From the Globe:
Hotel-condo complex gets committee nod
The developer behind a proposed $400-million, 65-storey, five-star hotel and condominium complex on University Avenue will also partly restore a dilapidated 19th-century building on the site that was one of the city's early hotels and housed a long well-known beer parlour.
A committee of local city councillors approved the plans without debate yesterday, forwarding the project to council this month despite opposition from a group of historians, architects and hotel-worker union activists.
They say the plans from Vancouver-based Westbank Projects Corp. and architect James Cheng will do too little to honour the history of the boarded-up building at Simcoe and Adelaide Streets known as Bishop's Block, which dates back to the 1830s.
But Westbank's plans for a 214-metre tower, approved by city planning staff and the city's preservation board, will restore the two outer facing walls of Bishop's Block to their late 19th-century appearance and keep the building as a free-standing structure on the hotel site.
If approved, construction would start in the summer of 2007.
Craig Heron, a York University history professor who addressed the committee yesterday, said he was disappointed after councillors refused to consider forcing the developer to do more to restore the building's interior.