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.
Your 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.
How can we get heritage properties listed (and protected) faster? City staff will update the Toronto Preservation Board next week with some answers. It matters: properties around Toronto, including in Weston, are torn down before they can be inventoried.
8 Oak Street—to my mind at least, a lovely property with much potential—was one such unprotected property. It will be torn down to make way for high-density homes.
Getting heritage properties inventoried has been a struggle: Councillor Matlow has been asking staff for more than two years for some better ideas on how to do so. Among the possibilities: a citizen-led database, vetted by staff.
Community members are petitioning to stop the severance of 96 John St. The owners asked the city to allow them to split the property into two, and to build another house with a shared driveway.
The houses would be violating several planning rules; in short, they would be too big for the properties.
In other planning news, Frances Nunziata says that the developers of 8 Oak Street (the Satin Finish property) are asking to change their plans. Now they want a “mid-rise development” instead of 3-storey townhomes.