An old Toronto incinerator could soon become a massive community hub

Oct 13 2021, 8:12 pm

After sitting vacant for more than three decades, an old Toronto incinerator is about to have a new life breathed into it.

The Wellington Destructor, located on the southeast corner of Wellington Street West and Walnut Avenue near Stanley Park, is set to undergo a total transformation that would see it become a large community hub.

The City-of-Toronto-owned building was built in 1925 and used as a garbage incinerator until the mid-70s. It was then switched over to be a garbage transfer station until the ’80s, and has sat vacant ever since.

The City announced on Wednesday that it is recommending real estate development company TAS be given a long-term lease for the site — 49 years with two optional 25-year extensions — during which time they will renovate and operate the property.

toronto incinerator

City of Toronto

“This is a great step forward in the Wellington Destructor project,” said Mayor John Tory. “By preserving its heritage elements and creating new flexible spaces, this site will serve many uses and become a destination for people to create, learn and innovate.”

TAS’s proposal would see the former industrial site become a blend of an urban park, community hub, and commercial centre. Not only would the Destructor building be retrofitted, but renderings show a new glass-enclosed pavilion going up on the site. Inside the two buildings, there would be production facilities, as well as learning, programming and administrative spaces.

City of Toronto

The redevelopment will require a significant amount of work, with TAS having to undertake a $32 million remediation of the property to retain and restore the original structure, which has a protected heritage designation.

More details on the project will be revealed during a public information session held by CreateTO and Councillor Joe Cressy on Monday, October 18 at 7 pm.

Laura HanrahanLaura Hanrahan

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