City and residents win at OMB, but developer appeals
Redevelopment of heritage apartments could end up in court
By Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier April 28.)
Leasiders are celebrating the Ontario Municipal Board’s rejection of a
developer’s plan to tear down the heritage Talbot apartment complex on
However, their victory cries are muted because the site’s owner is seeking
leave to appeal the board’s decision to the Ontario Divisional Court.
Local councillor John Parker is pleased with the board’s rejection of a
redevelopment plan to demolish the apartments and construct an eight-storey
building and 54 townhouses.
“I was pleased with the Ontario Municipal Board result,” he said. “I saw it
as a long shot they’d see latitude for an appeal.”
Before the court rules on anything, a judge or a panel of judges must decide
if there are legal reasons for this appeal, and if so, determine if those
issues are significant enough to warrant an examination of the board ruling,
said Parker, a lawyer by trade.“The court can’t overturn the decision,” said Parker. “But they could send
it back for a whole new (board) hearing, which would be a long and expensive
The residential complex is made up of three properties: Kelvingrove,
Glen-Leven and Strathavon, known locally as the Talbot apartments because
they were built by former Leaside mayor Henry Howard Talbot.
The applicant for the site is Context Development. Its director of development Lewis Poplak sent the Town Crier a statement regarding the appeal.
“Context and the owner of the Kelvingrove apartment complex sought community involvement in designing a large re-investment in rental apartment and grade related family housing on Bayview Avenue,” Poplak wrote April 27.
“Our proposal is an enhancement of Leaside. Where misdirection has occurred,
we hope to cure that and in so doing, bring to the community a good
development that has merit.”
The Leaside Property Owners Association fought the redevelopment at the
OMB and was instrumental in leading the city to designate the apartments as heritage properties.
“We are disappointed to hear of the motion for leave to appeal, and will be
consulting our lawyer,” said Carol Burtin Fripp, chair of the residential group’s Talbot Committee.