith P.
Oct 12, 2014, 12:34 AM
http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2014/10/11/charles-montgomery-welcome-to-happyville-how-we-can-improve-our-lives-by-designing-smart-cities/

A good read.

I don't buy it. I lived in a 22-storey downtown building with over 400 apartments. I knew most of the people on my floor wing and knew several well enough to visit with each other. Plus living downtown I went out all the time, walking everywhere, and had a great social life. Now I live in a neighborhood and while I know my neighbors we do little other than wave at each other and if you want any kind of social life you have to get in your car and drive somewhere as nothing is in walking distance.

counterfactual
Oct 12, 2014, 2:03 AM
Toronto office space has been distributed throughout the GTA because the region's horrifying sprawl makes it impossible to commute, but the percentage of its office space downtown is still far higher than Halifax (a less sprawly city where it's easier to commute downtown).

And the suburbification trend is now reversing, with downtown office space is now so in demand in the GTA that a whole derelict former industrial area between downtown and the harbour is now becoming the "South Core" office district. Offices are actually moving from the burbs into downtown (https://www.collierscanada.com/en/News/2014/Toronto%20Q1%202014%20Industrial%20and%20Office%20Market%20Report#.VDaF29R4qZY) to an unprecedented degree, so if you're saying the Toronto model is one of dispersed offices throughout the region, that's really not true, certainly not anymore--downtown is the number-one office-space growth area in the entire region, by far.

As for a city like Calgary, it actually would make more sense, given the car-dependent, dispersed nature of the city, to have a less centrally focused office district. But oil companies love to be physically near each other. They're like banks that way.

I do agree in theory that it makes sense to have several regional office centres throughout a metro region, and that it makes sense for Halifax to get residential space downtown and not just office space. But Halifax can definitely stand to have the balance of office space tipped more toward the old downtown for a few years—it's been left out in the cold far too long, as Counterfactual said.

Well, this pretty much nails it.

counterfactual
Oct 12, 2014, 2:08 AM
I don't buy it. I lived in a 22-storey downtown building with over 400 apartments. I knew most of the people on my floor wing and knew several well enough to visit with each other. Plus living downtown I went out all the time, walking everywhere, and had a great social life. Now I live in a neighborhood and while I know my neighbors we do little other than wave at each other and if you want any kind of social life you have to get in your car and drive somewhere as nothing is in walking distance.

I completely agree. I grew up mostly in small rural towns and then later the suburbs of Halifax. Later when I left home, I would live right in the middle of the city, both here in Halifax, and elsewhere in Canada.

Back then when we lived on a rural subdivision, the whole street knew each other. Everyone attended the summer neighborhood BBQs, for example. And the same when I was living in an apartment building downtown-- got to know everyone on my floor, and others in the building,etc.

It was actually in the suburbs where all neighbors were strangers. We may have known some people's names, but never really knew most of anyone along the street at all. The suburbs were the most anonymous.

ILoveHalifax
Oct 12, 2014, 8:25 AM
The article was about a guy living in Vancouver, hardly a fair study. I don't think anybody in Vancouver knows the words hello, or hi, or good morning, or how are you.
Last time I lived there I 7 months and never met one person, and I tried.

A few years ago I lived in a hi-rise in Halifax and from day one met a lot of people, some of who became good friends. We socialized in the lobby as well as our apartments and some of us travelled together as well.
The building management had a lot to do with the social life in the building by planning events for tenants.

Colin May
Oct 12, 2014, 6:47 PM
I don't buy it. I lived in a 22-storey downtown building with over 400 apartments. I knew most of the people on my floor wing and knew several well enough to visit with each other. Plus living downtown I went out all the time, walking everywhere, and had a great social life. Now I live in a neighborhood and while I know my neighbors we do little other than wave at each other and if you want any kind of social life you have to get in your car and drive somewhere as nothing is in walking distance.

What don't you buy ?
The book, the premise contained in the book, the personal account ?

Try this review : http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/dec/29/happy-city-charles-montgomery-review and this excerpt
" But he points out, correctly, that sprawl is not some natural expression of people's desires, but something actively promoted by government and corporate policies, especially in America. His best statistics are his simplest: living in sprawl ages you by four years; there are four times as many traffic deaths on suburban roads as on city streets. "

His bio - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Montgomery_(writer)

terrynorthend
Oct 12, 2014, 6:52 PM
I agree with Keith, counterfactual and ILoveHalifax. I've had both positive and negative experiences in city apartments and suburban settings. It depended much upon the personalities involved (my neighbours and me), and less to do with the dynamics of the setting.

mcmcclassic
Oct 12, 2014, 6:58 PM
I don't buy it. I lived in a 22-storey downtown building with over 400 apartments. I knew most of the people on my floor wing and knew several well enough to visit with each other. Plus living downtown I went out all the time, walking everywhere, and had a great social life. Now I live in a neighborhood and while I know my neighbors we do little other than wave at each other and if you want any kind of social life you have to get in your car and drive somewhere as nothing is in walking distance.

Sounds like you lived in Park Vic back in the day (could be wrong but that sounds like it though).

I lived in Park Vic for a couple years and I knew at least a dozen people in the building well enough to visit them and also knew many others not so well. The descriptions of suburban neighbour relationships sounds accurate too - I grew up in the suburbs of Halifax and we mostly were on a "waving" basis with even our close neighbours.

counterfactual
Oct 12, 2014, 9:11 PM
What don't you buy ?
The book, the premise contained in the book, the personal account ?

Try this review : http://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/dec/29/happy-city-charles-montgomery-review and this excerpt
" But he points out, correctly, that sprawl is not some natural expression of people's desires, but something actively promoted by government and corporate policies, especially in America. His best statistics are his simplest: living in sprawl ages you by four years; there are four times as many traffic deaths on suburban roads as on city streets. "

His bio - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Montgomery_(writer)

This is the part of the article that I agree with. I just found it odd that the excerpt used the example of an anonymous urban apartment building before making a point about the corrosive nature of the suburbs for social relations, which is entirely true. I've lived in better communities in both rural areas and cities. Again, suburbs were anonymous, distant, and unhealthy.

Jonovision
Oct 14, 2014, 6:14 PM
The large construction grade fence that was originally installed around the boardwalk at the Salter Block has been replaced by something a lot more human scale and inviting.

https://scontent-a-ams.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xfp1/v/t1.0-9/1654350_10100479710409239_1856044453226377376_n.jpg?oh=a267a6d710be6004c02be586d8551a4e&oe=54C41577

worldlyhaligonian
Oct 14, 2014, 8:58 PM
It was so stupid how this development was revoked... right before they were preparing to start construction. The recession really screwed this lot.

Now, it wouldn't surprise me if some group wants to not develop on this land.

IF that is the case... then at least utilize the property, that rocky area is ridiculously large and a poor use of the land / ugly as sin.

OldDartmouthMark
Oct 15, 2014, 3:23 PM
His best statistics are his simplest: living in sprawl ages you by four years

Just wondering what data this statistic is based on.

coolmillion
Oct 16, 2014, 12:59 AM
There is plenty of evidence of the negative impacts of sprawl or car-oriented built environments on public health. See this book for example: http://www.scarp.ubc.ca/publications/larry-frank/public-health-impacts-sprawl
If you have to drive everywhere you're less likely to meet minimum levels of physical activity recommended for healthy living. Sure, many people find time but many others are commuting during the time they might use for physical activity. Studies (I can't recall where I saw this) have even shown that people who rely on transit get more exercise with walking to and from bus stops, etc. than those who drive everywhere. As Colin May pointed out, the evidence and hence the position that suburbs are unhealthy is unpopular because it would suggest we may need to alter many aspects of the status quo that are quite comfortable.

Colin May
Oct 16, 2014, 2:36 AM
Just wondering what data this statistic is based on.
I don't know. Read the article and buy/borrow his book

counterfactual
Oct 16, 2014, 4:08 AM
There is plenty of evidence of the negative impacts of sprawl or car-oriented built environments on public health. See this book for example: http://www.scarp.ubc.ca/publications/larry-frank/public-health-impacts-sprawl
If you have to drive everywhere you're less likely to meet minimum levels of physical activity recommended for healthy living. Sure, many people find time but many others are commuting during the time they might use for physical activity. Studies (I can't recall where I saw this) have even shown that people who rely on transit get more exercise with walking to and from bus stops, etc. than those who drive everywhere. As Colin May pointed out, the evidence and hence the position that suburbs are unhealthy is unpopular because it would suggest we may need to alter many aspects of the status quo that are quite comfortable.

Bang on.

OldDartmouthMark
Oct 16, 2014, 4:11 AM
My apologies to both of you. I wasn't intending to call anybody out, it just seemed like a wonky statistic.

I mean, 4 years? How do you determine that? I don't want to go into a long explanation on how unscientific it would be to just look at average lifespans of people living in different settings without considering all other factors in their lives, so I'll just leave it at that.

kph06
Oct 21, 2014, 1:53 AM
Work looks to be starting on the old Bay at West End Mall. A mobile crane has been lifting materials onto the roof for a few weeks and over the weekend a collapsible Potain tower crane showed up. It is bigger than the other two that are around and has a lattice tower and the boom more resembles a luffing jib crane rather than a tower crane... a different sight for crane spotters.

Ziobrop
Oct 21, 2014, 3:48 PM
Work looks to be starting on the old Bay at West End Mall. A mobile crane has been lifting materials onto the roof for a few weeks and over the weekend a collapsible Potain tower crane showed up. It is bigger than the other two that are around and has a lattice tower and the boom more resembles a luffing jib crane rather than a tower crane... a different sight for crane spotters.

I believe its the same one they used for the steel erection of the New DAL health building.

Speaking of Cranespotting - Irving has their 550ton assembling the 200ton overhead crane at the shipyard.
from http://heavyequip.tumblr.com/
http://31.media.tumblr.com/0dc34e269d94f39437b9b301ae4a4b7b/tumblr_ndrabgtRec1th7ximo1_1280.jpg

kph06
Oct 21, 2014, 4:04 PM
I believe its the same one they used for the steel erection of the New DAL health building.

Speaking of Cranespotting - Irving has their 550ton assembling the 200ton overhead crane at the shipyard.
from http://heavyequip.tumblr.com/
http://31.media.tumblr.com/0dc34e269d94f39437b9b301ae4a4b7b/tumblr_ndrabgtRec1th7ximo1_1280.jpg

The one at the Bay is different than the Dal one, it has a lattice tower section vs the solid hydraulic tower the one at Dal had. I will try to snap a photo next time I go by.

Its been a good few years for crane spotting, the big crawlers are pretty impressive. I got the chance to check out Buckner's crawler similar in size to the Irving one when it was in the area putting up windmills. The mobilization and setup for one of these is a logistical circus in itself.

Colin May
Oct 21, 2014, 4:34 PM
Fusion event at WTCC tonight 6-9
The speaker is quite controversial :

" Montgomery County Planning Director Rollin Stanley has retracted comments he made in a local magazine in which he characterized a group of residents who questioned his vision for redeveloping Maryland’s largest county as “rich white women” who were “sowing discord.”

“My recent comments reported in Bethesda Magazine in which I refer to members of the community as ‘rich white women’ were thoughtless and cast dispersions on the contribution made to the planning process by these individuals,” he said in a statement posted on the Montgomery County Planning Department Web site late Tuesday. “Not only was it inaccurate to characterize these civic leaders as ‘spreading fear,’ ‘sowing discord’ and ‘stalking my appearances,’ it grossly mischaracterized their important and valuable role in the land use process. I retract this statement and apologize for it.”

He's Canadian and a former planner in Toronto and the USA.

source : http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/montgomerys-rollin-stanley-retracts-comments-about-county-planning-activists/2012/03/21/gIQAXK6eSS_story.html

Keith P.
Oct 21, 2014, 10:41 PM
Planners are allergic to being challenged.

Ziobrop
Oct 21, 2014, 11:57 PM
Planners are allergic to being challenged.

If you read 1960's planning literature it was all about how modern and scientific it was. It feels like modern planning has rejected that and is driven by social theory.

I'm inclined to say both are wrong, and the truth exists somewhere in the middle

Ziobrop
Oct 22, 2014, 12:10 PM
The one at the Bay is different than the Dal one, it has a lattice tower section vs the solid hydraulic tower the one at Dal had. I will try to snap a photo next time I go by.


Got a shot on a run to wally world last night. (posted on http://heavyequip.tumblr.com/)
Your right, it is different. According to Pontain, these things have a 4 ton capacity. annoyingly they don't fit in frame very well.
http://38.media.tumblr.com/3d160e6f08a2ec41adcc0e4ed9dbccb3/tumblr_ndtbskzcnA1th7ximo1_1280.jpg

OldDartmouthMark
Oct 22, 2014, 1:01 PM
If you read 1960's planning literature it was all about how modern and scientific it was. It feels like modern planning has rejected that and is driven by social theory.

I'm inclined to say both are wrong, and the truth exists somewhere in the middle

I tend to believe the same. :2cents:

kph06
Oct 23, 2014, 2:28 AM
Got a shot on a run to wally world last night. (posted on http://heavyequip.tumblr.com/)
Your right, it is different. According to Pontain, these things have a 4 ton capacity. annoyingly they don't fit in frame very well.
http://38.media.tumblr.com/3d160e6f08a2ec41adcc0e4ed9dbccb3/tumblr_ndtbskzcnA1th7ximo1_1280.jpg

Nice shot, I feel these cranes might become more frequent here, I feel they would be very efficient in the 6 stories and under range.

Colin May
Oct 23, 2014, 2:39 AM
I tend to believe the same. :2cents:
I'm reading the 1965 City of Dartmouth Plan as well as the urban renewal studies for Halifax and Dartmouth. The population estimates were wrecked when the Minister of Sprawl gave the nod to the government development of Forest Hills and Sackville .
Guess who was the Minister of Sprawl ?

hokus83
Oct 23, 2014, 3:41 PM
Anyone know the final outcome of the St. Patrick's-Alexandra jono developments deal. That was supposably dealt with on Tuesday in camera?

OldDartmouthMark
Oct 23, 2014, 5:05 PM
I'm reading the 1965 City of Dartmouth Plan as well as the urban renewal studies for Halifax and Dartmouth. The population estimates were wrecked when the Minister of Sprawl gave the nod to the government development of Forest Hills and Sackville .
Guess who was the Minister of Sprawl ?

Can ya give me a hint? :haha:

Keith P.
Oct 23, 2014, 7:09 PM
Can ya give me a hint? :haha:

Googie. I suppose he preferred the suburbs to building commie blocks on the peninsula.

OldDartmouthMark
Oct 24, 2014, 9:14 PM
Interesting article in the Herald: "Halifax ‘office market is in deep trouble’ — real estate analyst"

http://thechronicleherald.ca/metro/1246256-halifax-office-market-is-in-deep-trouble-real-estate-analyst

Hmmmm....

OldDartmouthMark
Oct 24, 2014, 9:26 PM
And a somewhat strange one: "Developer George Armoyan banned from city buildings due to threatening behaviour"

http://thechronicleherald.ca/metro/1246246-developer-george-armoyan-banned-from-city-buildings-due-to-threatening-behaviour

Colin May
Oct 24, 2014, 10:40 PM
Googie. I suppose he preferred the suburbs to building commie blocks on the peninsula.

Googie - Minister of Housing in the touchy feelie hands on Regan government.
I almost puked a week ago when John O'Brien, former Herald employee, former CBC employee, former Buchanan mouthpiece, former Fitzgerald mouthpiece, former Kelly mouthpiece was interviewed on CBC TV at 5:35 pm telling viewers what a great leader Fitzgerald was.
And how Googie was responsible for the Harbour cleanup, apparently all the citizens who spent decades banging that drum were just a bunch of nobodies. And Walter was the main man behind our 'world class waste management system' - the one that Richard Butts tells council is not sustainable financially.

Yes, Walter Fitzgerald was a 'Great Leader'.
When he saw a parade he'd sniff the wind, run to the front and shout 'Follow me - to wherever you want to go'

If you wanted to know the reasons why Nova Scotia is in such a parlous state - they were all in the room at WTCC last week.
Backslapping was the order of the day. And don't mention the deficits. Reality is impolite.

Colin May
Oct 24, 2014, 10:51 PM
Interesting article in the Herald: "Halifax ‘office market is in deep trouble’ — real estate analyst"

http://thechronicleherald.ca/metro/1246256-halifax-office-market-is-in-deep-trouble-real-estate-analyst

Hmmmm....
We knew that 6-9 months ago. And the same for the housing market.
Some posters here think all these projects can be viable. Cheap money can result in silly decisions.
Does anybody know if foreign students fill in Canadian census forms ?

worldlyhaligonian
Oct 25, 2014, 12:15 AM
We knew that 6-9 months ago. And the same for the housing market.
Some posters here think all these projects can be viable. Cheap money can result in silly decisions.
Does anybody know if foreign students fill in Canadian census forms ?

Right, but its private developers who face the risk... especially in the housing market.

Us young people can't wait for a crash so we can buy in. I bet you're a boomer.

Colin May
Oct 25, 2014, 1:30 AM
Right, but its private developers who face the risk... especially in the housing market.

Us young people can't wait for a crash so we can buy in. I bet you're a boomer.
I live in a location where houses sell in a day or two at asking price. When prices 'crash' people don't move unless they are forced to leave.

counterfactual
Oct 25, 2014, 4:50 AM
We knew that 6-9 months ago. And the same for the housing market.
Some posters here think all these projects can be viable. Cheap money can result in silly decisions.
Does anybody know if foreign students fill in Canadian census forms ?

Oh, more doom and gloom.

Time for prices to come down. Excellent. Cheaper rents, cheaper condos, more people can afford to live downtown.

worldlyhaligonian
Oct 25, 2014, 6:06 AM
I live in a location where houses sell in a day or two at asking price. When prices 'crash' people don't move unless they are forced to leave.

It doesn't effect owners... they are already paying the agreed price. Interest rates are at all time low. A market would recover within the period of their mortgage.

This housing oversupply will be condos, which will lead to a fall in condo prices... allowing younger people to buy in an a lower price.

That's not a bad thing for consumers. The risk is entirely on developers, there is no public money in any of this.

worldlyhaligonian
Oct 25, 2014, 6:08 AM
Oh, more doom and gloom.

Time for prices to come down. Excellent. Cheaper rents, cheaper condos, more people can afford to live downtown.

Exactly, supply and demand... with the risk borne by developers... I hope they continue to build, build, build and the market crashes so consumers can get a good deal instead of the rip off prices that exist in the Halifax market.

And for the office market... its clear that rents are too high for buildings constructed 30+ years ago. Maybe then, SMEs will be able to rent downtown office space while the big players move into the new spaces.

OldDartmouthMark
Oct 25, 2014, 12:13 PM
While you would be happy to see the market crash and brings prices down, could this also result in a halt in new developments? Could Halifax go into another 20-year slump of little-to-no new building projects downtown all over again? I would be surprised if anybody here would like to see that happen.

Drybrain
Oct 25, 2014, 1:08 PM
While you would be happy to see the market crash and brings prices down, could this also result in a halt in new developments? Could Halifax go into another 20-year slump of little-to-no new building projects downtown all over again? I would be surprised if anybody here would like to see that happen.

I don't think that would happen, because the current boom is about more than just filling pent-up demand. But certainly we could see a few years with less activity than we have in the past couple. I wouldn't want to see a straight up crash though. But I think the building activity will pull back before that happens. Commerce Square is already on hold, after all.

But they're also talking about office projects, not residential, right? This is probably why residential projects seem to keep coming online, but Commerce Square has been deferred.

It might (and this is highly theoretical) be good for office rents to come down a bit, if it encourages companies currently located in the burbs simply due to cost to move downtown. But who knows if that'd happen.

Colin May
Oct 25, 2014, 4:44 PM
Oh, more doom and gloom.

Time for prices to come down. Excellent. Cheaper rents, cheaper condos, more people can afford to live downtown.

The CMHC forecaster at VivaHalifax has received no press. I presume his report will be online. Well worth reading. One banker familiar with the market told me the tighter lending criteria instituted by the federal government has kept many first time buyers out of the market.

Looking at PVSC the number of residential property transfers in Halifax in September were almost the same as September 2012 - 183
Non-related transfers were 117 compared with 119 in 2013, and 125 in 2012 and 182 in 2011.

counterfactual
Oct 26, 2014, 2:24 AM
The CMHC forecaster at VivaHalifax has received no press. I presume his report will be online. Well worth reading. One banker familiar with the market told me the tighter lending criteria instituted by the federal government has kept many first time buyers out of the market.

Looking at PVSC the number of residential property transfers in Halifax in September were almost the same as September 2012 - 183
Non-related transfers were 117 compared with 119 in 2013, and 125 in 2012 and 182 in 2011.

Maybe. But the reason why commercial development is happening now, is the low interest rates. Developers taking advantage to build cheap. Most Canadian provinces face little inflation (other than Alberta) and some experiencing deflation. No interest rate hike for a while.

Not surprised downtown office market is in bad shape. New office space will compete with old, driving down prices-- it's about time landlords reduced rent on some of these ridiculously old 1970s properties. It's time for downtown to compete, price wise, with sprawl office spaces.

spaustin
Oct 26, 2014, 12:22 PM
Probably a bad time to own properties that would have been regarded as Class A space like Scotia Square and the RBC and BMO Buildings. Several possible futures for them.

(1) They lose the banks, insurance companies and law firms and become cheaper locations attractive to smaller companies. Kind of 1970s versions of what the Roy Building on Barrington was.
(2) They get converted to residential uses. Has happened in the past. The Radisson Hotel began as an office building as did the Canada Permanent Insurance Building (now residential). This could end up being a major long-term plus for Downtown as it would add a considerable number of residents. Imagine Scotia Square as Scotia Village instead!
(3) They get demolished or renovated to keep up with the competition. This seems to be what Theil is doing with his aging office buildings. TD is done, but it might be too late to make it work in this economic cycle with RBC and BMO.

Expect some of the office buildings that haven't started construction yet or were in the proposal phase to remain there.