Commercial Property Demolitions

April 24, 2012

in Current Issues

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Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam
Toronto City Hall
100 Queen St. West
2nd Floor, Suite A5
Toronto, Ontario M5H 2N2
April 21, 2012
Re: Commercial Property Demolitions

Dear Councillor Wong-Tam:
This is to express our strong support for your recent initiatives to address policy gaps regarding control of commercial property demolitions in light of the loss of heritage properties such as 81 Wellesley Street East. We applaud your working with other Councillors and City staff to bring forward timely and thoughtful actions to reduce the likelihood of reoccurrence of these situations.

We understand two projects have been launched by the City. First, a three month pilot project to better coordinate communication among city staff whereby commercial property demolition applications are being circulated in notices from Toronto Building to City Planning through Heritage Preservation Services and to the Councillor’s office as they are received. Heritage Preservation Services then evaluates and responds to applications as necessary.

Second, a resolution passed by Council at its February 6,7 meeting directs staff to report back with recommendations to permanently address the loopholes between the applicable laws that govern
this jurisdiction. The motion reads “Improving demolition control policies to strengthen heritage protection” and was seconded by Councillor Peter Milczyn.

We agree that Toronto needs a system that addresses policy gaps and goes above and beyond minimum provincial statutory requirements to prevent situations like 81 Wellesley Street. As well, we remain concerned abut the laxness of the current demolition control system. Commercial and other buildings are routinely demolished without the necessity of having an approved development application for the site. A case in point, the Bedford Park United Church on Ranleigh Avenue (Ward 16) was recently demolished, legally, despite there being no approved development for the site.

FoNTRA supports the changes that you have brought forward and suggests that this should be the start, and not the end point for review of the demolition control system.

Yours truly,

Geoff KettelPeter Baker
Co-Chair, FoNTRACo-Chair, FoNTRA
129 Hanna Road124 Sherwood Avenue
Toronto, OntarioToronto, Ontario
M4G 3N6M4P2A7
gkettel@gmail.competerwbaker@rogers.com

Cc: FoNTRA Representatives & Other Interested Individuals
City of Toronto Mayor and Councillors
Gregg Lintern, Acting Chief Planner and Executive Director

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