Tuesday, November 07, 2006

City risks loss of character to gaudy new development - Saskatoon StarPhoenix letter to editor - November 7, 2006

City risks loss of character to gaudy new development

The StarPhoenix

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I recently had the opportunity to view the south downtown development area from nine storeys up. The view down the river was spectacular on that clear morning.

As my eye swept across the cityscape, two buildings stood out, each in stark contrast to the other.

Sitting alone, just below me, was the stately and classic brick and mortar Canadian Legion building, silently asserting its calm presence. It spoke to me of lives lived and stories told.

Then my gaze shifted across an expanse of asphalt and slammed up against a raucous blue box that shouted out its commercial pretensions.

The contrast assaulted my senses so severely that I almost stepped back from the window. My heart sank. Was this to be the future of downtown Saskatoon, I wondered.

Will we abandon our heritage and replace it with glass and steel towers and square boxes? The heart and soul of a city is its history, its collective memory. We are at risk of destroying that which makes Saskatoon a distinct prairie city, of carving out its soul and replacing it with a no-name, generic city centre of glass and steel. Lord help us.

Peggy Proctor

© The StarPhoenix (Saskatoon) 2006


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