Letter from Councillor Suzanne Anton
Dear Friends and Supporters:
So many things to report, so little time to write...
Vancouver Art Gallery
As you will likely know, the Vancouver Art Gallery is proposing to move to the old bus depot site on Georgia and Cambie. The gallery envisions an iconic building, with space for the collections, the curating and for public programming. The site is about 3 acres. Several issues arise:
- Should the gallery move at all?
- If it goes to the bus depot site, does it share it with a 15 story tower?
- A 55 story tower? (not possible under current policy)
- Should it share the site with a concert hall?
- Or should the site be used for the art gallery alone?
So far the Mayor has expressed no opinion. I favour the move myself, possibly with an iconic very tall building. What do you think?
The first little laneway house was given occupancy the other day - it is at Slocan and McGill and is beautiful. The permits granted for laneway houses dot the city - no concentration in any one neighbourhood.
Laneway housing allows a unit to be built for elderly parents, helpers for elderly parents, adult kids, rentals etc. Lots of enthusiasm for this initiative, an EcoDensity action item. You can read more about laneway housing here:
This news is a few weeks old now - but here it is: 126 units will be used for social housing; 126 units will go to police, fire, teachers, etc. Don't get mad at the unions, they didn't even know the discussion was underway.
The social housing units represent a scandalous waste of scarce housing dollars. The spread between selling all 252 units (about $70m profit) and keeping them (additional $30m investment) means it is costing about $100m to keep the 126 social housing units and 126 quasi market rentals. Making a political point is an expensive business. Housing people in 5 times as many cheaper housing units is apparently less important.
I had the opportunity to spend a few days in Chicago last week. What an outstanding city. It is actually quite small in the downtown - but very very high. It's architecture might inspire the rest of us to go interesting and go up.
Millenium Park was built with $220m private donations and has spurred mega developments around it, including Jeanne Gang's Aqua Tower.
Cloud Gate, the sculpture, is so beautiful it brings tears to your eyes. The children and other visitors can't get enough of it: they run around, touch, photo, look, and play.
I loved Chicago.
Reminder that Heritage Vancouver's party, hosted at my house, is this Thursday evening (June 17), 5.30 - 7.30pm. Would love to see you here! Please reply to me directly or to:
You can now follow me on Twitter.
All the very best, always love to hear from you,