Thursday, March 4, 2021
demolition of Toronto heritage buildings
January 24, 2021

Ontario pausing demolition of several Toronto heritage buildings amid challenges from community

The Ontario government said Friday that it will temporarily pause demolition of several heritage buildings at a site in Toronto’s West Don Lands as a “good faith measure” until a proper court hearing next week.

The provincially-owned Foundry buildings at 153-185 Eastern Avenue are designated heritage properties.

The province says the site is needed for the construction of new affordable housing, market housing, and community space and has used the exceptional power of a ministerial zoning order to override the heritage protection of the buildings.

Demolition began about a week ago, but the community itself has rallied to try and save the buildings, launching daily protests, as well as a court challenge.

The St. Lawrence Community Association has sought an interim injunction to stay demolition and environmental remediation activities at the site. The injunction was not granted on Friday, but the court said it will hear full legal arguments on Wednesday.

“Although an injunction was not ordered, as a good faith measure towards the City of Toronto, I have called Mayor John Tory to advise that the province will temporarily pause demolition and environmental remediation, until next Wednesday, January 27th,” Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark said in a statement Friday afternoon.

“The province has been clear that this provincially-owned property – which has been largely abandoned for over 40 years and requires demolition to allow for significant environmental remediation – will be revitalized to allow for the construction of new affordable housing, market housing, and community space.”

But community members working to save the buildings say the province has demonstrated anything but good faith so far.

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