Greater Victoria Harbour Authority’s proposal for the CPR Terminal building is a travesty in the making.
There is a distinction between tourist services and tourist attractions. Another restaurant and more shops will not bring tourists to this city.
Victoria needs a keynote cultural attraction, certainly not two floors of waterfront administrative offices for the harbour authority as outlined in its plan.
I doubt the harbour authority is capable of doing something imaginative with the CPR building; it spent the better part of 10 years organizing the Ogden Point parking lot to provide cruise ship passengers with safe terminal access.
Belleville Street Terminal has been in a state of disrepair for a generation.The harbour authority should have come up with something better long ago.
Other port cities proud of their maritime heritage provide a wonderful opportunity to explore their harbour and history, such as Halifax, San Francisco, Rotterdam, Copenhagen, Oslo and Paris. The UK has too many to list.
We should celebrate Victoria’s heritage with a maritime museum in this beautiful building. The harbour authority’s vision, mandate and guiding principles all promote this concept. Its vision statement reads: “We envision a harbour where people live, learn, work, and play; a spectacular gateway into Victoria’s past and into its future.”
The B.C. Maritime Museum’s proposal clearly embraces this vision.
I fear Victoria is doomed for more mediocrity.