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  #81  
Old Posted Nov 11, 2012, 10:33 PM
RyeJay RyeJay is offline
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Originally Posted by Keith P. View Post
I saw this earlier and was going to post that there was no need to apologize for disagreeing with certain members of this forum, but decided against it. Then he goes and insults you anyway.

Once again, my first instinct was correct.
Just like your assumptions about the recent municipal election results

I didn't insult NISH89. You haven't submitted your two weeks notice yet.
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  #82  
Old Posted Nov 12, 2012, 3:17 AM
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Really? I would like to ask you who said this, and if it was documented?

Hopefully this isn't merely hearsay, based on exaggerations from anti-STV folk. Any documentation about the STV's preferencing a plateau skyline would be funny to read, considering it's a bit contradictory to most of what I've heard out of that group. Many STV supporters feel as though there is already too much height established in the downtown, and that HRM_by_Design didn't go far enough!

And in any case: the block tabletop narrative isn't totally accurate, considering there is a variety of height in the core at present and in future developments. The Alexander isn't as tall as the Maritime Centre; the RBC Waterside Centre certainly doesn't have Hollis 1801's height; the newly proposed Bank of Canada redevelopment is shorter than the Twisted Sisters (the height to which United Gulf should be allowed to develop once Skye Halifax is rejected).

More than half of the buildings in the downtown don't come close to the ramparts maximum.

An actual example of a block tabletop skyline: Ottawa.
Under normal circumstances I wouldn't respond to you. However, in this particular case I will make an exception an suggest you contact Phil Pacey and ask him about the perils of the sawtooth effect.
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  #83  
Old Posted Nov 12, 2012, 4:10 AM
RyeJay RyeJay is offline
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You've responded to me before. I hope you aren't habitually rude.
I tried doing a search using his name and couldn't find any mention of a sawtooth effect in any news articles. Perhaps he made these comments off the record.
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  #84  
Old Posted Nov 13, 2012, 4:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Keith P. View Post
- DRC member Terry Lamothe Smith equated it to Stonehenge
I actually visited Stonehenge just a few weeks ago, and can assure Mr Smith that if a developer were to propose building it downtown they would:
a) be told by the Heritage Trust that it was too tall,
b) be asked by the design review committee to consider adding some Victorian design elements so as to by sympathetic to the surrounding buildings, and maybe thrown in the odd lighthouse here and there, and
c) be forced to compromise, resulting in a "Fauxhenge" produced using pre-cast with foam cornices.
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  #85  
Old Posted Nov 13, 2012, 9:49 PM
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Originally Posted by beyeas View Post
I actually visited Stonehenge just a few weeks ago, and can assure Mr Smith that if a developer were to propose building it downtown they would:
a) be told by the Heritage Trust that it was too tall,
b) be asked by the design review committee to consider adding some Victorian design elements so as to by sympathetic to the surrounding buildings, and maybe thrown in the odd lighthouse here and there, and
c) be forced to compromise, resulting in a "Fauxhenge" produced using pre-cast with foam cornices.
"Fauxhenge"!!! I love it!

Classic!
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  #86  
Old Posted Nov 15, 2012, 12:21 AM
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Originally Posted by fenwick16 View Post
There is a view-plane over the Metro Park site, which is intended to protect the view of Georges Island from the Citadel. I think that the view-planes are the greatest waste of building potential in the downtown core and should never have been introduced back in the 1970's.
Although I only lived in Halifax for 3 years I visited "the city" quite often in the first 33 years of my life. Halifax was my first ever experience in an urban setting and it will always and forever remain my favourite city.

I was quite lucky to get a nice place close to Quinpool/Oxford so I was like a 20 min walk to almost everywhere on the peninsula and it was a rare day indeed that didn't see me up the hill. Of all the places I have ever visited it remains among my top 5 fav's.

The reason why I was up there so much was for the striking views. Now that I live in Montreal I can really appreciate how much more striking and dramatic it can be to have a major hill within spitting distance of a CBD and a major body of water...something Montreal needs and lacks for the "mountain" here is too far away from the biggest buildings and the river is even further.

In Halifax by contrast, standing on the...dare I call it..."observation deck", looking at the harbour below, the opposite shore and the tall buildings one cannot help but appreciate the dramatic and striking contrast. By times it feels as if you could spit into the harbour, or even reach out and touch the buildings. Thus I would venture that the mistake is not in the view-planes laws but rather the notion that one shouldn't be able to see a skyscraper from the parade ground inside the fort.

Protecting many view-planes is nonsensical, as is eliminating all protections entirely. I feel there are 4 key ones that need to remain, the mouth of the harbour, Georges Island, down Duke street (little chance of that disappearing but the wrong construction could mitigate the effect) and at least some of downtown Dartmouth, especially with all the new development going on. In my experience each of these four views present visitors to the hill with a striking view filled with contrasts in height which increase the visual appeal of the hill, harbour, downtown and the opposite shore while allowing properly controlled development to flourish presenting visitors with an eclectic mix of old vs new and nature vs man.

I also feel the "observation deck" should be rebuilt, expanded and there should be several more of them all around the hill with those "telescopes", more benches, signs stating the directions (east etc) and distances as well as historical "plaques" (don't know what they are called...signs??? ) with stories, facts and pics from that location so one can see the changes over time.
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  #87  
Old Posted Nov 15, 2012, 2:57 AM
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I can somewhat agree with your statements Jringe01, however, I think that a better view of the city could be had from a 600 foot high observation tower. Not a CN Tower but maybe a Seattle Space Needle.

Growing up in Nova Scotia I wanted Halifax to be a major city with a NHL hockey team and large skyscrapers. I envied cities like Calgary that really were booming and that got a hockey team back in 1980. Or Winnipeg and Edmonton that merged into the NHL from the WHA. I moved from Nova Scotia when I was 22 to a major city (Toronto) and have been here for close to 30 years. But I still want to see Nova Scotia prosper.

I think that there are many people in Nova Scotia who are tired of the have-not label and want to see a prosperous Halifax and Nova Scotia. To me, a prosperous Halifax is one with plenty of jobs, modern architecture, a positive attitude and, in general, a place where people can grow up, get a job and stay. I am glad that Halifax kept many of its heritage buildings. But I prefer to see the city buildings (old and new) from the Citadel instead of the harbour so I would be happy to see the viewplanes eliminated and more city buildings rise. I just like cities and what they have to offer.

I am thrilled to see the booming construction cycle taking place in the Halifax area and I hope that it continues for many years until Halifax becomes a major Canadian city with a NHL team and CFL team (it might take a couple of decades - I just hope that we won't see Halifax overtaken by Saskatoon).
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  #88  
Old Posted Nov 15, 2012, 3:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Jringe01 View Post
I also feel the "observation deck" should be rebuilt, expanded and there should be several more of them all around the hill with those "telescopes", more benches, signs stating the directions (east etc) and distances as well as historical "plaques" (don't know what they are called...signs??? ) with stories, facts and pics from that location so one can see the changes over time.
Actually you're quite right about this. For all the chatter about the view, we have no signage on the hill telling people what they're looking at or the context. Good point.
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  #89  
Old Posted Nov 15, 2012, 6:52 PM
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Originally Posted by fenwick16 View Post
I can somewhat agree with your statements Jringe01, however, I think that a better view of the city could be had from a 600 foot high observation tower. Not a CN Tower but maybe a Seattle Space Needle.

Growing up in Nova Scotia I wanted Halifax to be a major city with a NHL hockey team and large skyscrapers. I envied cities like Calgary that really were booming and that got a hockey team back in 1980. Or Winnipeg and Edmonton that merged into the NHL from the WHA. I moved from Nova Scotia when I was 22 to a major city (Toronto) and have been here for close to 30 years. But I still want to see Nova Scotia prosper.

I think that there are many people in Nova Scotia who are tired of the have-not label and want to see a prosperous Halifax and Nova Scotia. To me, a prosperous Halifax is one with plenty of jobs, modern architecture, a positive attitude and, in general, a place where people can grow up, get a job and stay. I am glad that Halifax kept many of its heritage buildings. But I prefer to see the city buildings (old and new) from the Citadel instead of the harbour so I would be happy to see the viewplanes eliminated and more city buildings rise. I just like cities and what they have to offer.

I am thrilled to see the booming construction cycle taking place in the Halifax area and I hope that it continues for many years until Halifax becomes a major Canadian city with a NHL team and CFL team (it might take a couple of decades - I just hope that we won't see Halifax overtaken by Saskatoon).
While I can understand your viewpoint, I can't help but think the following:

- While you chose to live in Toronto because you craved the lifestyle of a major city, many of those who choose to live in Halifax choose to do so because they don't want that lifestyle. I have stayed in Toronto many times for both work and personal reasons and I have to say that I would never want to live there... in fact I was offered a promotion in my job which required a move to Toronto but I turned it down simply for the fact that I did not want to live there. So, in my opinion, trying to model Halifax after Toronto or Calgary would not work. Halifax must remain its own unique identity, which isn't to say that growth shouldn't happen, just that it should happen in a different way that retains the character of the region.

- Having NHL and CFL teams are not everybody's measure that a city has "made it". Historically, major professional sports teams don't do well in this part of the world, even moderate-level AHL teams. I've felt that this is a cultural thing as much as being population-dependent. While many westerners are almost rabid in their enthusiasm for the CFL, for example, I can't think of too many people here who follow the CFL, or the NFL, for that matter. I just don't think people here get as caught up in professional sports, for whatever reason.

- I don't equate a downtown full of skyscrapers as an indicator of success, actually. I've read the arguments that more office space is needed downtown and then more residential (condos) buildings are needed to support the office buildings. This is based on an assumption that the people who work in these office buildings actually aspire to live downtown. From the many people I've known in the Halifax area, most prefer to live in a house with a backyard or bigger, and tend to live more "outdoorsey", for lack of a better term, lifestyles... something which a downtown condo cannot provide. I see this creating more traffic/transit/infrastructure woes rather than solving them. A proper transit/light rail system might help to alleviate the issues, but I don't see it getting much better regardless.

Besides, why must we concentrate on building up the downtown anyways when there are lots of areas a little more to the north (i.e. Gottingen and the North End/Mulgrave Park areas) that would lend themselves nicely to a little development money and not concentrate all the building to one small area on the peninsula?

Just my opinions...
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  #90  
Old Posted Nov 15, 2012, 6:53 PM
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Originally Posted by spaustin View Post
Actually you're quite right about this. For all the chatter about the view, we have no signage on the hill telling people what they're looking at or the context. Good point.
It would be cool to have some viewing/interpretive stations on Citadel Hill to accomplish this - great idea!
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  #91  
Old Posted Nov 15, 2012, 7:05 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Originally Posted by beyeas View Post
I actually visited Stonehenge just a few weeks ago, and can assure Mr Smith that if a developer were to propose building it downtown they would:
a) be told by the Heritage Trust that it was too tall,
b) be asked by the design review committee to consider adding some Victorian design elements so as to by sympathetic to the surrounding buildings, and maybe thrown in the odd lighthouse here and there, and
c) be forced to compromise, resulting in a "Fauxhenge" produced using pre-cast with foam cornices.
Except that Stonehenge would not be built today (unless it was intended to be a cheesy tourist attraction, which would be a particularly bad idea for the downtown area) as it would have no useful function in today's society.

However, it did have context to its builders 3000 years ago, and it has remained firstly because of its durability (stone tends to last a long time) and in my opinion has been protected due to its historical/cultural significance, not because of its usefulness or architectural beauty. Therefore, if an equivalent to Stonehenge existed in downtown Halifax and had survived the purge of the 1960s, then it would be a very thing that the Heritage Trust would be trying to protect, not desecrate.

Not trying to take away from your humour (which is appreciated), but just trying to keep it real.
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  #92  
Old Posted Nov 15, 2012, 8:47 PM
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Originally Posted by OldDartmouthMark View Post
While you chose to live in Toronto because you craved the lifestyle of a major city, many of those who choose to live in Halifax choose to do so because they don't want that lifestyle.
I think it's easy to conflate the necessary characteristics of big cities in general with the particular characteristics of certain big cities. A lot of the lifestyle in Toronto exists because of planning decisions, geography, etc. Even if Halifax were the same size as Toronto it would be a different sort of city, and its liveability would depend on planning decisions as with Toronto.

Quote:
I've read the arguments that more office space is needed downtown and then more residential (condos) buildings are needed to support the office buildings. This is based on an assumption that the people who work in these office buildings actually aspire to live downtown. From the many people I've known in the Halifax area, most prefer to live in a house with a backyard or bigger, and tend to live more "outdoorsey", for lack of a better term, lifestyles... something which a downtown condo cannot provide. I see this creating more traffic/transit/infrastructure woes rather than solving them.
It's hard to tell what people in the city do or don't want from talking to them because it's hard to get a sample of people that isn't biased. The gold standard for learning where people want to live is to look at demand for housing in those areas. Developers don't seem to have trouble filling residential buildings downtown right now. If they did they wouldn't be able to finance and build them.

Some people want tall buildings downtown but a lot of people want a vibrant downtown. One of the obstacles to vibrancy downtown is empty lots, and another one is a lack of retail demand to sustain businesses in storefronts along streets like Barrington. Adding more residents downtown helps with both of those problems while adding to the city's tax base and putting minimal strain on infrastructure.

Residents downtown do need more infrastructure but the correct way to look at that is as a tradeoff versus other kinds of development. The transportation infrastructure requirements of even large buildings like Fenwick are very small because car ownership is so low and so many trips are made on foot. Low-density subdivisions like Kingswood cost a lot more. I don't believe that downtown highrises are that bad for traffic. My suburb's gridlock is about the same as downtown Vancouver. You drive along at a snail's pace at rush hour in both places. The difference is that in downtown Vancouver you don't need a car if you live there, and even if you're driving distances are very short.

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Besides, why must we concentrate on building up the downtown anyways when there are lots of areas a little more to the north
Development downtown and in the North End aren't mutually exclusive. There are lots of projects on the go for both areas. I don't think this is something anybody needs to worry about; the city just needs to put good planning regulations in place and then get out of the way and let people buy housing where they want to live.
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  #93  
Old Posted Nov 15, 2012, 9:40 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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I think it's easy to conflate the necessary characteristics of big cities in general with the particular characteristics of certain big cities. A lot of the lifestyle in Toronto exists because of planning decisions, geography, etc. Even if Halifax were the same size as Toronto it would be a different sort of city, and its liveability would depend on planning decisions as with Toronto.



It's hard to tell what people in the city do or don't want from talking to them because it's hard to get a sample of people that isn't biased. The gold standard for learning where people want to live is to look at demand for housing in those areas. Developers don't seem to have trouble filling residential buildings downtown right now. If they did they wouldn't be able to finance and build them.

Some people want tall buildings downtown but a lot of people want a vibrant downtown. One of the obstacles to vibrancy downtown is empty lots, and another one is a lack of retail demand to sustain businesses in storefronts along streets like Barrington. Adding more residents downtown helps with both of those problems while adding to the city's tax base and putting minimal strain on infrastructure.

Residents downtown do need more infrastructure but the correct way to look at that is as a tradeoff versus other kinds of development. The transportation infrastructure requirements of even large buildings like Fenwick are very small because car ownership is so low and so many trips are made on foot. Low-density subdivisions like Kingswood cost a lot more. I don't believe that downtown highrises are that bad for traffic. My suburb's gridlock is about the same as downtown Vancouver. You drive along at a snail's pace at rush hour in both places. The difference is that in downtown Vancouver you don't need a car if you live there, and even if you're driving distances are very short.



Development downtown and in the North End aren't mutually exclusive. There are lots of projects on the go for both areas. I don't think this is something anybody needs to worry about; the city just needs to put good planning regulations in place and then get out of the way and let people buy housing where they want to live.
Good points. I especially agree with your ideas about the negative impact of empty lots on the vibrancy of the downtown and yes, the market will determine where and how the people want to live.

Thanks for your thoughtful insight.
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  #94  
Old Posted Nov 15, 2012, 11:26 PM
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Actually you're quite right about this. For all the chatter about the view, we have no signage on the hill telling people what they're looking at or the context. Good point.
Some improvements around the bottom of the hill, especially Brunswick Street near the Town Clock would be a good idea as well. Considering it's one of the oldest and most important buildings in the city, and completely unique, it has a pretty drab setting with a concrete wall and some wooden steps right below it.

The Citadel is interesting. I worked for many summers there as an interpreter with the 78th Highlanders. Not a lot of Haligonians visit the fort, but more than you might think. Most locals experience the Hill from outside the fort: dog walkers, joggers, people at concerts on the Garrison Ground, sledding, sunbathing, watching fireworks, etc. There are probably huge opportunities to make the Hill more inviting and connected with the city.
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  #95  
Old Posted Nov 16, 2012, 2:52 AM
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Originally Posted by OldDartmouthMark View Post
Except that Stonehenge would not be built today (unless it was intended to be a cheesy tourist attraction, which would be a particularly bad idea for the downtown area) as it would have no useful function in today's society.

However, it did have context to its builders 3000 years ago, and it has remained firstly because of its durability (stone tends to last a long time) and in my opinion has been protected due to its historical/cultural significance, not because of its usefulness or architectural beauty. Therefore, if an equivalent to Stonehenge existed in downtown Halifax and had survived the purge of the 1960s, then it would be a very thing that the Heritage Trust would be trying to protect, not desecrate.

Not trying to take away from your humour (which is appreciated), but just trying to keep it real.
I am a big advocate of retaining cultural heritage. What I am not an advocate of, unlike the Heritage Trust, is fighting to retain parking lots by forcing developers to make all new buildings as fake half-arsed reproductions. To keep it real, one would have to also discuss how the HT spends the majority of its time and money advocating against new buildings rather than putting that energy and funding into protecting existing heritage assets.
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  #96  
Old Posted Nov 16, 2012, 3:04 AM
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Although I only lived in Halifax for 3 years I visited "the city" quite often in the first 33 years of my life. Halifax was my first ever experience in an urban setting and it will always and forever remain my favourite city.

I was quite lucky to get a nice place close to Quinpool/Oxford so I was like a 20 min walk to almost everywhere on the peninsula and it was a rare day indeed that didn't see me up the hill. Of all the places I have ever visited it remains among my top 5 fav's.

The reason why I was up there so much was for the striking views. Now that I live in Montreal I can really appreciate how much more striking and dramatic it can be to have a major hill within spitting distance of a CBD and a major body of water...something Montreal needs and lacks for the "mountain" here is too far away from the biggest buildings and the river is even further.

In Halifax by contrast, standing on the...dare I call it..."observation deck", looking at the harbour below, the opposite shore and the tall buildings one cannot help but appreciate the dramatic and striking contrast. By times it feels as if you could spit into the harbour, or even reach out and touch the buildings. Thus I would venture that the mistake is not in the view-planes laws but rather the notion that one shouldn't be able to see a skyscraper from the parade ground inside the fort.

Protecting many view-planes is nonsensical, as is eliminating all protections entirely. I feel there are 4 key ones that need to remain, the mouth of the harbour, Georges Island, down Duke street (little chance of that disappearing but the wrong construction could mitigate the effect) and at least some of downtown Dartmouth, especially with all the new development going on. In my experience each of these four views present visitors to the hill with a striking view filled with contrasts in height which increase the visual appeal of the hill, harbour, downtown and the opposite shore while allowing properly controlled development to flourish presenting visitors with an eclectic mix of old vs new and nature vs man.

I also feel the "observation deck" should be rebuilt, expanded and there should be several more of them all around the hill with those "telescopes", more benches, signs stating the directions (east etc) and distances as well as historical "plaques" (don't know what they are called...signs??? ) with stories, facts and pics from that location so one can see the changes over time.
I agree that the citadel needs a major upgrade outside the ramparts. There is a before and after photo on the little observation deck.

I took a few pics today and they pretty much tell the story.

All photos by Empire:

Donkey path to he citadel:


Poorly designed observation deck c/w exposed utilities:


Cheap guard rail poorly constructed/maintained and Olde Towne clock blocking harbour view:


Is this ticket shack vintage 18th century architecture?


Should there be an annoying sign above the no parking sign or did someone forget to chop off the post?


Typical of most crosswalks in HRM. (Dangerous) Must be all of those tourists or perhaps the STV crowd pacing back and forth lamenting the loss of harbour view blocked by the clock:


More cheap, shoddy installition:


I wonder if raw sewage spews out of this handsome pipe?


Main entrance to the citadel....WOW: Bank Of Canada Building should be visible to the right of the Homburg building.
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Last edited by Empire; Nov 16, 2012 at 3:15 AM.
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  #97  
Old Posted Nov 16, 2012, 3:27 AM
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It's Canada, we can't have nice things. Those cost money.
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  #98  
Old Posted Nov 16, 2012, 4:51 AM
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It's Canada, we can't have nice things. Those cost money.
Oh.. okay.. sorry.. (lol)
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  #99  
Old Posted Nov 16, 2012, 4:53 AM
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I am not sure the city would do a better job, but I think all of this is managed by Parks Canada. They're experiencing cutbacks now. More fundamentally I suspect they view the Citadel more like a park than like a part of the city. There's a lot more that could be done in terms of using the land and integrating it into nearby neighbourhoods, but the attitude seems to be that you're supposed to drive up in a tour bus, pay your admission fee, and go inside. The rest is of secondary importance.
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  #100  
Old Posted Nov 16, 2012, 12:13 PM
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I agree that the citadel needs a major upgrade outside the ramparts. There is a before and after photo on the little observation deck.

I took a few pics today and they pretty much tell the story.

...
I think the photos you took expose a fundamental belief by those that care for/about the citadel (at an official level) believe it is important for it to exist. Their thoughts don't go much further than that, and they certainly don't think it needs to both exist and be supported by sensitive, thoughtful, infrastructure and services.
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