Collingwood council does want an official heritage designation for the former Victoria School Annex building, but due to the property being in receivership, it’s become more complicated.
After an in camera session on May 14, council voted to pursue a court motion on the matter, hoping to get clarification on whether or not a heritage designation could be applied while the property is in receivership.
“There is currently a court order on the property through the receiver,” said Collingwood Clerk Sara Almas. “The order says no action can happen. The court motion is requested to seek clarification on whether they see a heritage designation as an ‘action.’”
Since at least 2007, there has been talk of designating the Victoria School Annex as a heritage building under the Ontario Heritage Act. Initially, the advice given by those who studied the property was to wait for the site plan application process to be complete before designating the building so land severance could occur before the land is under a heritage designation. A developer had an application before council to build condominiums on the site.
This time, the owner of the property has gone into receivership. The court-appointed receiver for the property found out about the discussion of designating the property under the Heritage Act and protested.
“They don’t believe it is possible for us to undertake this process at this time,” said Nancy Farrer, director of planning and building services for the town of Collingwood. “Our lawyer doesn’t necessarily agree with that.”
Council has approved the court motion for clarification, and staff will work with the town’s lawyer on this process.
For more on the Victoria School Annex, click here.