De­mo­li­tion of his­toric build­ing shocks lo­cals

City coun­cil­lor blames com­mu­ni­ca­tion break­down for loss of Mid­town land­mark

Midtown Post - - News | Neigh­bour­hood - by Jasen Sag­man

Lo­cals in the Yonge Street and Eglin­ton Av­enue neigh­bour­hood ex­pressed their out­rage last month when the 110-year-old Bank of Mon­treal build­ing lo­cated at 2444 Yonge St. was de­mol­ished de­spite be­ing un­der re­view by Her­itage Preser­va­tion Ser­vices (HPS).

Ac­cord­ing to the City of Toronto, Toronto Build­ing Divi­sion, the de­mo­li­tion per­mit was sub­mit­ted on Dec. 16, and was is­sued on Jan. 18. The de­mo­li­tion crew was on site within 72 hours and the build­ing was torn down on Jan. 21.

“This is a her­itage site that needed to be pro­tected, and it’s un­ac­cept­able that there was no warn­ing about its de­struc­tion,” said Linda McCarthy, di­rec­tor of the Lyt­ton Park Res­i­dents’ Or­ga­ni­za­tion (LPRO). “De­vel­op­ers have been run­ning amok de­stroy­ing our city’s pre­cious his­tory with no re­gard to the com­mu­ni­ties that live here and fu­ture gen­er­a­tions. Yet an­other his­toric piece of North Toronto’s built land­scape goes to land­fill.”

The build­ing was one of the few re­main­ing Beaux Arts banks left in the city. It was iden­ti­fied as hav­ing his­tor­i­cal value in a 2014 city plan­ning re­port when a five-storey de­vel­op­ment was pro­posed for the site by KCAP Roselawn Inc. Her­itage preser­va­tion of the build­ing was dis­cussed in con­sul­ta­tions with the pub­lic; how­ever, the ap­pli­ca­tion was even­tu­ally with­drawn and the prop­erty was sub­se­quently ac­quired by the Toronto-based de­vel­oper Main and Main.

Al­though not yet listed on the City of Toronto Her­itage Prop­erty In­ven­tory, staff at HPS had iden­ti­fied the build­ing to be of her­itage in­ter­est and were of­fi­cially re­view­ing it for in­clu­sion.

Coun­cil­lor Christin Carmichael Greb, who rep­re­sents the ward of Eglin­ton-Lawrence, told Post City that it ap­pears there was a com­mu­ni­ca­tion break­down.

“It was frus­trat­ing to find out that the Toronto build­ing divi­sion was re­quired to is­sue a de­mo­li­tion per­mit un­der the On­tario Build­ing Code, al­low­ing for the build­ing to be de­mol­ished,” said Carmichael Greb. “Al­though there is noth­ing that can be done to save this lo­ca­tion, I will be work­ing with other coun­cil­lors and city of­fi­cials to try and en­sure that this does not hap­pen again ei­ther in my ward or in oth­ers.”

De­vel­oper Main and Main did not re­spond to re­quests for com­ment.

Linda McCarthy at the site of the de­mol­ished Bank of Mon­treal build­ing

The Bank of Mon­treal build­ing in 1921

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.