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Crystal Gardens Building


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#41 Mike K.

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 10:05 PM

^I agree. Moving conference operations into the CG is a band-aid solution and starts the ball rolling on a conference "campus" and not a conference centre. I envisioned the CG being a grand entranceway to a residential/commercial development but an aquarium would be a phenomenal addition to the city.

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#42 Holden West

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 10:23 PM

Oh ho, now that's an interesting wrinkle.

Now why didn't we get this choice first time around instead of having the boring BCX foisted upon us?

A thought--could this spell the end of the Undersea Garden?
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
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#43 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 10:38 PM

A really great aquarium would be a wonderful addition to the city, IMO.

The gift shop could sell miniature submarines "Made in Victoria" (see "Victoria Shipyards" topic in the S.Island Economy thread... :lol: )

Seriously, though, this would be a great addition. Expanding the existing conference centre isn't a good idea. Start over on that one, maybe...
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#44 zoomer

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 10:38 PM

A thought--could this spell the end of the Undersea Garden?


Yesss!!!



#45 Caramia

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 11:54 PM

I actually disagree in this case. Not that I have a problem with an aquarium, but I think it would be an ideal place to expand the Conference Center and I think we need it. Of course, I speak as someone who actually goes to conferences around the world and I see what facilities other Cities have, and of course want Victoria to be one of the best. I dont really see that much difference between the "experience' and an aquarium. Both tourist traps billed as learning experiences. Both counting on a softening tourist market. Of course, if we got another Luna, I could see an aquaruim being nice, but without an orca they don't thrill me, and I'd go balistic if they tried to steal one from J-Pod.
Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes.
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#46 G-Man

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Posted 13 January 2007 - 09:49 AM

Yeah seems too small to be a decent aquarium. Though on the othre hand if it only was there long enough to kill the business of undersea gardens....

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#47 G-Man

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Posted 13 January 2007 - 10:32 AM

Actually after further thought this is a really bad idea. I mean both of them. Both of them perfectly in line though with everything that Victoria does: Half-Assed! In reality Victoria should be building a convention centre where the clipper currently docks and combine it with the forever talked about Belleville terminal. Perhaps they could build it bigger than is necessary to start out with unlike everyother public building in this city which gets a HALF-ASSED solution every twenty years. Think about it:

The library is too small
Convention centre -TOO SMALL
Art Gallery - only shows about 5 % of its collection - TOO SMALL
Crystal Pool - too small AND falling part
Brand Freakin' new Arena is TOO SMALL
An aquarium at Crystal Gardens would be TOO SMALL

In my opinion the Crystal Garden needs to be either made into a market on its own or joined with a building built to the North and have something done with it.

No more small ideas!

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#48 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 13 January 2007 - 10:36 AM

^ In my fantasy scenario, the Crystal Gardens would be lifted several storeys and placed on an altogether new podium.

Yeah, I know: dream on...

(PS: by which I also mean that I agree with G-Man re. both ideas being less than what's needed.)
When you buy a game, you buy the rules. Play happens in the space between the rules.

#49 Galvanized

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Posted 13 January 2007 - 12:08 PM

Yes I agree things in Victoria are underbuilt but I still think the aquarium would be the best use for that type of building, they could even take over the retail areas as well.
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#50 Mike K.

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Posted 13 January 2007 - 12:28 PM

...and they mentioned something about the adjoining parcels of land. The facility could very well be expanded to accommodate a larger aquarium.

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#51 Holden West

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Posted 13 January 2007 - 12:47 PM

360º panorama view from six years ago (pre-Y Lot).

http://virtualguideb... ... et_FS.html

Prepare to be Awes0med!
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#52 ressen

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Posted 13 January 2007 - 03:01 PM

Rather than just having a walkway over Douglas St. from The conference center. It would possible to build an enlarged conference center stretching accross the road, utelizing the air space above the road and the property on the other side. As for an aquarium; I don't think it would fare much better than the 'Experience'

#53 aastra

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Posted 13 January 2007 - 09:00 PM

I'm glad they've floated the aquarium proposal. That's a whale of an idea, in my opinion. Just killer. They otter be careful that they do it right, but if they do do it right they could really make a big splash with this.

Counterpoint: I don't understand how otters and penguins and fish and things like that would be a bigger draw than lemurs and golden tamarins. If they want to give it a go then I applaud them because I thing attractions of this sort are a good thing in Victoria, but I don't understand why they think it could be viable if the previous mini-zoo wasn't.

I think I like the aquarium idea better than the conference centre expansion.

#54 aastra

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Posted 13 January 2007 - 09:05 PM

"IT'S A BIT OF A BAND-AID ON THE CONFERENCE CENTRE SITUATION, TO BE QUITE HONEST," CARTER SAID ON CFAX 1070'S NEWSLINE P.M. PROGRAM FRIDAY. "IT'S A SHORT TERM SOLUTION, AND IF WE'RE LOOKING FOR THE 40 YEAR SOLUTION, THAT ONE MAY NOT BE IT."


So what are we thinking would be "the 40 year solution"? If expansion to an adjacent site isn't it, then what other option is there other than building a new conference centre?

So then you have to ask, where could you build a new conference centre? Ogden Point seems like an ideal site to me, but the powers that be are doing everything they can to botch Ogden Point's development potential.

G-Man's inner harbour site is also interesting, but again the city seems dead against doing something worthwhile there.

Something tells me you wouldn't get far with proposals to replace the existing conference centre. I suspect the naysayers would defend it as a modern heritage building.

#55 Caramia

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Posted 13 January 2007 - 10:00 PM

I really like your idea G-Man of the new Bellview Terminal/Custom House becoming a new conference center. It could become another link between Ogden Point and downtown, tying in Fishermans Wharf and strengthening the idea of the walkway. Besides our marine presence is one of our huge strengths. If it could have some synergy with the Neptune Project, even better!
Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes.
Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900), The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891

#56 Icebergalley

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Posted 13 January 2007 - 11:13 PM

Any idea what size of addition to the conference centre is needed to fit the market now... in 5 - 10 years?

It seems that they are not using the space that they have have created by not re-leasing the retail shops on Douglas...

And they only use the "tents" from time to time..

So what's the plan?

#57 Urbalist

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Posted 14 January 2007 - 09:48 PM

There are several simple no-brain answers on this land use issue:

- A Crystal Garden Aquarium will be a pint-sized version of Vancouver's and all the tour books and reviews will eventually say "skip it, hit Vancouver's while you're over there." Think of it as the BC Aquarium Experience. It will suffer like the mini-zoo did.

- The Vancouver aquarium has a whole handful of issues with its own viability including some deferred maintenance, and investing massive funds in a Victoria pod is simply not tenable. Decision-making representation at the Van Aqua is heavily Van-centric.

- The most successful aqauriums are associated with the water, like Oak Bay Marina's. The Crystal Garden as an aquarium is like having the undersea garden up by the Royal Theatre. Or the Princess Mary, lagooned in a sea of asphalt.

So now you're thinking, ok, this gets back to the basics of location, right?

If we were going to expand conference centre space and facilities, would be spread it all over the downtown in pods? A section of the Hudson and another spot over in Dockside? No, it is critical that it is highly concentrated.

And what better area to put guaranteed, high-paying visitors booked two years in advance, obligated to attend (not discretionary private travel) in one of the few areas that is not dominated by homelessness, begging, drug ODs, petty crime, defecation, etc.

Conference attendees will be the fastest-growing sector of the City's tourism, replacing the throngs that aren't coming anymore.

#58 ressen

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 07:59 AM

one of the few areas that is not dominated by homelessness, begging, drug ODs, petty crime, defecation, etc..


I'm thinking even the people at the Empress have to poop some time.

#59 m0nkyman

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 08:23 AM

one of the few areas that is not dominated by homelessness, begging, drug ODs, petty crime, defecation, etc..


I'm thinking even the people at the Empress have to poop some time.


True, but they tend not to do it in public...

#60 Holden West

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Posted 15 January 2007 - 08:56 AM

AQUARIUM YES, BUT NOT AT THE CRYSTAL GARDEN

Jan 14, 2007

VICTORIA'S MAYOR SAYS HE LIKES THE IDEA OF HAVING THE VANCOUVER AQUARIUM EXPAND TO VICTORIA, BUT DOESN'T SEE THE CRYSTAL GARDEN AS A GOOD HOME FOR THE ATTRACTION.

THE CITY WANTS TO EXPAND THE CONFERENCE CENTRE TO THE CRYSTAL GARDENS, BUT HAS COMPETITION FROM AT LEAST SIX OTHER PROPOSALS.

MAYOR ALAN LOWE SAYS WHEN IT COMES WHAT COULD FILL THE SPACE, THE AQUARIUM COULDN'T BRING IN THE ESTIMATED 40-MILLION DOLLARS THE CONFERENCE CENTRE IS EXPECTED TO GENERATE IN THE CITY, BUT ADDS HE DOES LIKE THE IDEA OF HAVING A SATELLITE AQUARIUM IN VICTORIA.

LOWE SAYS HE UNDERSTANDS THE VANCOUVER AQUARIUM HAS ONLY SUBMITTED A LETTER OF INTEREST AND NOT AN OFFICIAL BID.

- NIKKI EWANYSHYN
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

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