(Written for Town Crier Feb. 18)
Maclean House owner made legal alterations to the property before it was officially designated a heritage site. Now he wants to demolish the home. Photo courtesy of City of Toronto.
Toronto and East York Community Council stamped denied on two of the three of the applications to demolish the Maclean House and have made the conditions for the one they did approve so tight that it will be impossible to knock the structure down.
The building, built in 1910 by celebrated architect John M. Lyle, was once home to publisher John Bayne Maclean but is currently carved up into 10 apartment units.
Community council dealt with the matter after little debate possibly due to city staff’s recommendation to refuse the demolition of the heritage property at 7 Austin Ter.
However, the story is not quite that simple.
St. Paul’s Councillor Joe Mihevc explained that there are actually the three demolition applications before the city regarding this property — one related to it as a rental building, one as an owner-occupied residence and one as a heritage building.
Owner wants to tear down the heritage home near Casa Loma
Plan to replace 100-yr-old building with townhomes, apartments
(Written for Town Crier Feb. 9.)
Maclean House before the owner removed aspects of it in Dec 2009. Image courtesy of City of Toronto.
The owner of 7 Austin Ter. has applied to demolish the designated heritage property known as the Maclean House. The plan is to build a six unit rental housing building plus eight town homes on the site.
City planning and heritage staff has advised council to refuse the demolition permit.
Currently there’s a 10 unit, one and a half storey residential building on site.
Publisher John Bayne Maclean lived in the home from 1910 until his death in 1950. John M. Lyle, who also constructed the Royal Alexandra Theatre and Union Station, built the home.
City heritage staff wrote in its report to council that, “there is no justification for the demolition of the structure at 7 Austin Terrace.”
A separate report from planning staff on the same demolition issue from a different perspective: rental housing and residential development.
The current building contains 10 units: one owner unit plus nine rentals.
The application to demolish the entire building would mean a loss of nine rentals: two of which are considered affordable, three are mid-range and four are priced on the high end.
Province halts alterations of 100-year old home
City explores heritage criteria for 7 Austin Terrace
By Kris Scheuer
(Written for Town Crier Dec. 23.)
President of Casa Loma Residents Association Robert Levy and Dyan Kirshenbaum cheered the provincial stop work order. Photo by Francis Crescia/Town Crier.
Is the MacLean House at 7 Austin Terrace worth saving?
The province has bought the city 60 days to find out.
Minister of Culture Aileen Carroll issued a stop work order Dec. 21, halting the owner from continuing to destroy possible heritage features of the 100-year-old mansion near Casa Loma.
The new owner, a numbered company, applied to the city for a demolition permit to tear down the house and build a townhouse development.
But residents who want to see the home designated a heritage property will have nothing of it.
“Residents said we should look at it from a heritage standpoint,” Councillor Joe Mihevc said. “That was communicated to the developer who started work on (removing elements of the home).”
Some damage had already been done before the stop work order was issued.
Posted in Toronto
Tagged 7 Austin Terrace, Aileen Carroll, architect, city, Committee of Adjustment, Councillor Joe Mihevc, demo, heritage, John Lyle, John MacLean, Kris Scheuer, MacLean House, Minister of Culture, Ontario Heritage Act, Ontario Municipal Board, province, Robert Levy, stopped, Toronto, Town Crier newspaper