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  #21  
Old Posted Jul 2, 2014, 7:10 PM
JET JET is offline
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Yeah, but who reads the newsletter? They're speaking to a tiny, tiny circle of like-minded people who subscribe to it, and reaching nearly no one else.
Ziobrop read the newsletter, I've read their newsletters, maybe you read the newsletter; sounds like it might not be such a tiny circle of like minded people that are reading the HT newsletter, and as Ziobrop said 'Heritage needs to be debated. Issues need to be made public'. Maybe HT is not failing in this
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  #22  
Old Posted Jul 2, 2014, 7:10 PM
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I'm a bit confused by your comments; you note that most of Heritage Trust's website dates back to 2010 - its not current; but then you note that you were reading their most recent newsletter (June 2014; http://htns.ca/pdf_Griffin/2014/GRIFFIN.jun.2014.pdf) this newsletter has very interesting info: Dennis Building, New Library, Commerce Square, Infants Home, early aerial photography of Halifax; all very interesting, well written, conciliatory, and topics that are often referred to in the Skyscraper forum. The newsletter seems very current, I'm unclear why you say it is not.
The newsletter is excellent. HTNS also does good research work, and i have seen a few cases where there research has been better and more detailed then HRM's Heritage file.

their press page is stale http://www.htns.ca/press-in_the_news.html
Many of the works cited on their committees page are several years old.

have a look at their 3 year 2012-2015 plan http://www.htns.ca/pdf/Strategic.pdf

Their Goals and strategies are good, But they have failed in their execution. - Because success requires them to be more prominent and public facing with their advocacy - and they are not.
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  #23  
Old Posted Jul 2, 2014, 7:18 PM
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Originally Posted by JET View Post
Ziobrop read the newsletter, I've read their newsletters, maybe you read the newsletter; sounds like it might not be such a tiny circle of like minded people that are reading the HT newsletter, and as Ziobrop said 'Heritage needs to be debated. Issues need to be made public'. Maybe HT is not failing in this
I/We read the newsletter because we are interested. The majority of Halifax residents don't read it, and are less interested - but probably care that "that nice old building is going to be demolished leaving an ugly empty lot downtown" HTNS is too academic. heritage needs broad public support, and you cant do that effectively without mass appeal.

i have been quite critical of HTNS. the thing is I want them to be successful, i want them to be the advocate for heritage, and to be trusted, and helpful. sadly we only hear from them once a building comes down, or when they fight over non-existant viewplanes - and rather then foster heritage preservation, color the movement as nimby heritage extremists - which hurts us all.
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  #24  
Old Posted Jul 2, 2014, 7:27 PM
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i have been quite critical of HTNS. the thing is I want them to be successful, i want them to be the advocate for heritage, and to be trusted, and helpful. sadly we only hear from them once a building comes down, or when they fight over non-existant viewplanes - and rather then foster heritage preservation, color the movement as nimby heritage extremists - which hurts us all.
That's it.
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  #25  
Old Posted Jul 2, 2014, 8:44 PM
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Stick a fork in the Heritage Trust, they're done.

These clowns have effectively pissed off the majority of the general population and business community.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-s...ntre-1.2694382

Apparently the response from the heritage trust is that it is within their mandate to make the city enforce their rules and heritage buildings are the biggest economic drivers of Nova Scotia's economy.
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  #26  
Old Posted Jul 2, 2014, 11:19 PM
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Regarding the Heritage Trust of Nova Scotia:

Reading the comments on this thread, it seems that the HTNS is only being referred to in terms of their activities in HRM. Do they have a provincial mandate or not?

Would they be interested in preserving the cable station referred to earlier in the thread, or does the mere fact that this interesting and historically significant building is located off the peninsula place it beyond their purview??
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  #27  
Old Posted Jul 3, 2014, 12:04 AM
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Originally Posted by MonctonRad View Post
Regarding the Heritage Trust of Nova Scotia:

Reading the comments on this thread, it seems that the HTNS is only being referred to in terms of their activities in HRM. Do they have a provincial mandate or not?

Would they be interested in preserving the cable station referred to earlier in the thread, or does the mere fact that this interesting and historically significant building is located off the peninsula place it beyond their purview??
If there is no view to protect, or tall buildings to oppose then they seem to be uninterested (which seems to rule out rural Nova Scotia).

Wouldn't it be great if they were in the newspapers talking about their campaign to save the Commercial Cable Station instead of their success in stopping development. Then many people would want to get behind them and donate money. As it is now, if I donate money to them they might use it to fight the Nova Centre.
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  #28  
Old Posted Jul 3, 2014, 12:08 AM
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If there is no view to protect, or tall buildings to oppose then they seem to be uninterested (which seems to rule out rural Nova Scotia).

Wouldn't it be great if they were in the newspapers talking about their campaign to save the Commercial Cable Station instead of their success in stopping development. Then many people would want to get behind them and donate money. As it is now, if I donate money to them they might use it to fight the Nova Centre.
Very sad.
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  #29  
Old Posted Jul 3, 2014, 12:46 AM
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Originally Posted by MonctonRad View Post
Regarding the Heritage Trust of Nova Scotia:

Reading the comments on this thread, it seems that the HTNS is only being referred to in terms of their activities in HRM. Do they have a provincial mandate or not?

Would they be interested in preserving the cable station referred to earlier in the thread, or does the mere fact that this interesting and historically significant building is located off the peninsula place it beyond their purview??
No they have a province wide mandate. Yet they are silent on this. That's the issue and why they are no longer credible in my mind
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  #30  
Old Posted Jul 3, 2014, 11:40 AM
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Here is a link to a Global News interview with Wadih Fares from WM Fares.

http://globalnews.ca/video/1429239/b...-advertisement

Here is the actual ad itself.

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  #31  
Old Posted Jul 3, 2014, 12:18 PM
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So why don't we put our money where our mouth is? With all the discussion around heritage in Halifax right now maybe it's time to turn the tone positive instead of antagonistic. I'll grab a table at the Henry House (a great example of the positives of heritage buildings) on Sunday the 20th. Anyone who wants to drop in and figure out how we can do this is welcome.

EDIT: I changed the date to the 20th (from the 19th) so that there's more of a chnce people will be free and we'll be able to geta table at Henry House.

Last edited by IanWatson; Jul 3, 2014 at 12:56 PM.
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  #32  
Old Posted Jul 3, 2014, 12:52 PM
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  #33  
Old Posted Jul 3, 2014, 6:07 PM
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I am of the same mind as you on the HT in your blog - very good points. When they focus all their energy on keeping downtown as is; they have missed all these other buildings of significant heritage value. Which begs the question are the really fulfilling their mandate as a Provincial Heritage Preservation body? I'd say a resounding no.

Others on this forum have pointed out other organizations that the HT could model themselves after which are not "all or nothing" minded and are more than happy to work with folks and even help put some money in to the game where possible. If the HT was more like that; then I could see them having more support.

They are the creators of their own misfortune and while I doubt the slap lawsuit will go anywhere - the fact they will all have to pay out the legal costs while it moves forward is penalty enough. Having been a part of when when I worked for the Municipality in Fort Mac (and their legal team represented me) I can say I'm quite happy I didn't have to pay.
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  #34  
Old Posted Jul 3, 2014, 6:50 PM
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the HTNS's bylaws require directors to be covered by insurance, and for the trust to pay premiums.

None of the trust directors named will have to pay a cent out of pocket - the insurance will cover it AFAIk
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  #35  
Old Posted Jul 5, 2014, 7:11 AM
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Convention Centre grudge match aside, people do love to scapegoat the Trust for all of Halifax's development ills. For about 20 years starting in 1989 there was almost nothing built Downtown and the Trust is frequently blamed for that, which has little basis in reality. The lack of development Downtown has way more to do with economics and planning than the Trust. The bottom fell out of the commercial real estate market in 1989 and it took 20 years for commercial rents to recover to the point that new construction was attractive. We're somewhat back to square one again as the 2008 recession has pushed vacancy rates back up again and everyone is scrambling for tenants. The Heritage Trust has had nothing to do with the 89 and 08 recessions. Needless to say, they don't control vacancy rates, construction costs or bank financing.

On the other side, we've had crappy planning rules that have made it tough to build Downtown while allowing sprawl to spread ever outward. Since 89, there has actually been a number of office development in HRM, they just haven't been Downtown. They've been in the suburban market which in that period grew to have more than 50% of the total space available in Halifax. This makes us fairly unique in Canada as one of the only cities that doesn't have most of its office space Downtown. We recover some of the cost of new development, but a lot of it ends up paid for by the taxpayer (see Washmill Lake Underpass, Timberlea sewage diversion, etc), which means that Downtown is subsidizing its competition. Until recently, HRM has shown no interest in tackling any of the bigger picture planning problems that has made the suburbs a more appealing place to build. Again, the Trust has not controlled this.

Telling people that economics and planning are the problem is tough and complicated. Telling them its the Trust is at fault is easy, especially when the Trust is so vocal in the media and have chosen some pretty poor battles to fight (trying to block development on vacant lots because it's next to a heritage building isn't a great strategy!). It's no wonder they've become a favourite target. It's unfortunate because, as a result, we're now in a place where heritage is seen as a detriment to development and old Halifax is getting knocked down at an alarming rate. Pity.
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  #36  
Old Posted Jul 5, 2014, 12:31 PM
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Convention Centre grudge match aside, people do love to scapegoat the Trust for all of Halifax's development ills. For about 20 years starting in 1989 there was almost nothing built Downtown and the Trust is frequently blamed for that, which has little basis in reality. The lack of development Downtown has way more to do with economics and planning than the Trust. The bottom fell out of the commercial real estate market in 1989 and it took 20 years for commercial rents to recover to the point that new construction was attractive. We're somewhat back to square one again as the 2008 recession has pushed vacancy rates back up again and everyone is scrambling for tenants. The Heritage Trust has had nothing to do with the 89 and 08 recessions. Needless to say, they don't control vacancy rates, construction costs or bank financing.

On the other side, we've had crappy planning rules that have made it tough to build Downtown while allowing sprawl to spread ever outward. Since 89, there has actually been a number of office development in HRM, they just haven't been Downtown. They've been in the suburban market which in that period grew to have more than 50% of the total space available in Halifax. This makes us fairly unique in Canada as one of the only cities that doesn't have most of its office space Downtown. We recover some of the cost of new development, but a lot of it ends up paid for by the taxpayer (see Washmill Lake Underpass, Timberlea sewage diversion, etc), which means that Downtown is subsidizing its competition. Until recently, HRM has shown no interest in tackling any of the bigger picture planning problems that has made the suburbs a more appealing place to build. Again, the Trust has not controlled this.

Telling people that economics and planning are the problem is tough and complicated. Telling them its the Trust is at fault is easy, especially when the Trust is so vocal in the media and have chosen some pretty poor battles to fight (trying to block development on vacant lots because it's next to a heritage building isn't a great strategy!). It's no wonder they've become a favourite target. It's unfortunate because, as a result, we're now in a place where heritage is seen as a detriment to development and old Halifax is getting knocked down at an alarming rate. Pity.

I somewhat agree with your last paragraph, however, I think you have oversimplified the situation in order to defend the Heritage Trust. I think the following article gives a good description of the obstacles that were put in place to the Halifax city by-laws in the early 1970's - http://downtownhalifax.ca/index.php/...ck-to-the-plan. The article represents the viewpoint of the Downtown Halifax Business Commission, and in my opinion, they give a much more rational stance on heritage protection than the Save the View group - http://www.savetheview.ca/). The Save the View representatives (mostly representatives of the Heritage Trust) sound like an irrational, extremist group to myself and others.

Although heritage protection in Nova Scotia doesn't receive the same level of public funds that it does in Quebec and Quebec City, taxpayer's funds are already being used to save significant NS heritage buildings in downtown Halifax. There is little concern that the Halifax City Hall, Government House, Province House or other significant buildings will be torn down. I think private sector groups, such as Armour Group, deserve far more credit in saving city streetscapes than the Heritage Trust. The following streetscapes were saved and developed into practical purposes by the Armour Group:
http://www.armourgroup.com/building_...?building_id=1
http://www.armourgroup.com/building_...?building_id=2
http://www.armourgroup.com/building_...building_id=27

Is the Heritage Trust, in the absence of public funding, capable of saving the less significant heritage buildings? I think the answer is obviously "no". The Heritage Trust is doing a poor job as heritage conservationists because they have lost the support of residents and business leaders. They are too irrational to work with developers and think that they can achieve their goal through blocking development as they have numerous times and continue to do (Nova Centre, 22nd Commerce Square, and so on). However, in the absence of public funding, heritage protection of the less significant heritage buildings has become a private sector endeavor. Repurposing obsolete, "sick" buildings containing poor electrical systems, poor fire-protection systems, poor ventilation, low ceiling heights, etc. is the job of building professionals not the job of people with PhDs in chemistry, such as Phil Pacey.

As a side-note, Phil Pacey taught one chemistry course that I took in 1975-76. He was a good chemistry professor but he is not an economist/architect/engineer/construction tradesman. As is the case with other Heritage Trust representatives, they seem to have ventured into unknown waters and have become lost.
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  #37  
Old Posted Jul 5, 2014, 2:14 PM
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Originally Posted by spaustin View Post
Telling people that economics and planning are the problem is tough and complicated. Telling them its the Trust is at fault is easy, especially when the Trust is so vocal in the media and have chosen some pretty poor battles to fight (trying to block development on vacant lots because it's next to a heritage building isn't a great strategy!). It's no wonder they've become a favourite target. It's unfortunate because, as a result, we're now in a place where heritage is seen as a detriment to development and old Halifax is getting knocked down at an alarming rate. Pity.
This is basically exactly my thinking on the issue. You can hear the "oh, knock down those useless eyesores" talk in any city, but it does seem more pronounced here, which is a bit dismaying because there's a sort of desperation to prove we're a with-it city, and seemingly more willingness to allow or even encourage demolition if it brings about something--anything--new and modern.

I don't think it would take much to get the "heritage-holds-us-back" cabal to quiet down, though, if another group came along to replace HT and become defenders of heritage and advocates for (good) development. These issues get enough press in the city that I think it'd have a serious effect on public attitudes toward conservation and restoration.
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  #38  
Old Posted Jul 5, 2014, 2:56 PM
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The Heritage Trust has to divest itself of the anti-development Save-The-View extremists in it's organization, and seriously re-order it's priorities. The battle over the Nova Centre has been lost. Get over it. I am sure that there are other worthy heritage properties in the city that could benefit from an intervention by the HT.

The HT also seriously needs to broaden it's focus and concern itself with worthy projects outside the peninsula, such as the commercial cable station on the eastern shore that is at such a risk. the cable station is truly a building of significant historical and architectural merit and needs to be preserved and restored. It would be a tremendous asset to the community it is located in. I eagerly await to hear the position the HT will be taking on the future of the cable station! That is of course if the HT navel gazers are even aware that this building exists…….
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  #39  
Old Posted Jul 5, 2014, 5:04 PM
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Again, I don't think there is really much of a "knock it all down cabal" here. The issue is that there is far less worth saving than the HT believes there is. Look at the example of the "dry canteen" on the Wanderers Grounds - an unremarkable wood-frame WWII-era building that for some reason some people thought was a heritage structure. Or the typical old 2-storey wood-frame buildings downtown. There isn't a whole lot there that is of quality. I'm not hearing people calling for tearing down the former Doull bookstore building downtown, or the Buckey Building. But when they get all worked up over something like the Roy Building, which probably wasn't all that great the day it opened, then they lose public support. When they let the crazies like the bunch behind STV start going off on public policy then that is where they lose a lot more support.

Their Bev Miller has a piece in the Herald today that exemplifies their thinking, and their problem. A few quotes:

- This one shows the "we're not Toronto mindset and the disdain for anything new:

Quote:
Heritage buildings are an asset. That should go without saying. One only needs to look at Newfoundland’s tourism ads to see why tourism has grown steadily in that province while visitor numbers to Nova Scotia have been stagnant in comparison. Why leave home to see another skyscraper?
- This one shows their desire to turn downtown into a museum:

Quote:
They are particularly valuable because they are a museum in the street; no admission or special trip required. They speak to us every day (Christmas and holidays included!), yet we seem to demolish, dismantle and re-arrange them with the kind of abandon that would create an unholy uproar if the same desecration were considered for a painting in the art gallery or an artifact in one of our museums.
- This one shows their lack of desire to compromise in any way:

Quote:
The bits of a heritage building stuck on a modern building, or the erection of a commemorative installation, as was suggested by SMU to mark the location of the Women’s and Infants’ Home, simply doesn’t cut it. The value of all that the building represented, all the people who were an inspiration for it, who built it, who cared for it for upwards of 100 years, who were served by it — all that is gone, and the people disrespected.
- This one shows their lack of desire or capacity to do anything themselves:

Quote:
If such owners worldwide, including many Nova Scotians, can be creative about using and reusing the spaces in their buildings and diligent about repairing, maintaining, protecting and keeping them out of the land fill, this should be possible for, and expected of, all heritage property owners.

Really, is it any surprise they are becoming so marginalized?
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  #40  
Old Posted Jul 5, 2014, 5:08 PM
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There is another thread for the Dennis Building elsewhere so I don't want to start a second one here. However I do think the HT position on the Dennis is actually hurting the chances of some part of it being saved. The HT wants the building saved as-is with whatever renovations are required to make it useful. No compromise otherwise.

That type of position is likely a non-starter given the significant code and commercial requirements for office space downtown. In this case the ceiling heights, elevator shafts, stairwells, air handlers, etc are all significantly deficient. The only real hope is retaining a shell of some sort and building essentially a new structure inside. But the HT would reject this as "facadism".

Last edited by Keith P.; Jul 5, 2014 at 5:50 PM.
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