- One is a book published in 2010 (long before development referenced in this blog was contemplated), by author and fellow GDNA member Doug Taylor, called The Villages Within. Click here to access an excerpt dealing with what he calls the "Houses with the Stone Lions".
- Another is a public notice following City Council's "intention to designate the properties at 422 and 424 Wellington Street West under Part IV, Section 29 of the Ontario Heritage Act" in the fall of 2017. Click here to access the "Statement of Significance (Reasons for Designation)"
- And yet another is a file from the Architectural Conservancy Ontario related to what it refers to as the "McLeish-Powell Houses". Click here to review that file.
It certainly made the news here in Toronto ... a two-alarm fire that occurred on the morning of Monday, March 23rd. The blaze and the smoke made for real drama ... but the real tragedy stems from the fact that an old treasure from Toronto's past has been so badly damaged (or lost?). The irony is that this building (actually 2 buildings) escaped the wrecking ball just seven weeks ago when LPAT rejected a developer's appeal (see previous blog) that would see only its facade incorporated in the proposal.
As for the heritage significance of this building, three sources are pertinent:
By permission of TaylorOnHistory.com. Click here to learn more about Bay and Gable houses.
From October 29 to November 8, 2018 LPAT (the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal) heard appeal PL170076 submitted by the developers of "Wellington House" consequent to a refusal by the City to approve their rezoning application.
Fifteen months later the report was released ... and the news was good! Click here to read the full report.
In those intervening months, the WPNA (Wellington Place Neighbourhood Association) had campaigned tirelessly, raised a lot of money and hired some expert help. WPNA members were ecstatic ... and immediately sent out this Bulletin to thank everyone for their support. Click here to read that Bulletin.
City Council adopted this item on November 7, 2017 without amendments and without debate, "to designate the properties at 422 and 424 Wellington Street West under Part IV, Section 29 of the Ontario Heritage Act".
We also know that on December 5th, City Council will likely approve the inclusion of 94 King-Spadina properties on the City of Toronto’s Heritage Register, listed here.
So, you ask, what is the significance of "listing" versus "designation"?
"Listing" a property on the Heritage Register allows Heritage Preservation Services to review development and building applications affecting those properties. Listed property owners must advise Heritage Preservation Services, in writing, of their intention to demolish 60 days prior to applying for a demolition permit.
"Designation" confers a legal status on a property by a specific city by-law under the Ontario Heritage Act and gives City Council the legal authority to refuse an application that will adversely affect the property's heritage attributes. Designated property owners must submit an application to demolish, available from Heritage Preservation Services, for City Council's approval.
This is the preliminary report submitted by planning staff in response to the zoning amendment application in question:
Earlier, GDNA members received a notice about a meeting at Metro Hall on December 5th (this coming Monday).
Read the notice ... meeting_notice_2016-12-05.pdf
The second item on that agenda, at 7PM, for 422-424 Wellington Street West, is generating a lot of attention and warranted opposition. Although this particular development is not within GDNA boundaries, residents of our area are likely to be familiar with the special nature of Wellington Street West and to appreciate how this proposal is inappropriate in this setting. For this reason, neighbouring communities are being asked to come out to the December 5th meeting and support a campaign of opposition to the proposal.
Read about this campaign ... 422-424_wellington_poster.pdf
The developer is the same Brad Lamb whom the GDNA is challenging at the OMB for his proposal at 452 Richmond Street West (the James). He also owns several of the lots on the south side of Camden Street between the condo at 29 Camden and the future Ace Hotel at 51 Camden … so we are likely to interface with his applications again in the future.
Details about the proposed development at 422-424 Wellington Street West can be accessed via the Supporting Documentation link in the sidebar.
We were still laughing at these prank development application notices (thank you Daniel Rotsztain @theurbangeog developmentproposal.tumblr.com) when we received word about this proposal for 422-424 Wellington Street West, next door to le Select Bistro:
The site currently contains this old building set back a good distance from the road.
The developers intend to move the building forward. Oh, the pains taken to meet the letter, if not the spirit, of heritage preservation!