OAK BAY letter: Modern housing a conflict of cultures

Will we let Oak Bay degrade into an agglomeration of cubist housing? I hope not.

According to an article by Kerry Gold in the Globe and Mail of Saturday, May 31, Vancouver is losing its heritage homes.

The article is entitled “As pace of demolition quickens, protest grows.” The subtitle is “Over a three-year period, 2,243 west side houses have been torn down and replaced with new buildings.”

Why are those peons protesting? The new houses are obviously more beautiful than the old. The landfills could use more piles of irreplaceable old wood. The Institute of Civil Engineers says the new houses “use up to eight times more natural resources than the restoration of an equivalent old house.” Who cares as long as the developers are pumping big bucks into the starving city economy? Ha ha.

It appears there is a similar trend in Oak Bay. Here too, it seems that builders are looking around for so-called “demo-bait.”

We moved here because of the character of Oak Bay, and also the “characters” here: people who appreciate beauty and heritage more than size and comfort.

Could it be that in recent years, our civic leaders have become more interested in “development” than preservation? I’m fine with “densification” when it’s moderate and careful, such as allowing secondary suites. But I don’t understand those who think that tall buildings shaped like a box or a jumble of boxes are aesthetically pleasing.

In his 2005 book, The Cube and the Cathedral, George Weigel wrote of the loss of “civilizational morale” in Western Europe.

I disagree with most of his analysis of the reasons for this loss, but his use of the contrast between the modernist Grande Arche and the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris is an apt illustration of the conflict of cultures I see in Victoria.

Will we let Oak Bay degrade into an agglomeration of cubist housing? I hope not.

Jim Hill

Oak Bay

 

Just Posted

Credit card frauds target local businesses: VicPD

Crime Reduction Unit investigating several frauds costing several businesses over $50,000

No treatment for highly infectious measles, says doctor

10 cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver as of Friday

Fatherhood draws Victoria man to publish Tsimshian colouring book for children

Leon McFadden is working on 11 more books to finish the horoscope series

Victoria shoppers fund Jubilee hospital cardiac monitoring

More than $40k raised over the holidays at Canadian Tire locations

Sea Change building in Gowlland Tod park tipped over and submerged

A building floating on pontoons has tipped over and is almost completely submerged

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

POLL: Will you be wearing pink to take a stand against bullying?

Schools and workplaces across Greater Victoria and around the province will be… Continue reading

Two more measles cases confirmed in Vancouver

It brings the number of total cases within the city connected to the outbreak to ten

B.C. Special Olympics officially underway in Vernon

Athlete’s Oath: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

Vancouver Aquarium wants your help to name a baby killer whale

The public helped name Springer’s first calf, Spirit, and is being asked to help with the second

Guards protest firing of fellow officers charged with assault at B.C. prison

Corrections officers demonstrated in Maple Ridge on Friday afternoon

Skier dies at Revelstoke Mountain Resort

Cause of death for young man has not been released

R. Kelly charged with 10 counts of sexual abuse

R&B star has been accused of sexual misconduct involving women and underage girls for years

Most Read