This week I learned that one of the many battles to protect Heritage in Ward 27 has finally been won. I was informed by City Planning that the Official Plan Amendment that will protect the views of Queen’s Park, Ontario’s Legislative Assembly for years to come, will finally come into effect. All appeals to the OMB from developers against this Official Plan Amendment have been dropped. STATEMENT
In February 2011, I submitted a letter to the Toronto & East York Community Council to request that City Planning report on the necessary policy changes required to protect the views of the Ontario’s Legislative Assembly (OLA) building. Under the threat of an Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) decision to allow tall towers on Avenue Road that would invade the views of the Ontario Legislative building, I worked with the local community to form the Ontario Capital Precinct Working Group. After failed requests for support through the Provincial Government, I spent close to two years working directly with this group and City Planning to advocate for policies that would ensure that development would be controlled in the interest of protecting the views of the Ontario Legislative Building.
Not only is the Ontario Legislative Assembly building (OLA) one of the most important heritage buildings in the City, but it is the meeting place of Ontario’s Provincial Parliament. Jurisdictions around the world protect views of their important houses of government out of respect for their significant histories and symbolic value. As you look north from College Street at University, the iconic image of Queen’s Park and the Legislative Building is a prominent part of Toronto’s landscape. I am proud to say that the City of Toronto has succeeded in ensuring that this view will be protected for our future generations to enjoy.
I would like to thank the members of the Ontario Capital Precinct Working Group for their tireless advocacy and immense time commitment to see this through. The members include:
William N Greer, FRAIC, CAHP
Catherine Nasmith, OAA FRAIC CAHP, Architectural Conservancy of Ontario
Paul Bedford, former Chief Planner, City of Toronto
Robert Allsopp, OALA, CSLA
ABC Residents’ Association
Annex Residents’ Association
Bay Cloverhill Community Association
Federation of North Toronto Residents’ Associations
Federation of Urban Neighbourhoods of Ontario
Greater Yorkville Residents’ Association