Tower to be built on book­store site

23-storey stu­dent res­i­dence will be built, but the fu­ture of Ten Edi­tions un­clear

Annex Post - - NEWS - By Jes­sica Wei

After five years of con­sul­ta­tions and ne­go­ti­a­tions be­tween res­i­dents of Har­bord vil­lage and the Univer­sity of Toronto, a me­di­ated set­tle­ment has been reached re­gard­ing a de­vel­op­ment ap­pli­ca­tion for a 23-storey stu­dent res­i­dence at 698-706 Spad­ina Ave. and 54 Sus­sex Ave.

The prop­erty is home to the 35-year-old book­store Ten Edi­tions. In­cluded in the terms of the set­tle­ment will be the her­itage des­ig­na­tion and re­ten­tion of 698 Spad­ina Ave., which houses the book­store.

Although lo­cal ad­vo­cates aren’t to­tally thrilled that the univer­sity will be in­tro­duc­ing 511 stu­dents into their neigh­bour­hood, the preser­va­tion of the her­itage build­ing was con­sid­ered a win.

“We’re very pleased that the her­itage build­ing has been re­tained, at least in part, and that it will en­hance the neigh­bour­hood rather than de­tract,” said Carolee Orme from the Har­bord Vil­lage Res­i­dents’ As­so­ci­a­tion. The fu­ture of the Ten Edi­tions Book­store, how­ever, re­mains un­clear. “U of T has never spo­ken to me in five and a half years,” said the book­store owner, Su­san Duff. “One pre­sumes that if they were in­ter­ested in help­ing me, they would have let me know.”

Ac­cord­ing to Scott Mabury, vice-pres­i­dent of univer­sity op­er­a­tions, the univer­sity hasn’t been able to reach out to Duff dur­ing the con­fi­den­tial me­di­a­tion process. He said that plans for the re­tail com­po­nent of the res­i­dence has fo­cused on restau­rants and cof­fee shops and that which­ever busi­ness re­mains at that ad­dress will likely be pay­ing mar­ket rent.

“This is an an­cil­lary. It can­not re­ceive op­er­at­ing funds from the U of T,” Mabury said. “It has to work fi­nan­cially, and it has to add an as­set to the build­ing’s func­tion.”

Duff be­lieves that her mod­est shop, with its shelves heav­ing with books from floor to ceil­ing, has proven to be an as­set to both the lo­cal res­i­den­tial com­mu­nity and to the stu­dent pop­u­la­tion.

“Every meet­ing I ever went to, the neigh­bour­hood in­di­cated that they would like the build­ing pre­served and the book­store in it,” she said. “The U of T is de­stroy­ing a book­store that helps their stu­dents.”

She said that, if the book­store isn’t able to sur­vive in its cur­rent premises, then she may be forced to re­tire.

“If they throw us out, you know, the rents in down­town Toronto are pro­hib­i­tive,” she said. “I couldn’t rent in this area.”

The univer­sity hopes to start con­struc­tion in one year’s time.

The U of T is de­stroy­ing a book­store that helps their stu­dents.”

The 35-year-old Ten Edi­tions Book­store at Spad­ina and Sus­sex Av­enues

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