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  #61  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2014, 12:29 AM
ILoveHalifax ILoveHalifax is offline
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We don't know if stopping harbour drive was right or wrong. We can see what happened to Halifax when it was stopped but we of course cannot see what would have happened had it been built.
Good possibility we would have a waterfront with many tall skyscrapers overlooking the harbor, with a beautiful tree lined boulevard providing easy access to the downtown and a bridge over the Northwest Arm. Possibly Sackville would never been developed because the city would have grown to the west, rather than spread out. We may have grown more quickly because business was interested in a modern thinking Halifax. Possibly we would have major downtown shopping including department stores. We would have had a few less heritage properties because (Historic Properties) but we would still have a lot of heritage as well. We might have lost some but retained others.
Many cites have boulevards along the waterfront. Most of south Florida is a prime example and they have some very beautiful cities.
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  #62  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2014, 12:33 AM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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While this letter may have been inspired by the trade centre and the foolishness from both sides that it has recently spun off, I don't interpret that it's about the trade centre. Relax, folks, it's gonna get built.

I know this is the skyscraper forum, and it's fashionable here to do some good ol' chest-thumpin' heritage trust trash talking, but it seems that going extremely the other way is no better than what is causing your derision towards the HT in the first place. It's just extremism in the other direction: "Oh, the poor down-and-out developers - how will they ever survive with the all-powerful HT striking down their every move to build a better Halifax." It's a load of crap and you know it.

I think the last sentence of the letter sums it up really well: "Instead, the right answers for economic development will arrive through a broad base of involvement in deciding how to protect and build Halifax’s quality of life.".

A broad base of involvement - imagine that.

Why don't we work towards some kind of arrangement where there is good discussion and give-and-take among all sides. Maybe it's time for some young blood to infiltrate the HT and put it on track towards more reasonable goals and actually protect heritage properties like it was meant to. Otherwise, this discussion is just getting old.
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  #63  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2014, 12:51 AM
fenwick16 fenwick16 is offline
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Originally Posted by Drybrain View Post
I'm not defending the Heritage Trust here, but I wouldn't say developers have "very little power." Most of the development-industry bigwigs who factor in these discussions (Ramia, Fares, etc) are, in fact, wealthy and locally powerful.

Developers clearly have a great deal of power and influence in this and most cities. That's not necessarily bad--but there is a weird idea floating around town that the development community are a bunch of hard-done-by Joe Schmoes just trying to invest in our city, but always being foiled by the Heritage Trust's schemes, which is just as simplistic as anything the HT trot out.

Lord, Halifax's civic discussion over development is weird as hell.
I think the idea that developers are in general rich and powerful is also a myth. In the past, it was commonly stated that 80% of start-up businesses went out of business in the first year. For example, would you be willing to risk every cent you have and borrow money to start up a business?

I applaud the successful developers in Halifax because I am sure that they spent many long hours and risked personal sums of money to succeed. On the other hand, Heritage Trust members seem to measure their success by delaying projects and causing financial risk for developers. I don't consider support for developers over Heritage Trust members to be weird at all.
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  #64  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2014, 1:32 AM
portapetey portapetey is offline
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Originally Posted by Drybrain View Post
I'm not defending the Heritage Trust here, but I wouldn't say developers have "very little power." Most of the development-industry bigwigs who factor in these discussions (Ramia, Fares, etc) are, in fact, wealthy and locally powerful.

Developers clearly have a great deal of power and influence in this and most cities. That's not necessarily bad--but there is a weird idea floating around town that the development community are a bunch of hard-done-by Joe Schmoes just trying to invest in our city, but always being foiled by the Heritage Trust's schemes, which is just as simplistic as anything the HT trot out.

Lord, Halifax's civic discussion over development is weird as hell.

I'd still argue that, wealth aside, these guys aren't nearly as powerful as they are portrayed by the "David" side. If they were so powerful, they'd be able to cut through the years and years of delays, appeals, delays, challenges, and more appeals, and build whatever they want.

I am NOT saying that this would be a good thing. We want checks and balances. And we have them.

I think it is disingenuous of Trust supporters to suggest that there aren't already all kinds of balances in place against the developers. There are in fact so many checks and and balances that a large proportion of the population has indeed come to see the Trust and their allies as the bullies instead of as the heroes. People can't believe how much power the "anti-" side seems to have.

Last edited by portapetey; Jul 10, 2014 at 1:36 AM. Reason: my lousy typing
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  #65  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2014, 1:46 AM
portapetey portapetey is offline
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Originally Posted by OldDartmouthMark View Post
While this letter may have been inspired by the trade centre and the foolishness from both sides that it has recently spun off, I don't interpret that it's about the trade centre. Relax, folks, it's gonna get built.

I know this is the skyscraper forum, and it's fashionable here to do some good ol' chest-thumpin' heritage trust trash talking, but it seems that going extremely the other way is no better than what is causing your derision towards the HT in the first place. It's just extremism in the other direction: "Oh, the poor down-and-out developers - how will they ever survive with the all-powerful HT striking down their every move to build a better Halifax." It's a load of crap and you know it.

I think the last sentence of the letter sums it up really well: "Instead, the right answers for economic development will arrive through a broad base of involvement in deciding how to protect and build Halifax’s quality of life.".

A broad base of involvement - imagine that.

Why don't we work towards some kind of arrangement where there is good discussion and give-and-take among all sides. Maybe it's time for some young blood to infiltrate the HT and put it on track towards more reasonable goals and actually protect heritage properties like it was meant to. Otherwise, this discussion is just getting old.


No need to be dismissive and characterize genuine objection to the Trust's disingenuous tactics as either extremism, merely chest-thumping, or "a load of crap." (Nice.)

The Trust is playing the media game and trying to cast themselves as saviours standing up against the big bad monster developers. We could just as easily call that "chest thumping."

My point is, if you GENUINELY want balance, then build balance. Don't call for balance while at the same sneakily trying to stack the decks to your advantage.

I know it's just politics as usual - I'm not naive - but it's (I keep using this word, sorry) disingenuous.

I completely agree with your final paragraph.

Last edited by portapetey; Jul 10, 2014 at 1:59 AM.
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  #66  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2014, 1:54 AM
portapetey portapetey is offline
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Originally Posted by ILoveHalifax View Post
We don't know if stopping harbour drive was right or wrong. We can see what happened to Halifax when it was stopped but we of course cannot see what would have happened had it been built.
Good possibility we would have a waterfront with many tall skyscrapers overlooking the harbor, with a beautiful tree lined boulevard providing easy access to the downtown and a bridge over the Northwest Arm. Possibly Sackville would never been developed because the city would have grown to the west, rather than spread out. We may have grown more quickly because business was interested in a modern thinking Halifax. Possibly we would have major downtown shopping including department stores. We would have had a few less heritage properties because (Historic Properties) but we would still have a lot of heritage as well. We might have lost some but retained others.
Many cites have boulevards along the waterfront. Most of south Florida is a prime example and they have some very beautiful cities.
Nice vision, but I don't think Halifax was ever going to become a big enough city to support many tall skyscrapers in the downtown. I like seeing modern development, but people do seem to forget that Halifax is a city of about 300,000 people in its urban area and that small population simply doesn't call for 50 and 60 story buildings. Who would be in the buildings? I doubt there 's a city on Earth as small and isolated from other large population centres as Halifax with many tall buildings at all. (I'd be happy to be be proven wrong if anyone has examples.)

Besides, Toronto (I know, I know, we're not Toronto) it pretty much cut off from its waterfront because of its stupid version of Harbour Drive. Why would we want that?

I'm glad Harbour Drive was stopped. But I'd love, for example, to see the Cogswell lands developed with a few small-to-medium high rises and some monumental art or architecture. And I'd love to see a few more high rises scattered evenly throughout downtown.
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  #67  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2014, 2:04 AM
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Keith P. Keith P. is offline
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Originally Posted by ILoveHalifax View Post
We don't know if stopping harbour drive was right or wrong. We can see what happened to Halifax when it was stopped but we of course cannot see what would have happened had it been built.
Good possibility we would have a waterfront with many tall skyscrapers overlooking the harbor, with a beautiful tree lined boulevard providing easy access to the downtown and a bridge over the Northwest Arm. Possibly Sackville would never been developed because the city would have grown to the west, rather than spread out. We may have grown more quickly because business was interested in a modern thinking Halifax. Possibly we would have major downtown shopping including department stores. We would have had a few less heritage properties because (Historic Properties) but we would still have a lot of heritage as well. We might have lost some but retained others.
Many cites have boulevards along the waterfront. Most of south Florida is a prime example and they have some very beautiful cities.
I agree with this and have stated something similar here in the past. People seem to automatically equate "Harbour Drive" with "bad". So what we bought was a Disneyfied waterfront that is really nothing more than a place for tourists to visit 3 months of the year, traffic gridlock, heavy trucks on Hollis and Water Sts, and a bunch of old buildings selling t-shirts and souvenirs. What would we have had with Harbour Drive? We can be reasonably sure that an Arm Bridge would have been built, that development patterns would change, and that the downtown might be better or worse. But we simply do not know on the latter point. The HT seems to justify all of the last 45 years of obstructionism on their success in torpedoing Harbour Drive, but it is a very shaky foundation.
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  #68  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2014, 2:04 AM
Drybrain Drybrain is offline
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Originally Posted by ILoveHalifax View Post
We don't know if stopping harbour drive was right or wrong. We can see what happened to Halifax when it was stopped but we of course cannot see what would have happened had it been built.
Good possibility we would have a waterfront with many tall skyscrapers overlooking the harbor, with a beautiful tree lined boulevard providing easy access to the downtown and a bridge over the Northwest Arm. Possibly Sackville would never been developed because the city would have grown to the west, rather than spread out. We may have grown more quickly because business was interested in a modern thinking Halifax. Possibly we would have major downtown shopping including department stores. We would have had a few less heritage properties because (Historic Properties) but we would still have a lot of heritage as well. We might have lost some but retained others.
Many cites have boulevards along the waterfront. Most of south Florida is a prime example and they have some very beautiful cities.
Eh, maybe, but I doubt it. Virtually every city that went too far down the rabbit hole of mid 20th century traffic engineering and urban planning is now trying to backpedal out of those mistakes. Harbour Drive was all about devaluing the inner city as a place to live and expediting automobile commuting. I'm with the current majority opinion--it would've made Halifax worse. We're lucky it never happened. Out current, walkable, people-oriented waterfront is truly, unabashedly great. I wouldn't trade it for a highway and some high rises.
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  #69  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2014, 2:13 AM
portapetey portapetey is offline
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IThe HT seems to justify all of the last 45 years of obstructionism on their success in torpedoing Harbour Drive, but it is a very shaky foundation.
That I 100% agree with too.

There is yet another article in the Herald tonight waving the same flag and saying that protecting the historical is good (which I agree with) but offering no suggestions on how to include modern along with it.

http://thechronicleherald.ca/opinion...eally-get-bold

The campaign is certainly going strong.
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  #70  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2014, 12:49 PM
JET JET is offline
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Originally Posted by OldDartmouthMark View Post
While this letter may have been inspired by the trade centre and the foolishness from both sides that it has recently spun off, I don't interpret that it's about the trade centre. Relax, folks, it's gonna get built.

I know this is the skyscraper forum, and it's fashionable here to do some good ol' chest-thumpin' heritage trust trash talking, but it seems that going extremely the other way is no better than what is causing your derision towards the HT in the first place. It's just extremism in the other direction: "Oh, the poor down-and-out developers - how will they ever survive with the all-powerful HT striking down their every move to build a better Halifax." It's a load of crap and you know it.

I think the last sentence of the letter sums it up really well: "Instead, the right answers for economic development will arrive through a broad base of involvement in deciding how to protect and build Halifax’s quality of life.".

A broad base of involvement - imagine that.

Why don't we work towards some kind of arrangement where there is good discussion and give-and-take among all sides. Maybe it's time for some young blood to infiltrate the HT and put it on track towards more reasonable goals and actually protect heritage properties like it was meant to. Otherwise, this discussion is just getting old.
Well said Mark. I really don't think the Heritage Trust expects that Nova Centre will be blocked. What i see them doing is attempting to get government to follow it's processes, and not make it up and change it up as they go along. HT is concerned that a recent government decision will provide precedent that heritage is only facade deep, and that will have significant impact on heritage buildings. Saying that the only thing that Heritage Trust has done in 45 years is blocking the expressway is a simplistic and erroneous viewpoint. While there may be checks and balances in place regarding property development and heritage, someone has to step up when process is not followed or is ignored. Heritage Trust does that, and does it very well; I am glad that they do. If Government would only follow correct process, then perhaps HT could focus on more pertinent issues, and not have to focus on keeping government in check.
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  #71  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2014, 2:46 PM
worldlyhaligonian worldlyhaligonian is offline
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Originally Posted by portapetey View Post
Nice vision, but I don't think Halifax was ever going to become a big enough city to support many tall skyscrapers in the downtown. I like seeing modern development, but people do seem to forget that Halifax is a city of about 300,000 people in its urban area and that small population simply doesn't call for 50 and 60 story buildings. Who would be in the buildings? I doubt there 's a city on Earth as small and isolated from other large population centres as Halifax with many tall buildings at all. (I'd be happy to be be proven wrong if anyone has examples.)
Uhhh, all the people who live in the massive sprawl footprint of Halifax?

All the areas that have developed in the "city" are far flung and a direct result of anti-density.

In fact, Halifax has one of the biggest footprints for a city of such a low population due to that fact that we have what? Like 4-5 apartment towers downtown taller than 15 stories? (Not including the new ones)

I'm not for harbour drive, but you've clearly bought into the propaganda...

This is why there are single family homes in the middle of nowhere and peninsula property taxes paying for services and buses to nowhere.
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  #72  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2014, 3:14 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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No need to be dismissive and characterize genuine objection to the Trust's disingenuous tactics as either extremism, merely chest-thumping, or "a load of crap." (Nice.)
You missed my point a little in that I wasn't defending the Trust. I was attempting to support the idea that even though the HT has been off target that the idea of balancing the saving of heritage properties while encouraging new development is a good one. In reading comments about the letter being discussed, it seems that some just immediately fly into defense mode without considering the "meat" of the material presented. Not everything is about fighting the Trade Centre, nor is everything about viewplanes. I think the writer's ideas about the balance of economics vs quality of life are really good ones.

And, yes, I agree that I can be a little too "expressive" sometimes (and probably use quotation marks a little too freely as well, but I digress) - sorry about that.

Quote:
The Trust is playing the media game and trying to cast themselves as saviours standing up against the big bad monster developers. We could just as easily call that "chest thumping."
I agree with this, which is why taking the extreme opposite view does nothing to lend credence to your cause.

Quote:
My point is, if you GENUINELY want balance, then build balance. Don't call for balance while at the same sneakily trying to stack the decks to your advantage.

I know it's just politics as usual - I'm not naive - but it's (I keep using this word, sorry) disingenuous.
Agree again, which is why I agreed with the letter that we need (here's that word again) balance. Again, I don't think we should jump on the idea that everything which comes out in support of heritage properties is part of some underhanded media war crafted by the HT - I think there are a lot of citizens who honestly support saving heritage buildings - probably many who don't follow the local goings on but are only saddened and perhaps outraged when they see yet another Halifax landmark fall to the wrecker's ball or have its character ripped out by building up through its facade (in human terms it reminds me a little of taxidermy, but that's another discussion for another time).

I guarantee that if the Dennis Building comes down there will be a lot of outcry from the public at the loss. Once it's gone it's gone forever and we need to think in those terms. Sorry, getting a little off-topic, but it's a valid point to the discussion, I think.

Quote:
I completely agree with your final paragraph.
Of course I agree with this...



P.S. Sorry if some of my points are unclear - my posts are often written in haste.
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  #73  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2014, 3:16 PM
ILoveHalifax ILoveHalifax is offline
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Originally Posted by portapetey View Post
Nice vision, but I don't think Halifax was ever going to become a big enough city to support many tall skyscrapers in the downtown. I like seeing modern development, but people do seem to forget that Halifax is a city of about 300,000 people in its urban area and that small population simply doesn't call for 50 and 60 story buildings. Who would be in the buildings? I doubt there 's a city on Earth as small and isolated from other large population centres as Halifax with many tall buildings at all. (I'd be happy to be be proven wrong if anyone has examples.)

Besides, Toronto (I know, I know, we're not Toronto) it pretty much cut off from its waterfront because of its stupid version of Harbour Drive. Why would we want that?

I'm glad Harbour Drive was stopped. But I'd love, for example, to see the Cogswell lands developed with a few small-to-medium high rises and some monumental art or architecture. And I'd love to see a few more high rises scattered evenly throughout downtown.
Even with all our anti development tactics Halifax is a city of 650,000 all within an hour of downtown. Had we been a little more aggressive for the last few decades we could be pushing a million.
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  #74  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2014, 3:57 PM
Drybrain Drybrain is offline
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Even with all our anti development tactics Halifax is a city of 650,000 all within an hour of downtown. Had we been a little more aggressive for the last few decades we could be pushing a million.
But Halifax's metro area already encompasses nearly an hour drive in most directions, and to the northeast, almost a two-hour drive. Even with that ludicrously generous metro, it's only 420,000—not at all close to 650,000.

The only way Halifax could be pushing a million today is if the province and Atlantic region more overall had grown far more robustly in the last century (or even the end of the 19th century).

But sometimes I do hear that argument in Halifax—that removing development restrictions (which really aren't especially onerous in this city; the problem is more bureaucracy, not restrictions per se) will keep young people here and attract newcomers, therefore the Heritage Trust are destroying are future. It's all pretty hyperbolic and groundless. People don't move to cities for the highrises. (If the built environment is an attractor at all, I'd say more people move for heritage—that's part of what I loved about the city that inspired me to come here).

Look at San Francisco or Vancouver or Portland, OR—some of the most restrictive (in some ways overly restrictive) development environments in North America, and both insanely sought-after, for economic reasons in SF's case, and quality-of-life factor in Portland's.

In any case, the Trust are far too often blamed for broader economic malaise. They HAVE been an obstacle to some good developments, and they deserve a lot of criticism for that and for other reasons, but their power as obstructionists is vastly overestimated.
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  #75  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2014, 4:26 PM
eastcoastal eastcoastal is offline
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...
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.
In this case, I think that they see the rules they're enforcing as those designed to protect heritage aspects of the city. Not individual buildings.

They have problems with some components of HRMbyDesign, but there are significant portions they are OK with... maybe bordering on supportive... in any case, they'll use what weapons they can to fight for what they believe is right. So, when HRMbyDesign rules that apply everywhere else, are conveniently avoided for this one particular piece of land, it raises their hackles. While it may not be clear-cut, I also think that their concerns with whether or not the building contravenes the city's requirements not to create super-blocks at least warrants reasonable discussion.

About the ad - I think it's great.

About the recent legal action naming the trust and its officers - terrible. I can't imagine that impacting their right to free speech and doing what they believe is holding the city accountable to its own rules will be tolerated by a judge. Terrible costs to the developer aren't right, but I don't believe that the Trust undertook legal action for the sake of causing disruption, but because they REALLY do think they're doing the right thing.

Beliefs can be tricky things.
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  #76  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2014, 4:34 PM
eastcoastal eastcoastal is offline
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Originally Posted by ILoveHalifax View Post
We don't know if stopping harbour drive was right or wrong. We can see what happened to Halifax when it was stopped but we of course cannot see what would have happened had it been built. ...
Many cites have boulevards along the waterfront. Most of south Florida is a prime example and they have some very beautiful cities.
It MIGHT have been ok, but likely not. Most waterside cities that introduced new multi-laned freeways along their waterfronts at the time of Harbour Drive had terrible results that they are still trying to undo. If you know of any successful stories where a vibrant city was the result of bulldozing historic city fabric for the sake of multiple lanes of vehicles, I'd genuinely be interested in seeing them.

I've been to South Florida, and if I'm thinking of the same things you are, then I believe the buildings and city around the boulevards developed at the same time as the boulevards themselves. I've also seen some terrible examples in Florida - all of Orlando, for example. Miami is not great either, except for south beach where the major vehicular infrastructure near the water is not a highway, and the historic art deco district is of the same vintage as the street grid. Perhaps you have better illustrations.
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  #77  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2014, 5:06 PM
portapetey portapetey is offline
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Originally Posted by worldlyhaligonian View Post
Uhhh, all the people who live in the massive sprawl footprint of Halifax?

All the areas that have developed in the "city" are far flung and a direct result of anti-density.

In fact, Halifax has one of the biggest footprints for a city of such a low population due to that fact that we have what? Like 4-5 apartment towers downtown taller than 15 stories? (Not including the new ones)

I'm not for harbour drive, but you've clearly bought into the propaganda...

This is why there are single family homes in the middle of nowhere and peninsula property taxes paying for services and buses to nowhere.

Even with all of the massive sprawl, the former HRM has only about 410,000 people, with 300,000 in the urbanized part.

Halifax is a small city, population-wise, with a very small commuter shed. The nearest other cities, hours away, are even smaller.

Trust me, I'm on your side and would love to see cool new highrise developments downtown, but I think it's very farfetched to imagine Halifax can sustain a large skyscraper city. We are just far too small and there aren't enough people to pack into many, if any, 50 and 60 story buildings.
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  #78  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2014, 5:10 PM
portapetey portapetey is offline
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Originally Posted by ILoveHalifax View Post
Even with all our anti development tactics Halifax is a city of 650,000 all within an hour of downtown. Had we been a little more aggressive for the last few decades we could be pushing a million.
Halifax is not a city or a metropolitan area of anywhere near 650,000 people.

The census says 420 for the Regional Municipality and even that is a huge stretch since it encompasses a lot of tiny villages that are quite remote from the city.

I get that you're trying to include Truro and Wolfville and Bridgewater, or somesuch, but that is really, really, really stretching our boundaries beyond what's reasonable.

People seem to try to inflate the size of Halifax a lot. But it doesn't change reality. Halifax is still a rather small city.
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  #79  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2014, 5:15 PM
portapetey portapetey is offline
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Originally Posted by eastcoastal View Post

About the recent legal action naming the trust and its officers - terrible. I can't imagine that impacting their right to free speech and doing what they believe is holding the city accountable to its own rules will be tolerated by a judge. Terrible costs to the developer aren't right, but I don't believe that the Trust undertook legal action for the sake of causing disruption, but because they REALLY do think they're doing the right thing.

Beliefs can be tricky things.

Not sure the developers' complaint is as simple as an attempt at "blocking free speech". I suspect the real complaint from the developers (warranted or not) is "launching frivolous lawsuits", "harassment", almost "public mischief".

I suppose we could find and read the actual complaint, but I'm feeling lazy today :-)

Last edited by portapetey; Jul 10, 2014 at 5:53 PM.
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  #80  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2014, 5:23 PM
JET JET is offline
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Originally Posted by eastcoastal View Post
In this case, I think that they see the rules they're enforcing as those designed to protect heritage aspects of the city. Not individual buildings.

They have problems with some components of HRMbyDesign, but there are significant portions they are OK with... maybe bordering on supportive... in any case, they'll use what weapons they can to fight for what they believe is right. So, when HRMbyDesign rules that apply everywhere else, are conveniently avoided for this one particular piece of land, it raises their hackles. While it may not be clear-cut, I also think that their concerns with whether or not the building contravenes the city's requirements not to create super-blocks at least warrants reasonable discussion.

About the ad - I think it's great.

About the recent legal action naming the trust and its officers - terrible. I can't imagine that impacting their right to free speech and doing what they believe is holding the city accountable to its own rules will be tolerated by a judge. Terrible costs to the developer aren't right, but I don't believe that the Trust undertook legal action for the sake of causing disruption, but because they REALLY do think they're doing the right thing.

Beliefs can be tricky things.
well said, eastcoastal.
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