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Montgomery Square 
2384 Yonge St, Toronto
Developer: Rockport Group, Woodbourne Canada Management, Inc.


Montgomery Square | 84m | 27s | Rockport Group | RAW Design

AlbertC

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#1
http://torontoist.com/2012/07/rebelling-over-postal-station-k/

Rebelling Over Postal Station K

Locals rally to save a historic building on a key Rebellion of 1837 site.
BY JAMIE BRADBURN


One hundred and seventy-five years after William Lyon Mackenzie assembled his rebels at Montgomery’s Tavern, another group of angry citizens seems ready to rise up against the government on the same site, or at least let a crown corporation know they are unhappy about the possible fallout from its sale—especially if that fallout proves to involve a high-rise condo, as at least one commercial realtor has predicted.
“There’s really not much going on right now,†noted Canada Post spokesperson John Caines in a phone interview yesterday. An RFP (request for proposals) was made in April for Postal Station K, along with Canada Post properties at 50 Charles Street East and 1780 Avenue Road. “We’re considering selling them, but only if the purchaser provides a suitable replacement property or properties in return. We’re not looking to leave the area but upgrade and modernize our network.â€
If a condo doesn’t become part of the site’s future, what could the building be used for? Colle said that the Anne Johnston Health Centre, located across the street, had expressed interest in additional space for their programs. Eglinton Park Residents’ Association chair Tom Cohen imagined a commercial tavern paired with a museum celebrating the rebellion of 1837. Whatever happens, it’s likely that a creative solution that utilizes most or all of Postal Station K (which seems to be a condition of any sale) will be better received than a high-rise that does little to acknowledge the site’s history. Otherwise, any march down Yonge Street to mark the anniversary of Mackenzie’s rebellion this December might not be a mere re-enactment.
 

pw20

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#2
I like this building and as more and more tall buildings are built around it - i can see it being a bit of a respite. Its also somewhat notable for one of the few buildings with King Edward's crest (few buildings were completed before he abdicated the throne).
 

ShonTron

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#3
Feds sell Postal Station K (Yonge/Montgomery)



Notice from Josh Matlow:

Dear residents,

Its [sic] shameful that our federal government has allowed Canada Post to sell one of North Toronto's most historic public buildings, Postal Station K, without ensuring it be protected.

Postal Station K sits on the site of the Upper Canada Rebellion's Montgomery Tavern. Along with its Art Deco architecture and the rare Royal Cipher of Edward VIII, this building is part of our community's heritage.

I will be joining Eglinton-Lawrence MPP Mike Colle at Postal Station K at 4PM today as he shares details about the sale and we discuss next steps with community members. I'm truly sorry about the very short notice- I found out myself about 5 minutes ago. I know many of you care deeply about this important issue and I wanted to keep you informed.

Sincerely,
Josh
Good to know that the Harpo government cares. This is in Joe Oliver's riding.
 

diminutive

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Why would the Harper government know or care about such a small item of Canada Post business?

The architectural/preservationist aspect of this sale notwithstanding, Colle making political hay out of this is hardly meaningful. It would be weird for any Prime Minister to get involved with such a small decision as this, and as for Joe Oliver, what could he do? It's not like being MNR gives him any say over Canada Post.

Who is the station being sold to, and for what purpose?
 

MegaMax

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#5
Joe Oliver could have said something to someone, given the local concern about this structure. Got stipulations on a possible sale. Tony Clement got millions for little pork projects in Muskoka, and the government certainly would like to keep a toehold into central Toronto, no?

Oliver's barren twitter account is mostly rehashing government talking points and talk about meeting Israeli politicans. He's useless to the area. Well, not that Joe Volpe was any better.
 

bAuHaUs

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#6
Transaction still hasn't hit TREB or RealNet.
 

diminutive

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#7
Joe Oliver could have said something to someone, given the local concern about this structure. Got stipulations on a possible sale. Tony Clement got millions for little pork projects in Muskoka, and the government certainly would like to keep a toehold into central Toronto, no?

Oliver's barren twitter account is mostly rehashing government talking points and talk about meeting Israeli politicans. He's useless to the area. Well, not that Joe Volpe was any better.
"say something" to who? The random civil servant in charge of Canada Post's property portfolio? That would,and should, be a way bigger scandal, since random MPs aren't supposed to interfere in the day-to-day businesss of Crown Corps which aren't even in their portfolio.

I get that pork-barreling happens, in this government and others, but it generally occurs through relevant ministries or the budget, and not by back-channel influence on crown corps.
 

adma

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"say something" to who? The random civil servant in charge of Canada Post's property portfolio? That would,and should, be a way bigger scandal, since random MPs aren't supposed to interfere in the day-to-day businesss of Crown Corps which aren't even in their portfolio.

I get that pork-barreling happens, in this government and others, but it generally occurs through relevant ministries or the budget, and not by back-channel influence on crown corps.
But Oliver isn't just a "random MP". He's the local MP. And his "portfolio" has nothing to do with anything; he could be a backbencher (even opposition) for all anyone cares--but as the locally elected federal representative, he's in the strongest position to have *any* direct pull when it comes to a Crown Corporation. This isn't a matter of "pork barrelling" at all; this is a matter of All Politics Is Local. Sensitivity to the constituency; not pork-barrelling on behalf of the constituency.

Otherwise, you might as well declare *any* such batting-on-behalf-of-local-heritage to be "pork barrelling"--in which case, I wouldn't want to see insensitive jerks like you making calls on heritage, anywhere, anyplace, anytime...
 
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#9
This is a really important site. The one and only direct identifiable site related to the start of the failed 1837 Upper Canada Rebellion, led by the first mayor of Toronto. William Lyon Mackenzie, but as much so (and with more bloodshed) Louis-Joseph Papineau in the Lower Canada Rebellion, helped bring Responsible Government to Canada. In Upper Canada affairs were run by a clique of Anglo-Protestant, rich Conservative plutocrats. (Hmm, sounds familiar.) The building itself, built in the 1930s, kept a public space in front, there is a National Historic Site plaque about the site's history. The building itself has a rare mark of the short-reigning Edward VIII (who abdicated from the throne, replaced by George VI, you'd get it if you saw "The King's Speech"). I'm no royalist (more of a republican), but this has some historical intrigue.

This is a one-in-a-million building. Joe Oliver, representing the government that owned the land, certainly could have had some say in this. It's not unusual, nor necessarily scandalous, for local MPs/MPPs to lobby for their local constituencies. Some might say that that is their job.

And now we know who the purchaser is. Rockport Group, a condo developer. Not good news.
 
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#10
If this is such an historic building I wonder why the city didn't take steps to have it designated Designated Heritage Part IV? I see it is "listed" which would at least slow down if not prevent it from being torn down.

I can't imagine any developer would propose to tear down the stone portion of this building. This is a large site, lots of room for a tower without resorting to tearing down Station K. At the very minimum they would want to preserve the stone facade, don't know if there is anything inside worth preserving.

This would make a great location for retail such as Teatro Verde. The building could even turn out looking much better if they got rid of the ugly windows and awnings as well as the shabby landscaping in front and replaced it with a stone plaza.

EDIT:

After posting my above comment I read this in the Toronto Star:

Jack Winberg, CEO of the Rockport Group, extended an olive branch to the community and said he wants to work with the residents to find a suitable solution to develop the heritage site.

“We know it’s a special site,” Winberg said. “I’ve been reading the press, I know there are a number of constituencies that think the building is important and I agree … but I want consult with the community, the planners and try to come up with a plan that works for everybody.”

“We’d like to be able to do what we can to preserve the front of the building, the true heritage part of the building. Maybe the back will go and we’ll put a condo of some kind behind it,” Winberg added.
Based on the comments of the developer I think people can rest assured that the facade will be retained (and probably improved).
 
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adma

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#11
If this is such an historic building I wonder why the city didn't take steps to have it designated Designated Heritage Part IV? I see it is "listed" which would at least slow down if not prevent it from being torn down.
Why? Actually, a quite simple reason. Federally-owned properties are off limits to municipal designation under the Ontario Heritage Act. The City can *list*...but it can't designate.
 
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Why? Actually, a quite simple reason. Federally-owned properties are off limits to municipal designation under the Ontario Heritage Act. The City can *list*...but it can't designate.
That's interesting. I didn't know that. Now that the property is in private hands hopefully the city won't waste any time getting it designated. It seems like the sale of the property to a private developer actually enhances the ability of the city to save the structure.
 

diminutive

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#14
This is a one-in-a-million building. Joe Oliver, representing the government that owned the land, certainly could have had some say in this. It's not unusual, nor necessarily scandalous, for local MPs/MPPs to lobby for their local constituencies. Some might say that that is their job.
It's not the government per se that owns the building, though. It's a Crown Corp (CanPost) whose day-to-day operations are supposed to be carried out independently of elected representatives.

This issue plays out way more frequently (for different reasons) in rural Canada where Canada Post has been closing stations and reducing service for decades, under different governments. Obviously every MP would (presumably) want to keep as many postal stations in their riding, but the point of crown corps is to operate independently within the constraints set on it by Parliament through the Budget. It's Canadian Governance 101.

Never mind more obvious, and perhaps more sensitive, examples of political influence in other Crown Corps like the CBC. Again, this IS an issue when the CBC slashes rural services. For good reason though, we would never tolerate local MPs somehow influence the CBC's programing decisions.

To restate, Crown Corps exist for no other reason than to remove routine governance of public services from political influence, even if that politician is representing the interest of their constituency.

And to be clear, I'm not saying I'm happy about this at all, but blaming it on the "Harpo govt" is kind of odd given how sacrosanct Crown Corp independence is. I would doubt any elected official anywhere would have even been notified about this sale before it was announced.

Anyways, the ball is in the City's court now. It's not a Federal Building anymore, so there's no stopping us from designating it a historical site.
 

AlbertC

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#15
http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/1...loper-buys-historic-yonge-street-post-office/

This is ‘nothing less than shameful’: After months-long fight, developer buys historic Yonge Street post office

Tristin Hopper | Nov 10, 2012 12:10 AM ET


Despite months of efforts to save Postal Station K, a Depression-era Yonge Street post office, on Friday Canada Post announced it had sold the building to a private developer.

“Selling this historic building, with no understanding that it will be protected in perpetuity, was nothing less than shameful,” wrote Josh Matlow, councillor of nearby Ward 22, in a letter to Canada Post on Friday.
In comments to the media, Canada Post has said the building is no longer viable as a post office because of declining mail traffic. Reportedly, to replace the high-ceilinged building, the corporation plans to install a post office counter across the street at a Shopper’s Drug Mart.

Canada Post sold the building to Toronto homebuilders Rockport Group but the sale price has not been disclosed.