Hey look: a challenge to the national imagination, just for a change

New Wells column, in which I (a) run 24 Sussex down; (b) call for its demolition; (c) address the inevitable rebuttal that this would be the wanton destruction of a heritage property (the short version: no it wouldn’t); (d) — and this is where it gets fun, I hope — launch an open call for proposals from this country’s professional architects for the design of a new residence for Canada’s prime ministers.

For the money it would take to fix the old house, about $12 million, I am certain we could build a far superior new house. I am rather serious about this. There’s a one-month deadline for submissions; we’ll publish the best ideas; and maybe we can remind people that architecture can be exciting. I have no idea whether any serious practitioners of the craft will bite. If they do this could be really fun.

HERITAGE COLUMN-TOPIC UPDATE: I should acknowledge, as I did in January, that the idea of tearing down 24 Sussex came from Maureen McTeer. The idea of calling for bids to replace it follows logically, but I believe I’m the first person to actually do it.

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