The National Post Newspaper ran a article yesterday on the boarded-up block of Bloor St. west just west of Keele St. [link to article] [map location window 1844-1854 Bloor St west.]
An excerpt from the article...
A hearing next week will decide the fate of a boarded-up block of brick houses overlooking High Park, which the owner hopes to demolish to make way for a new condo building.
W.J. Properties applied for a permit to demolish the block of houses along Bloor Street West in March, 2006, but council refused to approve it since the owner didn’t offer up re-development plans with the application. Senior city planner David Spence said city staff is worried the block will sit vacant after demolition — decreasing density in the neighbourhood — and they want to know how existing rental units will be replaced. [link to article]
...and some well thought words from the local Councillor who is spot on the block will be used for development simply because of it's location, in the City of Toronto retaining single family zoning on Bloor Street is probably not a high priority nor a reasonable planning use.
Councillor Bill Saundercook (Parkdale-High Park) said the houses are attractive, but will inevitably make way for kind development.
“It’s a bit of an anomally in that the houses are still standing there,” he said.
Council often makes developers revise their plans repeatedly before giving out building permits. If W.J. Properties tears down the Bloor West buildings before this sometimes-lengthy process begins, the lot might stay empty for many months.
Mr. Saundercook is more concerned about involving the public in redevelopment plans than how long the site might sit vacant. “I would like to see a very cohesive plan that I believe an informed developer could make,” he said, “and that would include how long they speculated for this site to be sitting vacant, what they plan on doing while it is vacant and then try to hold them as rigidly as possible to a development plan.”