For more than 35 years, the St. Lawrence Neighbourhood Association has played a significant role in shaping new developments in the south east end of the downtown core of Toronto. As a progressive neighbourhood association, we continue to welcome new developments that enhance our city, while at the same time maintaining a vigilant and protective watch over the limited but important heritage assets in this area. Working in partnership with the city, developers and community partners we have helped to make the St. Lawrence neighbourhood one of the most attractive and historically significant areas of Toronto, if not the country.
Unfortunately last week the city made a decision to permit a plan that will seriously damage the heritage fabric of our area while eliminating two heritage buildings from a section of the "original 10 blocks" where our city began. The area of concern is located between 254 - 266 King St. E., 427 - 435 Adelaide St. E. and 156 Princess Street. Following is the SLNA's public statement on this matter and we encourage our neighbourhood residents to voice their concerns to our Councillor, Lucy Troisi.
Cities that make historic preservation a priority are among the great cities in our world today. Paris, New York, London are memorable places for residents and visitors a like, in part because of their outstanding historic buildings. That desire for historic preservation is here in Toronto. It has taken courage and vigilance to protect the "original 10 blocks" where the largest city in Canada began. Between Berkeley and George is where the people of the Town of York first established homes and businesses for what would one day become Toronto and this week a decision was made to permit the demolition and destruction of the heritage fabric that had been so carefully protected by city leaders like our former councillor for Ward 28, the late Pam McConnell.
Unfortunately, the community and the opinion of professional planners was ignored and a plan was confirmed that will cut a swath through the heritage core of our city and that can never be recovered.
We recognize the value of new developments and both celebrate and welcome new design and shapes in our neighbourhood and across the city. But we have the expertise and ability to build with intelligence and sensitivity so that the heritage focal points and areas of the city are not unnecessarily obliterated in the process.
Toronto we have to do better at protecting our heritage legacy if we are truly to be a great city.
Below is the letter sent by the SLNA to the OMB.
4/16/2018 09:16:34 am
As a resident in this area it is a sad situation when heritage buildings are not protected. Why has the city gone ahead without the input of the SLNA, When you see all the glass hi rises going up in the city core, it is pathetic. The charm of the city is lacking and what's left is slowing disappearing because of the lack of vision by the city planners. We do not need any more tall glass buildings. We need to preserve what we have and enhance with character and charm. We need more green in the city which is loaded with families and professionals plus seniors and pets.
Bonnie B. Good
4/16/2018 08:48:21 pm
We have just learned of the approval of this extremely unfortunate project. It seems that no one knew of this proposal before it was approved, and therefore there was no opportunity for input from the community. It is an assault on our historic neighbourhood. One of the reasons we chose to move here 45 years ago was because we felt that Toronto was one of the rare cities in North America that valued its heritage and worked to protect its history. It had a downtown that was livable, and that consisted of much more than glass-and-steel towers that emptied out every day at 5 pm. But no longer. And the fact that, apparently, no one had a chance to voice concerns about this development makes it even worse. It is tragic to lose two heritage buildings, and to see this small area of historic Toronto fall to the over-development that has swallowed the downtowns of so many other cities.
4/21/2018 09:04:23 pm
I hope that the city government does not follow the agenda 2021/2030. I would be very disappointed to see a direct link. I do not want to find myself in a human mass settlement zone in a few years, surrounded by cement and gloomy shadows from the nearby towers. High-rise, densely-packed buildings under 24/7 surveillance and control do not leave any place for aesthetics, beauty, natural sun light, creative imagination. Please take a note that old city Toronto is one of a very few spots in the city that has very distinct character and charm. I do not want to see a beautiful, distinctive neighbourhood destroyed with soulless straight-line "architecture". Destroying the neighbourhood and the community would be a shame.
Leave a Reply.