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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

Condo Commercial

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1740 replies to this topic

#1701 Sparky



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Posted 16 May 2019 - 03:02 PM

For those of you that have used up your free visits to the TC I thought you should be able to see what all the fuss is about.


Northern Junk May.jpg



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#1702 Nparker

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 03:10 PM

What a pale imitation of what could have been for this site.  :(

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#1703 tjv

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 04:06 PM

^can't interrupt peoples views or peoples potential views of the water now!

#1704 Rob Randall

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 08:20 PM

It's the craziest thing I've seen here. I know at this stage they're desperate but I'm shaking my head at this one.

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“I mean I just don’t understand the big Texas part, like maybe he’s from Texas? I want to know the back story.”

#1705 On the Level

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Posted 16 May 2019 - 09:33 PM

I hope for Reliance Properties sake that they have a hard cap on business development costs so they know when to dump this site.  It isn't going to happen.  The city will continue to change the terms and the requirements.

Edited by On the Level, 16 May 2019 - 09:35 PM.

#1706 Hotel Mike

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Posted 17 May 2019 - 07:49 AM

Was "Fraser Warehouse" part of some original signage on the old building?

Don't be so sure.:cool:

#1707 jstovell

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Posted 17 May 2019 - 07:25 PM


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#1708 JanionGuy

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Posted 17 May 2019 - 07:36 PM

rendering 5,  


i love it


"Junk Alley"

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#1709 Daveyboy

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Posted 18 May 2019 - 05:22 AM


Junkie Alley!

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#1710 jonny

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Posted 18 May 2019 - 07:41 AM

I hope for Reliance Properties sake that they have a hard cap on business development costs so they know when to dump this site. It isn't going to happen. The city will continue to change the terms and the requirements.

I'm working on a major building project now and it's amazing how fast a single architect can pump out a few new renderings with today's software.

#1711 Mike K.

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Posted 18 May 2019 - 05:10 PM

Oh what? Whatcha working on?

Know it all.
Citified.ca is Victoria's most comprehensive research resource for new-build homes and commercial spaces.

#1712 Hotel Mike

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Posted 19 May 2019 - 10:02 AM

Jstovell, thank you for those renderings. I think this is the perfect scale for this site. And "Junk Alley" is a great touch. What is the history of those names on the old buildings, please?

Don't be so sure.:cool:

#1713 aastra

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Posted 24 May 2019 - 01:22 PM

It breaks all of the rules:

facadism (at least to some degree),

a patchwork of styles and parts like Frankenstein's monster,

modern construction on top that's much larger than the old buildings below,


...but I honestly don't know if I've ever seen all of these things done so well. Especially the extensive new construction on top of smaller older buildings. Check out what extensive new construction on top of smaller old buildings can end up looking like in Toronto (example A; example B). More often than not the result is ridiculous. But here (in the renderings, at least) it actually seems to work. I can't put my finger on why it does. Maybe because it doesn't end up looking like an isolated & singular small thing losing a contest with an overwhelming & singular larger thing? The new parts and the old parts come together and produce an altogether new thing? It's as if the Frankenstein's monster aspect is actually working to the project's benefit rather than its detriment.


Maybe Victoria just got lucky here that these old warehouses are such very simple buildings? If they had more personality, were more ornate, etc. then this approach wouldn't work?


I'm exhausted by this saga. We know what perfection would have looked like on this site because we saw it in the form of that refined proposal from all those years ago. And we know how it got slapped down. The authorities have forced this model. Why they would want to, I have no idea. Maybe somebody assumed that the imposed constraints would guarantee that nothing good could ever happen, that redevelopment efforts would eventually cease, that the old buildings would eventually fall down or burn, and that another useless square or parking lot would be gained from it? No idea, although I wouldn't be surprised.


Anyway, I like how this concept calls the bluff. Considering the constraints, I doubt that you'd ever see anything better than this.

Edited by aastra, 24 May 2019 - 01:25 PM.

#1714 SamCB

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Posted 24 May 2019 - 01:58 PM

^aastra, I always enjoy reading your architectural critiques. Can you point to which prior proposal was the best? It's not self-evident to me. But I like to be informed by the opinions of informed people. 

#1715 Nparker

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Posted 24 May 2019 - 02:09 PM

The proposal from 2012 was my personal favourite.

NJ 2012.jpg


It's such a shame that the historic streetscape will be forever lost now.


#1716 aastra

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Posted 24 May 2019 - 04:36 PM

That's when I was really loving this project. It was rounding out to be so much more than just a new building. What else has ever hit the old town guidelines so exactingly? And it did it gracefully. Nothing seemed corny or forced. The formerly orphaned warehouses would have been re-integrated back into the thick of things, while still maintaining their individuality & independence. I liked the new townhouses, which were differentiated from the rest of the new construction and worked well as waterside companions for the old buildings. And I really liked the way it all came together as a "micro-district". You would have been able to walk around and through and among it all. You won't be able to do that with the latest version (or with any version, if the city refuses to sell the useless bit of land beside the warehouses).


It was exactly what the proverbial doctor ordered. It was the justification for waiting so long. It was the culmination of all of that fretting and hand-wringing about heritage issues and height restrictions and waterfront access and all the rest of it. It addressed almost everything. And yet it was slapped down as if it hadn't addressed anything. Just another vile new development begging for the rubber stamp of rejection. A 30-story commie block wouldn't have received a cooler reception. The whole thing was just so senseless and absurd.





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#1717 AllseeingEye



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Posted 24 May 2019 - 05:35 PM

/\.....yup, the Nimby Horde really messed up by torpedoing that proposal: anything after that was essentially doomed to be unfavorably compared to it. Given the constraints on the site and of course its location, it was letter perfect.


But "nope" PokeyVille-by-the-Sea in a spastic - and unfortunately all-too-predictable fit - rejected what likely every other city on the planet would've fallen all over themselves to approve. And so now the City will get whatever bread-crumb of a proposal emerges. Or not. I suppose they'll do their very best now to tank that too in favor of some nauseating "green space" so that even more junkies than currently hang about there can shoot up or get high. Great impression for the tourists. What a complete and utter fail......


I love the comment above - I think if I were Reliance I too would strongly consider the "Kramer" manouevre just to shove the city's nose in the mess it has largely created.....

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#1718 jstovell

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Posted 25 May 2019 - 12:48 PM


#1719 G-Man


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Posted 25 May 2019 - 02:58 PM

Geez that is way better than a retweet! 😀
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Visit my blog at: https://www.sidewalkingvictoria.com 


It has a whole new look!


#1720 aastra

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Posted 25 May 2019 - 03:50 PM

I agree with Mr. Sidewalker about the glassed over part. It seems to work. I really like the south side of the project overall. You know, here's the thing: all along we've been hearing how this is such a challenging site. So now we have an unexpected & innovative concept for addressing the challenges. A unique tailor-made solution for this specific site. Nobody can accuse this project of being generic (well, I'm sure somebody will make the accusation, but it would hold no water). No way in heck is this project too Vancouver or too Toronto or too any other place. It's a custom job for the Northern Junk buildings and the Northern Junk site specifically.

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