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THE SCOOP | Province Delays Demolition Of Historic Foundry Complex As "Good Faith" Gesture

By Michael Vincent on January 24, 2021

Historic heritage Foundry site at 153-185 Eastern Ave., Toronto, Ontario.
Photo courtesy of the Friends of the Foundry

Following a week of protests at the Dominion Wheel and Foundries Company buildings on Toronto’s West Don Lands, community groups have filed a notice of temporary injunction to stay the demolition and environmental remediation activities at the site for 30 days.

The notice was filed by Cllr. Kristyn Wong-Tam, members of the West Don Lands Committee, and the St. Lawrence Community Association.

The province has responded to the notice agreeing to pause the demolition, calling it a “good faith measure towards the City of Toronto” until the Court can address the case later this week.

The Foundry buildings located at 153-185 Eastern Avenue are currently being considered by the International Resource Centre for Performing Artists (IRCPA) and the Corktown Residents and Business Association as a potential location for a new music and community Hub.

The IRCPA had been approximately halfway towards completing a two-year feasibility study for the property before Minister Steve Clark issued a rare Minister’s Zoning Order (MZO) that allowed the province to bypass environmental development regulations and community input. The province states they issued the MZO to fast track the development of the site for low-income housing.

The move has raised the ire of the community, including an online fund and petition. Over the past week, protestors have been present at the Foundry site and, in some cases, prevented workers from entering the worksite.

In a statement via Twitter, Cllr. Kristyn Wong-Tam acknowledged Minister Steve Clark’s decision to temporarily pause the demolition, stating, “[a] true act of good faith will be to cancel the demolition and immediately consult [with] community and city. Fighting us in Court isn’t a sign of good faith.”

Renowned soprano Adrianne Pieczonka has since issued an open letter to Ontario Premier Doug Ford urging the government to consider razing the heritage site.

A hearing for the temporary injunction is scheduled for Wednesday and will include statements from all interested parties.

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Michael Vincent
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