1. Inside Toronto: Façade, heritage plaque unveiled at Broadview Hotel
2. Toronto Star- The Destructor in, Schindler Building Out
3. CBC--Mimico Factory Bites the Dust
4. Urban Toronto: Interview with Harhay Developments
Riverside Toronto landmark re-opens to the public next year
The Broadview Hotel, which was built by businessman Archie Dingman and initially called Dingman’s Hall when it first opened in 1891, is viewed by many as the cornerstone of Riverside’s once-again burgeoning commercial district. The stately building, which features intricate sun, moon and weather-related motifs in its terracotta brick inserts, was built with bricks from the Don Valley Brick Works.
By the end of 19th century, Queen Street East was one of the emerging city’s first main east-west arteries and had two railway stations (the Riverdale Station at Degrassi Street and the Don Station just west of the Don Valley) serving the community. Several hotels, including The Broadview Hotel, at 704 Queen St. E., were needed to lodge and feed those travelling to and from Kingston, ON. Further, Queen Street East from the Don River to Degrassi Street is also in the process of being designated as a heritage conservation district (HCD). This is being done in an effort to be pro-active when real estate developers, like Streetcar Developments, purchase historically significant buildings in the neighbourhood, which dates back to the mid 1800s. The HCD designation allows city council to protect and enhance the special character of groups of properties in an area, whose character is established by the overall heritage quality of buildings, streets and open spaces.Last night, Streetcar Developments, which purchased the 125-year-old Romanesque Revival-style building at 704 Queen St. E. in May 2014, and Dream Unlimited Corp. unveiled the newly revitalized façade as well as a Heritage Toronto plaque.
The event marked the first milestone in the building’s transformation into a 58-room boutique hotel, restaurant, lobby café/bar, and rooftop bar and the start of welcoming a new generation to the iconic east-end landmark at the northwest corner of Queen Street East and Broadview Avenue.
The circa 1891 Broadview Hotel, which is set to officially open its doors to the public in 2017, is a City of Toronto-designated heritage property.
“Our goal is to re-invigorate the architecture and culture of The Broadview Hotel, while respecting its history and original design,” Les Mallins, Streetcar Developments’ founder and president, said in a Sept. 28 release.
Heritage won with the Wellington Destructor, lost in Mimico
|ACO Next Gen gathering in front of Destructor|
The Wellington Destructor. Is there a better-named building in Toronto? It sounds like something left over from a superhero film shoot, perhaps last year’s Suicide Squad production. Built in 1925, it was instead a magnificent palace of garbage incineration, a practice that continued until 1973.
Decommissioned for decades, a 2014 City study suggested the Destructor could be transformed into a community space. Last year Mike Layton, the local councillor, said “the sky’s the limit” with regard to its future and that “we need to start dreaming.”
Last Saturday the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario’s “NextGen” group of students and young professionals took that sentiment to heart, hosting a charrette in partnership with Fort York, just to the south and across the railway corridor. (Full disclosure: I’m a volunteer director on the Friends of Fort York board, a not-for-profit, arms-length community group).
The charrette was a brainstorming and design session exploring potential uses for the Destructor, a place with industrial beauty even in its current state. “Old buildings were designed with how they looked on the street in mind, not how they’d look tall,” says Pauline Berkovitz, co-director of NextGen and the charrette. “Nobody thinks about that anymore.”
Citing precedents like the Evergreen Brickworks, Distillery District, and Wychwood streetcar barns, the two dozen students came from engineering, architecture and other design backgrounds. Many of them addressed the coming West Toronto Rail Path cycling extension and Fort York cycling and pedestrian bridge that will turn this place into a hub.
One group included references to the buried Garrison Creek that runs underneath the Destructor. Another related their design to the shuttered Quality Meats abattoir next door that’s going to be redeveloped as housing, as is the former coffin factory further east. A deathly district, they proposed renaming the building the Canstructor as a gesture to the future.
All these ideas and more are possible because the Destructor was put on Toronto’s inventory of heritage structures in 2005. Historic commercial structures on private property are much more at risk than residential. By law, the City can’t arbitrarily deny a demolition permit for a commercial building. Without a heritage designation, there is no protection.
Last week a historic building in Mimico succumbed to this unprotected fate. 1 Audley St., or the “Schindler Company of Canada Ltd. building” was built two years before the Destructor and located in an industrial pocket along the railway corridor, a few hundred metres east of the Mimico GO station. Though not as grand as the Destructor, 1 Audley housed numerous businesses over the decades, including the manufacture of strings for musical instruments, tennis racquets, and fishing lines. Once made from animal guts, the wooden tower on the site is said to have been for drying the intestines used in string manufacturing.
City loses 'race against time' to save historic Mimico factory
City loses 'race against time' to save historic Mimico factory
City planner says gap in system allowed developer to demolish legally
By Kate McGillivray, CBC News Posted: Sep 30, 2016 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Sep 30, 2016 5:00 AM ET
By Thursday morning, the building had a number of walls knocked down. Its three distinctive chimney structures are still standing.
By Thursday morning, the building had a number of walls knocked down. Its three distinctive chimney structures are still standing. (CBC)
A historic Mimico building was partially demolished Wednesday, despite a decision made that afternoon by the Toronto Preservation Board to recommend it be preserved under the Ontario Heritage Act.
Stollerys demolition raises questions about city heritage rules
The former factory, built in 1917, is owned by Freed Development, and signs at the site indicate plans to build five residential apartment buildings.
1 Audley street
For most of its life, 1 Audley Street was a factory that produced sporting goods. (City of Toronto)
The building, located at 1 Audley Street near Royal York Road and Newcastle Street in south Etobicoke, had been on the city's radar as a historic property for at least a year, when Mimico historian Michael Harrison recommended it be earmarked for preservation.
"It's one of the earliest industrial buildings in Mimico that still exists," Harrison told CBC News. But he said historical value often doesn't stop buildings getting demolished.
"If they're not designated under the Ontario Heritage Act, they're not safe," he explained.
Not long after it was first built, the factory produced engine parts
But for much of its existence, the building was owned by the Schindler Company, which produced sporting good such as fishing line.
Chris Moore, president of the Mimico Residents Association, agrees with Harrison that the building should have been preserved.
"Every time I walk through there I've always enjoyed walking by that building. It just has a certain character that not much else has in the area," Moore said.
Building was weeks away from heritage status
The building at 1 Audley Street did go before the Preservation Board, but it still had to be approved by Etobicoke community council and Toronto city council before it could be designated an official heritage building.
"In cases where there is a potential imminent demolition it can become a race against time," said Mary MacDonald, senior manager in heritage preservation services for city planning.
In a statement to CBC News, Freed Development said it had received all the necessary permits for demolition.
"These activities were pursued with the full and complete permission of the City and in keeping with the permits that were granted," it read.
Editor’s Note: Until we create laws that require conservation of buildings, making conservation of built resources, irrespective of cultural value, the rule not the exception, we will continue to lose every time. Designation is only as strong as the commitment of the Council that passes it, and can be undone at the OMB. It is a painfully slow process to implement with limited chance of long term success.
Chris Harhay's Mid-Rise Portfolio Grows Up
|Harhay Project on Tecumseh|
From the street, Harhay Developments' Toronto office is easy to miss. Located just west of Spadina on Richmond Street and housed inside a pair of conjoined Victorian buildings, the unassuming office is part of a row of historic, 19th-century homes. In a city perpetually transformed—and perpetually becoming—by developers, it strikes me a somewhat unusual place to find one.
"It's a nice spot," says company President Chris Harhay, touring me through the building. "We actually back right out onto Rush Lane," he adds, "which is the 'graffiti alley' where Rick Mercer shoots his rants." Just inside, though, a conference room is framed in photographs and renderings of the company's projects. A collection of Harhay's 21st-century condos lines the walls of Harhay's 19th-century office; it's tempting to think of it as a contradiction in terms. So what gives?