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  #121  
Old Posted Jul 22, 2012, 1:47 AM
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It's really sad to see how many historic buildings were lost in most canadian cities. Not one city escaped for the demolition madness of the 50s/60s.

What do you think happened in those years that made urban planners so destructive ??!
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  #122  
Old Posted Jul 22, 2012, 2:17 AM
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For Hamilton a lot of those Victorian building had rotted away. So during the 60s there was a lot of "urban renewal" mega projects such as new central library, downtown shopping centre, new City Hall, new art gallery, etc.
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  #123  
Old Posted Jul 22, 2012, 2:40 AM
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Urban renewal in that time often meant making way to the car: parking, elevated highways, mammoth interchanges, tunnels, and more parking lots, more and more.
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  #124  
Old Posted Jul 22, 2012, 4:20 AM
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[QUOTE=MonkeyRonin;5773068]Which it pretty well was.

And on that note, its cool how stark the contrast between pre-war Montreal and Toronto was. Montreal was undoubtedly the grand, cosmopolitan, mercantile metropolis; Toronto was the rough, gothic, industrial machine. Today, either city could be either thing, and then there are all those other newly big, important cities that further erase that traditional dynamic between the two national powers. Ultimately for the better of course, though.


Anyway, more pictures







A lovely shot from the CN Tower....I kid, I kid. But interesting foreshadowing of a vantage point to come.
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  #125  
Old Posted Jul 22, 2012, 5:22 AM
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RE: 50s/60s
Things were booming then, and it's not so much that Victorian buildings were rotting, people just wanted nice, new, clean modern stuff, just like nowadays.
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  #126  
Old Posted Jul 22, 2012, 10:38 AM
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...was reduced to this hellscape by the '70s:

This always depresses me. That area should have been like Old Montreal today.
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  #127  
Old Posted Jul 22, 2012, 2:24 PM
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Blame the automobile. Building were worth more as parking lots then as places to work and live back then.
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  #128  
Old Posted Jul 22, 2012, 10:41 PM
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Montreal in the late 50's


http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-wg9-hQlYpF...b4eb4a66_b.jpg Picture by Alfred Bohn

The Hotel laurentien, built 1947, it had over 1000 rooms.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-sUjOio6RmS...36dbefa6_b.jpg Picture by Alfred Bohn


http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-xG62Z-496s...a1c7a5b6_o.jpg Picture by Alfred Bohn
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  #129  
Old Posted Jul 22, 2012, 10:48 PM
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Blame the automobile. Building were worth more as parking lots then as places to work and live back then.
It depends on the city. I don't know about that part of Toronto, but in a lot of cases land clearance was driven by city planning departments, not market rates for parking. It's not hard to imagine some sort of 50's/60's-era plan driven by City Hall to tear down a bunch of buildings while encouraging the construction of the big bank towers plus the Gardiner, etc. That was seen as good planning practice back then, but it was not how the private sector would have operated.

To this day the majority of surface parking and vacant land in downtown Halifax is owned by the three levels of government, while most of the buildings are owned privately. When developers build they typically also elect to put in structured or underground parking. A year or so ago two big publicly-owned surface parking lots were finally sold off after years of fighting with nearby business owners (who wanted the city subsidy) and politicians. Most people who saw those lots would just think it wasn't worthwhile to build on them, but that was probably never true.
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  #130  
Old Posted Jul 22, 2012, 10:50 PM
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1963

Montreal Archives, unknown photographer, http://archivesdemontreal.files.word...94-a85-024.jpg
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  #131  
Old Posted Jul 23, 2012, 12:37 AM
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This always depresses me. That area should have been like Old Montreal today.
That comparison is just sad.
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  #132  
Old Posted Jul 23, 2012, 1:25 AM
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This always depresses me. That area should have been like Old Montreal today.
Give or take a couple of centuries.
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  #133  
Old Posted Jul 23, 2012, 1:30 AM
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In another thread (I think) I pointed out that residents of a certain city sometimes fail to appreciate the level of heritage in other cities. The result was the forum equivalent of a quintuple drive-by shooting.

To put things into perspective, the Notre-Dame Basilica was constructed from 1823-1829. I don't think Toronto has a single church that old, let alone a major stone church. The only 18th century buildings I am aware of in Toronto are log cabins from the 1790's. The oldest nice house is The Grange, built in 1817. Montreal has many, many older and nicer houses. So do several other Canadian cities. Toronto's got lots of nice older buildings but it doesn't have the history of Quebec and the East Coast.
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  #134  
Old Posted Jul 23, 2012, 2:24 AM
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I like the look of Montreal in the 60s... it's like a mini new york with the tall heritage buildings along side the modern towers.

Imagine if Montreal had gotten a grand railway hotel like the rest of the major cities did. The historic skyline with Tour de la Banque royale and Sunlife tower would look amazing with a chateau style 20 story hotel.
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  #135  
Old Posted Jul 23, 2012, 2:33 AM
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Imagine if Montreal had gotten a grand railway hotel like the rest of the major cities did. The historic skyline with Tour de la Banque royale and Sunlife tower would look amazing with a chateau style 20 story hotel.
That's always been vexing for me. Montreal did get the first railway hotel in Canada in 1878, the Windsor Hotel, but it never was big enough to make a mark on the skyline and was torn down in the 50's after a fire.


http://www.mccord-museum.qc.ca/ObjView/01452022.jpg

Montreal also had the Viger hotel in 1898, but again, not particularly big enough to make a mark, and it was shut down in the 30's, its now abandonned.


http://www.mccord-museum.qc.ca/ObjView/v3220.jpg

Essentially, Montreal's grand hotel is the Queen Elizabeth, a glorified shoe box built in the 50's. Strange, but typical of underachieving Montreal when you think of it.
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  #136  
Old Posted Jul 23, 2012, 2:43 AM
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Wow really? That is abandoned!?!? One would think with the crazy amount of development in the city right now that some developer would want to redevelop it into a 5 star luxory hotel!
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  #137  
Old Posted Jul 23, 2012, 2:49 AM
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Wow really? That is abandoned!?!? One would think with the crazy amount of development in the city right now that some developer would want to redevelop it into a 5 star luxory hotel!
There was a development to turn it into a luxury hotel and build condos around it, but the 2007 crash ended that.
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  #138  
Old Posted Jul 23, 2012, 3:19 AM
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Wow really? That is abandoned!?!? One would think with the crazy amount of development in the city right now that some developer would want to redevelop it into a 5 star luxory hotel!
It was recently purchased by a group claiming they are eager to get something going there. I'm a Montreal native who literally hadn't seen this building until I started working in the old port a few years ago .I park my car on a 'mini-bridge' (notre dame east of st-denis) from where it is highly visible.

It looks like absolute crap right now (surrounded by a parking lot, very dirty, broken windows) but the potential for this building is off-the-charts. It would make for the ulltimate ''european-style hotel just minutes from the old city''. I think American tourists would eat it up cause it really is a beautiful building. Hope something gets going there soon.
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  #139  
Old Posted Jul 23, 2012, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Mrs Sauga View Post
That comparison is just sad.
How? For how old Toronto is it is a perfect comparison.

Just because Toronto's historic buildings aren't as old doesn't mean you should look down your nose to a city's history.
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  #140  
Old Posted Jul 23, 2012, 11:40 AM
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Holy cow! I had no idea that the Viger was both a Grand Railway Hotel and a Train Station in the same building. Very cool! The city should SERIOUSLY do something with that! Like, look at this beast! So much potential to revitalize that area of the city.


http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...lace_Viger.png
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