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Historic Dundonald St homes at risk


Historic Dundonald St homes at risk

Numbers 31-37 Dundonald St have been sold to real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield.Kristyn Wong-Tam says the proposed building would overshadow Dundonald St. IMAGE 1 OF 2
Developers hoping to build 18-storey condo
Four old brick houses in the middle of Dundonald St have been sold to real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield, which is brokering a deal for the site to be developed as an 18-storey condo.
The deadline for offers on the properties at 31-37 Dundonald is July 19, and the sale has left some area residents anxious and upset. "It's sad in regards to our city," says Serafin LaRiviere, who has lived on the street for 12 years. "We don't have a lot of heritage left in Toronto."
Tree-lined Dundonald St features rows of 100-year-old three-storey brick homes, but as Toronto's white-hot real estate market swells, downtown density is increasing and putting pressure on historic neighbourhoods.
Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam, a local history enthusiast and former realtor, is currently working to get heritage status for the Dundonald homes in order to block the development and preserve the street's character. City staff members have not yet delivered a report, but Wong-Tam says she is optimistic.
She says the section of the street in question is zoned for neighbourhood use, making it a less likely candidate for an 18-storey building.
In a note to potential buyers, associates at Cushman & Wakefield highlighted what they saw as their path to winning the needed variances: "The property is located in an area that has, and continues to experience significant high density residential development activity." The statement noted that a building 20 metres to the east is also 18 storeys.
Wong-Tam argues the building mentioned is closer to Church St, where, like a similar cluster near Yonge, condo towers are more suitable. She says the proposed 118,000-square-foot building would overshadow a small street like Dundonald, which is part of a larger concern for the area.
"It's the small streets like Gloucester, Dundonald and Monteith where you get really vibrant neighbourhood pockets. Those neighbourhood pockets, with low-rise stable housing, are absolutely essential to the Village and downtown Toronto."
This kind of development battle is now the norm because of Toronto's unprecedented downtown real estate boom. Another 18-storey building, with 120 units, has already been proposed for 17 Dundonald St; a first public meeting was held two weeks ago.
Wong-Tam says there will be a prolonged fight at 11 Wellesley St W to make that property a public park (for which it is zoned) rather than selling it off to be developed as a condo, and developers who have bought the Sutton Place Hotel, at 955 Bay St, want to renovate it into a 772-unit condo.
Wong-Tam says these developments do not fit with the city's official plan of increasing density and adding housing.
"I would say that argument would have been valid up to five years ago," she says. "But we have exceeded our provincial growth targets and we're 20 years in advance to what the province had anticipated." A contributing factor is the province's greenbelt strategy, which has encouraged development downtown along transit corridors.
With the development creep encroaching on the Village's leafy neighbourhood streets, LaRiviere also worries about the mixed character that makes the area special.
"The neighbourhood streets are slowly disappearing, which is sad . . . There aren't that many of these [100-year-old downtown homes] anymore. You used to have families living downtown, and we don't seem to have that anymore."
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Are they really Heritage?
I came to Toronto in 2009 from Ottawa. The gay population had literally disappeared to Montreal and Toronto. But I must truly say that I thought the Church village was run-down at the heel. I can’t see that those houses are heritage – it’s just that some people think they are to make it look like the village is a desired area. I think our future is out West Queen Street past Bathurst . No condos and the people are very tolerant. The Barn was a truly ugly place – no money had been poured into it. Maple Leaf Gardens is just plain ugly. Why waste any further money on Church for greedy developers to steal. Rents are half the price around Augusta Street
re: Suicides of LGBT youth
If we're strong enough, then we shouldn't have to stifle some idiot remarks on an internet board like some of the homophobic remarks above. I say let the trolls be trolls. mocking them and telling them off gives me practice in my real life. and my real life isn't spent all day denouncing gays with improper depictions. I enjoy making money and friends. So, Barth, or whoever you are... Enjoy your anonymity, say what you have to say here because you have no courage to say it in public. And go fuck yourself.
Suicides of LGBT youth
often are the result of bullying and people standing by and letting the bullying happen. It could be argued that they are participants of bullying for not stopping it. Also, I think Xtra has a responsibility, especially considering there is no delete function for posters who get too hot headed momentarily, to delete extreme postings. I think anonymity is very important for a LGBT publication, the Xtra employee posted they know who some of the posters are, if this is true it should be made clear to those who are posting that their identities are shared. Finally, I think the houses on Dundonald are beautiful.
Now and then
When they were younger and closeted, I think a large number of Queer people joined with their straight peers in homophobic taunting and bullying of a weaker classmate who was suspected of being Queer. The sad things is, the taunting and bullying continue after many of these people come out of the closet. For example, this taunting and bullying often includes a group of gay male friends who, at Pride events or other social functions, make fun of another gay man who is old, fat, ugly or unfashionable. It includes Queer activists (like QuAIA) who chant hateful slogans against other groups at Pride and viciously attack any LGBT person who disagrees with their left-wing ideology. It includes posters on xtra.ca who call each other garbage and tell each other to shut the fuck up. We can no longer blame governments for our dysfunction since most governments in Canada have given us formal legal equality with straight people (e.g., same-sex marriage, legislative protections against discrimination, etc.). The dysfunction is within us and we need to control it.
I have an idea
couldn't Xtra remove iffy postings from time to time? Ever read Barth's stuff? Other sites do it. Anyway hopefully some sort of facade or character of the Dundonald can remain, that would be best.
Serafin - Retraction- Not a Bully
You yourself admitted to participating in bullying a little gay boy in grade 10. "...suddenly feeling the compulsion to join my fellow students in screaming obscenities out the window at a tiny effete classmate." But it is possible that "feeling" and doing could be different, although the way it was written is open to interpretation. Seriously, it was written in a way that it seemed like you participated in that bullying. I misinterpreted and I am sorry. You are not a bully.
shut the fuck up. if you mean the column that serafin wrote about bullying then try reading it. he never bullied anyone you you stupid fuck. cant you read????
BT, I can only believe that you are in serious need of intervention and therapy. At first I was just amused and slightly annoyed at your ravings (I mean seriously... going on in such a bizarre manner about violence, all the while screaming "tear them down"? Hilarious!). But to accuse me of violently and physically accosting a young boy is not only a repellent lie, it is slander. If you need to resort to this sort of disgusting lying, then you're nothing. In fact, you're less than nothing. And the awesome, wonderful truth is that you must know this about yourself on some level. It explains so perfectly why you hide behind multiple identities, spewing forth your vitriol from safe anonymity. Well, my dear, I have news for you: I know who you are... I've known for awhile now. And, truthfully, I feel terribly, terribly sorry for you. It must be hard to be a lonely, bitter human being whose only relief comes from hating other people. But if you want to slander me in such a disgusting manner, then you come and do it to my face, you spineless piece of garbage.
Condo developers are not classist??? !!!
@TIM -Condo developers are not classist? How many street people own condos? Tear down a beautiful street and put up condos, just to get back at someone whose ideologies you despise? Or someone who has a bigger house than you do? Why not start a French Revolution or a Marxist revolution and burn down and demolish Yorkville and Rosedale and Forest Hill? Why not force everyone to dress in workers clothes for decades like after the Maoist revolution and murder of 40 million people in China. I hate Harper and Ford, but if you ever became Mayor or Prime Minister a lot more people would suffer...Luckily that would never happen.
Tear Them Down!
Keep the tree's, tear down the houses filled with the entitled elitists.


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