Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Boondoggle?

The new Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre is right next to the old Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre (Canada Place). You can sort of make out the 'sails' of the older building in the reflection.

If companies are cancelling Christmas parties due to the recession and major auto makers are backing out of the premier auto shows I imagine convention bookings for this place are going to take a severe beating. Almost no one imagined the present economic downturn when this project was conceived but not everyone felt Vancouver and B.C. needed the additional convention capacity.

A bigger concern for taxpayers is what the final price tag will be. I haven't seen any numbers lately but as of a year ago it was at least $400,000,000.00 over budget.

I don't think it's possible to visualize the number of piles that had to be sunk and how far they had to be sunk to support the building which juts into Burrard Inlet. There were 1,443 piles. Many were 50', or more, in length as I recall. Here is a link to some images for anyone interested.

I'll be watching to see what the critics have to say about the architecture once the paint dries. I have seen the artist's drawings but I don't remember the building looking this dark. It reminds me of Darth Vader, or more precisely, something he would cruise to another galaxy in.

It will have a green roof which is good for the environment and means every man, woman and child in B.C. will have all the free parsley they can eat. Just kidding. It won't be free.

This post has become more wordy than I usually like but I have to mention one other thing while I'm on a rant over wasted tax dollars. They aren't really visible but just across Burrard Inlet are three fast ferries which were built in B.C. by the government of the day at a cost of about $450,000,000.00. They proved unsuitable for service here and were given up on very quickly. One was never used and was shrink wrapped for a long time. Eventually all three FastCats were sold (read, given away) at auction for less than $20,000,000.00 total. They are unsold and unused and have been tied up at the owner's docks on the North Shore, for all to see, for the past eight years or so.

That's politics in British Columbia in a nutshell. We'll gradually get back to less politically charged posts.

3 comments :

Ron Bloomquist said...

Yes, a bit wordy but I'm glad you said it.

Boondoggles. Gaak!

jill said...

Not the things anyone likes to see happen. Especially after seeing the pile-driving photos. Your photo is very nice though with the reflection of the old convention center.

Laurie said...

Not wordy at all, W. Rant away. Your free parsely line made me spew coffee on the keyboard though. Oops.

I'm wondering how many empty buildings we're all going to see thanks to this economic crisis.