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Mirvish Village (Honest Ed's Redevelopment) | 85m | 26s | Westbank | Henriquez Partners

TrickyRicky

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Actually, I never realized this property included all of Mirvish village on the West and East sides of the street. I'm with ShonTron. I'm going NIMBY. Existing businesses will not have lease extensions beyond their present 2-years. Mirvish village will be shuttered and demolished.
 

greenleaf

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What are the options here? I know the timeline on redevelopment is a ways away. Mirvish Village could get heritage conservation district status, but HPS already has about 4-6 on the go, so we're looking at something happening this winter at the earliest.

Designating or listing all the relevant buildings would take too long. It could receive cultural heritage landscape status, Markham in particular. I'm not sure that would have quite as much weight as the other options, but it could be enacted more quickly.
 

adma

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Though the way I see it, the *buyers/developers* might well wind up pursuing an HCD study (a little on "neighbourhood appeasement" grounds, surely), hiring a firm like E.R.A. to do it, etc...and then sterilizing it all a la the Distillery District, or something...
 

ShonTron

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The City blocked Ed Mirvish from demolishing the houses in 1962 - and that was the days of Big Daddy Gardiner and the clearcut of the St. Lawrence area. I hope it has its act together 50 years later.
 

greenleaf

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Or this could happen (doesn't necessarily cover Markham...) Thanks Councillors Layton and Vaughan!

Dear Neighbour,

Today at City Hall, I moved a motion seconded by Councillor Vaughan that puts into place an Interim Control By-law covering both sides of Bathurst Street from Dupont Street to Queen Street West. This is one of the most powerful planning controls available to the City.

In July 2012 Councillor Vaughan and I moved a motion to initiate a Bathurst Street study, for which we held public meetings in June 2013. One of the goals of this study is to help define the role of Bathurst and shape future development along the street from Dupont to Queen Street West. The study has shown that Bathurst is primarily composed of small lots and the retail that exists is generally small scale. Despite the existing uses and heights along Bathurst Street, there is an as-of-right permission in the existing By-law for relatively large retail developments.

In order to preserve the existing scale and character of the street until the Bathurst Study is complete, we have put in place this Interim Control By-law that will prohibit new retail and service uses as well as additions to existing retail and service uses for a period of one year for the lands on and flanking Bathurst Street, between Dupont Street and Queen Street West.

You can see the motion and staff report MM37.30 Bathurst Street - Interim Control By-law - Final Report - by Councillor Mike Layton, seconded by Councillor Adam Vaughan online here: http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2013.MM37.70

In addition to this move at Council, Councillor Vaughan and I have been working with staff to bring forward a proposal to hold a community consultation explicitly focussed on the intersection of Bathurst and Bloor. Recent news coverage of the future of Honest Ed's and Mirvish Village makes this decision to focus City Planning's attention on the four corners critically important. Details of this meeting will be announced shortly. If you are also curious about the application at the Kromer Radio site on Bathurst you can find out more on my website here.

Please do not hesitate to be in touch with any questions by phoning my office at (416) 392-4009 or emailing me at councillor_layton@toronto.ca.

In community,

Councillor Mike Layton
Ward 19, Trinity-Spadina
 

diminutive

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The worrying aspect of this is that there doesn't seem to be any specific development proposal. Since Mirvish is just selling, there doesn't seem to be any public idea of what will come next.

Even if the entire area got heritage designation, the new owners could just as easily jack rents and change tenants. That would kill the entire charm of the area anyways, even if a every single brick stayed in its place.

At least at this point, best keep an open mind and try to figure out what a worthwhile use of the area could look like. I don't think anyone would want a generic condo with some chain retail, but on the other hand not many people can think Honest Ed's is the greatest use of land. What exactly could go there is a difficult question, to say the least, though.
 

greenleaf

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At least at this point, best keep an open mind and try to figure out what a worthwhile use of the area could look like. I don't think anyone would want a generic condo with some chain retail, but on the other hand not many people can think Honest Ed's is the greatest use of land. What exactly could go there is a difficult question, to say the least, though.
Besides the Honest Ed's building and the Trainer's Fitness building, I think the rest of the buildings are worth saving. I agree that more could be done with those two sites. Lots can be done with the parking lot space between Bathurst and Markham too. Some mid-block pedestrian spaces would make the site even better.
 

adma

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Funny how David Mirvish comes across so "cold" in all of this--it's like compared to his father, he's got too much Smitherman, not enough Ford. (Yes, I'm "praising" Ford. In order to understand wha'appen in 2010, you have to.)
 

diminutive

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Funny how David Mirvish comes across so "cold" in all of this--it's like compared to his father, he's got too much Smitherman, not enough Ford. (Yes, I'm "praising" Ford. In order to understand wha'appen in 2010, you have to.)
Different situations. Honest Eds made sense way back when. I'm sure Ed would have shuttered it if it wasn't making money. Likewise, his idea to bulldoze Markham street for parking is way colder than anything David's doing.

The POW made more sense in the era of the mega-musical than it does now, on that tunes.

Nobody sees businesses jettisoning underperforming assets as 'cold' anymore. It's just a normal part of life, like selling your parent's house after they die or something.

Being a philanthropist is contingent on actually making money, after all.
 

diminutive

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Pretty much the exactly wrong way to approach a potential HE sale.

Rosie DiManno: What replaces Honest Ed's? Something bad, probably

...
So, no, I don’t have warm and fuzzy memories about the landmark institution that has stood at the corner of Bathurst and Bloor for 65 years, expanding higgledy-piggledy to add-ons and annexes. Still, I do understand the immense affection that Torontonians have for an establishment that has earned its cheesy historical stature. I further understand that family heir David Mirvish — the arty spawn, with his galleries and theatre and bookstore — might want to scrape tacky Honest Ed’s off the bottom of his shoe, banish his father’s niche-of-kitsch empire to the mercantile archives where Eaton’s and Simpson’s have already gone.

He dreams tall and condo-chic and upturned-nose “cultural.” Some, the acolytes and diviners of progress, call him visionary, swooning over the specs of a massive redevelopment proposal for King St. W., designed by Frank Gehry. Mirvish unveiled his audacious architectural model last fall, uptown plans for a downtown transformation.

His heart is in Entertainment District mega-dollars, not a five-and-dime relic. Because Mirvish already owns so much of the real estate in that area, he’s got a leg up on other would-be impresarios and their dueling hyper-construction schematics.

Last week, Mirvish announced his intention to jettison Honest Ed’s. The building and the prime land beneath it will go on the auction block. Drooling developers, having expropriated and exploited just about every square inch of the city core over the past decade, shoehorning and big-footing their ugly towers into all available crevices, will undoubtedly bid large for this enviable property — rumours the sale will fetch $100 million, funds Mirvish could put toward his colossi condo cluster on King.

Gone with the wrecker’s ball is also the impending fate of adjacent Mirvish Village, the idiosyncratic collection of shops and restaurants occupying Victorian row houses on Markham Street, all of it included in the 1.8-hectare block-parcel secured by the late Mr. Mirvish.

Thus will expire yet another chunk of old Toronto, a city in unseemly haste to eradicate its heritage.

I don’t view that past through sepia-coloured glasses. Toronto was a provincial mope of a place for a very long time. Nor is it a great city today, though pleasant enough, if overextended on credit and under-serviced and in rampant thrall to those hideously profiteering developers.

Honest Ed’s was — is — a honky-tonk barn of cheap-cheap-cheap, its distinctiveness usurped by ubiquitous dollar stores and hulking box stores. Those marquee lights festooned on its façade are ridiculously garish and were always far too carny for the neighbourhood. Only a Mirvish could have gotten away with that.

There’s no heritage value to the joint, not really, certainly not when a genuinely historic building such as Maple Leaf Gardens can be turned into a Loblaws and a venerable railway roundhouse into a flagship Leon’s. Thus, no strong argument can be mounted for retaining a quasi Honest Ed’s in some similar fashion.

Far more worrisome is what will take its place.

That stretch of Bloor, while extensively altered from how it looked a quarter-century ago, has still somehow managed to retain its sense of neighbourhood funkiness, dimension and proportion. Honest Ed’s was the anchor of seeming permanence, even as Kresge’s, Woolworths and local movie houses vanished. A monstrosity development, all gloss and glass and big shoulders, would constitute a dreadful invasion of the body-and-soul snatchers.

Oh, there has been much palaver about doing it right this time, as if any lessons have ever been learned from the countless times it — redevelopment and purported “renewal” — has been done wrong in Toronto. Politicians vow integrative strategies. The Star promotes community meetings that would embrace local residents and businesses to frame a revitalization plan for the future — city-building, our editorial writer called it.

Sure. But if that anonymous writer looked out a south-facing window down here at One Yonge, he or she could not help but notice — it’s impossible to overlook — that new condo grotesquerie rising up on the edge of the lake. These are the “Residences of Pier 27,” if you please, posh units ranging from $500,000 to $3 million. Despite all the city’s regrets and promises following the ruination of the waterfront — that concrete-barrier condo cock-up west of Yonge — that it would never again allow vast commercial and residential development on the south side of Queens Quay, the building authorities have rolled over again. It’s what they do, in this density-spellbound town.

Expect no esthetic mercy from the development lickspittles in the current city hall administration. Even reform-minded pols are primarily preoccupied with what they can extract from negotiations for their own little pet projects.

Expect the same at the coveted corner of Bathurst and Bloor: Evermore a city for the rich, the vertically migrant and the vulgar.
So defeatist! I get the appeal of Markham Street & HE, but to act like it's so totally inconceivable that the City and developers could improve it in part or whole is just bizarre.

Without trying to sound like an industry shill, I'd guesstimate that 80% of development in Toronto over the past decade has been somewhere at a B grade or above. That's not damning with faint praise, either. Just blathering on about how the City is in a heritage-oblivious quest to demolish itself for the 'rich, vertically migrant and the vulgar's' new digs is quite far from the truth. Tosho Knife Arts on Markham street sells >400$ Japanese knives for the love of god; who are those for, the poor immigrants? Somehow it's not rich and vulgar to buy super expensive homes in the Annex but 500k$ condos on the waterfront is vulgar? How does that make any sense?
 

diminutive

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Besides the Honest Ed's building and the Trainer's Fitness building, I think the rest of the buildings are worth saving. I agree that more could be done with those two sites. Lots can be done with the parking lot space between Bathurst and Markham too. Some mid-block pedestrian spaces would make the site even better.
Yes, Markham definitely seems like the most controversial aspects of it. Especially the parcel of land on the west side of Markham street, I don't even know what you could redevelop there. The frontage onto Bloor only looks like 15-20m. Not sure what you could do with that. It's wider towards Lennox, but no way you'd get approval to build a massive tower @ Markham/Lennox.

I'd leave the west side more or less alone and focus on the Markham-Lennox-Bathurst-Bloor plot, which seems way more flexible.
 

Towered

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I'd even advocate for allowing something taller to be built at the corner of Bathurst and Bloor in exchange for keeping Markham street as is. Besides, why shouldn't there be a tower here? There's a subway station right across the street. I don't understand how Bloor has managed to stay virtually entirely low-rise west of Spadina despite sitting on a busy subway line for over 45 years now. It's ridiculous.
 

Mississauga Slim

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Somehow it's not rich and vulgar to buy super expensive homes in the Annex but 500k$ condos on the waterfront is vulgar? How does that make any sense?
You're asking how something written by Rosie DiManno could make any sense. Let me save your sanity: don't bother.
 
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