Many Leasiders are breathing a collective sigh of relief this morning.
A multi-year battle mounted by residents and the city to stop the demolition and redevelopment of the heritage Talbot apartments has been successful.
In a 26-page decision, the Ontario Municipal Board denied ADMNS Kelvingrove Investment Corp its plan to demolish 21 low-rise apartments at 1325, 1351 and 1365 Bayview Avenue.
The developer planned to bulldoze the Talbot Apartments — built by former Leaside mayor Henry Howard Talbot — and replace them with an eight-storey rental building and 54 townhomes.
Carol Burtin Fripp with the Leaside Property Owners Association could not contain her excitement after hearing the news.
“We are thrilled, relieved and gratified that this community effort was a success,” she said. “We have a lot of power when we work together.”
What this means is the current tenants who reside in the 1930s-built buildings can stay.
But there is still business to take care of.
In a few weeks the local residents group will send out a letter asking for help paying off their legal bills that went to fighting this project.
Burtin Fripp said this battle also cost the applicant millions and is unsure whether the owner will apply again to rebuild the site or appeal the board decision to Ontario Divisional Court. An appeal would have to be based on technical legal issues.
The Ontario Municipal Board’s decision states, these garden-style apartments that feature courtyards for gatherings are relatively rare and the heritage designation protecting these buildings is appropriate.
“It’s a win for the whole community,” Burtin Fripp said.