In the James Bay neighbourhood of Victoria, just behind the Legislative buildings, is a roughly six-acre site that is partly parking lot and partly occupied by a combination of heritage houses and unused/underutilized mid-century modern steel office buildings. On the southwest corner is the Michigan Street Community Garden, an icon in the community since 1999.
The landscape of this area, bordered by Menzies, Superior, Government and Michigan Streets will soon be changing dramatically with the beginning of the Capital Park Victoria project. Two of the heritage houses will remain on their existing sites, three others will be moved to new locations on site and the building containing the Queen’s Printer will remain. The rest will be replaced by a mix of business and residential units, courtyards and pedestrian walkways. The developers are seeking LEED Gold or better in all new construction, and hopefully the builders will do their best to reuse/recycle as much of the existing material as possible.
Rather than doing a ‘photo of the month’ post for January, we (and another photographer friend) went out one afternoon to make some images of the existing site – not to bemoan its loss, but simply as a way of recording what it looked like before the construction fencing goes up and the buildings start to come down… a record of what is soon to be history. We’ve created a gallery of some of the images we made that day.
In our opinion the greatest loss in this will be that of the allotment garden. However, there are other sites, other similar initiatives in this city of gardens, and we trust that those who feel best with their hands in the dirt will avail themselves of those opportunities. In exchange, we look forward to seeing what new opportunities are created.
Now go out and make some photographs!