The Built Heritage Newsletter for Jan. 22, 2013 can be found here.
Among the many interesting items is this one:
3. Toronto: City-Wide Tall Building Design Guidelines include Heritage
Geoff Kettel Chair North York Community Preservation Panel
The city is close to finalizing draft updated City-Wide Tall Building Design Guidelines. The updated Guidelines will be used to inform the design and review of all new tall building developments in all of Toronto, not just downtown. Understanding when and how the Guidelines apply is very important. They are in effect a secondary document that apply once it is decided (through the Official Plan and zoning bylaws) that a tall building is appropriate in that location and if it is determined that a tall building is supportable, and represents good planning, these Guidelines should then apply (draft Guidelines, page 12,v.). And as guidelines they do not have the force of legislation.
The document defines tall buildings as buildings with height that is greater than the width of the adjacent street right of way (ROW) or the width of two streets if located at an intersection. Since street ROW widths vary across the city, typically between 20 and 36 metres, with the suburbs at the higher end of the scale, it appears that tall buildings in the suburbs may potentially be higher before they are considered as subject to the tall building guidelines.
The updated Design Guidelines include several references to Heritage Conservation. One of the principal guidelines statements, 1.6, Heritage Properties, is Locate and design tall buildings to respect and complement the scale, character, form and setting of on-site and adjacent heritage properties. This appears to be consistent with language being proposed in the draft Heritage Policy under the Official Plan Review, also underway currently.
At the well attended January 15, 2013 information session held at Northern District Library, 40 Orchard View Blvd. (Yonge & Eglinton) there was a surprising amount of support for the tower in the park (or more frequently tower in the parking lot), a stock of tallish buildings which likely represent the largest legacy of Modernist architecture in the city. Lynda Moon, President of the North Toronto Historical Society, was present and managed to get concurrence from staff that the Heritage sections were important.
Final draft guidelines are expected to go to Planning and Growth Management Committee on February 28 and to Council for approval.
You can learn more here.