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800 block of Yates: changes


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#21 Jada

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 06:27 PM

That looks like floor to ceiling glass to me!

#22 aastra

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 06:32 PM

You mean the floors and ceilings aren't glass, too?

I had my heart set on a glass highrise.

#23 G-Man

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 07:50 PM

Interesting photo I found of the 819 Yates site of the proposed 20 storey tower on present day Capitol 6 parking lot. Can you say "contaminated soil"?!



There was another Texaco station just up the street in the Chrysler building at Yates and Cook.


I have been looking at his photo for awhile. There used to be a smokestack over in the Rock Bay Area with Laundry written on it just like this. Was that a common advertising practice or is this picture not labeled correctly.

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#24 Holden West

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 08:06 PM

I remember the Rock Bay laundry smokestack. The above pic is definitely 819 Yates. That wall looks like Sugar nightclub and you can see the Royal Theatre sign.

I'm guessing the laundry was where Floyd's diner is? Right now, there's a dry cleaner near there. Maybe there's a connection.
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#25 G-Man

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 08:16 PM

If what you say is true than this is Johnson Street and not Yates.

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#26 Holden West

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 08:33 PM

If what you say is true than this is Johnson Street and not Yates.


Holy crap, you're right. Now I'm all mixed up. I'll have to think this through. :smt017

I suspect the City will demand a mid-block walkway on the Capitol 6 parking lot site since it seems every project of this nature get tagged with this demand whether it needs it or not.

Here's an excerpt from the Harris Green guidelines:

Where mid-block pedestrian walkways are possible, they should be designed so that adjacent buildings front upon them and so that they pass through or are adjacent to attractive outdoor spaces. These pedestrian "greenways" should be attractive, safe and well lit. Properties adjacent to these walkways should be designed to open on and look over them. The pathways will be activated and supervised by having residential and retail uses on them. Every attempt should be made to modify existing mid-block walkways to attain these same qualities. Whenever possible, these pathways should become part of the public realm and be publicly maintained. Safety and security will be enhanced by their visibility from adjacent occupied properties.


Clearly, a walkway on this site conforms to none of these guidelines.
"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

#27 G-Man

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Posted 28 November 2006 - 08:37 PM

The only way that you can make those kind of walkways feasible would be to make all the buildings at least at this density and probably higher. Otherwise they are just good places to smoke crack.

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#28 aastra

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Posted 29 November 2006 - 08:03 AM

Those guidelines just infuriate me. What's this (futile) obsession with trying to invent vibrant cut-throughs?? Forget the cut-throughs, work on improving the existing streetscapes. Geez.

#29 aastra

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Posted 29 November 2006 - 08:07 AM

And what's the deal with "greenways"?? Folks, people don't go for a walk downtown to see nature.

I wish we'd stop trying to turn our downtown into the sort of place that appeals to people who hate downtowns.

#30 aastra

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Posted 29 November 2006 - 08:09 AM

Every attempt should be made to modify existing mid-block walkways to attain these same qualities.


Remind me again of an existing mid-block walkway in that area? Parking lots don't count.

#31 Galvanized

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Posted 29 November 2006 - 09:20 AM

It's too late for that block of Yates, mid-block is in between the St Vincent store and the Wave, not the Capital 6 parking lot! If the city wanted one they should have planned it earlier, who needs a cut-through at the end of a block?
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#32 Walter Moar

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Posted 29 November 2006 - 10:40 AM

I wish we'd stop trying to turn our downtown into the sort of place that appeals to people who hate downtowns.

To me, downtown and plants are not mutually exclusive. I really dislike when -- such as the NE corner of Johnson and Blanshard -- trees are ripped out in the name of safety or cost or whatever it was. Turning downtown into one huge parking lot will not only be visually bad, but the stormwater runoff will be a nightmare. If anything else, I think we need more "nature" downtown.

#33 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 29 November 2006 - 11:04 AM

@ aastra: I completely agree with your 3 remarks, above.

If you read that guideline critically, you can see the trouble that passive voice gets people into. If planners rewrote it in active voice, they'd see immediately how stupidly pie-in-the-sky those "motherhood" statements are.

Take a sentence like "The pathways will be activated and supervised by having residential and retail uses on them." I defy people to put that into active voice, with a real subject, and still have the sentence hold up. "Pathways will be activated..." Who activates and supervises the pathways? What does "having ...uses on them" actually mean? Hello? Put the sentence into active voice, and you see that it doesn't hold up, that it's all wishful thinking, because you will be hard-pressed to come up with plausible subjects that can carry out the actions suggested by the verbs.

The closest I can get to an active voice version of the drivel in that sentence is this: "Residents and retailers will use the pathways; by doing so, they will activate and supervise them." But note: if you put it like that, you can immediately see that it's based on wishful thinking, as per the second clause. Yes, get enough people there, and they will use the pathways -- as residents, perhaps as shoppers and as retailers. But can you prescribe the "uses," or whether "activation" and "supervision" are going to be what you had in mind? Aren't you making the poor little pathway take a burden it can't possibly guarantee to bear? Aren't you, in fact, making the pathway into a subject, when it should be the object?

You know how word processing software comes with all these (IMO annoying) tools, like spellchecker and grammar checker? I think someone should develop a wordprocessing software tool that checks for passive voice constructions, and automatically delete them, as well as deliver electric shocks to the writers. I'd make it mandatory for anyone in government.
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#34 Holden West

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Posted 29 November 2006 - 11:10 AM

That passive voice punishing device would have an effect that would be desirable.

OUCH!

Damn!
"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

#35 aastra

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Posted 29 November 2006 - 11:56 AM

I have to ask, has the stormwater run-off been a problem all these decades? There's much more greenery downtown right now than there ever was before.

#36 Holden West

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Posted 29 November 2006 - 12:19 PM

Yeah, that St. Vincent de Paul loading dock will really "activate" that pathway. :-/

I like some of these new boulevards and the new trees but some of the grass strips on Yates are turning into giant mud baths.
"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

#37 aastra

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Posted 29 November 2006 - 12:56 PM

I just don't get it. When did we all decide that downtown Victoria = mid-block pathways? What's this sudden obsession all about? Is it just a diversion to avoid dealing with much more essential and obvious (and controversial) issues?

#38 gumgum

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Posted 29 November 2006 - 01:03 PM

If we're going to add greenery, we should completely eliminate lawn-type grass altogether anyway.

#39 m0nkyman

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Posted 29 November 2006 - 04:03 PM

I just don't get it. When did we all decide that downtown Victoria = mid-block pathways? What's this sudden obsession all about? Is it just a diversion to avoid dealing with much more essential and obvious (and controversial) issues?

The only decent mid block pathways are the ones that are actually through buildings. Mid block between Douglas and Blanshard running straight from Yates to Fort, through Frasier McColl's building, whatever it's called, with the FIDO store, to View, through the View parkade and then through the middle of the HSBC.
That's an urban mid-block pathway.

The sketchy junkie hangouts that the urban planners seem to be jonesing for are a nightmare. Ever cut through the back of London Drugs after dark... near Zambris? That area makes me nervous.... But it's green!!!! :roll:

Of course, the real reason is that Victoria screwed itself royally by not including alleys. Something that exists in every other city in the world.... Pretty major blunder IMNSHO.

#40 G-Man

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Posted 29 November 2006 - 08:20 PM

There are some good pathways in this town. Waddington Alley and the one to Bastion Square, Fan Tan Alley and Dragon Alley are good too. I like the Odeon Alley and once the Mozart lot is developed it may become more active.

However that does not mean that every block should have an alley. The reason that the others work even a bit is because they are rare. Once you have them everywhere than they become to empty.

The one by London Drugs is bad but mostly because it deadends in a parking lot. As a pedestrian I do use that one quite often.

Can anyone really use the one next to the Manhattan? I always thought it was private.

Lots of places don't have alleys. Vancouver is the weird place because it has so many.

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