Thursday, 29 August 2013

You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar

Perhaps it is because I started off my comments in a positive manner,  that The Ottawa Citizen printed my letter to the editor today....another chance to vent about the infill housing issue in Ottawa. I must remember to use this strategy more often.

Dear Editor

A big thank you to Anita Murray for her article in Saturday's Homes Section, (Aug. 24) titled Uncovering a Jewel. This piece describes how interior designer Ulya Jensen and renovator Noel McGinnity revamped a heritage house in Sandy Hill. "We talked about what we should preserve, what is popular now and what's going to show some of the history and the age of the actual building." One photo shows a contemporary kitchen with the home's original oak pocket doors.
It was a pleasure to read that people have recognized the value in one of Ottawa's older homes. Years from now, this city will wake up and realize that we have thrown away so many of these gems..houses with unique features, with character and charm. In many neighbourhoods, these older homes are being replaced with boring, box-like structures. These doubles  are cheap to erect and bring the city twice the taxes so, in the name of intensification, the older gems are being dumped into landfill.  If Ms. Jensen and Mr. McGinnity are looking for projects, please run right over to my Kitchissippi neighbourhood.

On the day of Ms. Murray's piece, I attended an estate sale in a lovely home that will be demolished this week. For a home that was built in the twenties, it has many outstanding features. Besides the loss of these houses I am concerned with the environmental sin of dumping perfectly good materials into landfill. Why should we bother to sort our plastic, paper, and compost if developers are allowed to deposit priceless wood trim and doors, glass, brick etc. into the dump?

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