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The More Victoria Changes, the More It Stays the Same...


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#1 aastra

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 06:22 PM

Here's some interesting stuff that I gleaned from old issues of the Victoria Daily Times (presented in no particular order)...

Jan 10, 1969

"Unique Housing Planned for One-Parent Families" (article)

"A major new low-rent housing scheme...on a scale unique in Canada, is proposed for the grounds of B.C. Protestant Orphanage at Cook and Hillside."


April 11, 1964

"Blanshard-Rose Improvements Slated" (article)

"New Artery Challenges Douglas St."

"Appearance of Arenaway is changing and more is to come this year that will transform the Blanshard-Rose Street Route into a major artery..."


(Comment by aastra: The elimination of the Rose Street neighbourhood and its replacement with the progressive Blanshard Courts complex was regarded as quite a civic accomplishment.)


Jan 15, 1969

"'Worst in Canada' Label Hung on Waiting Lists at Hospitals" (article)

"A national survey of hospital waiting lists gives Victoria the title of 'Worst in Canada' a Victoria doctor claims."



#2 aastra

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 06:29 PM

Jan 25, 1969

"Cathedral High Rise Considered" (article)

"...one possibility for the property...was a high-rise apartment block containing clergy offices..."


(comment by aastra: They were thinking of putting a highrise on the east side of the Christ Church Cathedral property!)

April 18, 1964

"Too big, too costly, they called Vic High" (article)

"The new building was criticized in 1914 as a scandalous extravagance -- too big, too expensive and in a poor location."


(comment by aastra: This was a retrospective on Vic High.)

#3 aastra

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 06:31 PM

April 18, 1964

(aerial picture of James Bay)

Caption: "Spikey face of James Bay -- from air -- will expand steadily as the high-rise apartment race accelerates. Photo by Bill Halkett shows the five high-rise apartments that have been built in the past three years to provide more than 300 living units with sweeping views of the city, Sooke Hills and Olympic Mountains. Within the next year there will be at least three more poking upwards in the same area and the high-rise network will have spread to the Esquimalt border where a series is planned overlooking West Bay. Photo shows...Regent Towers, Goodacre Towers, Bickerton Court, Beacon Towers and Seaview Towers. Construction of another high-rise already is underway near Regent Towers and sites are being cleared for two more near Goodacre Towers and Seaview Towers. Several others are on the drawing boards of hopeful developers and two commercial high-rise structures are planned for the Douglas-Humboldt area later this year."



#4 Holden West

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 06:34 PM

^On Vancouver Street? Interesting. A rental tower would have provided long-term economic sustainability for the historic church.

As for the Blanshard Rose district--a real tragedy that "slum" was torn down. At least it was replaced by townhouses and not horrible skyscrapers like in other cities. We dodged a bullet there. If they had been torn down in 1960 it would have been a different story.
"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

#5 aastra

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 06:35 PM

April 18, 1964

(picture of Federal Gov't Forestry Building)

"Almost completed is the $2,500,000 federal government forestry laboratory...at Burnside and Trans-Canada Highway."

"Local fieldstone, simulated marble, and native cedar were used for the exterior."


(comment by aastra: other interesting stuff in 1964 were the articles about opposition to Oak Bay and Esquimalt recreation centre proposals)

#6 aastra

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 06:38 PM

April 15, 1964

"Pointed Tower of Old Boathouse Marked Fifty Years of Memories" (article)

"Needle Atop Restaurant 'New Mark'"

"Plans to save the cupola of the old Oak Bay Boathouse...fell through."

"However, the...needle atop the umbrella-roofed restaurant...will rapidly become a new landmark."


(comment by aastra: many articles about the new Oak Bay marina...)

#7 aastra

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 06:39 PM

April 15, 1964

"630-suite apartment plan detailed" (article)

"University Park"

"...630 apartment suites could be built in a mixture of one to 12-storey apartment blocks and townhouses...in a park setting straddling Foul Bay Road."



#8 aastra

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 06:41 PM

Jan 7, 1969

"Major Attack Organized on Housing" (article)

"Greater Victoria mayors Monday took a hard look at the year ahead and decided their number one problem is housing."

"...the four chief magistrates promised a broad attack on the problem of providing adequate housing, particularly for lower income groups."

"Mayor Stephen terms "a mockery of social purpose" the laying of criminal charges against young drug-takers."


 

Jan 7, 1969

"Mayoral Prescription" (editorial)

"The urgent need for housing accommodation within the reach of families of moderate and low income has been made plain in recent months."

"Housing Crisis Committee Set Up"

"One cannot deny the fact that Saanich...faces a housing crisis."


(comment by aastra: a development boom and a housing crisis...just like today.)

 

(comment by aastra looking back in 2018: 12 years later still, and exactly the same)


Edited by aastra, 13 November 2018 - 07:42 PM.


#9 aastra

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 06:43 PM

Jan 3, 1969

"Building Boom Hits District in '68" (article)

"The major municipalities of Victoria and Saanich both set records. Oak Bay and Esquimalt doubled the dollar value of permits."

"Not even high prices for houses and the high cost of mortgages slowed residential construction."

"In Saanich, permits were issued for 469 single family homes."


(comment by aastra: how does that Saanich stat compare to today?)

#10 aastra

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 06:49 PM

Jan 2, 1969

"The Changing Face" (editorial)

"Centennial Square and Bastion Square have become the standards on which further advancements will be made..."

"On a foundation of patient planning and a well sustained desire to move with the times in making Victoria an attractive place in which to live or visit, the coming year will see progress on a number of important improvements in the city."

"...nostalgia surrounds the Crystal Garden, and its removal must be regarded with reluctance..."

"...the hard fact appears to be that a great deal of money would be required to restore it to efficient condition."

"The swimming pool and recreation centre...will form a new unit of a sports and entertainment complex extending from the Memorial Arena...to Athletic Park."


(comment by aastra: the "sports and entertainment" debate continues 40 years later...and we're still using the same jargon!)

#11 aastra

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 06:54 PM

Jan 7, 1969

"Waterfront Plan on Way" (article)

"City billed as mini-San Francisco"

"Mayor Hugh Stephen...told council...the city's planning department would...present its physical plan for the complete renewal of the Wharf Street waterfront area between Johnson Street and the causeway."


(comment by aastra: Not only do we have a phantom project to ponder, we've also got one of those insufferable comparisons to another city. London, San Francisco, Vancouver, Paris, Prague...stop the madness and just be yourself!)

Jan 7, 1969

"Oak Bay Seeks More Housing with Land Swap" (article)

"The municipality has little commerce and no industry and must bolster its tax assessment base with high density land use."

"Mayor Hawes named four main areas for development of apartment buildings of up to 10 storeys in height."


(comment by aastra: this article also mentions the referendum on the new Oak Bay recreation centre, including swimming pool and ice arena. So they were debating it in 1964 and they were still debating it in 1969. Critics said the site in question (the site we all know and love today) was all wrong for a rec centre.)

#12 aastra

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 06:57 PM

May 7, 1970

"A Wretched Scum: And Life Slowly Disappears from City's Filthy Waterways" (article)

"...pollution in Victoria Harbour is so bad the waters could no longer support life."

"Industrial effluent, junked furniture, woodchips, scrap metal, oil and debris..."


(comment by aastra: there were many counterpoint articles to this one. Some people claimed Victoria was doing a much better job re: limiting pollution than other cities. The various industrial operations also claimed they weren't polluting in the manner claimed in the original article. Raw sewage was mentioned but it seemed to be a very minor part of the story. A water quality expert was quoted as saying raw sewage was no problem in the strait.)

May 11, 1970

"Unpolluted Port Not Possible"



#13 aastra

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 07:03 PM

May 5, 1970

"Rockland Character Supported by Report" (article)

"There should be no further rezoning to high -- or medium -- density apartments in this area."

"The first of two permitted high-rise towers, Camosack Manor, was built in 1967."


(comment by aastra: there were lots of articles at this time about the already ancient issue of amalgamating police and fire services.)

May 8, 1970

"Gentle Dog Castrated While on Daily Romp" (article)

"Central Saanich police are investigating the incident..."


(comment by aastra: ah yes, the good old days.)

#14 aastra

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 07:05 PM

Jan 7, 1969

"Jubilee to Run Mental Hospital" (article)


Jan 7, 1969

"High-Rise Delaying Bid Lost" (article)

"Oak Bay Alderman Scott Wallace Monday fought a delaying action against a high-rise apartment building proposal but lost."

"Alderman Wallace did not want council to consider a plan for a nine-storey building at 1120 Beach Drive..."

"Present zoning regulations in the area permit a seven-floor building..."



#15 aastra

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 07:07 PM

"RCMP to Stay if Area Okays Incorporation" (article)

"...the force can only undertake policing new municipalities with populations under 15,000."


(comment by aastra: the topic of Langford, Colwood, and Metchosin -- and also View Royal -- amalgamating was a hot one back then. Almost as hot as the urban amalgamation issue.)

#16 aastra

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 07:08 PM

Jan 9, 1969

"Professor Hits Hard at UVic Expansion"

"...the expansion plans are a serious mistake."

"...UVic seems prepared to make all the mistakes of University of B.C., Berkeley, and notorious universities elsewhere."


(comment by aastra: So are UBC and UVic "notorious" now?)

#17 aastra

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 07:11 PM

May 14, 1970

"Spencer Rezone Delays Rapped" (article)

"Alderman Witt told council he was disappointed in the failure of council to provide leadership..."

"...making sure this developer abides by...the promise to maintain high standards."


(comment by aastra: there was much concern about the Spencer Castle apartment's impact on the skyline. I liked the point Mr. Witt made about the lack of leadership. Seems to me we've got this same problem today. Trivialities like height are the hot button issues, while overall esthetics are all but ignored.)

#18 aastra

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 07:13 PM

Jan 8, 1969

"20 Stores Open with Simpsons" (article)

"About 20 of the mall stores proposed for the new $10.5 million Hillside Centre will be open for business..."

"...Vancouver Island's largest shopping centre."

"...recreational facilities including a theatre.".


(comment by aastra: even back then people seemed to want a theatre incorporated into every new proposal. The Hillside Mall was a reconstruction of the original Hillside Plaza. The number of stores was increased from nine (I think) to a total of 40 in the first phase of the mall.)

#19 Urbalist

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 07:51 PM

edit

#20 Urbalist

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 07:58 PM

"City billed as mini-San Francisco"

(comment by aastra: Not only do we have a phantom project to ponder, we've also got one of those insufferable comparisons to another city. London, San Francisco, Vancouver, Paris, Prague...stop the madness and just be yourself!)


Do we know of any place on earth that bills itself ...... as Victoria?

Does Port Townsend hawk itself as the Victoria that never was?

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