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.
We're pleased to share with our neighbourhood the news that non-emergency overnight utility work will not be permitted in our downtown neighbourhoods thanks to the urgent motion written and supported by downtown councillors Joe Cressy and Kristyn Wong-Tam and passed by Council on March 27. We greatly appreciate the quick action and attention to our concerns demonstrated by Councillors Cressy and Wong-Tam.
In response to our initial letter on the issue to our Councillor Troisi, we did eventually receive an email containing a brief response. Following is the letter from the SLNA Board to Councillor Troisi reaffirming our concerns regarding the lack of consultation on this issue and requesting a meeting to discuss current issues in the St. Lawrence Neighbourhood.