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Star: Parkway Mall Metro store nominated as heritage property

wyliepoon

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http://www.thestar.com/News/GTA/article/570614

Metro store nominated as heritage property


Suburban supermarket reflects Scarborough community's history, future, councillor says
Jan 14, 2009 04:30 AM

John Spears
CITY HALL BUREAU

Toronto's newest nominee as a heritage property is a Scarborough supermarket.

The Metro store, built in 1958 with a distinctive curved roofline, sits in the Parkway Mall at Victoria Park Ave. and Ellesmere Rd.

Scarborough community council voted without dissent yesterday to ask that it be added to the city's list of heritage properties.

Some might wonder why a 1950s suburban supermarket should be considered a heritage building. Councillor Michael Thompson (Ward 37, Scarborough Centre) is not one of them.

"Anyone who has ever been in this area knows about that landmark that identifies this particular community," Thompson said, adding he was asked about the building recently in British Columbia by someone who had seen it on a visit to Toronto.

City heritage staff agree, calling it a "rare example of a late 20th century commercial building."

The store, designed by Toronto architects Bregman and Hamman, "demonstrates a high degree of technical achievement," a staff report says. "The arched roof that is the most distinctive feature of the design contains what was described as the largest wood arch assembled in Canada at that time."

It has operated under the banners of Grand Union, Steinberg's, Miracle Food Mart, Dominion and Metro.

Parkway Mall may have been the first shopping centre commissioned by the Bronfman family of Montreal through Fairview Corp., later to become Cadillac Fairview, the report adds.

While a 50-year-old building isn't old by most standards, Thompson said it reflects the community's heritage.

"It's not about age," he said. "It's about the development that has taken place in the community and how we foster and continue to maintain our connection between the past and the future."

Flagging the store as an important building has taken on more importance because the mall may be redeveloped, meaning the supermarket could be demolished.

The plaza's owners, Credit Suisse Real Estate Asset Management, have held informal meetings with city staff outlining possible plans to construct nine residential buildings at the site. In addition to 2,200 units, the development would house office space, stores and community facilities.

Lawyers for Credit Suisse have stressed that the plans are preliminary and no formal development application has been submitted.

Listing the store as a heritage property doesn't confer any protection, but it would mean that heritage staff would have to be notified of any plans to redevelop the site.

That would provide time to consider designating all or part of the building under the Ontario Heritage Act, which gives the city some leverage to protect it from demolition, or to preserve certain features.

City council must endorse heritage listings.
 

jks

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#2
I really thought this was stupid when I read it this afternoon, but at the 6 o'clock news, I saw what the supermarket looks like, and it's really attractive, with the arched roof and everything.
 

adma

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#4
Interesting that it's Mike Thompson advancing it. For all his pigeonholing as part of the council's "right wing", this definitely reflects a generational change in attitudes t/w "contemporary" heritage...
 
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#5
I really thought this was stupid when I read it this afternoon, but at the 6 o'clock news, I saw what the supermarket looks like, and it's really attractive, with the arched roof and everything.
There aren't a whole lot of iconic structures in Scarborough (I'm allowed to say that, I grew up there) but all east-enders know these arches. This is good news.
I was trying to find an image but unfortunately I can't find one.
 

taal

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#7
lol that's worth saving???

It looks like the shed at Yonge and Sheppard that Tridel's new building will be removing ... thankfully :)
 

marcus_a_j

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#9
lol that's worth saving???

It looks like the shed at Yonge and Sheppard that Tridel's new building will be removing ... thankfully :)
Uh, yes. Try not to base opinions on an image from MS Virtual Earth. There's another thread around UT with links to a staff report and better pictures.
 

Prometheus The Supremo

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#10
we have to be preserving from various eras. if we don't, the future will lament our inaction like we lament all the razing back in the 60's.
 

taal

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I'd honestly need to see pictures from close up ... you do know of the "shed" I'm referring to at Y&S though correct? I assume it's nothing like that expect in shape ... or is that also worth persevering?

So does that mean this redevelopment project is probably a no go now?
 
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#12
From the front:

From the back:
Good work Khristopher! To truly appreciate appreciate this building is to see it from the street (er, parking lot) or to drive past it along Ellesmere, or south on Victoria Park. It's quite striking and isn't easily missed.
 
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#13
Uh, yes. Try not to base opinions on an image from MS Virtual Earth. There's another thread around UT with links to a staff report and better pictures.
Thanks Marcus, I found it. This brings back good memories.





Parkway Plaza, 1958 as a strip mall