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

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#101 aastra

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Posted 15 February 2019 - 05:40 PM

Parking downtown in 1971:



Daily Colonist
February 21, 1971

There are 10,037 parking spaces in Victoria...
(Unfortunately for you, 60,000 cars are looking for them)

Five years ago parking lots took up 45 acres of the city's 534-acre central business district. Today they occupy 55 acres.

...planners know that this is the fastest-growing use of land in the city.

Five years ago there were 108 parking lots in the inner core of the city. Today there are 141.

In 1965 there were 8,807 parking spaces in the downtown district. In 1970 there were 10,037.

...the only way to go is up -- the construction of more multi-level parking garages.

"Victoria is pretty lucky to have breathing space. Stop and think of the downtown strangulation we would have without this off-street parking. Even now it can get pretty rugged at times but I shudder to think what it would be like if we did not have the expansion space we now enjoy."

What is known as the "central business district" is an area roughly bounded by Belleville Street on the south, Queens on the north, Cook on the east, and the Inner Harbor shoreline on the west. These boundaries have been contracted and expanded several times over the years.

Inside of this is the "core", which is loosely defined as the built-up commercial area, and inside that the "inner core", which is bounded by Government, Pandora, Blanshard, and Fort.

With municipal traffic buildings on Fisgard at Centennial Square, Fort at Bastion Square, on View Street and Johnson, a start is being made in providing automobile storage space on the perimeter, leaving the centre area free for possible pedestrian development.

These buildings handle about 2,200 cars a day and the two big department store lots take care of another 3,000.

You can park downtown all day now for $10 or $12 a month...

Edited by aastra, 15 February 2019 - 05:40 PM.

#102 aastra

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Posted 15 February 2019 - 07:02 PM

Rich people and their luxury apartments are ruining south downtown (although eventually those luxury apartments may get older and become suitable for just plain folk):



Blanshard Plan Will Close Era
Stompin' At the Savoy Was High-Living in Victoria 60 Years Ago
May 29, 1973
Daily Colonist

Savoy Mansions at Blanshard and McClure, the ultimate in fashionable apartment living 60 years ago, will be demolished some time next month.

The property... has been purchased by the City of Victoria...

The building... will be torn down to make room for the realignment of Blanshard...

...Blanshard will be brought in line with Belleville. Eventually the city hopes to reroute traffic from the legislative precinct via the Belleville-Blanshard route from downtown to the city's outskirts.

Completion of this route is considered essential to the creation of downtown pedestrian malls.

Savoy Mansions were built during the Victoria landboom between 1908 and 1913... the apartment building was considered "quite the modern thing" in those days.

"Over the years, many well-to-do Victorians lived in the Savoy Mansions,"

...it was a pity the building has to give way to traffic efficiency.

"In the past few years, mostly elderly people have lived there. They just loved to be near downtown, near the Inner Harbor, near the movie theatres and transportation facilities..."

Edited by aastra, 15 February 2019 - 07:06 PM.

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#103 Rob Randall

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Posted 15 February 2019 - 08:31 PM

Funny to think that it seemed logical 50 years ago that putting parkades and highways surrounding Downtown would enable us to have a car-free pedestrian utopia inner core. The parkades and highways were built but the cars never left.

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"[Randall's] aesthetic poll was more accurate than his political acumen"

-Tom Hawthorne, Toronto Globe and Mail

#104 Nparker

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Posted 16 February 2019 - 09:15 AM

Will we be saying the same thing about bike lanes 50 years from now?  :confused:

#105 aastra

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Posted 22 February 2019 - 11:38 AM

In 2019 we're still saying the same things that we said in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s...



Comment: Step up or step aside, developers

February 17, 2019:

The rapid price escalation of real estate has effectively erased many first-time homebuyers’ downpayments, and where the flow of renters into homeownership has frozen, adding to the competition for rental units.

With a generation shut out of homeownership, and competition for rentals fierce, people with any sign that they are different don’t have a snowball's chance in hell of securing a place to live.



...the prospects of the average working man owning his own home today are so remote as to be practically out of sight.



Other families, unable to pay high rents or unacceptable to landlords because they have children or pets, are doubling up in substandard accommodation.



Rent increases, apathy, shortage of housing hit pensioners, Indians, people with children



The day of the single-family home, so long considered the natural aspiration of everyone, may be just about over in Canada, said Mr. Jackson (Philip G. Jackson, president of Victoria Real Estate Board).



...changes will hopefully address secondary suites, affordability and availability of suites, rent review and elimination of discrimination against couples with children



A planner with the Capital Region Housing Corp., Melliship says she can't find any affordable housing for her waiting list of 1,060 families, 361 seniors and 154 disabled people...


By my count that's:

- three consecutive generations that have been shut out of home ownership
- three consecutive generations that have been discriminated against because of their undesirability as potential renters


(you can find the sources of these older quotes in the old news articles referenced earlier in this thread)

Edited by aastra, 04 July 2019 - 01:58 PM.

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#106 Sparky



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Posted 22 February 2019 - 12:42 PM

Indians? You can’t say that anymore.

#107 spanky123

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Posted 22 February 2019 - 01:01 PM

By my count that's:

- three consecutive generations that have been shut out of home ownership
- three consecutive generations that have been discriminated against because of their undesirability as potential renters


We are saying the same things we have said during cycles over each of the past 6 decades. At the peak of the cycle there are not enough employees and everything is too expensive, at the trough of the cycle then there are no jobs but costs are low. The difference is that these days, with social media and the 24x7 news cycle, our memory is limited to what we experienced in the past 24 hours. 

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#108 Nparker

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Posted 22 February 2019 - 01:44 PM

...The difference is that these days, with social media and the 24x7 news cycle, our memory is limited to what we experienced in the past 24 hours. 

Ain't that the truth. The politicos (of all stripes) quickly learned how to turn this to their advantage.

#109 aastra

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Posted 27 February 2019 - 06:47 PM

Sometimes I wonder if we're all just trapped in a Star Trek-style causality loop:



What Ever Happened To...

Daily Colonist
October 23, 1977

"Victoria never was a bit of olde England, but really a little bit of old San Francisco."

"City Hall has become so careless of history."

"Beacon Hill Park should not always go through 'being improved.' Usually this means being wrecked."

"Victorians themselves do not drink much tea: they prefer coffee, just as more baseball than cricket is played in Victoria, and always was, despite the myth to the contrary."

"The Empress had to change, or go under, victim of all the new hotels and motels that now surround it. So it was modernized, and shops were built out into the lobby, and the beautiful old dining room had thrust upon it a sort of night-club style..."

#110 AllseeingEye



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Posted 27 February 2019 - 07:38 PM

Well I can totally get on board with and agree with the first sentiment, in fact I couldn't agree more - and certainly my own English relatives have made that observation more than once.


Why we insisted in perpetuating that nonsense for as long as we did was always a mystery to me. I can state for a fact that "special relationship" with the "Mother Country" was a one way trip, all the way, all the time. In every way possible England was and is far more attached to and bolted at the hip to the US of A. Canada, if its ever given the remotest thought at all - which is to say virtually never - is home to 1) moose and 2) Indians (say First Nations and they just give you a funny look).


As one Englishmen said to me some years ago "Why the hell would I want to get on the plane and fly to half way around the world to see some trivial outpost masquerading as "England" - and doing a damned poor imitation of England at that? If I want to see England on vacation I'll bloody well stay home and see the real thing". Amen....

#111 todd


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Posted 28 February 2019 - 12:12 PM

Sometimes I wonder if we're all just trapped in a Star Trek-style causality loop:

Tried walking my dog last night found out I was in the middle of a large movie set. I’m beginning to wonder.

#112 todd


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Posted 28 February 2019 - 01:16 PM


#113 aastra

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 01:51 PM

Lately I've been noticing you and your dog in the background of many movies.

#114 Nparker

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 01:56 PM

Lately I've been noticing you and your dog in the background of many movies.

Dog-walking octopuses are hard to miss.

#115 todd


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Posted 28 February 2019 - 06:24 PM

Dog walks inside a submarine on a treadmill.
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#116 aastra

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Posted 01 March 2019 - 06:02 PM

Some Rose/Blanshard stuff from the archives.




Daily Colonist
August 15, 1962

Curtis Fails to Stop Blanshard Extension

Ald. Austin Curtis yesterday tried unsuccessfully to stop all work on a section of the Blanshard Street extension project pending a rehash by city council of the entire problem of a second major access route into Victoria.

He was ruled out of order by Acting May Arthur Dowell after proposing a resolution calling for an immediate work stoppage on the project during yesterday's special city council meeting.

"...two weeks ago I requested a special meeting to discuss the Blanshard Street question. Ordinarily such a meeting would have been held immediately."

"Nobody seems to know anything about the work according to the newspapers, and it appears to have come as a surprise to the members of council as well,"





Daily Colonist
April 5, 1963


The committee recommended purchase of four lots and a duplex at Rose and Topaz... to permit widening of Rose Street to carry traffic from the new Mayfair shopping centre.

Mayor Wilson said the provincial government hasn't yet made its decision on the location of the new highway entrance to Victoria and would not do so until the metro traffic study is completed in about a year.

He said that until this is agreed upon Victoria cannot embark on the costly Blanshard Street extension scheme.




Daily Colonist
June 19, 1963

Shopping Centre Link Urged

City hall traffic officials have come up with a plan to move traffic downtown from the Mayfair shopping centre, which opens this fall.

Plan is to extend Rose Street from Bay to Blanshard and Queens...

Rose Street already is under reconstruction between Topaz and Bay after being extended northward to Tolmie last year.



Daily Colonist
June 28, 1963

Blanshard Link
Worse Mess Feared

Victoria is heading for "a worse traffic mess" than now exists on Government Street unless it immediately punches through Rose Street extension to link up with Blanshard, city council was warned...

Council decided... to refer the immediate road extension problem to finance committee for further study of every possible means of financing what it termed an "emergency" project.

"The only solution to growing congestion downtown," said Ald. Mooney, "lies in creation of another main traffic artery leading into the heart of the city."

"If we don't do something now on Rose Street south of Bay we're going to find ourselves in a worse mess than Government Street."

...the opening of the $6,000,000 Mayfair shopping centre this fall will prove disastrous to downtown merchants unless "we make it easier for people to get in an out of the centre of the city."

Failure to create the new access route... would discourage some people from going downtown to shop and despite all efforts it would take years to woo them back.




Daily Colonist
July 17, 1963

Another Bottleneck Predicted in Area of Tolmie, Cloverdale

The Douglas Street bottleneck of snarled cars, dented fenders and injured motorists will soon shift northwards from Fountain Circle to the Tolmie-Cloverdale area, Saanich officials predicted...

Reeve Stanley Murphy... has been trying to see Highways Minister Gaglardi for the past two months about the mushrooming traffic problems...

He feels that Saanich will be forced into building a bunch of roads to service Victoria's Mayfair shopping centre when the municipality's interest lies in its own Town and Country shopping centre.

Unless the provincial highways department helps in the construction of another north-south arterial route into the city, Saanich taxpayers are going to have to pay for roads which will be used by people from such outlying areas as Langford, Colwood, View Royal and Central Saanich...

...the highways department's plan for a two-way left turn lane in the centre of Douglas Street is "sheer suicide" and that the only answer to Victoria's approach and exit problem will be completion of the proposed Blanshard Street extension and use of one-way traffic then on Blanshard and Douglas.

Saanich's Tolmie-Cloverdale bottleneck... will be created when Victoria opens the Rose Street extension leading to the east side of the Mayfair shopping centre.

Northbound traffic from the city using the new Rose Street route will relieve pressure at the Fountain Circle and pile it up at Tolmie, said Saanich municipal engineer Neville Life.

He said it will be difficult to recommend any action to relieve the impending bottleneck until it is learned whether the highways department intends to make another north-south route into the city, possibly by linking Vernon Avenue, Seymour, and Maple to the end of Rose Street.

Saanich and the city should work together on the problem...

"Unfortunately, we are going to have traffic from the police-fire hall on in like we've never seen before," said Coun. Curtis.

"Mayfair is deserving of easy access from all areas and yet we have the old business of an artificial boundary (Tolmie Avenue -- the municipal boundary) in the way..."

"...it does seem unfortunate that Saanich has to go to work to improve roads leading to facilities that are not in the municipality. The sooner we get rid of the boundary, the better for all of us."

...Reeve Murphy thought that the opening of Rose Street will only mean headaches and ultimately a big outlay of Saanich money for the Victoria shopping centre.




Daily Colonist

July 19, 1963


Rose Street
Expropriation Asked For Road Extension

City finance committee recommended a start in expropriation proceedings to obtain a 25-foot strip of property at the rear of Holyrood House for extension of Rose Street.

...the property would have to be in city hands by mid-August if the two-month job was to be completed in time for the declared Oct. 16 opening of the new Mayfair shopping centre, which Rose Street will serve.

Mayor Wilson said the move would ease a traffic bottleneck...




Daily Colonist
October 2, 1963

Ceremony Considered
Rose May Wear Ribbons

A ribbon-cutting ceremony and a cavalcade of cars are being considered for the official opening next week of the new Rose Street extension route into the downtown area.

The section between Bay and Blanshard at Queens has just been blacktopped...

Traffic lights will be installed at Bay and Rose and Hillside and Rose in the next few days.

The arterial road link was built... to ensure that traffic generated by the Mayfair shopping centre, which opens its doors in two weeks, can easily get downtown.

Traffic chairman Ald. Mooney said he is convinced the "only way to keep Victoria alive and active is to permit people to travel to and from the downtown area with the minimum of difficulty."

Ease of access to the wide variety of stores in the city centre will ensure the health of the high-tax area, he said.

Mayor Wilson said the new intersection now under construction to replace the roundabout at Fountain Circle will bring about a major improvement in traffic flow.

The new intersection, originally also scheduled to be in operation by the time of the shopping centre opening, now is delayed two weeks...

The mayor said the new two-way left turn lane on Douglas "appears to be working very well" cutting delays in heavy traffic.




Daily Colonist
December 2, 1964

Wide New Artery Gains Approval

A six-lane, 100-foot-wide artery to funnel traffic from Tolmie Avenue border into the heart of Victoria will be recommended to city council, probably at its next meeting.

The plan... will involve rerouting a six block section of the road on Rose.

An overpass is envisaged at the intersection of Finlayson Avenue and an underpass at the city border on Tolmie.

The traffic bottleneck which has developed at Rose and Hillside will be eliminated.





Daily Colonist
May 11, 1966

Green Light Expected on Renewal
Blanshard-Rose-Hillside in Van of Development


(aastra says: check the link for a "sample of urban renewal in Toronto"... you know, because Victoria is notorious for following Toronto's example, right? Apparently so, but only when it's something really regrettable.)

The first phase of a $2,000,000 plan to revitalize the city's most blighted areas will go to council...

There is little doubt that Victoria's first major urban renewal scheme will get the green light.

...the project will transform 30 depressed acres in the heart of the Blanshard-Rose-Hillside section to a spacious, landscaped development containing apartments, a school and recreation area, new and better road access and a special housing precinct.

Long Range Plan
If the project goes ahead, the part of Victoria with the highest concentration of welfare cases will, in an 18-month period, be in the vanguard of a long-range redevelopment program designed over future years to clean up most of the blight spots in the city.

The renewal area, on the fringe of the downtown core, is bounded by Hillside, Quadra, Kings, Blanshard, Pembroke, and Douglas.

It is... one of the older residential sections of the city and contains the largest concentration of poor housing.

Of the 127 residences in the section, 91 per cent were built before 1912. Seventy-six per cent of the homes have been classified by a social service survey as "poor," and 24 per cent as "fair" or "good."

Most households have an income of from $250 to $500 a month and are occupied by ethnic minorities who prefer the district because of the high concentration of their own people.

"I want to emphasize that we will be doing this ourselves," (City Planner) Greenhaigh told aldermen. "The only help we will get from Ottawa is in the form of cheques."

The 127 residences in the area would be acquired by the city and razed... The new plan would provide 120 living units, most of which would have three bedrooms.

Another important phase of the program would be the relocation of North Ward School on a seven-acre tract on the east side of the development between Hillside and Kings Road.

The city would provide the new school site and dispose of the present location, on Douglas Street, for commercial use.

There would be industrial and commercial buildings within the area, but they would be tightly controlled by zoning regulations and brought into conformity with the general atmosphere.

No Slum Risk
"We have no intention of seeing this type of housing degenerate into a slum area, as it has in some sections of Canada and the Old Country," he said.

The project would see Rose Street reconstructed within a 110-foot right-of-way on a new alignment as an extension of Blanshard Street. This road, with a landscaped centre boulevard, would separate commercial land use on the west side from residential use on the east.

There will be small parcels of land near the south end of the development, and located here are already a dairy distribution centre and a tire-and-battery outlet.

Planner Greenhaigh and his staff... were congratulated on the report... It was a good job and an example of fine City Hall teamwork...




Daily Colonist
July 13, 1966

Blighted Area Doom Nearer
Commissioner Okays Project

The Rose-Blanshard project -- Victoria's multi-million-dollar dream for an urban renewal scheme which would bring new life to the city's blighted core -- moved a big step nearer to reality Tuesday.

Area covered by the project is an older residential district with substantial portions of commercial and industrial properties. It lies within an area bounded by Hillside, Quadra, Kings, Blanshard, Pembroke, and Douglas, and occupies about 30 acres.

The main symptom of the disease which now afflicts the area, planners say, is a conglomeration of incompatible land uses to the disadvantage of all concerned.

Rose Street reconstruction, with its 110-foot right-of-way on a new alignment, will be developed as an extension of Blanshard. This road, with its landscaped centre boulevard, will separate commercial users on the west side from residences on the east.




Daily Colonist
May 3, 1967

Rose-Blanshard-Hillside Renewal
City Reaches Halfway Mark on Purchase of Property

...project officer for the city and his assistants have been busy for weeks tying up parcels of land and have obtained rights to more than half of the 120-odd which will be needed.

All will probably be acquired before demolition begins.

The rebirth of the city's most badly blighted area will see about 30 acres renewed.

Offers for property are based not on what the city believes they are worth or what it can get them for, but on a fair professional appraisal, city officials said...

"It seems to me," said one senior official, "that we will, in this country, have to get away sooner or later from the concept that every man is entitled to own a home. With land taxes and other costs steadily mounting, it is soon going to be impossible for people in certain income groups."





Daily Colonist
June 2, 1967

Dilemma for Family, City
Where to Go -- Nowhere

Mr. and Mrs. Etherington and their four daughters have to get out of their run-down, mouse-ridden, earth-soiled Rose Street home -- and they have nowhere to go.

And the city, which needs to raze their home and 126 others in the area for its massive $1,600,000 urban renewal project, has nowhere to send them.

But, it seems, there are no rental properties available and both the Etheringtons and the city find themselves in a fix.

The house next door to 2644 Rose, where the Etheringtons live, was knocked downtown by a bulldozer last weekend, in an action which saw the city entering into the second phase of the urban renewal program which is designed to rehabilitate one of Victoria's most blighted areas.

Victoria has no intention of putting the Etheringtons or anyone else out on the street... That would defeat the whole spirit of the exercise.

...the city has acquired more than half the 127 properties it must have before the second phase of the urban renewal operation (demolition) can go into high gear.



Daily Colonist
June 23, 1968

Street Project Toeing Mark

First stage of the big road-building program in the city's Rose-Blanshard urban renewal area will start the first week in July...

About a month ago Victoria took the first steps toward expropriation of 11 properties in the 30-acre renewal site -- properties needed to widen Rose Street from Hillside to Bay.

...more than half of the land between Rose and Blanshard Street, needed as a site of the low-rental public housing project, had been acquired by the city and also a good portion of the property needed for the playground area north of the new North Ward School.




Daily Colonist
June 15, 1969

Only Wish A Home, Not Cash

A 91-year-old First World War widow is determined to fight City Hall until she is compensated with a home comparable to the one expropriated from her.

...have lived at 2648 Rose Street since 1921.

"Now they want to move us into a woodshed after all our years of living in our comfortable house,"

The house, a two-storey building with a basement, was built in 1904. It was 17 years old when Mrs. Telfer bought it as protection against rising rents.

The property is part of 140 acres set aside for development in phase two of the urban renewal plan.

In an interim report on the the progress of the scheme... city manager Dennis Young said private investors had either been attracted to the area or had expressed intentions of assembling property in the area.

A map of the proposed land use for the scheme shows the area west of Rose Street... as zoned for transient accommodation and retail commercial use.



Edited by aastra, 04 March 2019 - 11:05 AM.

#117 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 01 March 2019 - 06:16 PM

was rose obliterated? no street by that name anymore?

#118 aastra

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Posted 01 March 2019 - 06:40 PM

Truck traffic on Government:




Daily Colonist
June 28, 1963

Studies Ordered On Truck Route

New cost studies for a truck route along Store and Wharf Streets designed to keep heavily loaded vehicles off crowded Government Street were ordered by city council yesterday.

The estimates will be assembled for a route using mainly existing streets and another including a new bridge across Rock Bay.

..."the only practical solution" to the perennial problem of heavy trucks causing congestion and deafening occupants of stores along Government Street lies in creation of an alternate route.

...two avenues of constructive action during this period had been in laying plans for removal of parking from the west side of Government, as soon as the second parking facility was opened, and drafting of an anti-noise bylaw.

Both were interim measures, the mayor said. The former would ease congestion on the narrow section of Government by creating another lane for traffic, and the latter would assist in cutting down noise of grating gears and noisy exhausts.

Some sharp corners on the proposed route would probably have to be made flatter to permit easy passage of tractor-trailer units, council was told.

"No other large city that I know permits big trucks to go by day and night through its centre," Ald. Edgelow said. "I was practically shot down in flames when I suggested they be routed to Cook Street. That has become a residential area so it has been dropped. But we still need a route for heavy trucks."

The second civic parking garage at Yates and Langley is expected to be opened by late July. As soon as this is done, it is expected parking will be removed from the west side of Government in the narrowest downtown section.



Daily Colonist
September 19, 1968


Just "Routine" for Police
People, Vehicles Missing

Greater Victoria area police were on the lookout Wednesday for 34 vehicles, 17 reported as stolen, and 33 missing persons.

Though this might sound like a crime wave, a police spokesman called it "routine."

Of the 33 missing persons listed, 30 were teenagers.

Inspector Peterson said that during warm months many teens leave home "to join the nomadic life of the hippies."

Edited by aastra, 01 March 2019 - 06:43 PM.

#119 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 01 March 2019 - 06:56 PM

Of the 33 missing persons listed, 30 were teenagers.

Inspector Peterson said that during warm months many teens leave home "to join the nomadic life of the hippies."


#120 aastra

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Posted 01 March 2019 - 07:15 PM

They were obsessed with Mayfair back then. Also note that familiar mentality re: crisis and emergency. And yet just like now, the idea of rescuing downtown by increasing downtown's residential population wasn't even on the radar. Heck, by erasing the Rose Street neighbourhood and half of Chinatown (for Centennial Square) they were effectively lowering downtown's population by a fair bit.

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