Three or four years ago, Pam Madoff had guests from Paris staying in the bed and breakfast she runs in her historic James Bay home. They’d visited Victoria 10 years earlier and let the longtime city councillor know that our city was very much a case of then and now.
As the couple were leaving and thanking her for her hospitality, Madoff recalls that they paused.
“One of them hesitated on the front steps, and she looked at me and said, ‘But what have you done to your city? You’re starting to look like everywhere else, and you used to be so special.’”
Madoff, fierce defender of an “authentic Victoria,” has told the story many times. She says there are people who want to make you feel like an apologist for saying Victoria is special, because they think that means a city doesn’t change — picket-fence and gables quaint, mired in some Kipling-meets-Churchill, don’t-spare-the-good-china past.
“I say no. Cities are always changing, but they should change based on their own DNA, not another city’s DNA.”
"[Randall's] aesthetic poll was more accurate than his political acumen"
-Tom Hawthorne, Toronto Globe and Mail