Posted by: Jennifer | February 5, 2007

we’re not gonna take it

The debate over the “Twisted Sisters” is off and running in Halifax.

The Twisted Sisters

A heritage group fired off its opening salvo Monday to prevent 27-storey twin towers from going up in downtown Halifax.

A hearing before the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board began Monday with opening arguments into the $150-million proposal by United Gulf Developments.

The company wants to build two 27-storey towers at the old Tex-Park site at Sackville and Hollis streets to house a hotel, condominiums and offices.

Because of its curvy combination of glass, copper and stone, the project has been nicknamed the Twisted Sisters.

But heritage groups argue that the towers wouldn’t fit in with the other buildings in the area.

“The proportion of the towers to the adjacent and existing buildings is so out of whack that it cannot be said to be complementary at all,” said Ronald Pink, lawyer for the Heritage Trust of Nova Scotia.

[…]Halifax regional council approved the proposal last March. But a number of groups opposed to the project appealed that decision to the utility and review board.

One of the things that I enjoy the most about Halifax is walking around in the downtown core, simply because it is so unique. The majority of the buildings there are heritage buildings, and are some of the oldest buildings in the province. Lots of brick and fading stone, and a lot of stories to be told. There are some modern buildings in Halifax. Hell, I work in one. But they all blend together in such a way that, for the most part, there’s a sense of harmony between all the townhouses and skyscrapers that share space downtown.

The same will not be said for the Twisted Sisters. They just won’t fit. They are too big and too modern, and while I think that Halifax should definitely join the rest of the country in terms of what it has to offer, I think it would be a shame if its buildings lost their charm and become indistinguishable with those found in Toronto or Montreal. The City of Vancouver has made an effort to ensure that the buildings that are erected somehow flow with those that are already in existence. They are all more modern than those found here, but I think that the general philosophy is one worth following. Draw up blueprints for a building that will fit in with the surrounding architecture (including the Citadel!) and I will get behind that. Anything else will simply ruin the view.

The Twisted Sisters in Halifax



  1. Halifax should build the twisted sister bulidings, they look great. Nevertheless, the downtown core of Halifax does have a lot of heritage, but there is still room for growth and inprovment. I say Halifax should build the buildings!

  2. How often do people actually go up ciadel to look at the view? Id be just as happy to see some modern buildings than that small pach of Dartmout that would be missing.

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