“Camden Terrace” has been saved from the wrecking ball, at least for the time being.
An appeal has been filed with the Ontario Municipal Board over the plan to replace the long-standing rowhouses on Talbot Street between Fullarton Street and Dufferin Avenue with what would become the largest residential building between Mississauga and Calgary.
The OMB appeal adds to the ever-growing timeline for the $300 million project, which has been in the works since 2014.
The proposal calls for the construction of a nine-storey building, a 29 storey building, and a 38-storey building.
In an effort to appease heritage activists, Rygar worked with city staff on a design that would see the facades of the 140-year-old Victorian homes rebuilt, brick-by-brick, and preserved as part of the lobby of the middle 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 a public input meeting earlier this month that 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.
Despite staff’s involvement, the Planning and Environment Committee initially sent the application back for further study after it received mixed reviews.
Rygar could have triggered a OMB hearing if Council failed to make a decision on the application within 120 days. City politicians eventually approved the project on September 13th.
It turns out any efforts to avoid a potentially drawn-out and costly OMB hearing failed, since someone filed an appeal last week. Members of the public have the right to file an OMB appeal within 20 days of the project’s approval.
It remains unclear who filed the appeal and why, but it may be possible to find out once the 20 days are up.
It could take upwards of a year before the OMB makes a decision on the project.
The 700 unit project is expected to bring in $5-million in property taxes annually if 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.