Those hoping for a reprieve for Camden Terrace were left disappointed on Monday after London’s Planning and Environment Committee endorsed a plan to knock down the row houses.
A public participation meeting held during the committee meeting allowed the public to sound off on the demolition of the Victorian-style townhouses to make way for three residential towers.
The project, by Rygar Properties, has been in the works since 2014. City Council approved the $300 million development proposal last month.
The proposal calls for the construction of a nine-storey building, a 29 storey building and a 38-storey building, which would be the largest building between Mississauga and Calgary.
In an effort to appease heritage activists, Rygar worked with city staff on a design that would see the facades of the homes rebuilt, brick-by-brick, and preserved as part of the lobby of the building that connects the two residential towers.
Rygar reported there’s soil contamination on the whole site and to remediate it while trying to still support the townhouses, just isn’t practical.
Rygar’s President John Rogers told the meeting they looked at trying to save Camden Terrace, but it presented problems.
“From a feasibility point of view of trying to support these structures, take the soil out from underneath, somehow build new foundations while holding up the buildings, it’s so impractical that you get to a point where you simply don’t consider it,” said Rogers.
The 700 unit project is expected to bring in $5-million in property taxes annually once it’s built.
It would also generate $10-million in development charges for the city, however those will be covered by the taxpayer and not Rygar.