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CANCELLED
Johnson Street Gateway
Uses: condo, commercial
Address: 1314-1324 Wharf Street
Municipality: Victoria
Region: Downtown Victoria
Storeys: 8
Condo units: 103 (studio/bachelor, 1BR, 2BR, 3BR, penthouse, live-work)
Sales status: in planning
The eight-storey Johnson Street Gateway/Northern Junk condominium and ground floor commercial development is c... (view full profile)
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[Downtown Victoria] Johnson Street Gateway (Northern Junk) | condos; commercial | 7-storeys | Cancelled in 2019

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1740 replies to this topic

#41 spanky123

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 10:30 AM

Echoing the above comments, but I would also like to see City property go out to bid if it is being sold.

#42 aastra

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 11:16 AM

For those entering the city from the bridge, this is the "first building you'll see," Madoff said. "It sets the tone."


Read more: http://www.timescolo...l#ixzz12SLymNas


We're sure bending over backwards for those commuters from Esquimalt, aren't we? Giving them an expensive new bridge so they can zip through town in style wasn't enough. Now we're worried that they might be offended if the abandoned buildings and parking lots near the bridge are fixed up.


Abandonment and disuse can reign for decades and that's perfectly fine, but if you want to fix some old buildings up, create a hint of a waterfront walkway, and build a new lowrise apartment block then you'd better be prepared for a fight. After all, what sort of tone would that set?



#43 aastra

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 12:28 PM

From the TC comments:

I don't think that new development in old town should compete with our lovely old heritage buildings by being too showy, better to have new buildings in old town reflect a solid, quality-material, complementary style instead of being glassy, modern and showy.


Read more: http://www.timescolo...l#ixzz12Sbp5VZ9



So now we've decided that the Old Town's architecture should not be showy?


Folks, the entire point of the Old Town was to show off, to be showy... but now we're saying it shouldn't be so?


This is the sort of revisionism that's done incalculable damage to Victoria's heritage and history. At some point in the past 50 years or so a lot of people seemed to arrive at the same conclusion, namely that Old Victoria wasn't supposed to have been fancy and showy and impressive but rather that it was supposed to have been dowdy and bland. It's 100% baloney, and yet it's an opinion that seems to hold great sway, even among those who are supposed to be concerned with heritage preservation.


Is it any coincidence that the finest, fanciest (and tallest) buildings were the ones that were destroyed during Victoria's great purge? They didn't belong, don't ya know?

In any event, the showiness of this proposal is highly debatable. I'm seeing a conservative modern building.



#44 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 12:42 PM

^ So true, aastra.

Victoria "logic" defies reason. Again.
When you buy a game, you buy the rules. Play happens in the space between the rules.

#45 Bingo

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 01:09 PM

Goodby old town, we're so sorry we don't appreciate your beauty, your uniqueness, or your heritage. We want something new to hide you from view from across the harbour. We want something new to go with a shiny new bridge that will speed the railway past your doorway to the city core. So sorry...

#46 jklymak

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 01:20 PM

I agree that something great could go here. However, its not a bad idea to be cautious and critical of whatever plans are made. I'm sure we don't want a repeat of whatever this building at Wharf and Broughton is called.

The current design should be spectacular, but what I'm seeing looks a lot like Shutters to me, at least on the SW elevation. I'm betting that design will look pretty dated in 20 years. So sure, we shouldn't dig our heels in and fight anything that doesn't look olde-timey, but neither should we accept something that is flavour of the month.

#47 2F2R

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 01:55 PM

>>>Goodby old town, we're so sorry we don't appreciate your beauty, your uniqueness, or your heritage. We want something new to hide you from view from across the harbour. We want something new to go with a shiny new bridge that will speed the railway past your doorway to the city core. So sorry... <<<


Absolutely typifies the Victoria attitude … thank god all Victoria’s great buildings went up so long ago!

Beyond me how a new building (in old town) on an empty space means goodby old town ... like whats the defferance between a 12 and a 17 story building ... I say the 17 story building will be architectualy more pleasing ... a 12 story will help continue a lame and selfish platform ...

#48 2F2R

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 02:08 PM

And sure … of course … new modern buildings should be in the new modern buildings area … but where is that again ?

#49 2F2R

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 02:12 PM

>>>The only thing Ms Madoff is dedicated to is ensuring Victoria remains in the Dark Ages<<<

So true AllseeingEye ... ...

Anyone see the letter to the editor yesterday ... talking today about the same problems today as 20 years ago ... what a vibrant city!

#50 aastra

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 02:52 PM

Is it realistic to expect such a small lowrise building to be spectacular? Where would the money come from to pay for a really innovative design and really expensive materials?

I'd say what they're proposing is pretty good. I'd prefer it if the building were split in two and one section was a little taller than the other, but that's not likely to happen.

Overall it looks very Selkirk-ish to me, but with some ancient buildings thrown into the mix. There's nothing wrong with that, is there? Any way you slice it it's going to be significantly less offensive to the Old Town atmosphere than the new bridge, yes?

Anyway, the powers that be would be steadfastly opposed to "spectacular" in whatever form it might happen to take.

#51 smably

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 08:09 PM

My primary objection to this plan is that it creates a dead end in front of the Northern Junk buildings -- an sort of cul-de-sac. I wish the design allowed pedestrian flow right through the middle. Would there be any activity in front of the heritage buildings, or would it be a dead zone?

Not to say this is a bad proposal, of course. It's infinitely better than the current state of the existing buildings, and I don't mind the architecture of the proposed new one either. Overall, it would be a fantastic addition in that location. But I think it could be better.

#52 G-Man

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 08:11 PM

I think the idea is that the flow of pedestrians will be along the water.

#53 D.L.

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 08:32 PM

The front of the NJ buildings is nothing spectacular to look at.

#54 aastra

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 08:35 PM

Is there really a dead end there? It looks like you can walk all the way around the old buildings:


picture from http://www.timescolo...l#ixzz12Sbp5VZ9

(by the way, note the "Johnston" in that URL)

I think a channel of some sort is needed through the middle of the new building. If it's not feasible to split the entire building in two then maybe split the top floor and put a Selkirk-esque corridor on the ground floor (if one isn't already planned).

And I think the top floor should be set back a bit at each end.

And to my answer my own question from earlier, the curve on the building is definitely more than just a curved corner. It's something between a sweeping curve and a curved corner.

#55 gumgum

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 08:36 PM

The last time i made the mistake of walking along the waterside of the NJB I was inundated with numerous open needles. It was horrific.

#56 aastra

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 08:43 PM

People like you make me sick. You always want things to be "safer" and "friendlier" and "better".

#57 Peter_S

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 08:50 PM

There is a passageway that connects the current west Wharf Street through the project between the old buildings and new building and north west under the new building to connect to the bridge. All this, as well as the plaza that terraces down and the waterfront walkway are planned public access areas. Jon Stovell - Reliance Properties.

#58 aastra

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 09:01 PM

That sounds good to me.

More brilliance from the TC's comments:

I am concerned that what is presently a very pleasently landscaped easterly approach to the Johnson Street bridge will become a complicated/over developed section of another piece of urban blight removing forever the existing generous sightlines of our harbor by yet another developer's financial grab of the moment...

Read more: http://www.timescolo...l#ixzz12Uijnvlj


Which reminds me, remember how the pro-replacement camp claimed that the new Vic West condominiums were so crucial to downtown's vitality and success? Close the old bridge during a rehab and downtown would surely die?

If that's true, then wouldn't it make a helluva lot of sense to start putting a few condominiums in the Old Town itself? If businesses on Johnson Street do well thanks to people who walk from their homes 15-20 minutes away, then wouldn't those businesses benefit even more from people who live just a block or two away?

(crickets chirping -- condominium residents are only vital to downtown's health when we're talking about replacing the bridge and the condominium residents live on the other side of the harbour... condominium residents are a menace to downtown in any other circumstance)

#59 smably

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Posted 17 October 2010 - 09:07 AM

There is a passageway that connects the current west Wharf Street through the project between the old buildings and new building and north west under the new building to connect to the bridge. All this, as well as the plaza that terraces down and the waterfront walkway are planned public access areas. Jon Stovell - Reliance Properties.

Oh, in that case I take back my criticism. The stairs down to the waterfront walkway struck me as a barrier to casual through-traffic, but if there is a street-level connection through the building, I am satisfied.

#60 Marilyn

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Posted 17 October 2010 - 11:08 AM

The city sells a developer a downtown park in Old Town for a development right on the waterfront.

There's a letter in the TC Saturday from a downtown resident in the Leiser Building on Yates who writes:
"Aside from the fact that the proposed development will block our building views and those of any pedestrian in the area, is anyone thinking of the huge traffic and other livability impacts of 48 new units?"

She shouldn't worry too much because the residents may prefer to arrive by yacht since it looks like a private marina is part of the plan.

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