Toronto Centre city councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam hopes demolition will be halted long term
Ontario Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark has halted the demolition of the Dominion Foundry Complex’s buildings until a decision on an injunction is granted, according to a statement issued on Friday.
“Although an injunction was not ordered, as a good faith measure towards the City of Toronto, I have called Mayor John Tory to advise that the province will temporarily pause demolition and environmental remediation, until next Wednesday, Jan. 27,” said Clark in a statement.
The St. Lawrence Neighbourhood Association requested an injunction to stop the destruction of the buildings, which the province had begun tearing down on Jan. 14. The case is being supported by the City of Toronto.
The call for removal was put in place by the provincial government because the buildings have been abandoned for more than 40 years and require demolition to allow for environmental remediation — when pollution and contaminants are removed from an area. Clark’s statement said the buildings, located at 153-185 Eastern Ave., are being revitalized to allow for construction of new affordable housing, market housing and community space. Community members are concerned that there will be minimal affordable housing.
In a statement, Toronto Centre city councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam said while she is pleased with Clark’s statement, the situation needs to be put in perspective.
“A temporary pause does not reverse the already extensive damage of the accelerated demolition we have witnessed over the last few days during a global pandemic or restore the community’s faith,” said Wong-Tam. “The province could show a real ‘act of good faith’ and cancel all further demolition, and immediately begin consulting with the city and community.”
She urged Premier Doug Ford and his cabinet ministers to respect the local planning processes and stop wasting time and money taking the community and the Toronto government to court.
Friends of the Foundry, a Toronto community group, launched a petition demanding the Ontario government stop the order to demolish the foundry’s buildings. The petition, called “Save the Foundry – Respect Local Planning” has received over 20,000 signatures to date. The group has also started a fund to support its legal fees. It has raised almost half of its $30,000 goal as of today.