The Heritage Canada Foundation has an annual contest to identify neglected, historic landmarks. Or, as the organization describes it: "sites at risk due to neglect, lack of funding, inappropriate development and weak legislation."
For reasons unclear to many denizens of this building and the Sparks Street area, the federal Public Works Department seems to be in the midst of reducing this prime political real estate in Canada to nothing but a pile of construction rubble and soulless office cubicles. As I write this, there's a banging and clattering going on that prompted one of my colleagues to yell: "We're down here! We're almost out of water." This week, The Hill Times also wrote about what kind of mess is being made of lovely landmarks such as the old Bank of Montreal Building next door to us, not to mention the West Block, across the road. What other country -- not in the middle of armed conflict in the capital -- would allow such a mess to develop around its national legislature?
Allow me to share some photos depicting what's being done to this building, which once used to house most of the national media in this country, including CBC, Global TV and CTV (since moved to swankier office buildings a block away.)
On the left, you can see the Toronto Star offices here on the fourth floor (our pals at Macleans are just down the hall).
Even if you aren't a political junkie, or a particular fan of the media, you do have to wonder what's the plan here. This is Canada's political main street and thanks to construction and some mysterious Public Works, strategic plan, the whole area is growing increasingly uninhabited and uninhabitable. All these buildings you see below, stretching from here to the Prime Minister's Office at Langevin Block, are basically empty or in the midst of being turned into cubicle jungles. I'd say that fits the Heritage Canada Foundation's definition of "inappropriate development."