Toronto Bijou on Bloor | 42.1m | 12s | Plaza | BDP Quadrangle



Registrations are now being taken on the Hariri Pontarini designed project that's going in where the Humber Cinema was.

I didn't turn up the renderings with a search through old threads. If anyone knows where they are, or if there have been changes to this plan. Is this another one that went to the OMB?

I posted it awhile back. A rather unspectacular 10 storey box.
Property assembly complete?

From yesterday's newsletter:

Over the last few months, area residents may have noticed some changes on Bloor immediately west of the old Odeon Humber. Blockbuster Video was replaced by a temporary sock outlet store (now about to close). Fabricland, in the basement of the same building (which was originally a Loblaws store) is closing.The convenience store at the west end recently sold.

Anything up? Indeed...

In the summer of 2003, world19 was the first to report ( the sale for development of the Odeon Humber, and soon after (, the identity of the buyer/developer -- the Wynn family, infamous for their long-time reputation as Toronto slumlords. (In 2004, they were runners-up for the un-coveted "Golden Cockroach Award" presented by the Parkdale Tenants Association for worst landlord of the year.

Soon after their purchase of the movie theatre property, they tried buying more of the same block. As we understand it, that initiative died when the Smardenka family, owners for many decades of what is now Billy Bob's/The Fan declined to sell. The business was originally the Wedgewood Restaurant, and locally noted for acquiring the first liquor license in Bloor West Villlage.

Well, they've now sold. In fact, as we hear, tonight -- Super Bowl night -- is their last in business. And it appears that the entire block has now been sold to the Wynns. How will this change the Wynns' development plans? Stay tuned...​
Funny cause I've been on this site almost everyday for the last 4 months and this is my first post. But I wanted to mention that I went to high school with one of the Smardenka kids and was surprised that they would sell this property because they seemed to love it. Always gave me free coupons to Billy Bob's (great nacho's, best in the city by far). I'll be sure to ask her what is happening because I can't believe they would sell this place.
I heard that only Billy Bobs is closed for now.. I heard they are leasing it to another person for the next 3 years until it is redeveloped? I heard from people who worked there it will be another bar type establishment?

I also was told The Fan is remaining open for now? So many conflicting reports. I remember seeing movies at the Humber.. it's all a bit sad.
From World19's latest newsletter:


An update to our previous newsletter which noted that the entire block from the old Odeon Humber west had been purchased for development. We have subsequently spoken with members of the Bloor West Village BIA, Councillor Saundercook's office, and the owner of Billy Bob's/The Fan, as well as other business owners and operators in the area. Interestingly, while we had been hearing stories of the large purchase for a few weeks, a number of parties "in the know" seemed to have just then learned about the deal.

We now know that the Wynns are no longer in the picture. Councillor Saundercook's office identified the new owner as Claude Bitton. He is still a bit of a mystery; even the Councillor's office professed little knowledge about him or his background.

Those we spoke to agreed with our assumptions: that the developer will likely scrap plans for the already approved condominium on the Humber site, and instead prepare an application for a development using the entire block. Interestingly, everyone we spoke with suggested it might take "five years" before any construction started. The unanimity of the estimate puzzled us, and made us wonder: Does that mean five more years of the now shabby frontage of the old theatre?

In fact we wonder what it means for the state of that stretch of Bloor for the next five years. There's lots of talk on the street of businesses carrying on - of five year leases and so on. But we wonder if it will all get worse before it gets better.

What does it all mean? In the long run, it's all about change. The Humber Odeon site was always particularly problematic in terms of access and traffic flow. What will the new bigger (and better?) proposal bring? Only time will tell. But it's coming soon to a theatre near you...

A correction:
In our last newsletter, we noted that we had been hearing from various sources that Billy Bob's/The Fan would be closing last week. The upstairs (Billy Bob's) did close the next day, but The Fan (the sports bar in the basement) remains open and the owner, Danny Smardenka said he expects the upstairs (Billy Bob's) to re-open soon.​
Thanks Vox.. thats basically mirroring what I was told by an ex staffer there.
:D I kind of liked Billy Bobs so it will be good to see the spot open again..hopefully some of the displaced staff will get jobs back in the interim.
I have not, but I am curious as well.. I will ask my source today when I talk to him!
World19's latest on this site (and another at 2150 Bloor W, just east of Runnymede)


Earlier this year, we noted that the "Humber Odeon block" of Bloor had been acquired by a single buyer. The still-mysterious new owner, Claude Bitton, was a former partner with the Wynn family (as Wynn Bitton Inc.) in the original development proposal for the theatre site. Since then, he has apparently taken sole possession not only of the former Odeon site and all the properties west to Riverview Gardens, but he's also active on the east side of the Village as well.

The two story medical building at 2150 Bloor St. W. (immediately east of the Runnymede Library) was recently purchased by the same Mr. Bitton. At this point, we don't know the ownership or sales status of properties constituting the remainder of that block that runs east to Kennedy Park Rd, but it also appears ripe for redevelopment.

Mr. Bitton's plans for the Humber block and for 2150 remain unknown - as do his background and development history. Enquiries made to Councillor Saundercook about Mr. Bitton and these properties have revealed nothing. Despite the fact that it was the Councillor's office who first informed us of the buyer's name, the response we recently received from Mr. Saundercook was that "All of the information currently available was conveyed at the community meeting which my staff attended on April 30th." [The reference is to the BWVRA public meeting; see links below] However, no information at all about the buyer or his potential plans in fact were conveyed at that meeting. The Councillor knows more than he seems willing to pass on.

(It should be noted that to this point, no new development application has been filed; the only proposal with the City is the original condominium plan for the Odeon Humber site).

In the short term, the prospects for Bitton-on-Bloor are not encouraging. The Humber block remains half-closed. Billy Bob's and the Fan have now both closed their doors, although as we had expected, it appears that a new tenant will be leasing the location - at least until the block is torn down. To the west, the Old Mill car dealership will be moving to Jane/St. Clair in early 2009; the fate of its large property is still unknown, as is the future of the tenants of the office building located at 2490 Bloor, who have been told they MAY have to vacate by the end of the year.
Meanwhile, the medical future of 2150 appears shaky. Although there are banners advertising space for lease, some existing medical practices have had to leave, and we have heard that potential new tenants who have responded to the advertised availability have declined, based on quoted rental charges. A medical building without medical tenants is not feasible. The ground floor pharmacy's viability depends on those medical tenants, and the residents of the Grenadier retirement home a block to the east, depend on both the pharmacy and the medical offices in the building. This is not an encouraging scenario.
What will be happening along Bloor and when, and how can the community be involved? Those were some of the questions we asked in our April 27 newsletter (see below), and ones which were raised in the 2005 Bloor West Village Urban Design Study, which world19 participated in. (See link to study below).

In February, Etobicoke-York Community Council (EYCC) requested city staff to review that Study, and report back to EYCC regarding "how the study may be applied by City staff to redevelopment projects in the area, including the car dealership site west of Jane Street on Bloor Street West."

At the June 10th EYCC meeting the Information Report was received for information purposes only.

We will continue to pursue this issue, and promote public information and involvement in what may become major changes along Bloor Street.​
The two story medical building at 2150 Bloor St. W. (immediately east of the Runnymede Library) was recently purchased by the same Mr. Bitton. At this point, we don't know the ownership or sales status of properties constituting the remainder of that block that runs east to Kennedy Park Rd, but it also appears ripe for redevelopment.

My Family Doctor has offices in this building. The new owner wanted him to move to the second floor, but instead the doctor is moving westwards to Bloor & Islington.
Jeepers creepers! This Claude Bitton guy is a doozy! Reading some of his websites, my first thought was "Hmmm...these are useless and were obviously created on the advice of his lawyers in order to be used as character evidence at his criminal trial." Then I thought, "Hey ... I've watched people descend into madness before, and this is not dissimilar".

Now I've put the two together: "Not Criminally Responsible By Reason of Mental Disorder". Crazy like a fox, Mr. Bitton. You're fantastic!