Monday, April 7, 2008

The Changing City

In a recent article in The Globe and Mail's weekly Real Estate section, Trevor Boddy makes a case for Vancouver's creative class being pushed out of the city due to recent development and increasing cost of living. Vancouver's East side and parts of the downtown peninsula have traditionally served as locales for cheap rents, supporting studios and arts spaces, however as the development boom pushes east, those buildings are quickly being razed or repurposed.

The same day the above article was published, CBC Radio One's Sounds Like Canada ran a report on Vancouver's density bonus program that provided insight into how the city is being radically reshaped. CBC Producer Theresa Lalonde focused on the plight of the Homer Cafe which is due to be closed and redeveloped as part of the 'last true Yaletown address' named "The Beasley" - a tribute to Vancouver's former Director of Planning.

As part of the density bonus program, the facade of The Homer building is to be retained while the rest is subsumed into the greater development. The report touches on the issues of the loss of greasy spoons such as The Homer Cafe (and their under-appreciated contribution to the city's fabric), the relationship between developers and the city, as well as the complexity of heritage preservation in a city in the throes of a building boom.

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