stollerys demolition toronto

Stollerys could be demolished as new condo looms

Cllr. Kristyn Wong-Tam hopes the Stollerys building at Yonge and Bloor can be rescued from demolition by the city's heritage staff.

She says a loophole on the provincial building code that gives the owners of commercial properties the ability to clear their land without submitting plans for a replacement structure could see the iconic store vanish sooner rather than later.

Mizrahi Developments, the new owners of the cluster of buildings on the southwest corner of the intersection, filed for permission to clear the site on Jan. 7. Under the current rules, the request may automatically be granted within 30 days.

"I felt that the corner of Yonge and Bloor deserved greater respect than a large open space, which [Mizrahi] could just pave over and leave dormant for years," Wong-Tam says.

She likens the situation to the one faced by the city over the World's Biggest Bookstore. The Yonge St. building was torn down late last year and the land may become a surface parking lot while plans for a new building are ironed out.

"I think there's an assumption that heritage buildings that look like they should be protected are protected, whether they're listed or designated. And oftentimes we learn that it's not," she says.

There are no guarantees heritage staff will find the Stollerys building worthy of protection, however.

The upscale menswear outlet has been operating at Yonge and Bloor for 114 years, making it one of the city's longest running businesses. The current building, which was erected between 1923 and 1929, was bought by Mizrahi Developments along with several of the surrounding properties in 2014.

Sam Mizrahi, the company's president, told the Toronto Star in October he would like to build a 75-storey condo tower he calls "The One" on the site. Wong-Tam says she expects an application of that nature, but so far nothing has been submitted save for a request for a demolition permit.

Photo by Chris Barker


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