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Development News

OMB hears settlement offer between city and Liberty Village developer

This week the Ontario Municipal Board will hear the details of a proposed settlement in a dispute over the development of a Liberty Village property that the city wants to designate as having special heritage value.
Kevric Real Estate Corporation wants to build a new eight-storey office building on Atlantic Avenue with retail and service commercial uses at grade. The existing five-storey office building (which spans addresses on Atlantic Avenue, Liberty Avenue, Hanna Avenue and Snooker Street) would be renovated for office uses, with retail and service commercial at the lower levels, while the existing boiler house on Liberty Street would be turned into a restaurant. Kevric originally proposed a new two-storey retail building at the corner of Hanna and Liberty, but has since offered to replace it with a POPS (Privately Owned Publicly-Accessible Spaces) as part of a compromise with the city.
The city says the development application includes a significant retail and restaurant component that does not conform to the Official Plan and has put forward an offer of settlement that would give the city a better say in how the property is redeveloped. Last month the city also filed notice to recognize the property at 40 Hanna as historically significant.
“The Brunswick-Balke-Collender Company Complex (1905, with additions in 1907, 1912 and 1913) is an early 20th century industrial complex comprised of three attached factory buildings and a separate boiler house with a smokestack… valued as an important example of early 20th century industrial architecture in Toronto that is particularly distinguished by its scale, the vintage painted signage, and the landmark brick smokestack on the boiler house,” states the notice. “The associative value of the Brunswick-Balke-Collender Factory is linked to its designers, particularly Henry Simpson, the versatile Toronto architect who received the commissions for the original factory (1905), the complementary addition (1907) and the detached boiler house and smokestack (1912) while completing other significant projects in the industrial area adjoining King and Dufferin (now Liberty Village).  The site is also associated with local architect J. L. Havill, who designed the large 1913 addition to the factory prior to his recruitment as the Imperial Oil Company's head designer.”
The property is already listed on the City of Toronto's Inventory of Heritage Properties, adopted by City Council on June 16, 2005. Kevric has already agreed to maintain the entire boiler house building with a glazed connection on two sides to the new eight-storey building, allowing for the boiler house to be viewed as a whole building.
Writer: Paul Gallant
Source: City Clerk’s Office
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