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Hotel Waverly & Silver Dollar demolition plans rejected

Posted by Chris Bateman / January 16, 2014

Silver Dollar Hotel WaverlyPlans to knock down the Hotel Waverly and Silver Dollar have been dealt a serious setback after Toronto and East York Community Council rejected the proposal in its current form. The concept "does not promote a harmonious fit with the existing neighbourhood context," a staff report adopted yesterday said.

Examination by planning staff criticized the plans for their excessive height in relation to the surrounding neighbourhood as well as the scale, massing, floor plates, and setback from the front of the lot.

Local councillor Adam Vaughan called the tower a "terrible idea" in June, likening it to "a high-rise rooming house."

Owner Paul Wynn hoped to knock down the decrepit flophouse and adjoining music venue to make way for a 22-storey student housing complex. The Silver Dollar would have been granted a new space on the ground floor of the building, he told us last summer.

A branch of Wynn Fitness was planned for the second floor with the rest of the building earmarked for 202 student units. The Comfort Zone club in the basement didn't appear to be part of the plans.

Despite its current appearance, the Hotel Waverly - occasionally "Waverley" - is one of the city's oldest continuously operating hotels. The original timber frame building opened in 1900 offering "pleasant, homelike accommodation" but has been in a state of decay ever since.

Poet Milton Acorn called it home, though a persistent rumour that fugitive assassin James Earl Ray rented a room while on the run from cops in America has since proven to be false.

Wynn told the Toronto Star he plans to appeal the decision at the Ontario Municipal Board. A separate student complex proposed by Knightstone Capital Management is awaiting a decision from the OMB regarding a 25-storey residence on College east of Spadina.

Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.

Image: Jenny Rotten



co / January 16, 2014 at 09:08 am
js / January 16, 2014 at 10:32 am
I'm sure many a fugitive have taken up rooms at the Wave :p
LJ / January 16, 2014 at 10:40 am
I'd like to see the plans for myself because anything Adam Vaughan dislikes is worth looking at.
Christopher King / January 16, 2014 at 10:51 am
No link to the proposed design? I would have liked to see what the plans looked like that were rejected.
Jack / January 16, 2014 at 11:14 am
Look at the first link in the article for the proposed design. Lots of pictures. While the waverly and silver dollar are hardly landmarks worth saving, the new proposal doesn't really fit in to the neighborhood either.
McRib / January 16, 2014 at 11:20 am
there is a link to a picture of the design, click on the link highlighted where Adam Vaughan is complaining.
Chester / January 16, 2014 at 11:20 am
Torontonians are weird birds. Despise crackhead mayor, but don't want to demolish cracked out hotel.
Laurent Duchaneaux / January 16, 2014 at 11:47 am
Adam Vaughan is, with all due respect, a complete idiot. I'm a UofT student and we DESPERATELY need more housing at a reasonable price. Downtown rent is crazy and too many of us live in gross basements or illegal rooming houses because there is nothing else to do within a price range that is feasable. This would have been important for us, all these stuck-up NIMBYs represented by Vaughan are giving us a terrible hardship they don't care to think about.
jen / January 16, 2014 at 12:07 pm
Hey Laurent, those "stuck up NIMBYs" have to LIVE in that neighbourhood, while you are just passing through for a few years. I think they should have some say in what goes in there. Student housing is needed, but it doesn't have to look like crap.
Resident / January 16, 2014 at 12:21 pm
aaaaand Gen Y rolls in with a ridiculous comment. Being a student is a time of growth and hardship, wait until you become an actual resident and contribute to the community before you get a say in how its developed.
chester / January 16, 2014 at 12:22 pm
I love when people start off with "With all due respect" it makes their insult almost seem polite. With all due respect, you're a douche. With all due respect, you smell like shit. With all due respect, you're kinda fucking ugly. Its fun give it a try!
D / January 16, 2014 at 12:24 pm
As a past student, affordable housing is possible yet difficult to find.

These condo buildings near UofT will not be any cheaper than what you can find on Bay St or in the Annex.
Matt / January 16, 2014 at 12:43 pm
Jen, the struck up Nimbys who live there CHOSE to move into a vibrant, noisey, student-filled neighborhood beside a massive univesity campus. Moroever, The Waverly has been a part of that nieghborhood for long before any of the NIMBYs lived there. In a city with bland cookie-cutter condos popping up on every corner, I welcome the idea of students getting a correlating expansion of the type of living spaces they need. If you are averse to these types of things, please move to the suburbs - the atmosphere there may be more amenable to you.
raccoonw/bread / January 16, 2014 at 12:52 pm
If you wanted affordable housing you should have gone to school in another city.
Todd Toronto / January 16, 2014 at 01:17 pm
Haven't clicked on the proposed link, but it can't be uglier than Graduate House, can it?
Todd Toronto / January 16, 2014 at 01:18 pm
... That is, the actual link to the proposed development.
Alex / January 16, 2014 at 01:25 pm
It's not affordable student housing, why would anyone think that? This will be privately run and expensive. If it was affordable they wouldn't bother building it because it wouldn't make any money. Choosing a university is a huge decision, and the students going there should have taken the lack of affordable housing in the area into consideration. That's why most people commute to UofT. It's highly accessibly by transit. I commuted there for 3 years and was fine with that, it's the choice I made when I chose UofT.
John Labatt / January 16, 2014 at 01:26 pm
Brothels are now legal, This hotel would make the perfect spot for a good time. Renovate the Silver Dollar into a brothel and lets make Toronto a world class destination.
Brendan / January 16, 2014 at 01:31 pm
The title of this article is a little misleading. It's not that the demolition plan for the Waverley Hotel has been rejected.

It's that the current development plan for that property has been rejected and as a result the current structures will remain in tact.

The City isn't trying to save a crack den, it's trying to ensure that it's replaced with a suitable development.
LOL / January 16, 2014 at 01:56 pm
Laurent Duchaneaux, such entitlement. Did daddy cut you off?
LOL / January 16, 2014 at 02:00 pm
And god forbid you should have to live in a basement apartment like thousands of others in this city. Maybe you should get a part time job if you think it is too expensive instead of whining on a blog and blaming Adam Vaughan for your "hardships".
Graham / January 16, 2014 at 02:14 pm
Does Adam Vaughan approve anything?
Blogto is Toronto Life Lite...VERY Lite / January 17, 2014 at 06:14 am
So the comments are MUCH better...especially the very funny trolls-not the ugly trolls!
kn / January 19, 2014 at 07:35 pm
Adam Vaughan is a liar and a hypocrite!

Why is this development any different from the Alexandra Park/Atkinson coop redevelopment? The answer it isn't!!! If you want to rebuild a ghetto, overdevelopment is good? (Let's make hard working people spend their life savings on Boxes in the sky, so the TCHC can rebuild hundreds of town homes worth millions as public housing? Makes perfect sense? RIGHT?) The reality is, Adam Vaughan knows he can get away with it in Alexandra Park because nobody in Alexandra park will say anything. The community was completely destroyed decades ago by the violence and segregation created by the Atkinson coop ghetto.

So, Adam played the game and lied to the public for years so he could build a public housing monument for himself.

Now Adam thinks 20 story buildings a couple blocks away should be considered overdevelopment? Again the game continues with Adam. He knows this won't fly north of Spadina and he probably has a personal axe to grind against the property owner.

So now this development is all of a sudden BAD urban planning and overdevelopment?

And where is the media in all of this?
Spike / January 21, 2014 at 12:09 am
@Laurent Duchaneaux: Get pissy with Adam Vaughn and tell him to start building you and other students affordable student housing in collaboration with TCHC; that's what the city should be doing anyway.

Let this place stay, especially considering that we (probably) don't have any decent clubs left anymore anyway.
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