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Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Aria, Victoria, BC, CanadaAs I ride around this city I see a lot of beauty but I also see a lot of desolation: clean shiny buildings and empty streets and sidewalks, few signs of human interaction or places where it might happen. While we seem to be increasing the amount of residential space in our downtown, it doesn't feel like a growing or vibrant community. It doesn't feel like a community. I don't know why this is but I hope to explore it over the next little while. Today's photo is one of the new downtown condos, called Aria. As you can see it's right in the downtown core across the street from the Marriott Hotel. In the photo below you can see the Fairmont Empress hotel and the back of the Crystal Gardens to the left of the photo. At half-past five on a weekday afternoon, is this a vibrant downtown scene? Is it significant that an aria is a song that is sung by only one person?Aria, Victoria, BC, Canada


Angela Robak said...

Last year before we moved from Victoria, we noticed that there are far too many condos being built in the core. Not enough parking. Where would they put it? Not the necessary services to sustain a growing population. Where would they put a grocery store? Perhaps the original idea was to improve on the vibrancy of the downtown core, yet people still have to go outside the core to get even the amenities covered. If the basis was to lessen the environmental footprint of the individuals living in these high-rises, they completely missed the mark. Was the right even talking to the left?

But great angles on the photos!!:)

Kcalpesh said...

What use the beauty without the admirers. Even for the best of tourist places, if there isn't that human touch, you can't enjoy the beauty of the place as would have liked too. These are some really beautiful shots.

- Pixellicious Photos

Diederick Wijmans said...

I like the top photo. She really seems to sing an "aria"!!

Dean Lewis said...

Maybe having a mayor for three terms who was an architect with a leaning towards profitable property development is what caused this.
Someone got rich with these condos (which incidently, half sit empty owing to absentee owners) while the community ends up with an affluent but sterilized appearance.
Ironic, it seems poorer to me.

The new city council is a bit more "left-leaning", so maybe some more "people-friendly" policies will come forth.

Kevin said...

Love the top photo, what a great perspective!

Gunn said...

Photo number two is my favorite.
It has nice composition, architecture and the light is also very good.

MissNilu said...

I find this all quite hilarious, the fact that they have added such a gorgeous public walkway, and the fact that this development is only 12 stories compared to the 20 story buildings across the street.

Or the Falls development which looks like it came out of Miami...

Anonymous said...

Whenever people complain about condominiums replacing surface parking lots they should remember that the condominiums replaced surface parking lots.

Why aren't there more people strolling along that green pathway, admiring that fine new building? Good question. But we can be sure that the green pathway and the fine new building didn't cause the apathy and disinterest. The green pathway and the fine new building didn't inspire the popular lust for Langford's strip malls and big box stores, for example.

Downtown Victoria has taken some huge body blows over the past fifty years or so, but it's still standing. And for the first time in a long, long time it's actually standing with a reasonable amount of pride, as this picture demonstrates.

I'd say the beautification of the downtown core is always a good thing, even if many locals can't be bothered to appreciate it or get out and enjoy it.