Don’t demolish the Dominion Foundry!

Published by eliza on

Historic Dominion Foundry Building, Toronto, Canada current victim of misplaced “Ministerial Zoning Orders” by provincial government.

Public interest in Ontario can sometimes be served by the use of a mechanism called a Ministerial Zoning Order (MZO), which bypasses municipal rezoning processes and lengthy community consultation in order to fast-track important initiatives such as affordable housing development.

In general I support it if it’s used in a way that respects local priorities and neighbourhood scale. The problems in this case?
1. Destruction of an important piece of historic industrial architecture — the Dominion Foundry complex, which includes glorious interior spaces more than 100 years old.
2. Proposed 40 storey building height in a neighbourhood that is much lower, maximum of 15 storeys. A very walkable area at human scale becomes something much less livable.
3. No information provided to the public about building uses as of today, five days after demolition started. I suspect there is not enough affordable housing — anything less than 100% is not enough. And there is likely NO geared-to-income housing for lower income households.

This is huge missed opportunity to create something special: a project that provides much-needed affordable and geared-to-income housing units while preserving the heritage buildings for community use and limiting the size and height to something people can relate to.

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