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JET
Mar 17, 2015, 6:55 PM
There were a few more arches in the city as well:

http://novascotia.ca/archives/virtual/EastCoastPort/archives.asp?ID=1032

Irving Oil arch visible in this one:
http://novascotia.ca/archives/virtual/EastCoastPort/archives.asp?ID=384

This one's still there:
http://novascotia.ca/archives/virtual/Halifax/archives.asp?ID=74

This one shows two triumphal arches, one on Barrington and one at the entrance to the Grand Parade:
http://novascotia.ca/archives/virtual/Notman/archives.asp?ID=835

A Farewell Arch:
http://gencat1.eloquent-systems.com/webcat/systems/halifax/resource/6000_1038_5006285_1.jpg

In the Welsford/parker monument photo, is that a cupola on the top of the Law Court at the right of the picture?

Keith P.
Mar 17, 2015, 7:44 PM
What? arn't you against the library for being too extravagant, but now bemoaning the loss of this for the "Cheap" Taxpayer funded Museum? also your bemoaning the loss of something 30 years ago? isnt Summit place much better?

Keith, Are you feeling ok? your starting to sound like the HTNS

The library is in an entirely different class of waste. They had an unlimited budget, and exceeded it simply to prove that they could.

Also, this is up the street from Summit Place.

The design of the MMA is a good example of how not to construct a public building. It manages to be unimpressive yet dysfunctional all at once. I said "preserve the arch feature", not save the entire building. The arch idea could have been incorporated into some aspect of the museum project. Instead the architect gave us 1970s diagonal wooden siding.

Jonovision
Mar 18, 2015, 3:21 PM
In the Welsford/parker monument photo, is that a cupola on the top of the Law Court at the right of the picture?

Yes, the city used to be full of them. It makes me sad about how many pieces of architecture like this we have lost.

eastcoastal
Mar 20, 2015, 1:42 PM
... the epitome of low-bid NS government architecture...

Interesting, you've revealed some depth (or revealed my assumed prejudices). I would have assumed you would be in favour of lowest common denominator when it came to public buildings.

Colin May
Mar 20, 2015, 5:45 PM
The library is in an entirely different class of waste. They had an unlimited budget, and exceeded it simply to prove that they could.


"Our Government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, recognizes that libraries are important public spaces and learning centres," said Minister Baird. "We are proud of these investments, which are on top of the $14 million we committed for Halifax and Cape Breton just last month."
Canada is setting aside up to one-third of total eligible costs, to a maximum federal contribution of $18.3 million. Nova Scotia will provide $13 million and the HRM will contribute $23.7 million toward the project, which has a total estimated cost of $55 million. "

http://www.infrastructure.gc.ca/media/news-nouvelles/2009/20091019halifax-eng.html

Keith P.
Mar 23, 2015, 8:29 PM
I expect that it is a lot less than $4 million; and I expect that they could find a lot of folks stepping forward to help renovate.:

"Claims that the necessary upgrades would cost the city $4 million are unsubstantiated and dramatically out of step with a 2010 assessment that put the maximum costs of repairs at $733,000. Since Halifax acquired the building for one dollar in 1988 to preserve it as a significant heritage landmark, investment is long overdue for a building that so enriches HRM."

HRM staff report on the sorry state of the Khyber Building here:

http://www.halifax.ca/council/agendasc/documents/150324cai02.pdf

I actually was thinking about this the other day with all the buildings having problems with the snow loads and their roofs collapsing in on them. Was sort of hoping for the same here. Would solve a lot of problems.

It certainly looks like $4 million and given it is a HRM project the end number might be closer to double that. Face it, the place is a total dump and not suitable for the intended use either. I would prefer they buy a number of industrial-size snowblower machines and other snow equipment for the streets instead.

Drybrain
Mar 23, 2015, 8:41 PM
HRM staff report on the sorry state of the Khyber Building here:

http://www.halifax.ca/council/agendasc/documents/150324cai02.pdf

I actually was thinking about this the other day with all the buildings having problems with the snow loads and their roofs collapsing in on them. Was sort of hoping for the same here. Would solve a lot of problems.

It certainly looks like $4 million and given it is a HRM project the end number might be closer to double that. Face it, the place is a total dump and not suitable for the intended use either. I would prefer they buy a number of industrial-size snowblower machines and other snow equipment for the streets instead.

4 million (or 8 million for that matter) is totally reasonable. There's a very long list of similar and greater civic expenditures on historic buildings, in many cities, big and small.

Keith P.
Mar 23, 2015, 10:27 PM
4 million (or 8 million for that matter) is totally reasonable. There's a very long list of similar and greater civic expenditures on historic buildings, in many cities, big and small.

Not for this use. Give it to KAS and let them find the money to fix it.

Drybrain
Mar 23, 2015, 11:23 PM
Not for this use. Give it to KAS and let them find the money to fix it.

To keep playing devil's advocate (though I believe what I'm saying) ESPECIALLY for this use, in such a central location. Especially if the Arts Society makes an effort to create a building that better engages the city around it--like re-opening a bar or cafe, ensuring the building is a venue for more performances and events, and acts as more of a community hub.

I understand your perception that the building has been a clubhouse for a small group of like-minded people, and while I don't totally agree (because I think the work and activity that happens there benefits Haligonians directly and indirectly) I understand that the benefit to the city at large might not be apparent. And, the Society could stand to engage the city more deeply. I want to see the city invest in this property, maybe making a more civically engaging business plan by the KAS as part of the criteria for doing so.

Keith P.
Mar 23, 2015, 11:24 PM
To keep playing devil's advocate (though I believe what I'm saying) ESPECIALLY for this use, in such a central location. Especially if the Arts Society makes an effort to create a building that better engages the city around it--like re-opening a bar or cafe, ensuring the building is a venue for more performances and events, and acts as more of a community hub.

I understand your perception that the building has been a clubhouse for a small group of like-minded people, and while I don't totally agree (because I think the work and activity that happens there benefits Haligonians directly and indirectly) but I understand that the benefit to the city at large might not be apparent. And, the Society could stand to engage the city more deeply. I want to see the city invest in this property, maybe making a more civically engaging business plan by the KAS as part of the criteria for doing so.

Maybe they can get Joel Plaskett to buy it for them.

Drybrain
Mar 23, 2015, 11:25 PM
Maybe they can get Joel Plaskett to buy it for them.

I'm pretty sure a mid-level Canadian rock musician doesn't have 4 million disposable dollars. (But Plaskett is probably the most obvious example of an artist nurtured by the Khyber whose career benefits this city.)

ILoveHalifax
Mar 24, 2015, 1:28 AM
Doz the f__k_n place and use the 4 to 8 millions towards the stadium.

Sell the lot and let somebody build a skyscraper on the site.

hokus83
Mar 24, 2015, 3:26 AM
Doz the f__k_n place and use the 4 to 8 millions towards the stadium.

Sell the lot and let somebody build a skyscraper on the site.

you honestly need to stfu and gfy

eastcoastal
Mar 24, 2015, 12:16 PM
Not for this use. Give it to KAS and let them find the money to fix it.

... not to mention, the municipal government has yet to demonstrate it is capable of protecting and enhancing the heritage structures under its care. They might be better off tendering it for development with VERY stringent requirements in terms of retaining historic features. OR, provide some tax incentives to KAS and, as you suggest, let them deal with it.

ILoveHalifax
Mar 24, 2015, 12:23 PM
you honestly need to stfu and gfy

It would be great if soon it looked just like the Roy does today.

OldDartmouthMark
Mar 24, 2015, 1:38 PM
Doz the f__k_n place and use the 4 to 8 millions towards the stadium.

Sell the lot and let somebody build a skyscraper on the site.


Typical lame post intended to elicit negative responses from supporters of heritage preservation.

Why do you want to spread such negativity around? Got cabin fever? :rolleyes:

enjoy*responsibly
Mar 24, 2015, 2:50 PM
Typical lame post intended to elicit negative responses from supporters of heritage preservation.

Why do you want to spread such negativity around? Got cabin fever? :rolleyes:

Not saying it wasn't lame but is saving the old thing worth the 4 million? Honestly

Instead of being a cost it could be a tax paying income for the city in the near future

Drybrain
Mar 24, 2015, 3:43 PM
Not saying it wasn't lame but is saving the old thing worth the 4 million? Honestly

Instead of being a cost it could be a tax paying income for the city in the near future

It sure is. $4 million isn't even that much, as far as repurposing and restoring historic structures goes. I've posted this example many times, since it's the gold standard for this stuff, but Hamilton--definitely a city in worse financial shape than Halifax--spent 30 million to restore this building (http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/news/lister-block-now-has-full-slate-of-tenants-1.1342560), which was in far worse shape.

There are many, many, many other examples.

And to boot, Tim Bousquet (not everyone's favourite, I know) unearthed an engineering report (http://www.halifaxexaminer.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/read-the-Khyber-renovation-report-here.pdf) prepared for the city in 2013, which indicated that addressing the deferred maintenance on the building will cost about $1.7-$1.8 million--less than half what city staff's extremely vague estimates suggest.

$4 million is totally reasonable. And the real cost may be well below that.

halifaxboyns
Mar 24, 2015, 4:25 PM
I would take a slightly different direction; but one with a heritage preservation slant. Keith might like this because it helps kill a few birds with one stone. My understanding is that HRM owns the Khyber and the two buildings to the 'left' of the Khyber (1580 and the old heritage facade site). Now if I'm wrong - well, scale the idea down to just the Khyber site.

If HRM does own all 3 sites, put them up for sale as one package. As a condition of the sale, the existing fascade on the burnt out site must be retained. Same with the two other existing buildings but you can build onto them - build a tower, whatever. If retaining the buildings doesn't work - retain at least the facade as part of a new building.

You aren't going to get a tower on the site since it's within the Barrington Heritage Conservation District, I think you will only get a building the size of the new one that went up next to the Khyber. But if the cost could be spread out over the 3 properties (or 2) then you get to at least retain the facade and a new condo/office building could be built.

ILoveHalifax
Mar 24, 2015, 5:09 PM
Typical lame post intended to elicit negative responses from supporters of heritage preservation.

Why do you want to spread such negativity around? Got cabin fever? :rolleyes:

DUH ??

This is a skyscraper forum not a heritage forum. Why don't the heritage nuts set up their own forum and stop all the negative posting on the skyscraper forum?

JET
Mar 24, 2015, 5:13 PM
I would take a slightly different direction; but one with a heritage preservation slant. Keith might like this because it helps kill a few birds with one stone. My understanding is that HRM owns the Khyber and the two buildings to the 'left' of the Khyber (1580 and the old heritage facade site). Now if I'm wrong - well, scale the idea down to just the Khyber site.

If HRM does own all 3 sites, put them up for sale as one package. As a condition of the sale, the existing fascade on the burnt out site must be retained. Same with the two other existing buildings but you can build onto them - build a tower, whatever. If retaining the buildings doesn't work - retain at least the facade as part of a new building.

You aren't going to get a tower on the site since it's within the Barrington Heritage Conservation District, I think you will only get a building the size of the new one that went up next to the Khyber. But if the cost could be spread out over the 3 properties (or 2) then you get to at least retain the facade and a new condo/office building could be built.

I do believe that you are wrong. 1580 is psrt of Neptune, and was completely renovated (and looks lovely). I was in it before the reno and it looked about the same as the Khyber does now. The NFB building is now being redeveloped so it will again look great. HRM bought the Khyber for a buck "in 1988 to preserve it as a significant heritage landmark" and then for years did not maintain it; now thy have to pay to do so. The article referenced by Keith has comments from Neptune which is very supportive of the Khyber. There is support for this building. My main question is: when it is all fixed up, will Keith continue to rant about it as he does the Library, or will he move on to something else? :shrug: Time will tell.

Keith P.
Mar 24, 2015, 5:25 PM
My main question is: when it is all fixed up, will Keith continue to rant about it as he does the Library, or will he move on to something else? :shrug: Time will tell.

The answer depends on who pays for it. I think the Khyber building is hideous and foreboding, a Gothic haunted house, but not everyone may agree. The look does not matter in this case. What matters is who pays for it and what it gets used for. It should not be paid for by the city if they are just going to let KAS use it as their clubhouse. KAS is not a vital arts organization regardless of what they may claim. They have always been a fringe group, funded by the taxpayer for reasons that escape me. They could go away tomorrow and few would know or care. Now if Neptune want to do something with it, fine - but again, let them and their well-heeled supporters pay for it. The city gives Neptune a substantial annual grant as well and should not give anything further. $4 million or $8 million may not be a lot of money to some, but it is a substantial chunk of change that could do some real good for people who NEED it. This is not that.

OldDartmouthMark
Mar 24, 2015, 5:42 PM
DUH ??

This is a skyscraper forum not a heritage forum. Why don't the heritage nuts set up their own forum and stop all the negative posting on the skyscraper forum?
You slay me. You are writing as though it is not possible to appreciate and understand the significance of both heritage buildings and new "skyscrapers" at the same time.

Ludicrous.

JET
Mar 24, 2015, 5:55 PM
Strong words from Mark, 'I like the cut of his jib'.
I will gladly pay for it out out of my taxes. Let me continue to shovel my own sidewalk and use that money too. All of us on the fringe will pay for it, so some fringe group can use it for all that fringey stuff. Just watch, it'll happen. :) !

Drybrain
Mar 24, 2015, 6:07 PM
DUH ??

This is a skyscraper forum not a heritage forum. Why don't the heritage nuts set up their own forum and stop all the negative posting on the skyscraper forum?

It's really more of an overall city forum with a skew towards structures and development.

Regardless, you know that you and Keith are outnumbered on this issue, right?

JET
Mar 24, 2015, 6:20 PM
DUH ??

This is a skyscraper forum not a heritage forum. Why don't the heritage nuts set up their own forum and stop all the negative posting on the skyscraper forum?

Obviously it's not just a 'skyscraper' forum. There are 109 forum pages on the 'new library', and it's only about five stories high (of course probably half of those posts are from Keith). There is lots of forum discussion on small projects; and, interestingly enough, there are a numbers of posters who are heritage positive (maybe even a few that are Heritage fluid). It does seem that the irate/semi profane posts originate from some of the 'anti heritage at any cost' posters. They do need to calm down a little, or they are gonna burn out if they keep it up. :hell:

Keith P.
Mar 24, 2015, 10:47 PM
It's really more of an overall city forum with a skew towards structures and development.

Regardless, you know that you and Keith are outnumbered on this issue, right?

What issue? Tearing down the Khyber?

I don't care if it gets torn down or not as long as HRM doesn't spend mega-millions on rebuilding something for a tiny fringe bunch. It's always about the money. Something of which, as planners, you have no concept.

worldlyhaligonian
Mar 25, 2015, 1:59 AM
Obviously it's not just a 'skyscraper' forum. There are 109 forum pages on the 'new library', and it's only about five stories high (of course probably half of those posts are from Keith). There is lots of forum discussion on small projects; and, interestingly enough, there are a numbers of posters who are heritage positive (maybe even a few that are Heritage fluid). It does seem that the irate/semi profane posts originate from some of the 'anti heritage at any cost' posters. They do need to calm down a little, or they are gonna burn out if they keep it up. :hell:

I don't think heritage and skyscrapers need to be at odds with eachother. Those at either end (either entirely "pro-heritage" or "pro-height) are both likely wrong.

But... to the point of others... this is the "SkyscraperPage.com" forum. I can't blame anybody for being irate about the fact that every project is a challenge and that the opposite side (not on this forum necessarily) frequently has no leeway. Small projects are discussed because alot of the big ones get torpedoed. I thought Cogswell would be the last chance for some towers, but even that may be under attack.

I personally like Khyber buidling and the majority of remaining, non-wood frame, heritage in Halifax. That being said, there should be some trade off... if heritage gets money to be restored, then height on an empty lot should not be fought if it is a good design.

Everybody can't have their cake and eat it too, but the anti-height agenda wants just that. For example, I think a tower around the Dennis building would be the best way to save it. Its better than the alternative of losing it.

:2cents:

Ziobrop
Mar 25, 2015, 2:14 AM
I don't think heritage and skyscrapers need to be at odds with eachother. Those at either end (either entirely "pro-heritage" or "pro-height) are both likely wrong.

But... to the point of others... this is the "SkyscraperPage.com" forum. I can't blame anybody for being irate about the fact that every project is a challenge and that the opposite side (not on this forum necessarily) frequently has no leeway. Small projects are discussed because alot of the big ones get torpedoed. I thought Cogswell would be the last chance for some towers, but even that may be under attack.

I personally like Khyber buidling and the majority of remaining, non-wood frame, heritage in Halifax. That being said, there should be some trade off... if heritage gets money to be restored, then height on an empty lot should not be fought if it is a good design.

Everybody can't have their cake and eat it too, but the anti-height agenda wants just that. For example, I think a tower around the Dennis building would be the best way to save it. Its better than the alternative of losing it.

:2cents:

FWIW, the term skyscraper came into use in the 1880's and refers to anything over 10 stories or ~220'. The 2 key distinguishing features are a Steel Skeleton, and the elevator - the 2 technological pieces that allowed building that tall possible and practical.

Colin May
Mar 25, 2015, 2:48 AM
The city gives Neptune a substantial annual grant as well and should not give anything further. $4 million or $8 million may not be a lot of money to some, but it is a substantial chunk of change that could do some real good for people who NEED it. This is not that.
My time on the Neptune board 20 years ago causes me to remember that the 'substantial annual grant' was equivalent to the amount of property taxes to be paid to the City of Halifax. Dartmouth gave the grand sum of $0 and I don't believe Bedford and the County were any more generous.
At my first board meeting a member asked why Neptune received so little funding from the 4 municipalities. I sat and waited for the views of others and then said 'Because they are philistines'. Mike Savage was a board member but rarely attended meetings.

someone123
Mar 25, 2015, 5:32 AM
FWIW, the term skyscraper came into use in the 1880's and refers to anything over 10 stories or ~220'. The 2 key distinguishing features are a Steel Skeleton, and the elevator - the 2 technological pieces that allowed building that tall possible and practical.

It is funny because the debate is often framed as highrises (and the destruction of views) vs. heritage preservation, but there are lots of historic highrises around the world and a few in Halifax. The Dominion Public Building and Dingle are two good local examples.

I've never heard anybody complain about the presence of the Dingle or claim that it ruins sight lines. On the contrary, I think it's an attractive part of the view of the Northwest Arm and people can climb the tower and look off the observation deck.

Really the problem isn't with highrise buildings or new development, it's demolition and unattractive development. People don't like Scotia Square or the Maritime Centre as much. But no developers are proposing to construct copies of 1960's and 70's buildings. Most anti-highrise sentiment is based on straw men.

Bad traffic is another one that gets unfairly pinned on urban highrises. Halifax's roads are largely clogged by cars driven by suburbanites who live in low density neighbourhoods. Urban development improves congestion compared to the alternative. People need places to live and work. If they live and work in the urban core they will drive less. It's pretty simple.

Drybrain
Mar 25, 2015, 11:32 AM
My time on the Neptune board 20 years ago causes me to remember that the 'substantial annual grant' was equivalent to the amount of property taxes to be paid to the City of Halifax. Dartmouth gave the grand sum of $0 and I don't believe Bedford and the County were any more generous.
At my first board meeting a member asked why Neptune received so little funding from the 4 municipalities. I sat and waited for the views of others and then said 'Because they are philistines'. Mike Savage was a board member but rarely attended meetings.

Halifax has incredibly poor arts funding--like, conspicuously and dramatically less than most other cities. Which is actually a pro in favour of paying for the Khyber--make up for some lost investment.

ILoveHalifax
Mar 25, 2015, 11:53 AM
Couldn't we give the arts people the Dennis and let them fix it up so we could demolish the Khyber and build something practical on Barrington.

Drybrain
Mar 25, 2015, 12:31 PM
Couldn't we give the arts people the Dennis and let them fix it up so we could demolish the Khyber and build something practical on Barrington.

Barrington is a heritage district. If you don't like it, tough. It's already been decided.

enjoy*responsibly
Mar 25, 2015, 1:08 PM
Halifax has incredibly poor arts funding--like, conspicuously and dramatically less than most other cities. Which is actually a pro in favour of paying for the Khyber--make up for some lost investment.

Is Halifax in a position to provide these levels of funding to this arts community, who in my opinion is fringe & not strong in the ROI department, compared to these most other cities?

visualman57
Mar 25, 2015, 1:24 PM
Is Halifax in a position to provide these levels of funding to this arts community, who in my opinion is fringe & not strong in the ROI department, compared to these most other cities?

I find the comments on this issue absolutely amazing. On one hand, just about everyone on this board talks about how we need to develop our city into a place that provides an amazing quality of life and work, with great design, work and shopping opportunities and public transit that gets people where they need to go, easily and quickly. Yet, let someone mention arts funding, or library funding or funding for anything that can't tangibly be measured and all hell breaks loose.
The Central Library, Neptune, Khyber Centre, Scotiabank Centre and others provide some of the ways in which the quality of life in Halifax has grown, creating opportunities for people to learn and grow and interact with others to make this a better city.
Everyone has an opinion, but to those who only have one tune, and that one is a negative whine, perhaps you would do better living somewhere else, while those of us who believe in making a better city through constructive and creative solutions get on with the job.

Colin May
Mar 25, 2015, 1:33 PM
Is Halifax in a position to provide these levels of funding to this arts community, who in my opinion is fringe & not strong in the ROI department, compared to these most other cities?
Tourists in Paris go to the Louvre, they don't go to look at tall office towers.
Tourists in New York go to Central Park, Carnegie Hall,the Met,the theatres - they don't go to look at tall office towers.
Businesses prefer to locate in cities with a vibrant arts community, good schools and open space.

Keith P.
Mar 25, 2015, 1:44 PM
My time on the Neptune board 20 years ago causes me to remember that the 'substantial annual grant' was equivalent to the amount of property taxes to be paid to the City of Halifax. Dartmouth gave the grand sum of $0 and I don't believe Bedford and the County were any more generous.

IIRC the ask this year at the HRM arts grant trough was for $100,000. The rationale escapes me. Do we give grants or tax relief to movie theaters? TV and radio stations? Sound stages? Nightclubs? All of these support "the arts" by employing performers. Yet Neptune is somehow deserving of special treatment? Do all little theater companies receive such largesse? If so I must ask why they are so special. The audience seems to enjoy going there and sipping their Chardonnay at intermission. Perhaps a bump in the ticket price would get the taxpayer off the hook.

At my first board meeting a member asked why Neptune received so little funding from the 4 municipalities. I sat and waited for the views of others and then said 'Because they are philistines'. Mike Savage was a board member but rarely attended meetings.

Such is the problem with ceremonial boards. People (i.e. politicians) receive appointments simply to be able to say they are a member and then don't read the material, don't attend meetings, and don't really add anything. So a smaller group of people really run the show without input from those appointed. In a real board, if you don't show up for meetings regularly, you're given the boot.

Keith P.
Mar 25, 2015, 1:50 PM
I find the comments on this issue absolutely amazing. On one hand, just about everyone on this board talks about how we need to develop our city into a place that provides an amazing quality of life and work, with great design, work and shopping opportunities and public transit that gets people where they need to go, easily and quickly. Yet, let someone mention arts funding, or library funding or funding for anything that can't tangibly be measured and all hell breaks loose.
The Central Library, Neptune, Khyber Centre, Scotiabank Centre and others provide some of the ways in which the quality of life in Halifax has grown, creating opportunities for people to learn and grow and interact with others to make this a better city.
Everyone has an opinion, but to those who only have one tune, and that one is a negative whine, perhaps you would do better living somewhere else, while those of us who believe in making a better city through constructive and creative solutions get on with the job.


Please don't put a venue like Scotiabank Centre in the same lump as the Khyber. One event there probably entertains more people than the Khyber does in a year or more. And the issue isn't that we fund some of these venues, it is HOW we fund them. Excessive spending on a library doesn't mean you should have no libraries. It just means you shouldn't have ones that are cost-no-object. The Khyber is beginning to sound like the same thing, just on a 1/8 scale. We do not need to go there. The property tax ratepayer is now being asked to shoulder the additional burden of a "stormwater" charge on the tax bill, something that has always just been a city service included in the general rate. Well guess what: the general rate continues, but this is added on top of it, for something that has been in the ground for 50 years or more. It is simply a blatant cash grab. At some point the abuse of the taxpayer in this town must stop. Perhaps we should itemize the "arts" line item as well on tax bills and see how that goes over.

Keith P.
Mar 25, 2015, 1:53 PM
Tourists in Paris go to the Louvre, they don't go to look at tall office towers.

But the Eiffel tower is the city's icon.

Tourists in New York go to Central Park, Carnegie Hall,the Met,the theatres - they don't go to look at tall office towers.


Nonsense. It is all part of the city character.

Keith P.
Mar 25, 2015, 1:54 PM
Couldn't we give the arts people the Dennis and let them fix it up so we could demolish the Khyber and build something practical on Barrington.

The Khyber cannot ever be used for anything practical. It is too small, too cut-up, and substantial alteration seems impossible. Better to just give it to some group that wants to take it on and let them sink or swim. The city needs to get out from under.

enjoy*responsibly
Mar 25, 2015, 2:30 PM
I find the comments on this issue absolutely amazing. On one hand, just about everyone on this board talks about how we need to develop our city into a place that provides an amazing quality of life and work, with great design, work and shopping opportunities and public transit that gets people where they need to go, easily and quickly. Yet, let someone mention arts funding, or library funding or funding for anything that can't tangibly be measured and all hell breaks loose.
The Central Library, Neptune, Khyber Centre, Scotiabank Centre and others provide some of the ways in which the quality of life in Halifax has grown, creating opportunities for people to learn and grow and interact with others to make this a better city.
Everyone has an opinion, but to those who only have one tune, and that one is a negative whine, perhaps you would do better living somewhere else, while those of us who believe in making a better city through constructive and creative solutions get on with the job.

Hey now, it was actually a question which didn't get addressed by your answer.

Just asking if all these other cities that Halifax was being compared to might be in a better position to fund arts and things like the Khyber than Halifax at this current time.

Not saying low ROI means bad investment by the city, but as far as priorities and fiscal reality goes right now, maybe that answer changes.

I don't know the answer, thats why the question was asked.

someone123
Mar 25, 2015, 2:55 PM
But the Eiffel tower is the city's icon.

Nonsense. It is all part of the city character.

Those must not be tourists in the huge lineups at the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, etc. Or maybe they are just confused. Next time I go there I'll let them know that there's a crowd in Halifax that does not approve of their tourism choices.

I'd better tell the mayor too. Imagine how successful Central Park would be if they knocked down all those ugly highrises and replaced them with four storey brick boxes or wooden houses. I'm sure New York could one day establish a successful tourism industry too if they followed the advice of the Halifax experts. If they also kicked out all the evil big businesses then they'd be in a perfect position to replicate Nova Scotia's economic successes in general. Even Tim Bousquet would approve.

They should probably tear down the Statue of Liberty too and replace it with something built on a more human scale. I'm not sure why Bartholdi didn't consult Jennifer Watts when he designed the thing; an oversight on his part.

beyeas
Mar 25, 2015, 2:58 PM
Tourists in New York go to Central Park, Carnegie Hall,the Met,the theatres - they don't go to look at tall office towers.


They absolutely do. The Empire State, Chrysler Building etc are iconic symbols of NYC that people love to see. Ever seen the lineups to take the elevator to the viewing deck at the Empire State Building? Gotten a reservation for dinner at Top of The Rock? One of my favourite things to do in NYC is to look at the amazing stone detail work on NYC's amazing collection of Art Deco office towers (of which I think they have the best collection in the world, even when compared to Chicago etc).

Again your use on "absolutes" is the issue, and the world is much less black and white than you make it to be. Yes, one of the things people go to NYC for is to see Central Park and go to the theatres, but they ALSO go to see the iconic skyscrapers that define its skyline. Overly absolute statements (e.g. "they don't go") are rarely true and usually amount to pounding on the table when you can't pound on the facts.

Keith P.
Mar 25, 2015, 3:15 PM
Those must not be tourists in the huge lineups at the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, etc. Or maybe they are just confused. Next time I go there I'll let them know that there's a crowd in Halifax that does not approve of their tourism choices.

I'd better tell the mayor too. Imagine how successful Central Park would be if they knocked down all those ugly highrises and replaced them with four storey brick boxes or wooden houses. I'm sure New York could one day establish a successful tourism industry too if they followed the advice of the Halifax experts. If they also kicked out all the evil big businesses then they'd be in a perfect position to replicate Nova Scotia's economic successes in general. Even Tim Bousquet would approve.

They should probably tear down the Statue of Liberty too and replace it with something built on a more human scale. I'm not sure why Bartholdi didn't consult Jennifer Watts when he designed the thing; an oversight on his part.

Well! Nice to see you're coming around to the right point of view. Excellent post! :tup:

Drybrain
Mar 25, 2015, 3:50 PM
Is Halifax in a position to provide these levels of funding to this arts community, who in my opinion is fringe & not strong in the ROI department, compared to these most other cities?

Actually, yes. Per capita, we're among Canada's least indebted municipalities, and our infrastructure deficit is (while considerable) less than many other places. (See Montreal's collapsing overpasses, or Toronto's imminent affordable-housing apocalypse and staggering billion-dollar repair backlog.)

Halifax's finances are comparable-to-better than most other cities in the country.

Keith P.
Mar 25, 2015, 3:57 PM
Actually, yes. Per capita, we're among Canada's least indebted municipalities, and our infrastructure deficit is (while considerable) less than many other places. (See Montreal's collapsing overpasses, or Toronto's imminent affordable-housing apocalypse and staggering billion-dollar repair backlog.)

Halifax's finances are comparable-to-better than most other cities in the country.

Just because we're not the most drunk of the drunken sailors doesn't mean that we're not still spending like drunken sailors on all sorts of non-core squeaky wheel special interest things that are totally frivolous.

ILoveHalifax
Mar 25, 2015, 4:19 PM
Those must not be tourists in the huge lineups at the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, etc. Or maybe they are just confused. Next time I go there I'll let them know that there's a crowd in Halifax that does not approve of their tourism choices.

I'd better tell the mayor too. Imagine how successful Central Park would be if they knocked down all those ugly highrises and replaced them with four storey brick boxes or wooden houses. I'm sure New York could one day establish a successful tourism industry too if they followed the advice of the Halifax experts. If they also kicked out all the evil big businesses then they'd be in a perfect position to replicate Nova Scotia's economic successes in general. Even Tim Bousquet would approve.

They should probably tear down the Statue of Liberty too and replace it with something built on a more human scale. I'm not sure why Bartholdi didn't consult Jennifer Watts when he designed the thing; an oversight on his part.

Someone has been using sarcasm on a few posts lately and doing very well with it.

JET
Mar 25, 2015, 4:42 PM
The Khyber cannot ever be used for anything practical. It is too small, too cut-up, and substantial alteration seems impossible. Better to just give it to some group that wants to take it on and let them sink or swim. The city needs to get out from under.

Keith, That's also what you said about the Dennis, 8 foot ceilings that turned out to be at least ten feet.

OldDartmouthMark
Mar 25, 2015, 5:06 PM
It is funny because the debate is often framed as highrises (and the destruction of views) vs. heritage preservation, but there are lots of historic highrises around the world and a few in Halifax. The Dominion Public Building and Dingle are two good local examples.

I've never heard anybody complain about the presence of the Dingle or claim that it ruins sight lines. On the contrary, I think it's an attractive part of the view of the Northwest Arm and people can climb the tower and look off the observation deck.

Really the problem isn't with highrise buildings or new development, it's demolition and unattractive development. People don't like Scotia Square or the Maritime Centre as much. But no developers are proposing to construct copies of 1960's and 70's buildings. Most anti-highrise sentiment is based on straw men.

Bad traffic is another one that gets unfairly pinned on urban highrises. Halifax's roads are largely clogged by cars driven by suburbanites who live in low density neighbourhoods. Urban development improves congestion compared to the alternative. People need places to live and work. If they live and work in the urban core they will drive less. It's pretty simple.

This pretty much sums up how I feel about it. While many equate pro-heritage with anti-height, it doesn't have to be that way. Locally, perhaps, this idea comes from the misguided adventures of the HT, arguing so strongly about view planes while true heritage buildings are being knocked down, largely because of weak heritage-designation laws and general apathy among those who make the rules (which is one of the issues that the HT should be focusing their efforts on, but that's another topic).

The Dominion Building is a great example of a structure which satisfies both, thus proving that heritage and height should not be considered mutually exclusive entities.

In fact, one of the reasons I first came to this forum was a result of researching some of NYC's amazing skyscrapers built back in the early 1900s through the art deco age. The Greenvale school repurposing was another drawing point for me, and an excellent example of how a heritage property can take on a new life and add value to its neighborhood.

As (someone123) mentioned previously, I believe part of the reason that there is some resistance to newer tall buildings has been that we haven't had many good examples of quality buildings that were built in the sixties through nineties. I for one became somewhat apathetic seeing cheaply-built, unattractive buildings as the main example of newer construction in the area. Now, I see that the quality of our newest construction has increased dramatically and I couldn't be more pleased.

So, speaking for myself, I like heritage structures and I like newer well-built high-quality structures. Mostly, I like the balance of both 'living' together, working in perfect symbiosis and resulting in a vibrant, interesting city - a place where people want to live and visit.

Which is why some of the extremist views sometimes presented here seem so lame and tiresome - to the point that I sometimes ask myself why I even bother to read this forum (however I always conclude that there are way more well-thought-out and informative posts than the negative ones, so I of course always return). I don't think that Halifax is so poor that we can't fund a few "gee-whiz" projects on the taxpayers' dime. IMHO, projects such as these create a certain civic pride - like the new library: perhaps exorbitant to some, it shows that we value our city and our citizens enough to give them an amazing public building to enjoy. It shows visitors that we are a place of substance and that we care about our city. It shows our pride.

While some deride the Khyber and other arts-based funding, I don't think they realize the intrinsic value that arts add to all of our lives. We all benefit from the arts either directly or indirectly, a concept that I don't believe really requires explanation yet one that some don't seem to grasp. The truth is, very few Canadian artists ever become rich practicing their art within our borders (this is one reason why so many of Canada's artists work and reside in the US). It sometimes seems that we Canadians want to enjoy the work of artists but don't think we should have to pay for it (curiously). This creates a situation where many artists have trouble devoting all their energies to their chosen field of work, as they still have to make a living over and above in order to survive. Therefore, to me it seems reasonable that we should collectively support projects such as the Khyber that will actually pay us back in ways that wouldn't happen otherwise. :2cents:

Drybrain
Mar 25, 2015, 6:18 PM
Just because we're not the most drunk of the drunken sailors doesn't mean that we're not still spending like drunken sailors on all sorts of non-core squeaky wheel special interest things that are totally frivolous.

As long as there's a pothole left to fill somewhere, everything else is just gravy, eh?

Keith P.
Mar 25, 2015, 6:46 PM
While some deride the Khyber and other arts-based funding, I don't think they realize the intrinsic value that arts add to all of our lives. We all benefit from the arts either directly or indirectly, a concept that I don't believe really requires explanation yet one that some don't seem to grasp. The truth is, very few Canadian artists ever become rich practicing their art within our borders (this is one reason why so many of Canada's artists work and reside in the US). It sometimes seems that we Canadians want to enjoy the work of artists but don't think we should have to pay for it (curiously). This creates a situation where many artists have trouble devoting all their energies to their chosen field of work, as they still have to make a living over and above in order to survive. Therefore, to me it seems reasonable that we should collectively support projects such as the Khyber that will actually pay us back in ways that wouldn't happen otherwise. :2cents:

The argument is similar to those involving saving old buildings in this city. Some of us say just because something is old doesn't mean it is worth saving. Sometimes old buildings are just and only that. They were unremarkable when new and remain so. It's not like we have a bunch of Penn Stations here. When the heritage extremists say something like the WWII-vintage "dry canteen" on the Garrison Grounds is a heritage building, that's the kind of craziness that causes everyone to go bonkers. The Khyber is a similar case - not just the building, but the KAS. They are an "arts" organization by a broad definition of that term, but do they make a difference to the fabric of the city? I would argue no. They are way out on the fringe, accountable to nobody for what they produce, and dependent upon govt grants to keep themselves in weed and fair-trade coffee. At least an organization like Neptune produces stuff that is professional and appeals to a reasonably broad base. KAS, Center for Art Tapes, etc etc are all just NSCAD types trying to figure out what to do next. One in a very large number may actually hit on something that carries on. The rest go to work as baristas or house painters. Should the govt support these aspirations with property tax dollars that we pay with the expectation that our sidewalks will be clear, our roads fixed, and our houses protected by police and fire services? It is not the role for a city govt. NS has various provincial arts organizations that provide funding. The feds have many more. That is where these things should find their funding, not from the property tax base. It is not a business HRM should be in.

visualman57
Mar 25, 2015, 7:03 PM
Please don't put a venue like Scotiabank Centre in the same lump as the Khyber. One event there probably entertains more people than the Khyber does in a year or more. And the issue isn't that we fund some of these venues, it is HOW we fund them. Excessive spending on a library doesn't mean you should have no libraries. It just means you shouldn't have ones that are cost-no-object. The Khyber is beginning to sound like the same thing, just on a 1/8 scale. We do not need to go there. The property tax ratepayer is now being asked to shoulder the additional burden of a "stormwater" charge on the tax bill, something that has always just been a city service included in the general rate. Well guess what: the general rate continues, but this is added on top of it, for something that has been in the ground for 50 years or more. It is simply a blatant cash grab. At some point the abuse of the taxpayer in this town must stop. Perhaps we should itemize the "arts" line item as well on tax bills and see how that goes over.

Nonsense! Just because someone appears to have a personal vendetta against a particular place or venue doesn't mean that the value to the general population diminishes. Personally, there are many things in the city that I don't necessarily need or use, but they create a value proposition for the city that encourages others to live and work here and help make it a better city all round. Accept it, change it or leave it. Those are the options we have in life. Maybe it's time to think about leaving the city to those who sincerely want to make it a better place.

Keith P.
Mar 25, 2015, 7:20 PM
Nonsense! Just because someone appears to have a personal vendetta against a particular place or venue doesn't mean that the value to the general population diminishes. Personally, there are many things in the city that I don't necessarily need or use, but they create a value proposition for the city that encourages others to live and work here and help make it a better city all round. Accept it, change it or leave it. Those are the options we have in life. Maybe it's time to think about leaving the city to those who sincerely want to make it a better place.

I have no "personal vendetta". I just know how to manage funds. Giving tax dollars to every outfit that comes along with its hand out doesn't help make the city a better place. It makes it a crummy city that can't fix its roads, can't keep things clean, and can't keep things functional in winter. You need to set priorities. The taxpayer cannot be continually asked to cough up more and more for every cause that gets someone's ear. We already pay some of the highest taxes in the country and people/businesses are leaving because of that.

OldDartmouthMark
Mar 25, 2015, 7:37 PM
The argument is similar to those involving saving old buildings in this city. Some of us say just because something is old doesn't mean it is worth saving. Sometimes old buildings are just and only that. They were unremarkable when new and remain so. It's not like we have a bunch of Penn Stations here. When the heritage extremists say something like the WWII-vintage "dry canteen" on the Garrison Grounds is a heritage building, that's the kind of craziness that causes everyone to go bonkers. The Khyber is a similar case - not just the building, but the KAS. They are an "arts" organization by a broad definition of that term, but do they make a difference to the fabric of the city? I would argue no. They are way out on the fringe, accountable to nobody for what they produce, and dependent upon govt grants to keep themselves in weed and fair-trade coffee. At least an organization like Neptune produces stuff that is professional and appeals to a reasonably broad base. KAS, Center for Art Tapes, etc etc are all just NSCAD types trying to figure out what to do next. One in a very large number may actually hit on something that carries on. The rest go to work as baristas or house painters. Should the govt support these aspirations with property tax dollars that we pay with the expectation that our sidewalks will be clear, our roads fixed, and our houses protected by police and fire services? It is not the role for a city govt. NS has various provincial arts organizations that provide funding. The feds have many more. That is where these things should find their funding, not from the property tax base. It is not a business HRM should be in.

We will always have to agree to disagree on heritage buildings, no big deal there.

You seem to be rescinding a little on your earlier posts regarding the Neptune, which I find interesting.

We already know you don't like the Khyber building. We know you don't like the KAS. Therefore I would fully expect you to express negativity towards both entities.

Regardless of your feelings towards the arts in general and the KAS specifically, they all have a place and help contribute to a healthy society. Even if you think the work of a particular organization or individual is "fringe" or "out there", remember that the work is significant in that it communicates ideas, spurs creative thinking and ultimately influences other work that often will eventually filter down to a more diluted form that the general populous can appreciate. This type of "fringe" work, although influential and sometimes ground-breaking, is often "ahead of the curve" and thus not profit-generating, despite it's legitimate place in the process. I think that society benefits from this activity and therefore should support it, thus I would have no problem if it becomes a (relatively small) percentage of our tax base.

I agree that there should be federal/provincial funding involved, but they don't own the building. Perhaps the city should offer use of the building plus property tax incentives to one of the other levels of government with a legal agreement that the building is to be restored and maintained for a specified period of time, with the option to renew funding or forfeit the property back to the city once that time period has expired. If the other levels of government offer actual support as you say they do, then this should seem like a great opportunity to them.

Good discussion, by the way. :tup:

ILoveHalifax
Mar 25, 2015, 7:57 PM
Doze the Khyber and spend the money to widen Bayers Rd
Will benefit a lot more people and is within the mandate for the city to provide roads.

Keith P.
Mar 25, 2015, 8:46 PM
I agree that there should be federal/provincial funding involved, but they don't own the building. Perhaps the city should offer use of the building plus property tax incentives to one of the other levels of government with a legal agreement that the building is to be restored and maintained for a specified period of time, with the option to renew funding or forfeit the property back to the city once that time period has expired. If the other levels of government offer actual support as you say they do, then this should seem like a great opportunity to them.

Not going to happen. Arts funding is scarce and cannot be wasted on an expensive restoration of an obsolete building that is sentimental to a handful of people. Sometimes govt just has to accept that in these times, it cannot do it all and must stick to priorities. I suspect that is a message that will take time to get through, but one which will be hammered home on the upcoming provincial budget. If KAS is as valuable as you seem to think it is, perhaps they can raise the funds from similarly like-minded supporters. OTOH, if they are as fringe as I think they are, maybe they need to lower their sights and take whatever space they can get.

Drybrain
Mar 25, 2015, 9:14 PM
Doze the Khyber and spend the money to widen Bayers Rd
Will benefit a lot more people and is within the mandate for the city to provide roads.

The fact that you think the city has a mandate to provide roads, but NOT a mandate to protect historic architecture and provide a fertile environment for creative expression (a role governments have taken on since time immemorial), speaks volumes about your perception of what a city should be like.

But I'm starting to get the feeling I'm just arguing with a contrarian who'se trying to get a rise out of me and other heritage proponents. No one can possibly have such a weirdly narrow view of what a city is supposed to be.

ILoveHalifax
Mar 25, 2015, 10:17 PM
The fact that you think the city has a mandate to provide roads, but NOT a mandate to protect historic architecture and provide a fertile environment for creative expression (a role governments have taken on since time immemorial), speaks volumes about your perception of what a city should be like.

But I'm starting to get the feeling I'm just arguing with a contrarian who'se trying to get a rise out of me and other heritage proponents. No one can possibly have such a weirdly narrow view of what a city is supposed to be.

The fact that you think the city has a mandate to provide and maintain historic slums and invest in creative expression as if creative makes it special over other kinds of expression as opposed to providing roads, water, sewer and sidewalks indicates you have a very unusual perception of reality. It must be frustrating since we do not all follow your preconceived programs of YOUR city.

halifaxboyns
Mar 25, 2015, 10:19 PM
I just read through all this and I'm reminded of a lunch and learn presentation I went to today by the City of Calgary's new City Manager Jeff Fielding. He talked about how divided our city council is and what it takes to be a world class city.

When we think about world class cities, they have recognized that it's about providing services for what the changing demographics want. Younger folks are looking for cities where cars aren't the priority and have significant cultural aspects. Jeff boiled it down like this (and I thought it was a great metaphor): do you want a 1 star city (like a Macdonald's) or do you want a 3 star city (moxie's or something like that) or do you want a 5 star city?

The world class cities build bike lanes and encourage investments in transit and culture, because that's what the younger demographics who are moving to them want. They don't want to own a car, they want the excitement of downtown cultural areas. So I guess the debate we're having about this is about what kind of city we want.

worldlyhaligonian
Mar 25, 2015, 11:51 PM
We need it all!

That means arts facilities, sports stadiums, towers, whatever!

Arts people shouldn't meddle in the construction or allocation of dollars for sports, business, etc. and the other people shouldn't shut own arts funding.

Simple. Everybody do their own thing and we'll all be mutually prosperous.

The comments that both sides are making are too extreme. That being said, I only see appeals/interventions by heritage supporters. I don't see the business community "shutting down" arts funding... in fact, there may even be subsidies coming from them.

:cheers:

Colin May
Mar 26, 2015, 12:08 AM
Stravinsky was once considered ' out there'.

Colin May
Mar 26, 2015, 12:16 AM
They absolutely do. The Empire State, Chrysler Building etc are iconic symbols of NYC that people love to see. Ever seen the lineups to take the elevator to the viewing deck at the Empire State Building? Gotten a reservation for dinner at Top of The Rock? One of my favourite things to do in NYC is to look at the amazing stone detail work on NYC's amazing collection of Art Deco office towers (of which I think they have the best collection in the world, even when compared to Chicago etc).

Again your use on "absolutes" is the issue, and the world is much less black and white than you make it to be. Yes, one of the things people go to NYC for is to see Central Park and go to the theatres, but they ALSO go to see the iconic skyscrapers that define its skyline. Overly absolute statements (e.g. "they don't go") are rarely true and usually amount to pounding on the table when you can't pound on the facts.
Do people go to London to look at tall buildings and when did tourists start doing so ?
Ditto Paris.
Ditto Tokyo.
Ditto Rome, Milan
Ditto Berlin.
Ditto Barcelona.
I'll admit to spending time looking at tall buildings in Egypt, the Cairo Museum was just as impressive as the Pyramids.
When in Rouen make sure to admire the magnificent tall building, the organ is just one of the amazing attributes of the awe inspiring building.

Drybrain
Mar 26, 2015, 12:56 AM
This isn't about tall buildings or no tall buildings. It's about the value (or lack of it, to some) of the Khyber Arts Society, and whether the building is worth public money to restore. (The city has certainly decided it is, having purchased it with the intent to preserve back in '88.)

The building is not going to be torn down in any case. Worst case it's declared surplus and doesn't find a private buyer willing to reno it, so it falls into further disrepair and becomes a vacant blight on the street for who knows how long. Then maybe after years of neglect is torn down. That seems entirely possible or even likely if the city decides not to restore it. But it's not going to be dozed for a highrise, whatever a handful of people on here would like.

visualman57
Mar 26, 2015, 1:17 AM
and on a different note: Bell Aliant announced today that they are consolidating their downtown operations in Scotia Square as their lease is ending at the Maritime Centre. 500 people will be involved, with another 300, including IT and HR relocating to the old RIM location in Bedford. Good for downtown in general, although the loss of that many people on the Spring Garden section of Barrington may have an impact. Could also lead to an interesting renovation and update of the Maritime Centre.

counterfactual
Mar 26, 2015, 3:13 AM
It is funny because the debate is often framed as highrises (and the destruction of views) vs. heritage preservation, but there are lots of historic highrises around the world and a few in Halifax. The Dominion Public Building and Dingle are two good local examples.

I've never heard anybody complain about the presence of the Dingle or claim that it ruins sight lines. On the contrary, I think it's an attractive part of the view of the Northwest Arm and people can climb the tower and look off the observation deck.

Really the problem isn't with highrise buildings or new development, it's demolition and unattractive development. People don't like Scotia Square or the Maritime Centre as much. But no developers are proposing to construct copies of 1960's and 70's buildings. Most anti-highrise sentiment is based on straw men.

Bad traffic is another one that gets unfairly pinned on urban highrises. Halifax's roads are largely clogged by cars driven by suburbanites who live in low density neighbourhoods. Urban development improves congestion compared to the alternative. People need places to live and work. If they live and work in the urban core they will drive less. It's pretty simple.

So true.

Keith P.
Mar 26, 2015, 3:25 AM
When we think about world class cities, they have recognized that it's about providing services for what the changing demographics want. Younger folks are looking for cities where cars aren't the priority and have significant cultural aspects. Jeff boiled it down like this (and I thought it was a great metaphor): do you want a 1 star city (like a Macdonald's) or do you want a 3 star city (moxie's or something like that) or do you want a 5 star city?

The world class cities build bike lanes and encourage investments in transit and culture, because that's what the younger demographics who are moving to them want. They don't want to own a car, they want the excitement of downtown cultural areas. So I guess the debate we're having about this is about what kind of city we want.

Frankly, that's horseshit. The "younger folks" mentioned generally aren't property owners and do not pay municipal taxes. The minute they marry and have kids, they move to suburbia and become the hated commuter class.

Hali87
Mar 26, 2015, 5:13 AM
Frankly, that's horseshit. The "younger folks" mentioned generally aren't property owners and do not pay municipal taxes.

We* do, through rent. And some are buying condos and some are buying houses. Some own businesses and pay commercial taxes as well.

Most of the international students and people I know who have moved here from abroad don't complain about the traffic, or the state of the roads, they complain about the unreliable transit and the appallingly disjointed bike network (and this winter, the snow). Things they tend to like are the cultural stuff like all the live music and Nocturne and the new library, and the historic sites and the proximity to nature.

Road conditions and rush-hour traffic congestion are bad almost everywhere in Canada, and probably in almost every urbanized part of the world. We're never going to attract people here by being the best at that.


*Young, single, childless non-property-owners who like art and bike lanes and stuff

The minute they marry and have kids, they move to suburbia and become the hated commuter class.

Most have kids before they get married. This really changes that dynamic but those who do stay together/get married (in my experience) tend to stick as close as they can to the core. Most of my friends who have bought property and/or had kids live in modest houses or apartments in places like Fairview, Spryfield and Dartmouth. Two of my friends have bought property along the 103 corridor but one works in Tantallon (so his commute is actually shorter now) and the other is a real estate agent who (I think) mostly works from home.

JET
Mar 26, 2015, 12:29 PM
Frankly, that's horseshit. The "younger folks" mentioned generally aren't property owners and do not pay municipal taxes. The minute they marry and have kids, they move to suburbia and become the hated commuter class.

I think that your're wrong about that. I was in Gus's ysterday for an Ace burger and there were lots of young families. There are many that own/live in that area, and pay taxes like you and I. They also get a say, thank God.

JET
Mar 26, 2015, 12:34 PM
We need it all!

That means arts facilities, sports stadiums, towers, whatever!

Arts people shouldn't meddle in the construction or allocation of dollars for sports, business, etc. and the other people shouldn't shut own arts funding.

Simple. Everybody do their own thing and we'll all be mutually prosperous.

The comments that both sides are making are too extreme. That being said, I only see appeals/interventions by heritage supporters. I don't see the business community "shutting down" arts funding... in fact, there may even be subsidies coming from them.

:cheers:

"Arts people shouldn't meddle.." Wow, one dimensional people, they must be the ones that I see on the rear windows of vehicles. I guess if I like the arts, or heritage that's the lot that I can choose from, I have no say in anthing else? Thanks for letting me know.

hoser111
Mar 26, 2015, 12:51 PM
Shouldn't this discussion move to "Urban, Urban Design & Heritage Issues" or some such? This hardly has anything to do with "news" anymore.

Drybrain
Mar 26, 2015, 1:07 PM
Frankly, that's horseshit. The "younger folks" mentioned generally aren't property owners and do not pay municipal taxes. The minute they marry and have kids, they move to suburbia and become the hated commuter class.

First of all, renters pay rent, which goes to taxes. Obviously. This is a ridiculous claim.

Second, that's not remotely true that everyone who has kids marries off and heads to suburbia. Suburban areas still have the greatest proportion of families with kids, but that's changing super-fast. Go to this handy census reference map (http://globalnews.ca/news/369768/crayon-box-nation-halifaxs-census-maps/) Global News put together based on 2011 census data. The largest number of children are still off-peninsula. BUT, look at the category "Change in the absolute numbers of population aged 0-9." That's rapidly changing. The biggest increases in children are in the urban core and peninsula, while the biggest decreases are in traditional suburbs. Young, child-bearing families ARE living on the peninsula in increasing numbers, and a lot of them DO value all this stuff.

If you look at the "Change in median age" category, and zoom out to a regional level, it's pretty apparent where young people are choosing to live. And it's in proximity to all that urban-y, artsy stuff made possible by institutions like the Khyber.

I think Halifaxboy is right, in that a lot of this is a values clash between what various people value in a city.

someone123
Mar 26, 2015, 3:01 PM
First of all, renters pay rent, which goes to taxes. Obviously. This is a ridiculous claim.

Second, that's not remotely true that everyone who has kids marries off and heads to suburbia. Suburban areas still have the greatest proportion of families with kids, but that's changing super-fast. Go to this handy census reference map (http://globalnews.ca/news/369768/crayon-box-nation-halifaxs-census-maps/) Global News put together based on 2011 census data. The largest number of children are still off-peninsula. BUT, look at the category "Change in the absolute numbers of population aged 0-9." That's rapidly changing. The biggest increases in children are in the urban core and peninsula, while the biggest decreases are in traditional suburbs. Young, child-bearing families ARE living on the peninsula in increasing numbers, and a lot of them DO value all this stuff.

If you look at the "Change in median age" category, and zoom out to a regional level, it's pretty apparent where young people are choosing to live. And it's in proximity to all that urban-y, artsy stuff made possible by institutions like the Khyber.

I think Halifaxboy is right, in that a lot of this is a values clash between what various people value in a city.

There is definitely a major generational shift in values that older people don't tend to appreciate. In the 80's and 90's it was true that young people would have their time in the city and then move out to the suburbs, but that is less common now. Unfortunately, I think problems like low voter turnout and political participation in low age brackets further fuels the disconnect.

We are seeing a similar issue in Vancouver because there's a plebiscite on transit funding now and support is skewed heavily toward younger demographics, but there's a fear that they won't participate as much and will be under-represented.

Beyond just the population numbers, I also suspect that the wealthiest and most educated young people have a disproportionally large tendency to have fewer kids and remain in urban areas. Cities that fail to appeal to that demographic probably don't have a very bright future, on the whole. I know a lot of people in their 20's and 30's with graduate degrees in STEM fields and many are starting or participating in early-stage businesses. As a whole they're pretty averse to buying McMansions and commuting by car and tend to value the things they perceive as factors in a good quality of life, like good food, exercise (i.e. active transportation), cultural amenities, etc. They tend to have few children (mostly no children) and those who do, surprisingly, often choose live in apartments. As the Baby Boomers and generation age and retire I think there's going to be a pretty big shift in what working-age people want, and we may find that we are oversupplied in terms of highways and suburbia.

halifaxboyns
Mar 26, 2015, 3:41 PM
Frankly, that's horseshit. The "younger folks" mentioned generally aren't property owners and do not pay municipal taxes. The minute they marry and have kids, they move to suburbia and become the hated commuter class.

That's certainly not what the stats in Calgary are showing. And actually everyone pays property tax either directly or indirectly. I rent, I don't pay property tax directly. My landlord does - so part of my rent goes to property tax. So to say I don't pay property tax (to use your words) is horse sh*t.

That said - it gets into the bigger question of why should I pay for roads for you, when I don't use them? I don't plan to get into that debate because it gives me a headache.

ILoveHalifax
Mar 26, 2015, 4:46 PM
Everybody uses roads either directly or indirectly. The goods in the store that an urban dweller might buy get there on transport trucks

Drybrain
Mar 26, 2015, 5:43 PM
Everybody uses roads either directly or indirectly. The goods in the store that an urban dweller might buy get there on transport trucks

That's arguable when we're talking about distant cul-de-sacs and the like, but yes, by and large, you're right.

Just as we all benefit, directly or indirectly, from the creation of a more attractive metropolis with a diverse economy, including a healthy cultural sector. Institutions like the KAS provide incubators and support to a culturally influential demographic, which spins off into real estate, development, commerce, etc.

At worst, it creates a positive impression of the city as a forward-thinking, arts-oriented place. At best, it's part of creating an overall urban climate that draws people (and employers) to a place. This isn't wishful thinking; institutions like the Khyber have a demonstrated and major positive on impact urban economies. You can disagree, but the data shows it.

I'm reluctant to link to anything written by the rather glib Richard Florida, but check this out (http://www.citylab.com/work/2014/12/why-cities-cant-afford-to-lose-their-artists/383298/). Florida is just describing other people's research here, so it's a lot more credible than his own overly simple deductions.

Basically, cities that have healthy arts sectors and generous public-sector support ALSO tend to have very healthy economies, and are in high demand by employers and new residents. Arts funding also tends to generate economic activity that offsets the initial investment, and generates additional money. It's literally an investment, not a liability. Summary quote: "Ultimately, the study notes that while arts are not a silver bullet for cities, their role in urban economic development is, in the authors’ words,'“highly underestimated.'”

And that's not just funding for safe stuff like symphonies and large theatre companies and the like--small galleries, individual grants, and artist-run spaces (i.e., the Khyber) are all part of that. And if you talk to any Canadian artist with experience of the Khyber, they'll tell you that it's one of the best such institutions in the country, and part of the reason for that is the centrality of its location and the building itself.


I find it depressing that we always have to frame the debate for arts funding in economic terms, rather than accepting that maybe great civilizations just SHOULD put some money to arts. But that's the frame we're working with, I guess.

halifaxboyns
Mar 26, 2015, 6:12 PM
I find it depressing that we always have to frame the debate for arts funding in economic terms, rather than accepting that maybe great civilizations just SHOULD put some money to arts. But that's the frame we're working with, I guess.

That was the point of quoting our City Manager out here. It's a value argument more than anything.
To me - I like the fact that in Calgary 1% of any capitol project is dedicated to public art. Public Art creates an interesting city. I don't necessarily like it all - the blue ring we ended up with in Calgary by the airport, I don't like or get. But it's meant to invoke discussion and interest which the blue ring certainly did.

I don't wish to belabour this discussion any further, other than to say I'd be fine paying tax dollars into funding the Khyber and restoring it. I'd hate to see it go and I think it should be a last resort. That's my opinion, obviously others have different ones. But if the focus is on making the city a 1 star inexpensive 'Macdonald's' city; I think you will find people will eventually find it boring. That was one of the reasons I left - nothing was happening.

Keith P.
Mar 26, 2015, 6:16 PM
That's certainly not what the stats in Calgary are showing. And actually everyone pays property tax either directly or indirectly. I rent, I don't pay property tax directly. My landlord does - so part of my rent goes to property tax. So to say I don't pay property tax (to use your words) is horse sh*t.

That said - it gets into the bigger question of why should I pay for roads for you, when I don't use them? I don't plan to get into that debate because it gives me a headache.

You do not pay property tax directly and I would argue that if you don't see it, you don't have it top of mind when things like this come along. "Damn landlord put my rent up $200 a month!" is different from "Damn property taxes went up $2000!!".

As for the rest of it, all I know is that the suburbs of HRM have exploded in the last decade or two, and I don't see a lot of little kids living with their families on those new condos downtown. Maybe all those families in the suburbs are foreign national terrorist agents integrating themselves into our society to eventually take us over? I'm not sure how else to explain it. Because the argument here from the planners is that they aren't important citizens and taxpayers. I find that absolutely astounding, that people employed by govts in the various public services would deem one group of individuals undesirable and their need for services unnecessary because of where they choose to live.

Drybrain
Mar 26, 2015, 6:17 PM
But if the focus is on making the city a 1 star inexpensive 'Macdonald's' city; I think you will find people will eventually find it boring. That was one of the reasons I left - nothing was happening.

That's funny; "nothing happening" was one of the reasons I left Calgary in 2006. (I mean, stuff was happening, but the place felt culturally stagnant.)

Both Calgary and Halifax have changed quite a bit in a very short time. Calgary's population influx has been far more dramatic, but Halifax is having what feels to me like the early to middle stages of an urban renaissance. Exciting times for both.

Keith P.
Mar 26, 2015, 6:23 PM
Just as we all benefit, directly or indirectly, from the creation of a more attractive metropolis with a diverse economy, including a healthy cultural sector. Institutions like the KAS provide incubators and support to a culturally influential demographic, which spins off into real estate, development, commerce, etc.

At worst, it creates a positive impression of the city as a forward-thinking, arts-oriented place. At best, it's part of creating an overall urban climate that draws people (and employers) to a place. This isn't wishful thinking; institutions like the Khyber have a demonstrated and major positive on impact urban economies. You can disagree, but the data shows it.

Spend money on anything, and there is an economic impact. The issue is where is that money coming from? In the case of the KAS, it is tax money collected from citizens that is given to them. It is not money that the people earning it choose to spend on something. So it is a rather artificial economic effect. If citizens had that in their pockets they would spend it on the things they choose. Those receiving it would benefit and grow, while those they did not choose may fail. In this case that choice does not exist.


Basically, cities that have healthy arts sectors and generous public-sector support ALSO tend to have very healthy economies, and are in high demand by employers and new residents. Arts funding also tends to generate economic activity that offsets the initial investment, and generates additional money. It's literally an investment, not a liability. Summary quote: "Ultimately, the study notes that while arts are not a silver bullet for cities, their role in urban economic development is, in the authors’ words,'“highly underestimated.'”

And that's not just funding for safe stuff like symphonies and large theatre companies and the like--small galleries, individual grants, and artist-run spaces (i.e., the Khyber) are all part of that. And if you talk to any Canadian artist with experience of the Khyber, they'll tell you that it's one of the best such institutions in the country, and part of the reason for that is the centrality of its location and the building itself.

I find it depressing that we always have to frame the debate for arts funding in economic terms, rather than accepting that maybe great civilizations just SHOULD put some money to arts. But that's the frame we're working with, I guess.

You have the cart before the horse. Cities with great economies tend to attract the arts because they follow the money. People who make big bucks tend to be patrons of the arts. You don't succeed as an economy by subsidizing arts groups with govt money when your city is falling apart. Fringe groups like KAS are always going to have their hand out because they do not appeal very much to the monied class. I have a problem with giving them $4 million.

Drybrain
Mar 26, 2015, 6:44 PM
You have the cart before the horse. Cities with great economies tend to attract the arts because they follow the money. People who make big bucks tend to be patrons of the arts. You don't succeed as an economy by subsidizing arts groups with govt money when your city is falling apart. Fringe groups like KAS are always going to have their hand out because they do not appeal very much to the monied class. I have a problem with giving them $4 million.

A: Arts funding has to come partly from the public purse--the patonage of the wealthy is insufficient. And art cannot simply about appeal to "the monied class."

B: The city is not falling apart.

I'm sensing this is a pointless, circular conversation though.

OldDartmouthMark
Mar 26, 2015, 8:26 PM
Fringe groups like KAS are always going to have their hand out because they do not appeal very much to the monied class. I have a problem with giving them $4 million.

I'm confused here. You keep stating that the city is giving the KAS $4,000,000.

However, I thought that the $4,000,000 figure was the cost of refurbishing the Khyber building, which the city owns, and is considering letting the KAS use. I don't believe they are giving the building to the KAS, so therefore the figure you quoted is simply the cost of the city investing in its own property. In fact, one could argue that much of it is just overdue investment incurred from years of neglect - money that should have already been spent in the past to maintain the building. The rest would be extra cost for damage due to the neglect by its owners (us, the taxpayers, through our representatives in City Hall).

So let's get it straight - we are arguing over whether the city should spend money to maintain a building that it owns, or act like a slum landlord and let it deteriorate until it must be condemned. If we want to improve the image of our city, refurbishing and properly maintaining City properties isn't something that should even be questioned - it should be expected.

http://www.thecoast.ca/imager/yes-the-khyber-is-still-safe-for-now/b/big/4576176/34ad/Screen_Shot_2015-03-23_at_3.10.59_PM.png

http://www.thecoast.ca/RealityBites/archives/2015/03/24/yes-the-khyber-is-still-safe-for-now

FWIW, It doesn't appear that the city is giving $4,000,000 to any organizations.

http://www.halifax.ca/boardscom/bccgrants/documents/gc150209item7.1.1.pdf

http://www.halifax.ca/boardscom/bccgrants/documents/Grants141103item7.1.2.pdf

Keith P.
Mar 26, 2015, 8:49 PM
The only reason they are talking about spending $4 million or whatever bigger number it finally becomes is because KAS and their supporters kicked up a fuss when the city declared the building surplus. The city has no use for the building and does not want to own it, much less to restore it. That's why they declared it surplus. The only use for the theoretically restored building is for the KAS to continue to use it as their clubhouse - paying rent that is also funded by an annual operating grant from the city. You might think that having the city pay to rebuild your house and then paying your operating costs isn't a gift, but I beg to differ.

Keith P.
Mar 26, 2015, 8:54 PM
A: Arts funding has to come partly from the public purse--the patonage of the wealthy is insufficient. And art cannot simply about appeal to "the monied class."

That sounds like a pretty good argument for a stadium. Imagine the rock concerts and interpretive dance recitals that could attract 30,000 or more!

B: The city is not falling apart.

A cursory look at the state of our roads, bridges, and sewer/water infrastructure would not support such a statement.

I'm sensing this is a pointless, circular conversation though.

A discussion that refutes your position is not a circular conversation.

halifaxboyns
Mar 26, 2015, 9:01 PM
Maybe all those families in the suburbs are foreign national terrorist agents integrating themselves into our society to eventually take us over? I'm not sure how else to explain it. Because the argument here from the planners is that they aren't important citizens and taxpayers. I find that absolutely astounding, that people employed by govts in the various public services would deem one group of individuals undesirable and their need for services unnecessary because of where they choose to live.

Firstly, your first statement - completely and utterly inappropriate and shows a complete lack of cultural respect and I don't care whether you did it for shock value - frankly should get you banned from the site. It shows a level of disrespect of cultural diversity that is shocking in this day and age.

Secondly - where have I ever said that folks in suburbs are not important? Where and when? What I've said is that we need to balance the $ money that is spent throughout but that city building isn't always about getting folks from the burbs in cars through neighbourhoods. Meaning: don't bulldoze one neighbourhood to benefit another because both are equally important. Balance the needs not one over the other.

OldDartmouthMark
Mar 26, 2015, 9:23 PM
The only reason they are talking about spending $4 million or whatever bigger number it finally becomes is because KAS and their supporters kicked up a fuss when the city declared the building surplus. The city has no use for the building and does not want to own it, much less to restore it. That's why they declared it surplus. The only use for the theoretically restored building is for the KAS to continue to use it as their clubhouse - paying rent that is also funded by an annual operating grant from the city. You might think that having the city pay to rebuild your house and then paying your operating costs isn't a gift, but I beg to differ.

To be clear:
(1) "The city" is us - the citizens, the taxpayers. The people in municipal government are there to act as our representatives.
(2) "We" have decided that we want to keep the Khyber, and have communicated through a petition, emails, etc. to our representatives that we do value the Khyber building and the arts organization that has been residing in it.
(3) Our representatives have changed plans for the building based on what "we" want and have taken it off the surplus list. Now they are acting responsibly and quantifying the finances to carry out "our" wishes.
(4) If there had been a massive outcry of people sharing your views, outnumbering those who want to keep it, the decision would likely have turned out differently. Where were all the detractors? Even in a "skyscraper" forum, the overwhelming preference appears to be for keeping this old, non-skyscraper building.

:2cents:

halifaxboyns
Mar 26, 2015, 9:26 PM
To be clear:
(1) "The city" is us - the citizens, the taxpayers. The people in municipal government are there to act as our representatives.
(2) "We" have decided that we want to keep the Khyber, and have communicated through a petition, emails, etc. to our representatives that we do value the Khyber building and the arts organization that has been residing in it.
(3) Our representatives have changed plans for the building based on what "we" want and have taken it off the surplus list. Now they are acting responsibly and quantifying the finances to carry out "our" wishes.
(4) If there had been a massive outcry of people sharing your views, outnumbering those who want to keep it, the decision would likely have turned out differently. Where were all the detractors? Even in a "skyscraper" forum, the overwhelming preference appears to be for keeping this old, non-skyscraper building.

:2cents:

Well said. Citizens don't approve things and we need to realize legally and legislatively we don't. So when I hear out here that a community association voted against a redevelopment - that's nice. They aren't the approving authority - staff are. Or in this case - council. If you don't like the decision - let council know. It makes me wonder how many of the folks on here hide behind their profiles and make comments but ever contribute (be it for or against something). I'm sure for this forum, the %age is quite high of those who do go to speak or participate. But I'm sure there are a few who are quite opinionated that don't. It's like complaining about government but you didn't vote.

Keith P.
Mar 26, 2015, 9:43 PM
Firstly, your first statement - completely and utterly inappropriate and shows a complete lack of cultural respect and I don't care whether you did it for shock value - frankly should get you banned from the site. It shows a level of disrespect of cultural diversity that is shocking in this day and age.


Go watch "The Americans", then you will get the reference. That's OK, no need to apologize.

Keith P.
Mar 26, 2015, 9:50 PM
To be clear:
(1) "The city" is us - the citizens, the taxpayers. The people in municipal government are there to act as our representatives.
(2) "We" have decided that we want to keep the Khyber, and have communicated through a petition, emails, etc. to our representatives that we do value the Khyber building and the arts organization that has been residing in it.
(3) Our representatives have changed plans for the building based on what "we" want and have taken it off the surplus list. Now they are acting responsibly and quantifying the finances to carry out "our" wishes.
(4) If there had been a massive outcry of people sharing your views, outnumbering those who want to keep it, the decision would likely have turned out differently. Where were all the detractors? Even in a "skyscraper" forum, the overwhelming preference appears to be for keeping this old, non-skyscraper building.

:2cents:


OK, let's be clear:

(1) HRM senior staff compiled a list of surplus city buildings they no longer want and have no use for, and that list was signed off by the CAO, the highest-level employee of the city.
(2) a couple of council members went apeshit when they saw the beloved Khyber on the list and asked for a couple of reports.
(3) those reports have now been delivered
(4) the reports show the costs of rehabbing the building as $4 million and they also show that the supposed "cultural strategy" never got to first base because nobody could get their respective acts together (likely fault on both the city and arts group parts)
(5) no other decisions have been made as to whether we dump it, fix it or whatever. It is still a very open question.

One can only hope that there are 9 sane council members at the meeting when this comes to a vote and we do not proceed with this insanity.

Keith P.
Mar 26, 2015, 9:56 PM
Secondly - where have I ever said that folks in suburbs are not important? Where and when? What I've said is that we need to balance the $ money that is spent throughout but that city building isn't always about getting folks from the burbs in cars through neighbourhoods. Meaning: don't bulldoze one neighbourhood to benefit another because both are equally important. Balance the needs not one over the other.

I refer you to this:

When we think about world class cities, they have recognized that it's about providing services for what the changing demographics want. Younger folks are looking for cities where cars aren't the priority and have significant cultural aspects. Jeff boiled it down like this (and I thought it was a great metaphor): do you want a 1 star city (like a Macdonald's) or do you want a 3 star city (moxie's or something like that) or do you want a 5 star city?

The world class cities build bike lanes and encourage investments in transit and culture, because that's what the younger demographics who are moving to them want. They don't want to own a car, they want the excitement of downtown cultural areas.


So if you're "world class" you're younger, live downtown, own a bike but not a car, and go to indie shows. If you live in the 'burbs with your wife and kids and minivan, drive to and from places, take them to fast food now and then and maybe watch a TV show for entertainment, you're something other than "world class" and are part of the 1-star McDonald's class.

I didn't say that, you did.

halifaxboyns
Mar 26, 2015, 10:13 PM
I refer you to this:

When we think about world class cities, they have recognized that it's about providing services for what the changing demographics want. Younger folks are looking for cities where cars aren't the priority and have significant cultural aspects. Jeff boiled it down like this (and I thought it was a great metaphor): do you want a 1 star city (like a Macdonald's) or do you want a 3 star city (moxie's or something like that) or do you want a 5 star city?

The world class cities build bike lanes and encourage investments in transit and culture, because that's what the younger demographics who are moving to them want. They don't want to own a car, they want the excitement of downtown cultural areas.


So if you're "world class" you're younger, live downtown, own a bike but not a car, and go to indie shows. If you live in the 'burbs with your wife and kids and minivan, drive to and from places, take them to fast food now and then and maybe watch a TV show for entertainment, you're something other than "world class" and are part of the 1-star McDonald's class.

I didn't say that, you did.
Wow you really need to learn to read - I was trying to equate the rating system that Jeff used to something quantifiable that could be understood of what 1 star versus 3 stars was. And he said it; not I. I quoted him (if you actually read my quote).

I grew up in the suburbs and when I was a child, I enjoyed it. If people want to live in the suburbs or even in rural areas then that's fine. When I grew, I realized I wanted to live downtown. People can raise children downtown - more 'world class cities' are setting up their downtowns to be places they can raise kids.

But I'm talking to a brick wall here who can only resort to bitter name calling and to justify his arguments and hides behind the shadow of a profile and likely has never shown up to regional council meeting to voice his true concerns. So best of luck in getting the City you want. I'm perfectly happy with the progressive thinking that's been happening in Halifax and frankly want to see more of it and will happily put my tax dollars towards it.

halifaxboyns
Mar 26, 2015, 10:14 PM
OK, let's be clear:

(1) HRM senior staff compiled a list of surplus city buildings they no longer want and have no use for, and that list was signed off by the CAO, the highest-level employee of the city.
(2) a couple of council members went apeshit when they saw the beloved Khyber on the list and asked for a couple of reports.
(3) those reports have now been delivered
(4) the reports show the costs of rehabbing the building as $4 million and they also show that the supposed "cultural strategy" never got to first base because nobody could get their respective acts together (likely fault on both the city and arts group parts)
(5) no other decisions have been made as to whether we dump it, fix it or whatever. It is still a very open question.

One can only hope that there are 9 sane council members at the meeting when this comes to a vote and we do not proceed with this insanity.

When you get in government - you can be on council and voice these concerns and be a part of the decision making. If you are so strongly opinionated...then run for councillor or mayor. Otherwise, you aren't part of the decision process - get over it.

OldDartmouthMark
Mar 26, 2015, 10:22 PM
OK, let's be clear:

(1) HRM senior staff compiled a list of surplus city buildings they no longer want and have no use for, and that list was signed off by the CAO, the highest-level employee of the city.

And overturned by the efforts of a large group of citizens. The democratic process working as it should.

(2) a couple of council members went apeshit when they saw the beloved Khyber on the list and asked for a couple of reports.

Too much emotion wrapped up in this statement for me to take it seriously.

(3) those reports have now been delivered

Agree.

(4) the reports show the costs of rehabbing the building as $4 million

Fact.

and they also show that the supposed "cultural strategy" never got to first base because nobody could get their respective acts together (likely fault on both the city and arts group parts)

An indication that better communication and collaboration is needed, but not a failure of the concept.

(5) no other decisions have been made as to whether we dump it, fix it or whatever. It is still a very open question.

I've been looking for results of the latest meeting but couldn't find any as yet. You're right that it is an open question but it appears that the momentum has changed from pre-September 2014.

One can only hope that there are 9 sane council members at the meeting when this comes to a vote and we do not proceed with this insanity.

A statement slanted towards your point of view. Again, hard to take seriously.

That said, I appreciate the debate even if you're wrong (that's a joke... :haha:).

Keith P.
Mar 26, 2015, 10:41 PM
And overturned by the efforts of a large group of citizens. The democratic process working as it should.


Actually, that is hugely anti-democratic. The arts groups lobbied a few council members for that. The population at large was not asked their opinion.

Keith P.
Mar 26, 2015, 10:42 PM
When you get in government - you can be on council and voice these concerns and be a part of the decision making. If you are so strongly opinionated...then run for councillor or mayor. Otherwise, you aren't part of the decision process - get over it.

Excuuuuse me. I was unaware you were an elected representative.

Keith P.
Mar 26, 2015, 10:56 PM
Wow you really need to learn to read - I was trying to equate the rating system that Jeff used to something quantifiable that could be understood of what 1 star versus 3 stars was. And he said it; not I. I quoted him (if you actually read my quote).

And then you expressed your support for it, calling it a great metaphor.

But I'm talking to a brick wall here who can only resort to bitter name calling and to justify his arguments and hides behind the shadow of a profile and likely has never shown up to regional council meeting to voice his true concerns. So best of luck in getting the City you want. I'm perfectly happy with the progressive thinking that's been happening in Halifax and frankly want to see more of it and will happily put my tax dollars towards it.

I resent that statement. I called you no names nor did I call anyone else names. I have been here a long time and understand how it works. You, on the other hand, based on some wild misreading of something I posted, called me something *that close* to a racist and demanded I be banned. Get a grip.

As for profile names, I am unaware of who anyone here is. Even "Waye Mason" and "Colin May" could well be pseudonyms. I fail to see why you claim some level of superiority just because a few people here may be aware of who you are. I don't know who you are nor why you think you are better or deserve to get your way. Take a deep breath and realize this is not your kingdom, it is an internet forum where not everyone will agree with your views.

halifaxboyns
Mar 26, 2015, 11:31 PM
Actually, that is hugely anti-democratic. The arts groups lobbied a few council members for that. The population at large was not asked their opinion.

It wasn't a public hearing. Sorry you don't like how the HRM charter is setup to ask for public engagement, but some decisions don't require public input. If you have an issue with governance structure, take it up with the Province to change the HRM charter so that every decision HRM council makes requires a public hearing. When they do that, don't complain that the costs of running HRM go up because Council meetings run into weeks. Plus nothing stopped you from going to lobby council members - what times did you meet with them to express your opinions?

Excuuuuse me. I was unaware you were an elected representative.

I'm not - never said I was. But I've worked in enough governments to understand governance structures. When the councilors are at the table at regional council they are making decisions at a regional level. If they focused on their districts all the time, nothing would ever be done.

halifaxboyns
Mar 26, 2015, 11:36 PM
And then you expressed your support for it, calling it a great metaphor.

I resent that statement. I called you no names nor did I call anyone else names. I have been here a long time and understand how it works. You, on the other hand, based on some wild misreading of something I posted, called me something *that close* to a racist and demanded I be banned. Get a grip.

As for profile names, I am unaware of who anyone here is. Even "Waye Mason" and "Colin May" could well be pseudonyms. I fail to see why you claim some level of superiority just because a few people here may be aware of who you are. I don't know who you are nor why you think you are better or deserve to get your way. Take a deep breath and realize this is not your kingdom, it is an internet forum where not everyone will agree with your views.

I called it a great metaphor because it gave people a reasonable understanding of quantifying 1 star versus 3 star. Because if you don't quantify what it means, you can't understand the metaphor.

Were these not your words:
Maybe all those families in the suburbs are foreign national terrorist agents integrating themselves into our society to eventually take us over?
Go watch "The Americans", then you will get the reference. That's OK, no need to apologize.
I would note that this was not your original post since you edited it - you actually posted "Go watch 'The Americans' and go eat a snickers' - - so what exactly did you mean then?

I don't care whether you agree, could care less. But when you take a debate into a personal realm - frankly, I'm not going to tolerate it whether it's aimed at me or anyone else on here (such as your frequent personal attacks on people positive on cycle tracks). I'd also add that this isn't your personal kingdom, nor anyone else's - it's a forum. I don't lose sleep over it. I have never hidden behind by profile - I was here putting on an urban planning film festival, at the dal student planning conference given Allan Ruffman a hard time and have always made myself available when I come home to discuss and debate planning. So if you want to have a rationale, non-racist statement spouting debate about planning over coffee - I'm more than happy to do it. I enjoy debating people who don't agree with me, keeps up the debate skills and I'd be happy to buy your coffee. Keep the person attacks at home. I will end this debate with you to say we agree to disagree.

TheNovaScotian
Mar 27, 2015, 12:05 AM
Keith this is a place of urban planning issues, when your talking to a bunch of biologists do you insert your wild ideas and tell them that they aren't authorities on the subject?

I respect what everyone on this forum has to say, some more than others due to their educational background and profession. Since we don't know what you do as a professional though I doubt it is an urban planner or council member, I cannot put your opinion in as high a regard as Halifaxboyns due to his profession that over years of posting on this site has been built. :koko:

Your role as devils advocate in many arguments usually cracks me up. but Kieth why the personal attacks over something so mundane as Art's funding? The KAS funding isn't up for debate right now, so the point is moot.:shrug:

This is a building that is owned by the city, who has to maintain the building up to the it's own building standards. While subsidizing the suburbs, buildings like this and the Dennis have fallen into disrepair due to the negligence of your generations governance. Which we "the urbanites" will correct, by ending decades of misuse of public dollars financing your suburban dreams. muhahahahahaha:tup:

The true cost of the suburbia is nowhere near paid in your taxes, sorry to tell you. If you had to pay for the initial cost of the new schools, roads, policing and fire it wouldnt be possible to live where you live right now. Welcome to part of the Welfare state if you live in suburbia, if you want to look at public subsidies that way. ;)

ILoveHalifax
Mar 27, 2015, 1:06 AM
This note will probably go on deaf ears - but..

I see that we have a number of YOUNG planners on this site who believe that because they have read a few books and sat in a few classes that their opinion counts while others opinions do not.

They seem to believe that their ideas of planning have evolved to where they have all the answers. Everything done in the past does not meet their level of thought.

I suspect that as time goes by that there will be further evolution of thought in planning and possible even a return to some of the ideas from past decades. Time will tell but let me assure you as someone who has always been interested in these ideas as far as I am concerned age provides some wisdom and possibly a broader insite than the young planners possess.