2444 Yonge Street

Toronto neighbourhood fuming after historical building suddenly torn down

Just when you think Toronto's making real progress on preserving its built heritage, a lovely historical building gets demolished before receiving protected status.

Such is the case at 2444 Yonge St., where a Bank of Montreal building dating back to 1907 met the wrecking crew last week, reports CTV News.

The fly-by-night demolition is irksome for a number of reasons, especially since the previous developer filed an application with the city to preserve part of the property in a new five storey building on the site. It was an example of facadism, but it would have surely been better than this result.

A heritage study was launched in conjunction with those plans, but it was never completed after the property changed hands last year. The new owner of the site pulled the initial application before subsequently filing a request to demolish the building on January 18.

Guess what? It doesn't take very long to tear a building down. As of this afternoon, the site was a heap of rubble.

Local councillor Christin Carmichael Greb blamed the loss of the building on poor communication between city departments, but that sounds like an understatement. 

"It was identified as a heritage site in the Yonge Eglinton Secondary Plan," Linda McCarthy, director of the Lytton Park Residents’ Organization, noted in a press release.

"Although not yet listed on the City’s Inventory of Heritage Properties, City staff had identified the existing building to be of heritage interest with heritage value and they were officially reviewing it."

Strictly speaking, all of this went down by the books, but it seems that more than one person was asleep at the switch when a demolition permit was granted on a building that heritage staff characterized as significant and worthy of review for preservation.

Lead photo by

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