Nearly 50 people gathered at the site of what was promised to be Regina’s tallest building to say goodbye to the Capital Pointe hole on Saturday.
Paula Krasiun-Winsel organized the so-called “funeral” for the downtown eyesore. She wanted to make light of the failed condo building in hopes of uniting the community.
Following more than six months of judicial decisions, Westgate Properties was ordered to backfill the hole by March 31. After that, the City of Regina can step in to fill it and tack the expenses onto Westgate’s property taxes.
WATCH: (May 2018) City tells appeal board Capital Pointe hole is ‘unsafe’ amid calls for the site to be decommissioned
Now that the end of a nearly nine-year saga is in sight, Reginians are looking back on the pit that was.
“It feels like saying goodbye to not just a good punchline, but a good friend,” said Julian Wotherspoon, one of the funeral attendees. “I think my ultimate goal in the next week is to just symbolically throw things into the hole that I would like to be buried with the hole.”
People of all ages offered up ideas to replace the hole. A pond, waterpark and the proposed condo building were just some of the suggestions. But Eric Hill, an augmented reality project artist, wanted to make some of these ideas come to life.
By using the app ‘Artivive,’ residents can point their smartphones at four different posters lined up around the fence at the construction site. Each poster triggers a different augmented reality inspired by ideas from the public.
“They’re kind of whimsical, fantastical ideas like filling the pit with ball pit balls or an orchestra pit or turning the Capital Pointe building upside down and lowering it into the pit,” said Hill.
Allison Sweet, owner of Fresh & Sweet and Fresh Carnival, has worked beside the Capital Pointe site ever since the project’s unveiling in 2010. Sweet has had the water and power shut off and the telephone and internet lines disconnected during different stages of construction. The site, she says, makes it difficult for the public to access her cafés.
Like all relationships, Sweet says there are ups and downs, but she’s glad to see this one go.
“Right now it’s a safety concern and quite an eyesore, so just the fact that it’s going to be something else is exciting,” Sweet said.
Fresh Carnival marked the occasion with specialty ‘worms and dirt’ doughnuts — a symbol of the pit. Sweet says once the pit is filled, the restaurant plans to launch a filled doughnut.