Saturday, March 27, 2010

Mystery structures on Wellington

These lovely snow fence frames have adorned Wellington between Holland and Western since the side walks were redone last year.

Anyone know what they are?

Here are a couple of guesses:
  • The concrete blocks will be the foundation for pieces of public art;
  • The orange contraptions themselves are the art!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Heritage Designation for Convent One Step Closer

The Planning and Environment Committee approved a recommendation today to designate the entire Soeurs de la Visitation site as a heritage property. This will be voted on by City Council on April 14.

The developer, Ashcroft Homes is all up in arms about it and is trying to quash the designation through the Ontario Superior Court. The funny thing is the main effect that the designation will have is it will make it harder for the developer to appeal City decisions about the site to the Ontario Municipal Board. Ashcroft's lawyer pointed this out with indignation today at the Committee hearing, referring to this 'veto' as a 'draconian measure.'

But this 'veto' would suit me just fine. It means that the developer would likely have to comply with the density, height, heritage protection rules and other planning guidelines that it was fully aware of when it bought the property. Ashcroft's proposed plans show that it would much rather double the density and the height, excavate most of the site for under ground parking, punch a hole through the Byron Linear Park, cut down trees protected by the City tree cutting bylaw and block the view of the Convent from Richmond.

I am quite keen to see the site developed in a way that is actually in accordance with the planning bylaws and Westboro's secondary plan. A heritage designation is a great tool to make that happen and is completely consistent with the history and values of the site.