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Committee OKs demolition of 1920s home, if new building approved

Town puts condition on demolition permit requiring plans for new build be approved prior to demolition of old house
The owner of this property (green house) at 58 St. Paul street would like permission to demolish it. Erika Engel/CollingwoodToday

A request for a demolition permit that first hit council's agendas in 2019 is back and has made it further along in the process this time. 

The application is regarding a single-storey, derelict home at 58 St. Paul Street, which falls within the town's heritage district and therefore requires added permissions for any alteration to the exterior. As a rule, demolition permits are not granted easily within the heritage district. 

In fact, the Collingwood Downtown Heritage Conservation District Plan includes an objective stating exceptional measures are to be applied to avoid the demolition or removal of heritage buildings. 

Council's development and operations services standing committee heard a presentation from town planner Justin Teakle regarding the demolition permit application at a meeting on Aug. 8. 

Teakle explained the town's heritage committee considered the application in July 2019 and passed a resolution saying the demolition permit could only be issued if the owner submitted a heritage impact assessment for the existing house. 

Before the matter was due to be on the council agenda on Aug. 12, 2019, the application was withdrawn by the owner, Blue Sky Capital Corp.

This time, the owner submitted a demolition application with a heritage impact assessment, which indicates the home was built around the 1920s. The assessment, by Stevens Burgess Architects Ltd, determined the property has no heritage value and the structure is in very poor condition on an otherwise well-maintained street. 

A structural assessment in 2017 indicated the house has no insulation or vapour barrier. Services to the house have been severed as it has been vacant for many years. 

"As a result, there is nothing to conserve," states the heritage assessment report. "The demolition ... does not constitute a loss to the heritage district."

Teakle confirmed the demolition permit, even if it's approved by council, will be conditional on the town approving the new plans for building on the site. 

According to the Heritage Impact Assessment submitted with the demolition permit application, the building proposed for the site is a three-storey, brick residence. In 2019, the owner indicated he wanted to have more than one unit in the building. However, Teakle said no formal plans have been submitted to the town.

Coun. Yvonne Hamlin said she was glad to hear a site plan approval is a condition on the demolition permit. 

The standing committee approved the application and condition unanimously. It will be part of the council agenda on Aug. 18. 

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Erika Engel

About the Author: Erika Engel

Erika regularly covers all things news in Collingwood as a reporter and editor. She has 13 years of experience as a local journalist
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