Fortis - the grinch of St. John's - part 1
One day, children, Santa will not come to St. John's.
No - NO - Why?
Well see, he'll not see any chimneys, he'll not see the houses shouldering each other on steep hills, eyebrows cocked toward the harbour. Sure, he won't see the harbour, boys and girls, and neither will yee.
Sure, that's not possible. Everyone knows that St. John's is special - we're not like every other city, no. People want to come here because we're special, no?
Aye, but some people, some groups of people want to, well, get rich and shag our harbour and public views.
NO.. but who'd be such a grinch?
These days it'd be Fortis.
No, Fortis, child.
What's a Fortis?
Fortis, child is a corporation is looking to abuse the city regulations.
What City regulations are they?
Regulations that were fought hard and true years ago to save a few heritage buildings for you and yours to come.
And what does this Fortis want to do?
They want to tear down a block of historic buildings - in a designated heritage zone - and build a 15-storey office block.
Nay, they can't do that, can they?
Supposedly not. But then, well, money talks.
But isn't there somewhere else they can build an office tower?
Aye, good question child. Yup, course there is. Plenty of space west of the downtown. And even out by the airport. There's space a plenty.
And if they did that, then wouldn't they get want they wanted - and wouldn't all the people that live downtown and all the people that come to work downtown and all the people that come to shop downtown and all the people that come to visit downtown and all the little stores downtown wouldn't they all be happy?
Aye, child, I think they would all be happy and prosperous.
And live happily ever after?
Aye child, they just might.