Comment 28943

By swanway (anonymous) | Posted February 22, 2009 at 00:33:16

Discussion about improving the historic centre aka downtown always returns to the need to have more people living there. Not passing through or visiting, but residing there. The land on which it is proposed to deposit this stadium has good potential as residential, owing to its proximity to downtown, to the highway, and to the amenities which the city has provided at the waterfront parks. (Incidentally, whenever they are asked, We the People always say that what we want in that area is more passive recreation -- more green, more trails.)

I can't for the life of me see why Mr Leach thinks that a stadium is the better use for that site. In any case, a glance at the fantastical image he has provided shows no road to get there, and no parking lot. Both of these items must be added to the cost of the project to approach fiscal reality. The last I heard, the road problems included the cost of tunneling through Burlington Heights to get to the 403. Even our resolutely autistic politicians had to acknowledge the whiff of financial doom issuing from that one. As for the condos etc that Mr Leach enthuses about, alas, they will be sacrificed to parking for.. how many games do the Cats play? Rock concerts? Might be a bit of a jam in the revenue stream for Copps. Come to think of it, what if that dream of an NHL team ever came true? What do we suppose the cost of upgrading Copps to NHL standards might be. Oh well, we'll just take it from the Future Fund. Oh.

I too have a fantasy. In my insane dream, we concentrate on making life better for everybody (not just Ellis Don et al) by modest incremental improvements to amenities in every neighbourhood. For Downtown, we would have to start by actually creating the neighbourhood, growing Beasley, Central and Corktown toward each other, filling in with houses and apartments. Every study says the same thing, every time you think it through, the same. Residents bring life and the steady flow of permanent municipal tax dollars, year after year. One-off mega projects have never brought us anything but debt and problems. If this asteroid has to hit, let's at least deflect it to Outer Upper James, where the highway access has been built, or even better, Red Hill. Think of the view from the escarpment. On a clear day, you can see that other city, the one with the historic centre in which people actually reside.

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