A local heritage advocate's private sleuthing has led to the discovery that a 150-year-old house on Church Street, slated for demolition, was the home of one of Toronto's leading educators and social reformers.
Frances Esther (Hester) How, who died in 1915, pioneered a number of children's educational and social services, including day cares, school meals, English as a second language classes and even juvenile courts.
The beloved teacher and social reformer lived many years at 506 Church St., which is now occupied by Boutique Bar. Graywood Developments proposes tearing down the 19th-century house to make way for a mixed-use, 15-storey redevelopment.
Adam Wynne, the local history hobbyist who discovered How's long-time occupancy of the house, believes it should be preserved instead of torn down. "It has a very important connection to a very important person," he says.
In late October KingSett Capital submitted an application for a 59-storey tower between 510 and 528 Yonge Street (the West side of Yonge, south of Breadalbane), including 500 condominium units and retail at street level.
The site falls within the boundaries of the Historic Yonge Street Heritage Conservation District Plan (a plan which developers are appealing at the Local Planning Appeals Tribunal). Under the proposal, three of the five existing historic buildings on Yonge Street, which are listed on the Toronto Heritage Register, will have their facades restored and integrated into the new podium, while the other two would be demolished and replaced.
There is no parkland dedicated on the site; Kingsett proposes instead to replace its building at 431 Yonge Street with parkland, which will enlarge the existing parkette located at the west end of Granby Street.
The application is at a very early stage. The City has yet to issue a Preliminary Report.
In late July 2020, Graywood Developments submitted a proposal to the City for 506 to 516 Church Street (now Crews & Tangos, Boutique Bar and a Target Park surface lot). The proposal is for a 15 storey mid-rise stepped backed from Church Street, preserving the Crews & Tango heritage building.
On Sept. 21, City staff released a Preliminary Report which identified the following issues:
• The height, massing, and scale of the proposal in relation to the existing and planned context;
• Transition in height and massing to adjacent lands designated as Apartment Neighbourhoods;
• Potential shadowing impacts on the adjacent open spaces, public realm and neighbouring properties;
• Interface of the proposed built form with the adjacent public realm;
• Potential wind impacts on adjacent properties and public realm, with particular focus on existing patios within the Church Street Village Character Area;
• Appropriateness of the proposed mix of unit sizes and configurations;
• Appropriateness of the areas and distribution of amenity spaces within the building
The Report also refers to the need to protect LGBTQS+ small businesses and cultural space, which follows a January 29 City Council decision, moved by Councillor Wong-Tam.
As well, the Report found that the Heritage Impact Assessment included with the proposal was incomplete "due to insufficient historical research and analysis and insufficient public consultation, which are necessary for determining the cultural heritage value of the subject site and, in particular, its significance to the LGBTQ2S+ community."
On October 15, the Toronto and East York Community Council carried a motion, put forward by Councillor Wong-Tam, to amend the Preliminary Report, adding a key new recommendation mandating the creation of a Working Group "including the Church Wellesley Neighbourhood Association, Church-Wellesley Village Business Improvement Area, other local LGBTQ2S+ community stakeholders and the Ward Councillor as part of the Development Application review process to preserve culturally significant commercial and community space." The motion will be considered by Toronto City Council at its November 26-27 meeting.
The lease of Crews & Tangos has been extended and Graywood has committed to working with the owners of Crews & Tangos with regards to the future development. See more background in our previous post.
A community consultation will be scheduled for later this year.
The developer's website for the project includes all of the development application documents and a timeline of the development process so far: www.506churchstreet.com
The City has started the final series of consultations for the revitalization of George Hislop and Norman Jewison Parks and Alexander Street Parkette. The first (online) public consultation was on Thursday, Nov. 5. A second online public consultation will take place in February.
A master plan for the three connected parks parallel to Yonge Street (George Hislop, Norman Jewison and James Canning Gardens) was completed in 2017 and James Canning Gardens is now being renovated in line with that plan.
Alexander Street Parkette, which was not included in the 2017 master plan, has been added to the scope of the project.
According to the City's Parks, Forestry and Recreation Division, the consultation process will "refresh and build on engagement completed to date for the linear parks, and provide opportunities for additional input during the design process. While the master plan identifies a conceptual design framework for the park with activity areas, planting, seating, lighting, and paths etc., finalizing the park concept plans to meet current community needs will be part of the exercise. George Hislop Park will also have an integrated public art/design element that celebrates LGBTQ2S+ history, leadership, excellence and resilience - a new feature that was not identified in the master plan."
The consultations, held between September 2020 and February 2022, include:
George Hislop Park is currently closed and will be the first of the three parks to be rebuilt. Parks & Foresty's most optimistic estimate for George Hislop is a start date of mid-2021 with completion in late 2021 or summer 2022. The other parks will follow.
Ongoing updates are being posted on the City's web page, Yonge Street Linear Park Improvements.
Are you looking for a unique opportunity to make an impact in the Church Wellesley Neighbourhood? Well, look no further! The Church Wellesley Neighbourhood Association (CWNA) is looking for leaders like you to join our board of directors. We are a non-profit, volunteer run organization dedicated to improving the quality of life of everyone who lives, works, and plays in our neighbourhood, bounded by Yonge Street east to Jarvis Street and Charles Street south to Carlton Street.
The work of the CWNA is focused in the areas of:
• Housing and Development
• Placemaking (Parks and Public Realm)
• Heritage Conservation
• Community Safety (including the Community Crisis Response Network)
• Membership and Communications
Our board maintains active relations and meets regularly with elected officials, partner organizations (BIA, The 519, Progress Place, and other local service agencies), the Community Crisis Response Network, and various city departments.
The CWNA is currently accepting applications for open positions on the CWNA Board. All candidates for the CWNA Board of Directors must live in our catchment area and be members in good standing. We encourage members of equity-seeking groups to apply so that our board may reflect the diversity of our neighbourhood and our community’s unique needs.
As the Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be virtual, the election for open positions will take place immediately following the November 18, 2020 AGM. All members in good standing that are present at the AGM will be entitled to vote and will receive an online ballot via email following the AGM. Results will be announced on November 19, 2020 at 7 pm.
There are 6 positions that will be open for candidates at the AGM.
The CWNA Board normally meets once a month. In addition to the monthly board meeting, board members will be required to complete additional tasks between meetings, approximately 5-10 hours per month.
Returning to the board to complete their terms are:
NOTE: deadline for submission of nominations is NOVEMBER 16
Download the nomination form here and return to firstname.lastname@example.org