Showing posts from September, 2007

Underwater city? The future of Toronto's condo industry

Artist's conception of underwater hotel Canadian astronaut sits at a picnic table behind the Ontario Science Centre and talks about water and the future of man. SOMEWHERE ... BEYOND THE LAKE The Toronto Star published a speculative article that I wrote about underwater condos in its 5 kilo Saturday September 8th edition. I am having trouble with my mac posting an automatic link. Until I get that solved, you can use the following to see the article. The Toronto Star edited the story for bad grammer, length and photo selection. Some sections of the story were removed and most of the pictures I supplied were not used. The Star used a file photo and a few pictures from one of the underwater resorts. Below is the orginal story and some of the photographs I took for the piece. The Star version of my story reads better, is tighter and the layout is eye catching, however, you might find it

Somewhere .... Beyond the lake -- the uncut version

THE UNEDITED VERSION OF STEPHEN WEIR'S STORY SOMEWHERE ... BEYOND THE LAKE Dennis Chamberland in a minisub Lloyd Godson wading in the water on Toronto's Ryerson University campus - photo by sweir Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to me Wet Bars are a given in condo of the future By Stephen Weir Three decades from now the most sought-after view in the city of Toronto may well be the wreck of the Sligo. Seen through the pressurized window of an underwater condo, the stark wooden ribs of the 19th century schooner reach upwards towards the surface of Lake Ontario. To highlight the historic remains, the condo association could place lights around the bones of the Sligo so that at night residents can watch freshwater salmon schooling around this underwater landmark. The Sligo is one of three visually dramatic shipwrecks that rest on the bottom of Lake Ontario, close to Toronto’s shoreline. Now only visited by scuba divers, breakthroughs in both building and air cleansing technolog

Somewhere .... Beyond the lake -- Sidebar written for Star but not used

Artist's conception of Ventbase Alpha - Ken Brown Mondolithic Side Bar # 2 The pressures of living in a futuristic condo Living underwater, under pressure, can hurt. According to Phil Nuyyten, the owner of Vancouver based Nuytco Research Ltd. (and the publisher of Diver Magazine) the secret to living below the surface is to make sure that the air pressure inside a sunken condo is always at “one atmosphere”, the same ambient air pressure that you experience standing on land in Toronto. “ We can’t go mountain climbing without clothes and we can't go in the ocean without breathable air. We – mankind – are designed to live in a primordial swamp and we can’t stray too far from that narrow band, be it up or down,” explained Phil Nuytten. “ If the human body is breathing air and exposed to pressures beyond one atmosphere there are major physiological changes in the body. For example at depth pressure forces nitrogen out of your blood stream and saturates the body’s tissues.” Before

Who owns the lake bottom?

Artist conception of Dennis Chamberland's underwater habitat "Lions at the Gate" SIDEBAR OF STORY SIDEBAR WHICH APPEARED IN THE SATURDAY STAR BUT IS NOT ON THE PAPER'S WEBSITE. THIS IS AN UNEDITED VERSION OF THE PIECE BOTTOMS UP ON LAKE ONTARIO OWNERSHIP By Stephen Weir The layer of scum and muck that covers the bottom of Toronto’s harbour is thick, but, not as deep as the red tape a builder would have to wade through to construct an underwater condominium. Who owns the lakebed? Who controls the water and who would issue building permits are three important questions that don’t have definitive answers. “By and large the city ends at the waterfront,” said Gary Wright, the city of Toronto’s Director of Community Planning. “ There are a few cases, notably in Etobicoke where landowners have Riparian land rights (land owner is entitled to use the water on or bordering his property), but we wouldn’t be in a position to issue building permits.” Even though the city does