News + Opinion » News

Halifax's ugliest building


Well, it's a stiff competition, but I have a nomination. First, though, let's look at the neighgbourhood.

The Hydrostone Market, built soon after the Explosion, gets urban planning right: small shops directly on wide sidewalks and relying on mostly pedestrian traffic. Those who drive will find no off-street parking, but they can hunt for a space around the triangular park across the street. The car-clogged street actually adds to the busy-ness of the area, and serves to slow down traffic besides (as cars back into spaces), making the area even more friendly to pedestrians. Of late this area has become an upscale shopping district, and for good reason.

You'd think that given its success, nearby property owners would want to mimic the feel of the market. But, sadly, no. Instead we get this building, which opened earlier this year, directly across the park from the Hydrostone Market, at the corner of Kaye and Gottingen Streets:

Now why wouldn't a developer want to take advantage of high commercial rent possibilities and put small shops at the street level? It makes no damned sense whatsoever, but instead, we get a blank wall. Below, compare the lively pedestrian zone of the Hydrostone to the dead and lifeless cement wall that's across the street:

This dead zone will unfortunately be with us for the next few decades. But I see that property further west on Kaye is about to be developed. I'll check soon to see what's going in there, but let's all hope that it's something more sensibly built.

Add a comment

Remember, it's entirely possible to disagree without spiralling into a thread of negativity and personal attacks. We have the right to remove (and you have the right to report) any comments that go against our policy.

xxx - Deprecated in favor of GTM, above.