How to repurpose the Royal Vic
Kristian is asking how we should repurpose the Royal Vic, which truly is a one-of-a-kind baronial building. Of course there’s a cry for upscale condo development, but I’d need to know what the terms of the original establishment say. This building was constructed under the auspices of two fierce Scots-Canadian magnates, whom I’m pretty sure would’ve intended the building’s use in public service in perpetuity, and while such things have been broken, it isn’t always easy – or even a good idea.
The condo notion also raises the issue whether we want lots of wealthy people driving their massive derpmobiles all over the mountain. The hospital building basically leans against Mount Royal from the south, so condo development would mean a lot of tunneling out of parking spaces and other damage done to the mountain’s fabric. We do not want this. This would be short-sighted and stupid.
I think the smart option is staring us in the face. We know that within the next 10-20 years a hell of a lot of baby boomers will need long-term places to live out their lives, whether in assisted living situations or full-on 24/7 dementia-type care. The building may not be suitable to 21st-century high-tech medical practice, but it’s already subdivided into spaces that would be perfect for the lower-demand warehousing of the elderly. We’ll have to face the leading edge of that wave soon, and the Vic will become available just as we do.