Splat: Proposed developments spoil Heritage in WQW, while Parkdale Heritage Gets Love. Making the best of ‘Noncontributing’ buildings. Beautiful Heritage Developments wanted!
On Dec 13, 2016 the Sunnyside Historical Society made a unanimous agreement that, “all of West Queen West from Bathurst to Roncesvalles should be included in a heritage conservation district.”
Notice: On this web site the articles express the opinion of the author. On important issues we take the time to reach a joint opinion and we will say so. This article is therefore the opinion and research of Jack Gibney only.
1.1 a The Drake Hotel is the subject of much West Queen West pride. Built of heritage, beautifully constructed and exciting, it draws business to West Queen West. However, plans to expand into the Second Empire buildings to the east have gone astray.
1.1 b Splat: geometric architecture by Diamond Schmitt Architects is being considered by the Drake. This Pseudo post-modern design keeps the heritage building, only to cut it up and belittle it. Still the ground floor and the modern design of the central second floor are undeniably beautiful. To be fair to Diamond Schmitt I must recognize that this design will bring them far more attention than heritage restoration and extension. But, as we learned from Marilyn Monroe, after you get everyone’s attention it may be hard to gain their respect.
1.1 c As Diamond Schmitt has demonstrated for us, our heritage will be belittled by the Splat factor.
1.1 d It is with no little trepidation that I criticize the Drake. These people have done so much for the neighbourhood and one can see in their plans an attempt to compromise. I wish they would reconsider.
1.2 a A development proposal for the underutilized site of the Beer Store is surrounded by beautiful grand old Victorians. With some design adjustments the two could be harmonized. Examples are included in section 4 of this article.
1.2 b This development is not at war with the neighbours, but it diminishes them unnecessarily. The new face will be four storeys towering over two. New glass and cement just don’t look right. This could be so much better.
1.2 e Picture the new building in this gap. Add a few heritage features and It would fit in better. This picture is taken from the front yard of one of two twin heritage houses.
1.2 f The architect has illustrated the contrasting four storey height of the front wall.
1.2 g The entire surrounding neighbourhood is still largely heritage. The white building, like the Beer Store, is on industrial land bordering on the tracks. The photo is taken two short blocks from the heart of Old Parkdale.
1.3 b What 62 Melbourne looked like before it was demolished.
1.3 c 62 and 60 Melbourne Ave, the replacement. This is more efficient use of valuable land, no doubt profitable for all concerned and it provides more housing. The design uses great bricks but is at war with the Victorian surroundings.. The ideal solution would have been a design of Second Empire, Romanesque, Gothic, Queen Anne or Polychrome. Why not????! As it is, it diminishes the value of the neighbourhood.
2.1 a PARKDALE LOVES HISTORY. The Metropolitan School of Music resided at 1496 Queen St W, north east of Queen and Macdonell from 1895 to 1912. Here is a tasteful mid rise building to inspire local architects to model new buildings after.
2.1 b This c 1905 postcard shows three horse drawn wagons. Looking east toward Macdonell we see the railings and circular peak on the roof. Also notice the double points of the roof to the right, that is the great Gothic building at 1408 Queen St W atop Jameson Ave. 1410 burned. Minnie, widow of Charles, operated a butcher shop there in 1913 per Lost Toronto Greg Chown. There is a Reference at the end of this article.
2.1 c 1496 Queen Street W still stands and is being extensively and lovingly renovated. The ugly steel fire escapes are gone, formaldehyde insulation is being carefully removed and new life is being given to this beautifully planned renovation. Well done!!
2.3 a Local artist Amita Gupta loves Parkdale heritage architecture, at gallery 1313 until Dec 18. 2016. Beautiful.
2.3 b About Amita.
2.3 c Amita met the Sunnyside Historical Society on our first historical walk years ago.
2.4 The Parkdale BIA and Parkdale Land Trust celebrate plans for a Heritage Conservation District. Parkdale is a wonderful supportive community!!!!!
3.1.1 West Parkdale needs an HCD to ensure the replacements for these ‘Non-contributing Properties’ will display heritage values. These simple two story storefronts are difficult to defend. They do not contribute to the heritage value of the district. This area also needs more residential to support local businesses. There is little residential to the south of Queen St here due to the lake. West of Triller on the north side of Queen St West. There are 9 by quick count.
3.1.2 Looking east from Triller Ave towards Sorauren Ave, the eight buildings in the centre of this block are very non-contributing. Their redevelopment is inevitable. If this were a Heritage Conservation District, HCD, the replacements would be required to conform to the local heritage character.
3.1.2c South side of Queen looking east towards Wilson Park. This little strip plaza is the earliest example I can recall ever seeing. The survey says 1920 to 1954. It looks 1940’s.
3.1.2d south side Queen looking east from Wilson Park. Well preserved classic triple bay windows.
3.1.2e North Side of Queen looking east from Calendar. Better housing might have more appeal if we could keep the rhythm of the storefronts.
3.1.3 East from Sorauren Ave towards Fuller along Queen St W.
3.1.4 Buildings midway between Sorauren and Fuller Ave. The Odeon Theatre with dark brick and white stone from the Art Deco period. These mostly plain buildings struggle to make a living.
3.1.6 West, back along Queen towards Fuller at long strip of 2 storey buildings.
3.1.6 West, back along Queen towards Fuller at long strip of 2 storey buildings.
3.1.7 From Fuller looking east to Macdonell. The block is bracketed by 3-story heritage buildings. The two storey buildings on this block are quite attractive. That is in Architect-Speak; ‘Fine Grain” Buildings.
3.1.8 Looking west from Macdonell along Queen S W. These are outstanding buildings.
4.1 A wonderful example of a Second Empire style replacement building that fits into a heritage neighbourhood. On the east side of Yonge south of St Clair.
4.2 Attractive three storey replacement. Looking west at the north side of Dundas towards Ossington.
4.3 Stunning five story polychrome building with Romanesque-like arches at Ossington and College. Unfortunately the big box style ground floor retail was slow to rent.
4.4 This example of Historical Preservation at 151 Lakeshore Rd in Mississauga was provided by Eric Code of the Etobicoke Historical Society.
5. HCD Policies and Non-Contributing buildings. On December 8, 2016 the Sunnyside Historical Society voted unanimously that a Heritage Conservation District for Parkdale should include everything from Jameson to Dufferin. We considered the 'non-contributing’ buildings in the west end. If they are replaced within an HCD they will be required to adhere to the look of the architectural period. The large number of valued buildings in the west end were also considered in our decision. We refer to HCD Toronto Procedures Policies and Terms reference PDF. There is a link to this at the end of this article. Key pages follow.
5 HCD Policies Page p. 36 discussing the distinction. I wish to thank Sharon Hong for sending me this PDF and many other references. I must also thank Jessica Wilson of Ossington area for finding the references to ‘non-contributing’ in the same document for me.
5 HCD Policies Page p. 44 which addresses demolition of contributing buildings
5 HCD Policies Page p. 47 (the glossary definition of a contributing building), and by omission the definition of non-contributing buildings.
5 HCD Policies Page p. 48 (definition of a non-contributing building). Buildings that do not contribute to the heritage character of the area can be removed and replaced. In an HCD the replacement must ‘fit in’.
6.1 Study Report for your reference. District A, Roncesvalles to Macdonell. I notice the label "CAMH Designed Bike Rack". Actually the Bike Racks were designed by my friend Phil Sarazen and I based mostly on art by clients of the Parkdale Activity and Recreation Center (PARC). Visit steelwhimsy.com to see many of the sculptures. Victor Willis at PARC would confirm this. http://parc.on.ca/about/staff-team/
6.2 Study Report for your reference. District B, Macdonell to Dufferin.
6.3 Study Report for your reference. Age of buildings, at a glance.
6.4 Study Report for your reference. Buildings the Study liked.
Hi Jack from Sharon Hong,… I want to emphasize that the designation of an individual building is different than designation of an HCD. In fact, individual buildings are designated under their own section, Part IV, of the Ontario Heritage Act, whereas HCDs are protected under Part V of the Ontario Heritage Act. The nature of protection is slightly different. For example, attributes in the interior of a building can be identified for protection on a property that is individually designated under Part IV. However, only exterior attributes that are visible from the public realm/street are identified for protection in an HCD.
An illustrated look at how Parkdale’s buildings developed in pockets by type. Why some of the oldest are the best. Next we will look at preservation options being considered.
The first map shows three areas of Parkdale in order of age.
Area 1 Parkdale. Mostly buildings built during Parkdale’s years 1879-1889 as a self governing village.
Area 2 Toronto (after annexation). Buildings from the Toronto era after 1889.
Area 3. All other buildings.
The older buildings are more precious. The Toronto era buildings are often stronger looking. Parkdale growth was stimulated by lake access and transit. The following pictures and maps illustrate this.
Circled in Green are areas built during Parkdale\'s independence, 1879 to1889. Circled in brown are later Toronto era buildings of outstanding value. The remaining buildings form part of the culture of Parkdale.
1813. Queen street is the path running across the centre of the painting. The lakeshore banks south of Parkdale at the bottom are actually about 20 feet high.
Queen Street top and Dufferin centre. Streams flow east across Dufferin to Garrison Creek. To the left, shading indicates high ground near the present the Dunn Ave which rises more north past Queen St.
Centre left the rails cross Dufferin and Queen in 1879 drawing. The first building south on Dufferin would be Union Hall, the site of Parkdale\'s first Council meeting. We see Brock Ave above.
Again, the 1879 drawing extending to about Bathurst.
By 1886 to the centre left, brick buildings are evident on Queen St.
Wooden Gothic and Second Empire buildings on Queen St looking north west from the rail bridge. The building just left of the third pole still stands, west of Noble.
This 1887 photo taken from the roof of the Bayview estate on Dowling, south of King, shows the mature trees on the right that were never fully cleared. Queen street north of this would have had little lake view. Top right, see the Ocean vi View Hotel. Right centre, King Street becomes a path at Wilson Park.
The Ocean view Hotel at King, Queen and Roncesvalles looking south east. This resort anchored the west end of Parkdale and later Roncesvalles. A bridge later connected this corner to the Sunnyside Amusement Park. Directly south of the hotel the Sunnyside Train Station was later built. Across the intersection, a Bus terminal was later added. This corner became the western portal to Toronto. There was no billboard over the hotel at that time.
By 1893 the areas south of Queen St, along Jameson, Close and Dunn have filled in early due to their proximity to 2 schools, 2 large churches and the Home For The Incurables. Dunn and Jameson both continued to the lake shore. East of Close 4 story buildings on Queen still had views of the lake. Notice the west end of Queen Street, in green,, is still undeveloped land.
1893: Parkdale lies between industry and institutions to the east and parkland to the west.
1893 Another view of the same painting. (The fold line near the top is not a road.)
1496 Queen St W, on the east side of Macdonell, between 1895 to 1912 was the Metropolitan School of Music, Greg Chown. Included, just to celebrate history.
1911. A Post Card of the School of Music. It is currently being restored in 2016.
An 1884 Goads map of Queen St in Parkdale. Very high resolution.
The Heritage Conservation District recommendations met with a very mixed reception, especially from the original initiators of the process.
Dima Cook of FGDMA presented the recommendations of the study. FGDMA had looked up the dates of every existing building and carefully considered their condition and heritage value. They met with the public and had two additional meetings with a working group.
We were each given adhesive dots with which to ‘vote’ and indicate our feelings about the recommendations. Partial results are shown on the following slides.
Area A, (shown above) from Roncesvalles to a little west of Macdonell. They recommended no Heritage Conservation District and the probable designation of specific buildings. Their research indicated that most of the long strip of two-story buildings on the north of Queen in this area was built around the 1950s. My preferences: I would like to see the billboards taken off the Ocean View Hotel at the south east corner of Roncesvalles and Queen. I would like to see a small Heritage Conservation District centered around the four corners at the Ocean View Hotel to the Parkdale Theater at Triller. Quite a few of the larger buildings in area A are definitely worthy of designation.
Area B from west of Macdonell to Dufferin. A Heritage Conservation District was recommend. Opinion: Happy.
Area C from Dufferin to Shaw. Not recommended for Heritage Conservation District. The residents of the area were very evidently surprised and disappointed by this recommendation. They sounded articulate and well informed. I was fortunate enough to have been able to attend the two working group meetings where this was discussed. There was significant push-back from business operators and building owners who found the requirements of operating within a Heritage Conservation District to be an annoyance. Opinion: The reason given for rejecting HCD was that the historic buildings remain only on the north side of Queen Street. There is a very large residential area made up of beautifully preserved historical houses north of Queen Street between Dufferin and Shaw extending as far north as Dundas. This neighborhood is very connected to Queen Street by their common architectural styles and the period in which their buildings were created. This community loves this Heritage. This is an intangible but important asset. In the short term business people may find HCD an annoyance. Let’s minimize that. In the long run it will attract tourists to the area and to Toronto. Preservation made Philadelphia a destination. Perhaps by reducing the HCD requirement to Heritage Conservation Streetscape we can win the business people over. I describe HCS later.
Area D Shaw to Bathurst Recommended as Heritage Conservation District. This seems to have attracted general approval.
All four areas seen from the air over Queen St West.
Parkdale looking east. Heritage Conservation Streetscape: At a recent conference the Toronto and East York Community Preservation Panell introduced the terms Heritage Conservation Landscape and Heritage Cultural Landscape to try to deal with the new complex situations arising. For example preserving Kensington Market which is not comprised primarily of architecture but of culture. West Queen West is of largely visual value and so I propose the following description for a Heritage Conservation Streetscape or Landscape as it may be called.
Heritage Conservation Streetscape Description. "I believe preserving the heart of the village means preserving the Streetscape. Preserve the original fronts of the buildings above the first floor, ensuring the windows retain the original look, while not regulating the materials they may be made of. The sight lines above the buildings are important too. We do not want to see condo towers behind historic buildings. Leave the apartment interiors unrestricted as they will be unseen by the public. Leave the design of the appearance of the main floor store fronts to the businesses and the BIA. Replacement buildings should fit in with the original look even though new built can never make anyone very happy." Jack Gibney.
Additional feedback will be considered until Dec 13, 2016 by Dima Cook at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You are invited to a city meeting Nov 29 on the West Queen West Heritage Conservation District (HCD) Study. Please tell them how you want our historic village preserved. New Historic maps have been added at end of this article!
Date: Tuesday, November 29, 2016
Place: The Theatre Centre – 1115 Queen Street West
Time: 6:00pm – Open House
6:30 – 9:00pm – Presentation and Facilitated Discussion & Activity
The evening will begin with an Open House from 6:00-6:30pm, followed by a presentation of the draft recommendations by FGMDA Architects. This will be followed by a facilitated discussion and activity.
“I believe preserving the heart of the village means preserving the Streetscape.
Preserve the original fronts of the buildings above the first floor, ensuring the windows retain the original look, while not regulating the materials they may be made of. The sight lines above the buildings are important too. We do not want to see condo towers behind historic buildings. Leave the apartment interiors unrestricted as they will be unseen by the public. Leave the main floor store fronts to the businesses and the BIA. Replacement buildings should conform to the original look.” Jack Gibney. Please have your say in comments at the end of this article.
The following maps were created by FGMDA Architects as part of this City Planning study DRAFT-REPORT. The full report is too large to display here but may be viewed in part in the following maps, formatted for better web site Viewing.
1879 FGMDA Architects (seen above). Only buildings still standing in 2016 are shown by FGMDA, for the purpose of making preservation decisions.
1884 GOADS. All buildings present in 1884 were shown by Goads Insurance maps.
1889 FGMDA Architects
1899 FGMDA Architects
1909 FGMDA Architects
1919 FGMDA Architects
1964 FGMDA Architects
1965 FGMDA Architects
1988 FGMDA Architects
2008 FGMDA Architects
2016 summary 2 Historic Quality
2016 summary 4 Contemporary Quality
2016 summary 5 Civic Buildings
2016 summary 6 Quality of Buildings
2016 summary 7 Building Types
2016 summary 8 Store Fronts
2016 summary 10 District A
2016 summary 11 District B
If you would like more information please contact:
Heritage Preservation Services Contact
Nancy Martins email: email@example.com
10th floor, West Tower, City Hall
100 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON M5H 2N2
‘During this period of massive growth in Toronto we need more City Planners and to tighten up the Heritage preservation systems. Planning and Preservation MUST PRECEDE development!’ Sunnyside Historical Society and me.
Jack Gibney wrote: Applications for Heritage Designation take years to process due to staff shortages in City Planning. People often don’t bother to apply since responses are uncertain. New York, for example, has twice as many planners per application as Toronto. We need more Planners. I have been attending many development and Heritage Conservation meetings around Parkdale and Roncesvalles and it is my perception that Toronto City Planners do a careful and thorough job, listening and responding to public opinion as well as the numerous other complex factors they must consider. While there is a shortage of Planners, there is also a revenue surplus for their function! Toronto must hire more planners. Toronto is experiencing one of the highest growth rates in the world. Travel in the city is becoming extremely difficult. Heritage buildings and cultures are being lost. If there is all this money for building condos there must be some left to plan for us to live here.
Meghan Edmonds wrote:
I believe the historical society needs to take this position as part of our thoughtful planning initiative. With our current level of city planners we don’t have enough attention focused on preserving historical pieces. Case in point- we used to have a city planner assigned to our neighborhood- and we even knew his or her name- back when I was on the board of the RMRA (past decade starting in 2005) now we often have to go through our city Councillors office for more pressing matters.
Daryl Laundau suggested adding the following:
From a 2010/11 review of heritage protection in Toronto concluded: “This report offers an overview of the heritage community’s concerns and perceptions of the state of Toronto’s heritage. The main concerns surrounded lack of City staffing and resources allocated to heritage preservation; the organization and processes of City planning, public education and awareness; and improving and enforcing legislation and policies related to heritage. Although encouraging changes have been made in the past nine years, many of the same concerns and recommendations raised during the 2010 consultations had previously been brought forward in 2001 in Heritage Toronto’s ‘State of Heritage’ Report Card.
Further efforts to strengthen the city’s heritage resources and museums through funding, legislation, and education are necessary before more of Toronto’s heritage resources are lost. Heritage Toronto and the Toronto Historical Association have undertaken the task to record perspectives of the heritage community in this report. City Council must be made aware of the important economic, social and cultural benefits of heritage. A central long-term vision and coordinated effort by politicians and City staff must be put forward to protect these fragile resources. It is our hope that Toronto City Council and related decision makers will consider this report when deliberating on funding opportunities and policy direction for the identification, protection, and interpretation of our finite heritage resources.” See the full report here: HeritageReport-2010.pdf
Send the above email. You can also attend: November 16 9:30 am Planning and Growth Management Committee Committee Room 1, City Hall.
Gord Perks: The City of Toronto has been seeing a record number of planning applications, OMB hearings, and a rising demand for pro-active neighbourhood-based planning studies. We are also demanding planning advice on major transit investments, service provisions to the people moving into our core, and more.
City Planners do this work. They are skilled and dedicated, but there aren’t enough of them to manage the workload.
Gord Perks spoke to this issue at our last Council meeting:
Our city deserves a planning division that is able to operate at the best of its abilities to meet our needs. Item 2016.EX17.15, covering this Planning Department funding challenge, will be coming back to the Planning and Growth Committee for discussion in the near future. I will share that date once it becomes available and will ask at that time that if you agree that we need better resources to manage our booming growth that you either write to the committee or appear in person to share your comments.
More information from the recent council on October 5-7, including the agenda, minutes, and decisions can be found here.
Ward 14, Parkdale-High Park
Your city Councillors voted on looking into this as follows:
At City Council on October 5th ,Gord moved a motion at City Council that: “.. City Council direct the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning to report to the November 16, 2016 Planning and Growth Management Committee meeting on how well the City Planning Division is meeting performance metrics given the increase of the development activity as outlined in the operating variance report.“ http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2016.EX17.15
Vote (Amend Item (Additional))
Oct-05-2016 3:37 PM
Majority Required – EX17.15 – Perks – motion 1
Paul Ainslie, Maria Augimeri, Jon Burnside, Christin Carmichael Greb, Josh Colle, Joe Cressy, Janet Davis, Glenn De Baeremaeker, Sarah Doucette, John Filion, Michael Ford, Mary Fragedakis, Jim Karygiannis, Chin Lee, Josh Matlow, Pam McConnell, Mary-Margaret McMahon, Frances Nunziata (Chair), Cesar Palacio, Gord Perks, David Shiner, Michael Thompson, Kristyn Wong-Tam
John Campbell, Gary Crawford, Justin J. Di Ciano, Frank Di Giorgio, Mark Grimes, Stephen Holyday, Jaye Robinson, John Tory
Ana Bailão, Shelley Carroll, Vincent Crisanti, Paula Fletcher, Michelle Holland, Norman Kelly, Mike Layton, Giorgio Mammoliti, Joe Mihevc, Denzil Minnan-Wong, Ron Moeser, James Pasternak, Anthony Perruzza
(Be sure to indicate if you require special accommodation to attend).
We think it is critical that as many residents as possible can participate.
The government has put out a Public Consultation Document (PDF file attached; can also be downloaded here http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/Page14965.aspx) “to support the review of the OMB. It provides context and direction. It gives background on Ontario’s land use planning system and on the OMB. It sets out possible changes being considered to improve the OMB’s role within the system as organized under the five key themes, and raises questions for consideration”.
From: Councillor_Perks@toronto.ca: “The Preliminary Staff Report responding to the Official Plan Amendment and Zoning Amendment Application of 57 and 65 Brock Avenue will be reviewed at Toronto and East York Community Council on Tuesday, November 15, 2016.
The application proposes to construct a seven-storey building containing 106 residential units. Seventy-three parking spaces will be provided in an above-grade parking structure located at the eastern limit of the property abutting the rail corridor.
This Staff Report provides preliminary information on the above-noted applications, and seeks Community Council’s directions on further processing of the applications, and on the community consultation process. The full Staff Report is available at:
The Staff Report recommends a community consultation meeting. The meeting will be scheduled in the near future. City Planning staff will notify neighbouring residents. My office will be providing general notice throughout Ward 14. If you wish to be added to the email list for this application, please send an email to my office at firstname.lastname@example.org, with subject line 57 Brock Avenue email list.
Note: the applicant has filed an appeal with the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB). No hearing dates have yet to be set. We will share information on the OMB process as it is received.”
Brock Ave, in downtown Historic Parkdale’s is facing development plans. The first number is often the picture number and the street address follows.
Brock-Av-40 no 58 Brock Ave.
Brock Av (44) no 62 Brock Ave. 1891 or earlier Donald Campbell, Brockton Road Tor New and Old pub 1891
Brock Av (44) no 62 Brock as it looks today, earning it's keep as an apartment building.
Brock Av (66) no 57 and 65 in 2015
Brock Av (66) no 57 Brock Ave Arch Drawing 2016. The planned development is at odds with the continuous Victorian Architecture of the area. The glass and steel attacks the Heritage Landscape! Look under Buildings tab for more Information about 57 and 65 Brock Ave.
Brock Av (66) no 57 Brock Ave Profile. Look how high it is.
Brock Av (67) 55
Brock Av (72) 47
Brock Av (73) 47 Brock Ave an outstanding piece of history.
Brock Av (75)
Earnbridge St (8) Both 9 and 11 Earnbridge Street back onto the proposed 7 story development at 57 Brock Ave. Picture a glass and steel tower extending 30 degrees above this graceful Victorian roof.
Earnbridge St (22)
Earnbridge St (29)
1896 10 07 c1
Noble St (9) 11 Noble St
Noble St (10) 11 Noble St Proposal for 14 Stories of Glass and Steel overshadowing our Historic Queen St Village
Noble St (16) First Nations cross the cultural gap to visit the settler city.