Toronto Garden District Condos | 99.97m | 32s | Hyde Park | a—A

The application files - including the Heritage Impact Statement and Architectural Plans are up on the Dev App site:

http://app.toronto.ca/DevelopmentAp...ion=init&folderRsn=4002148&isCofASearch=false

From the HIS:
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Looks a little awkward.

AoD
 

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Shuter side looks okay. The Mutual side though - the podium feels WAY too overbearing. I'd rather they cut that whole part that juts out to Mutual and add another floor.

Tower is extremely conservative.
 
ah reused component family libraries...
 
This is really sad. Toronto has little regard for its history. Just wait until it's gone. With a bit of sandblasting and reappointment, that entire block would give the sense of context and place that Toronto is hemorrhaging. I still remember arguing with the planning department over the value of the Second Empire buildings around the old Pawnbroker's Daughter pub on Bay St. I was told in no uncertain terms that these buildings were not architecturally significant and that Bay St. was slated for highrise development full stop. Of course two beautiful buildings were replaced by another nondescript slab. Over 20000 buildings have been demolished in Toronto. If even half of those remained, we'd have a city more closely resembling Old Montreal than Dallas.
 
This is really sad. Toronto has little regard for its history. Just wait until it's gone.

According to the City, these buildings were already altered to the point of having lost that historical value. If true, then this was lost long ago on this site.
 
No, these buildings' yellow brick exteriors still have gingerbread gables -- and still have their yellow brick! I can't believe how quickly you're willing to throw an attractive century-plus old block under the bus in exchange for a decidedly banal shit-pile. So tired of the crap being thrown up in this city. When you come outside of the Rogers Centre today, apart from the CN Tower and the Roundhouse, there's no sense of place. Yorkville has gone from being a pretty Victorian village of original 'painted ladies' to a shopping mall. More of the same here. There's definitely 'no there there.' You'd think the planning department and the design review panels would be desperate to protect what few remnants we have of early Toronto. I'm starting to hope the housing market bubble bursts so we get a temporary stay on the blockbusting. I love modern architecture, but not at the expense of fine old buildings like these. There are many special old buildings that don't have heritage designation. They've even dispensed with token facadism on this. Add these to the list: the Normal School, Walnut Hall, the Insane Asylum, The Temple Building. We're no better than Brantford.
 
According to the City, these buildings were already altered to the point of having lost that historical value. If true, then this was lost long ago on this site.

*According to the architect that was hired (and paid) by the client to justify their removal in a report submitted to the city.

Though there is very little left to work with, anything is possible - it depends on what the client is willing to pay for and what integrity/honesty is left in a retained facade when everything else is lost.
 
*According to the architect that was hired (and paid) by the client to justify their removal in a report submitted to the city.

From the UT news story linked above: "None of the properties on the site are designated under PART IV of the Ontario Heritage Act." Perhaps it was just an oversight. We will find out soon.

(I acknowledge that I made a mistake about who evaluated the properties.)
 
Properties not being designated does not mean they have no heritage value. Unfortunately, properties are only designated if there is someone willing to fight for them. Tuscani01 can probably weigh in on this one.

It's a tough one. From the city/urban design perspective, there is a lot to be said about retaining even old facades; it keeps variation and a "memory" for each particular site. Architecturally, it's troublesome because it limits what can be done with the space, and it requires a lot of cost and jumping through hoops for what at the end of the day is a reconstructed facsimile of what a property was long ago, as opposed to retaining or even restoring a property that has heritage value in its current state.

In the case of this project, it comes as no surprise to me that the other two buildings weren't saved. But reading the heritage impact assessment by Goldsmith Borgal, one could also argue for the other two buildings on the site currently, that the entrance can be relocated to its original position, that the keystones over the windows can be replaced, that the roofline be returned to its original profile, etc. etc... but then you begin to wonder if any of the original building would even be left at that point.
 
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It's upsetting that we're having to wage the same battles to protect 19th century buildings that we had 20 years ago when this building boom started. My guess is that the architects and developer know they have to keep at least one original building on the site to win approval. Getting heritage designation for any property doesn't mean much. It just puts a 6-month hold on demolition. Whatever the city disapproves can simply be appealed to the OMB. Without heritage protections, these buildings can be demolished at will and without recourse. If these buildings had heritage designation and tomorrow the owner of the properties hired a demolition crew to remove these buildings, we'd get a similar outcome to this:
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Was a three-storey, red brick 1886 heritage building at 267 Queen St. E. demolished without the proper permits?

The City of Toronto says so and it has served property owner, 2235434 Ontario Ltd., and demolition contractor, Stonehaven Specialty Contracting Corp., with a summons to appear in court to face charges under the Ontario Heritage Act. The city says the demolition was done without the consent in writing of the municipality and it claims that a demolition permit under the Building Code Act was not even applied for.

RELATED:

Hume: Wreckers of heritage building under fire at last

“The city is confused,’’ says Rick Kojfman, director of the numbered corporation that owns the site. “We have copies of permits and the judge will ultimately decide.... we hired a contractor, a legitimate demolition contractor to obtain permits and do everything 100 per cent legal. So as far as we’re concerned it was all done properly.’’

Article Continued Below
The demolition of the three-storey property – built for grocer Robert V. Lauder – took place last November. Not long before it was destroyed, the vintage shop and florist business on the ground floor of the building closed its doors.

A City of Toronto news release noted that 267 Queen St. E. was “designed in a simple Renaissance Revival style. Important features included the brickwork, the moulded-brick window heads, the wood storefront with decorated pilasters, and the ornate roof cornice.” It had been designated in 1989 under the Ontario Heritage Act, on architectural grounds.

But Kojfman said there had been a fire in the past at the site and the previous owner had sold it in a distress sale.

“We’ve been holding the property for three years. The property sat in a derelict condition’’ when held by the previous owner, he said. Kojfman’s company felt it was a good location.

“It’s not like (it was) a pristine historical building and we decided to take it down ... it wouldn’t have served my purpose to demolish a building that was in good condition,’’ he said.

Catherine Nasmith, president of the Toronto Architectural Conservancy, said “it’s a shame’’ the building was torn down. “It’s the kind of streetscape that anchors a neighbourhood,’’ she said. “These buildings, they’re so important just for visual cues in the city. They give a real sense of place. They’re impossible to replicate ... they give Toronto its character.’’

Older buildings like the one that was demolished, she said, are also important for giving small businesses a foothold. “People move in, they set up business, they rejuvenate the neighbourhood. A new development can’t make that happen.’’

If there is a conviction under the Ontario Heritage Act, the court may impose a fine of up to and including $1 million or a term of imprisonment of not more than one year, or both a fine and a term of imprisonment. The court can also impose a fine of up to $100,000 for a corporation’s first offence under the Building Code Act, 1992 and a fine of up to $200,000 for each subsequent offence under the act.
 

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