Fiber optic wires have been installed in front of the three houses known as 'Kimberly Row', some of most photographed homes in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The three tri-coloured houses on a slope in downtown St. John's have been featured in provincial tourism commercials for years, and tourists have taken notice.

"Everyday someone will stand in front of the houses and take a photo," said Les Cuff a resident of the yellow row house. 

But a few weeks ago, the famous view changed when Bell Aliant installed fiber optic cables and other equipment in front of the historic homes.

Tourists surprised

Cuff said the real Kimberly Row was a shock to tourists.

"Instead of having the three houses nicely unbroken, now you have three houses with a big bundle of wires in the middle, he said. "It just looks unsightly."

"I can understand from a network planning perspective why they might want to use this pole," he said. "But when you stand here you have to wonder, did anyone look at a picture of where they were putting it? Probably no."

Cuff admitted the provincial tourism images of Kimberly Row always differed from the real thing, but the new wires escalated the difference to a new level.

"The tourism poster does have a little bit of Photoshop applied, a bit of airbrushing," he said. "But it's really not appropriate.

He said the architecture is an example of 'the quintessential row house' and they were built in the 1890s, and he figured many wires in cities like this would be buried.

Company looking at changes

In statement to CBC News, Bell Aliant said, "we take the concerns of the residents of Kimberly Row seriously and are looking at options to modify the design and reduce the visual impact."

But the company added it can't remove the wires completely.

"When dealing with aerial services in the downtown our options are limited by existing infrastructure and technical requirements. However, we believe we can make modifications to the design to reduce the visual impact."

Bell Aliant said it hopes to make the changes in the next few weeks