Windmill

Greening Our Urban Environments

Monthly Archives: July 2011

We have been watching the plans for light rail with great interest.  Our Cathedral Hill project site is very close to the proposed Downtown West station, and transit accessibility is a key aspect of sustainable, infill developments.   The design and functionality of this system will be important to our eventual resident and tenants.

During early development of the light rail concept, we had developed some concerns with the system design: the proposed tunnel seemed too deep, and the budget seemed to regularly inflate during the course of project planning.  While we are in favour of investments in green infrastructure, we thought there were fundamental choices about the light rail system that just didn’t seem well-thought out.

We are therefore much happier with the revised plan, announced last week by Mayor Watson.  In our judgment, the change of alignment from Albert Street to Queen Street is a large benefit to riders – and not only the eventual riders from Cathedral Hill, who now will have to walk only one block up the street to get on a train!  (See the map of the proposed station here – click on the aerial photograph.)  The main benefit is that the redesign brings the tunnel depth up 24 meters – and will therefore be a much friendlier design to riders.  We were having a hard time imagining riders wanting to descend the equivalent of twelve storeys underground to access a train to go two or three stops, for instance.  It just didn’t seem believable that people would want to do that.  (Before the City fully updates the LRT web site, you can still see the computer simulation of the descent into the deep Albert Street station at the same link as above.  We think you’ll agree that it takes a long time just to “fly” down those escalators!)  The newly-proposed, shallower tunnel (four storeys below grade) makes a lot more sense in terms of ridership and budget.

This new plan gives us more confidence that the City is on the right track (so to speak) in implementing the project.  However, we’ll have to keep a close eye on how the project is tendered and how the City plans to manage construction.

We are thrilled that the Cathedral Hill development will be so well-placed with respect to this major new infrastructure project.

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As Whitewater Village grows and people buy in, we are seeing more and more converts to the idea of fractional ownership. We’re hearing from people about the reasons they’d now recommend this idea to others. Here are some of the things we’ve heard:

“It took me a little while to fully understand how Whitewater Village Luxury Cottage Club works, but then realized it would totally work for our family. I own part of the cottage, and part of this prime waterfront land with a gorgeous south facing sandy beach. I arrive and it’s clean with fresh linens… when I pack up to go, I don’t have to clean the cottage or change the sheets. It’s absolutely perfect for us.”

canoes

“The first time we actually stayed at Whitewater Village Luxury Cottage Club we spent way more time enjoying each other, spending quality time with the kids and visiting with friends. There were no docks to repair, no maintenance what-so-ever, and that is precious.”

“This time my husband was right – fractional “ownership” was worth learning about. Now we sit back and watch the club grow – with almost eight cottages complete, a sauna, golf carts for each cottage, various docks and decks built in and around the peninsula – we are literally also watching our investment grow – which works for us too.”

children

“Having Wilderness Tours five minutes away has proved so convenient and fun – bungee jumping, kayaking lessons and whitewater rafting trip (gentle or wild) and the option to eat breakfast, lunch or dinner at Rafter’s restaurant. This year at the cottage our eldest daughter will participate in a one week kayak course daily. She is thrilled and it’s so convenient. There is so much to do and many programs to get involved in for families with teenagers.”

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