There will be no changes to heritage buildings in downtown Toronto – for now.
Toronto’s City Council voted to freeze the demolition of 303 significant heritage buildings for a year.
— Toronto City Clerk (@TorontoCouncil) December 15, 2016
“Over the course of the past several months, there has been an acceleration of demolition permits to demolish buildings that are contributing to the heritage character of the area,” said the City’ chief planner Jennifer Keesmaat at Thursday’s council meeting.
The by-law prevents full demolition of the buildings, but alterations and changes will be allowed on the properties.
Keesmat said the heritage study of the area has been on going for three years, and properties were evaluated by project architects.
The King-Spadina study area is approximately 45-hectares in the southwest of the downtown, roughly bounded by Richmond Street West to the north, Simcoe Street to the east, Wellington and King Street West to the south and Bathurst Street to the west.
“Implementing the one year freeze allows for appropriate development, while stopping the wild- west demolitions practices we’ve seen recently in the downtown,” said Councillor Joe Cressy, who introduced the motion to council.
Big step forward in protecting our heritage–1 year freeze on heritage demolition in King-Spadina approved by Council https://t.co/LQLuodSQnz
— Joe Cressy (@joe_cressy) December 15, 2016
Four heritage properties have been demolished since the study began, and ten applications for demolition permits have already been submitted to the City, according to Keesmat.
Over the last 10 years, King-Spadina has been experiencing unprecedented growth and change,” Cressy added. “If we want to create liveable and complete communities, we have to recognize and conserve the heritage character that makes each neighbourhood unique. As neighbourhoods like King-Spadina grow and change, that must not be at the expense of our past.”
You know what they say, whoever controls the past controls the future…