Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

The CBC is an important national democratic institution. People fight and die for international and national democratic institutions---Radio Free Europe, a free press, the Internet, Wikipedia, YouTube...
A law created in 1991,"The Broadcasting Act" legalizes the sale, give away, transfer and destruction of billions of dollars worth of CBC real estate, transmission towers, memorabilia, broadcasting equipment, furniture, paintings and hundreds of thousands of vinyl records. And the "arms length" Crown corporation is allowed to keep the money from the sale of publicly-owned property. 

 A few years ago, a public auction was held at the broadcasting headquarters in Toronto; items auctioned off included a portrait of Sir John A. Macdonald, furniture from the sets of television programs and memorabilia. 
When I read about the auction  I phoned Library and Archives Canada; I was told that Library and Archives Canada does not have the mandate to proactively save recordings, furniture, paintings, etc. that are owned by the CBC.
Whatever happened to all the vintage television programs? In 2005, Canada's National Broadcaster planned to sell all the radio and t.v. archives to the BBC. Why would the Brits be interested in Front Page Challenge, Quentin Durgens M.P., the Forest Rangers, the Juliette Show, Anne Murray specials, Hockey Night in Canada, The Tommy Hunter Show, Ian and Sylvia, This Hour has Seven Days, Don Messer's Jubilee...

Glenn Gould spent a lot of time at the Jarvis Street Complex in Toronto, and recorded many of his albums at the in-house studio. The Jarvis Street Complex is long gone. I appeared on the television program "Take 30" in 1979, and I vividly remember the beautiful building and the massive parking lot. Naturally, high rise condos were constructed on the parking lot:
Order-in-Council - Grant approval for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
(a) to sell some 4,898 square metres of land at 263 and 303 Mutual Street in Toronto, Ontario, to Context Real Estate Inc. and
(b) to convey another 4,970 square metres of land at 354 and 372 Jarvis Street in Toronto, to the National Ballet School, for a nominal sum. (Approved June 26, 2000.)
Former CBC property on Jarvis Street in downtown Toronto. "Take 30" was filmed in the red brick building on the right, which can barely be seen.

High rise condos were built on CBC land on Jarvis Street and Mutual Street in Toronto,including the Radio City condominiums. Meanwhile, a Hong Kong developer built TV Tower 1 and TV Tower 2 on the Crown corporation's property in downtown Vancouver.
CBC land and buildings in Montreal,Quebec are being privatized.The Crown corporation plans to rent office space from the new owner of Maison Radio-Canada, and 2,200 new housing units will be constructed on the land.
The redevelopment of Maison Radio-Canada in Montreal.
I have always been a passionate viewer and defender of the CBC, and it distresses me to see the hollowing out of a highly-respected national institution. In the year 1970, I enrolled in a provincial correspondence course entitled "Business Organization and Principles". Nine years after writing the following paragraphs, I appeared on the t.v. show "Take 30":

The CBOT building at 250 Lanark Avenue in Westboro, Ottawa was divested in 2002.
CBC executives already earn six figure salaries, why do they find it necessary to sell off the very foundations of Canada's publicly-owned broadcaster? If I were the head of a Crown corporation, I would guard the Crown assets with my life, if necessary. That's the difference between a gatekeeper, and someone who is appointed to a Crown corporation and sells the real estate and movable property.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Chateau Laurier Hotel in Ottawa is for sale.

Who knows what will happen to this irreplaceable landmark---will it be demolished or converted into condos?
John Lennon and Yoko Ono stayed at the Chateau Laurier Hotel in 1969, and their song "Give Peace a Chance" was recorded at another CN property, the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal. Renowned photographer Yousuf Karsh and his wife lived in the Chateau Laurier from 1980 until 1998.

The Chateau Laurier Hotel was a National Historic Site in 1979:
Heritage Conservation Background Report, City of Ottawa. (From: The downtown Ottawa Public Library on Laurier Avenue.)
.I would not be surprised if the Chateau Laurier is sold to the government of China. The Chinese government couldn't care less about China's architectural heritage---ancestral tombs, 600-year-old Taoist temples and hutongs (ancient courtyard houses) were destroyed, and replaced with apartment and office towers and shopping centres. Why would a foreign government or a Wall Street investment firm care about my country's history.
The Chateau Laurier; Dominion Buildings and one thousand lighthouses should be placed on a Deathwatch---killed by:
1.) Privatization
2.) Apathy
3.) Weak to non-existent heritage laws.
4.) Insatiable greed.
Major's Hill Park is directly behind the Chateau Laurier, and the park is currently owned by the National Capital Commission.High rise condos were constructed on land directly behind another CNR hotel, the Fort Garry Hotel in Winnipeg, Manitoba:
Apartment towers behind the Fort Garry Hotel in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Never-before-seen photos of Canadian Governor General Roland Michener and Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau at CFB Petawawa.


Friday, July 12, 2013

1969 photos of HMCS Bonaventure


Saturday, July 6, 2013

Government of Canada real estate

CFB Rockcliffe in 1983. From: "1984-1985 Federal Property Profiles-National Capital Region". The book can be found in The Ottawa Room, Ottawa Public Library at Laurier.
3. In 1998, the National Capital Commission attempted to buy the Central Experimental Farm in Ottawa for a dollar. (See the Ottawa Citizen article "Behind closed doors; With no one allowed to watch and listen, members of the National Capital Commission ponder making deals with Nortel, battling El Nino and buying the Experimental Farm for $1 dollar." by Tom Spears, the Ottawa Citizen - 24 August 1998.)

The Experimental Farm in Ottawa:
A Privy Council Order-in-Council that resulted in the sale of Farm land in February of  1988. (The Order-in-Council books can be found at Library and Archives Canada on Wellington Street in Ottawa.)

Canada Place in Vancouver, British Columbia.