Reading the comments about the existing building at 1 Eglinton East is most amusing. When developed, this was basically an inexpensive, throw-away building, for which the developer at the time did not apply for a single variance. It was the maximum that could be built at the time, on an 'as of right' basis, completely withing the existing zoning bylaws and restrictions - in other words (mine), to provide a holding income until something 'real' could be done with the site. The developer did not apply for either a Zoning Bylaw Amendment (ZBA) or a Variance that I was aware of (I was on the Board of an area neighbourhood residents association at the time - so if there was one, I shouild have known - and I asked).
It is amazing what a few years, and growing familiar with what has been in place since, can colour perceptions of an existing building.
Given the background - there is nothing intrinsically historic, or even outstandingly esthetic about the current building. If Davpart and HPA can come up with a comparatively pleasing podium / street level presence for the proposed building - why should elements of the existing structure be maintained - even if it is what people have become familiar with over the past few years?
It's mainly the fact that they used a high-quality cladding material that is distinctive and rare today. That's why some suggested reusing it in the new building.