City aims to des­ig­nate An­nex book­store

U of T wants to build a 23-storey stu­dent res­i­dence in­stead

Annex Post - - NEWS - — Jo-Anne Craine

Lo­cal res­i­dents, city staff and the Univer­sity of Toronto (U of T) are at odds over whether the Ten Edi­tions book­store in the An­nex is wor­thy of her­itage des­ig­na­tion.

U of T’s plan to de­mol­ish the build­ing on the north­west cor­ner of Spad­ina Av­enue and Sus­sex Av­enue and build a 23-storey stu­dent res­i­dence with 549 units, was stalled when Toronto City Coun­cil stated its in­ten­tion to des­ig­nate part of the prop­erty on the City of Toronto’s Her­itage Regis­ter un­der Part IV, Sec­tion 39 of the On­tario Her­itage Act in March.

Now, U of T has cho­sen to con­test the des­ig­na­tion at the Con­ser­va­tion Re­view Board (CRB) in Novem­ber.

Christine Burke, di­rec­tor of the Univer­sity of Toronto’s cam­pus and fa­cil­i­ties plan­ning, said U of T’s St. Ge­orge cam­pus alone has 80 listed or des­ig­nated build­ings.

“We ab­so­lutely sup­port her­itage des­ig­na­tions where it’s ap­pro­pri­ate,” said Burke. “The rec­om­men­da­tions from our her­itage con­sul­tants was that [the Ten Edi­tions build­ing] didn’t seem to con­tain enough de­sign or con­tex­tual value to war­rant the her­itage des­ig­na­tion.”

The three-storey build­ing at 698 Spad­ina Ave. was built in 1885 and has been a gro­cery store, a laun­dro­mat, and, since the 1980s, the Ten Edi­tions book­store.

Sue Dex­ter, a board mem­ber of Har­bord Vil­lage Res­i­dents’ As­so­ci­a­tion, would like to see it pre­served. How­ever the group was de­nied party sta­tus at the CRB.

Ac­cord­ing to the city staff re­port, the build­ing “is an ex­am­ple of a late 19th cen­tury cor­ner-store build­ing type de­signed with a high de­gree of craft­man­ship in the late Vic­to­rian style.”

Coun­cil­lor Joe Cressy, of Ward 20, Trin­ity-Spad­ina, said there are also other is­sues out­stand­ing for the pro­posed res­i­dence.

“The height far ex­ceeds what is al­lowed in that area, so that’s a ma­jor con­cern,” said Cressy, who added that zon­ing al­lows for ap­prox­i­mately six storeys.

U of T also re­cently ap­pealed the zon­ing by­law amend­ment to the On­tario Mu­nic­i­pal Board (OMB). A pre­hearingis­set for Jan­uary 2018.

“It’s now a le­gal fight.… We had spent many years work­ing to find com­mon ground. My pref­er­ence was al­ways to find a way to build a more ap­pro­pri­ate stu­dent res­i­dence,” said Cressy.

Af­ter three years of con­sul­ta­tion, Burke said the process was tak­ing too long.

“The univer­sity is seek­ing to re­solve the CRB ap­peal to­gether with the OMB ap­peal, sort of as a com­pre­hen­sive set­tle­ment,” she said.

Sue Dex­ter of the Har­bord Vil­lage Res­i­dents’ As­so­ci­a­tion out­side the Ten Edi­tions book­store

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