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Responding to Marcus Gee On Heritage

December 4, 2009

Re: Some reminders of the past just don't deserve to be rescued

Marcus Gee think the Downsview hangers are just vast empty boxes of plain brick and steel. I defy him to remember what the Don Valley Brickworks or Wychwood Barns looked like before talented people found a use for them and restored them; they were simply less vast empty boxes of plain brick and steel. Unlike the Brickworks, the hangars are across the street from a subway; imagine what someone with vision could do with them.

Mr. Gee also thinks that a barn thrown up on the cheap for a hockey team is more important than a building where they built airplanes. That an urban hulk is somehow more valuable than a suburban one. That it is mad to let a private developer try to fix up the hangars on the off-chance that he might run out of money but it is OK to throw millions of taxpayers' money at a Loblaws store and hockey rink. There seems to be a double standard at work here.

Heritage isn't just about saving buildings that people think are cute. Sometimes it is about saving buildings that can be put to better use than a parking lot, buildings that are part of our cultural heritage landscapes, that have been in our face all our lives and are part of the fabric of our cities. Sometimes it is just about thinking for a moment before we say "it's cheaper just to demolish."

Type of News Item: events