Wasted Weston part 1

This is the first in a hopefully-short series on waste in Weston: wasted opportunities, wasted money, and wasted space.

Today, a wasted opportunity. The 85-year-old and very pretty Satin Finish office was torn down this week, in exchange for a ‘beautification agreement’¹ with the builders.

Former Satin Finish buildingYour correspondent had other, better plans. It could have been a small rec or youth centre, with after-school programming for the many kids in the new development. Imagine a sunlit space with oak beams and hardwood floors—a nod to its history—with an AV lab, a homework space and a videogame room, where kids could go and play LAN games.

We could have had an institutional daycare—there hasn’t been one since the Weston Village Childcare closed up more than 4 years ago. Or perhaps it could have had a meeting space or a job centre, where we could go, network, and post and find work.

Instead, it will be townhomes.



¹ Nobody knows quite what that means.



8 Oak demolition opposed at City Council

8 oak streetThe demolition of 8 Oak Street will be opposed at City Council at the end of the month. Etobicoke York Community Council has asked the city to refuse a demolition permit and to find out whether the building should be added to the municipal heritage property list.

The Satin Finish development has been controversial. The developers had planned a small community of townhomes, but revised the plan to ask for more than five times as many residences. Now they are asking for 509 units, with apartment buildings and a retirement home. They are also asking to demolish the 85-year-old office building.

City Council will also be asked to oppose the division of 104X Wendell Avenue into two undersized properties.

Pretty building to be demolished

The developers of the Satin Finish site are asking for permission to demolish one the most 8 Oak buildingremarkable buildings in Weston, the two-storey office building at 8 Oak. The application will go before community council on January 17.

City staff recommend that the demolition be allowed, either with or without beautification agreements.

Your correspondent is boggled. The building was built in 1922, and is, to my eye, quite lovely.

Here’s a better idea than demolition.

The office is on the edge of the property;  surely new construction could go around it. This older building could be used for community recreation (editing suite? dance studio?) after it was redeployed as a showroom for the development.

We would win. They would too. Using it as the showroom would demonstrate that the planners are sympathetic to Weston’s industrial history and our pride in architecture.

I bet that it’s also a lovely space. Imagine a space with wide plank flooring (a nod to the site), oak beams (a hat tip to the location) and some beautiful old bikes hanging from the window lintels (a wink to the town and city). It would be lovely.

Let me sit on a stool at a brushed steel bar and have an espresso, look leisurely at some watches or old tools under glass, and I’d buy whatever they’re selling.

But you know that’s not going to happen. They’ll demolish it.

Doing so will show that they are tone-deaf OMB litigants rather than community partners. They’ll fight the same fight they’ve fought before, spending on fees what could have gone to something beautiful. Everyone will lose.

Should you wish to express your own opinions about the site’s potential, the planners have an email address and phone number, as does Frances Nunziata.