Re-imagining Kingston’s Downtown Skyline

I am very pleased to hear the old Empire Theatre property on Princess Street has been sold and that plans are in the works to build a brand new residential development on the site. In my view developments of this kind are critical to the future health and vitality of our downtown. If we have more people living downtown, we create the necessary base of customers for the shops, restaurants and other businesses in the downtown to be successful.

However, because space in the downtown area is limited, building higher buildings will allow more people living and supporting the downtown. But, how high is too high? I want to hear from you! How can we encourage the right kind of development that brings more people into the city core while still preserving the character of our beautiful downtown?

Tell me how you feel! Take the survey below…

[polldaddy poll=8882393]

7 Responses

  1. brian evoy says:

    I think we have to be more imaginative in our development and encourage more housing in the downtown core. Just look at some the great new developments in some of the USA’s big cities mixing historic with modern.

  2. Paul Fortier says:

    High is fine but may we attempt to keep a narrow profile to permit view planes between the buildings.

  3. Margaret Zakos says:

    This building will be an eyesore on the streetscape as is Elrond college (Princess Towers) inow We can’t tear it down. .Residential is being developed in North Block and they will be cohesive in design and view. Anna Lane was kep to low rise. This building is an anomaly and will dominate Princess Street. A few hundred residents do not make up for this. If residents clutter their balconies that clutter will be the image of Downtown Kingston for all to see as they look to the sky.
    Purchasers were aware of City by laws when they purchased the property and made their financial decision.

  4. MC says:

    Besides feeling this building due to it’s size will “overshadow” the existing downtown core, I strongly feel that it does in no way tie into the historical architecture of downtown Kingston. It lacks any design or style thought as to how to best combine the building with the Empire Theatre. Frankly I think the that IN8 should reconsider the deign of the building, and put forth a stronger effort to make the building better blend with the historic design of the Empire Theatre, and of Kingston itself. After all, it’s the historic charm that brings so many visitors to this city each year. Lastly, who is the target market for purchasing these condo’s? It seems like an upscale building, and I’d be concerned Kingston may not have the correct demographic to sustain such a building.
    Thanks for listening.

  5. R Lovell says:

    Our concern when it comes to housing should focus less on the character and atmosphere of downtown and more on the needs of Kingston’s residents. As noted in the City of Kingston’s 10-year Housing & Homelessness Plan our rental market is tight and increasingly unaffordable. 47% of renter households in 2011 were forced to pay more than 30% of their household income for rent. Energies should be focused on inclusionary policies for new residential developments that provide incentives to developers who include affordable units etc.

    As a downtown resident for 14 years I feel very confident in saying the issue is not having too few residents in that area. What I have witnessed is the increasingly visible polarity of residents as housing prices rise dramatically toward downtown making living downtown a luxury. Additionally the movement of businesses out of the downtown core because of unreasonably high rent/lease costs has had a significant impact. In recent years we have seen a mass exodus of vital shops in the downtown core: S&R, Zellers, Indigo, the theatre, No Frills (at the fringe of downtown) among many others. The loss of these prominent businesses has represented not only a loss of recreational opportunity and social vitality; it has significantly decreased the livability of downtown and with it the sense of community has withered.

  6. Mrs Lois Hazlett says:

    I cannot believe that you would consider such a plan for this location. We already have a monstrosity at Victoria and Princess, on Johnson and perhaps on Frontenac Streets. There is nothing appealing about these structures, their only purpose is to house as many people as possible and provide tax income for the city. Just imagine, eight students in one apartment, a tragedy waiting to occur. I thought there was a bylaw concerning the height of buildings in the downtown area. It looks totally out of place and ugly.

  7. R.Nelson says:

    Let’s not overlook the parking and traffic problems this would create and the historical appeal of the old downtown buildings . We already have the Elrond College building .Do we need another?

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