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OPINION: Halifax crosses line between downtown construction, destruction

Perhaps the local citizens reading your online paper will collectively enter the discussion on ‘preserving the past’ while ‘constructing the future.’
A worker moves about the roof of a building under construction in downtown Halifax this past winter. (ERIC WYNNE / Local Xpress / File)


Of interest to me and most likely many of your readers was the June 19 CBC Ideas program, Building tension: Preserving the past and constructing the future, outlining the fast-changing profile of downtown Halifax.

I was born in Halifax and I have visited the city often, but have lived most of my adult life in Vancouver and Victoria.

During my last visit in early June, I was astounded to see the number of cranes and holes in the ground.

My sister and I wandered on foot from the Park Lane car park on Spring Garden Road through the downtown to Historic Properties. We had to weave around noise, dust and construction sites the full way down. After reaching the shoreline, it became evident that these new developments are, as one of the panellists noted, “encroaching on,” since 1972, the well-loved Historic Properties.

The CBC program ended with a citizen asking what can be done to keep a historic city balanced regarding development, with buildings of architectural and cultural significance protected. The point was made that it is citizens groups coming together that have in the past changed the nature of cities.

Perhaps the local citizens reaching your online paper will collectively enter the discussion on “preserving the past” while “constructing the future.”

In closing, I should mention how impressed we were with the new Halifax Central Library, where we stopped at the café and got a city view from the rooftop patio.

It is an example of functional public architecture that works!

Margaret Scott-Peters, Vancouver


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