Adelaide court house

80-storey condo could be plunked down on historic court building

Another tall condo tower has been proposed for a Toronto corner, but this time the development site includes the site of a historic court currently home to a popular Italian restaurant and three other heritage buildings.

The development, which includes 17, 23 and 25 Toronto Street as well as 55 and 57 Adelaide Street. The 57 Adelaide St., address is home to Terroni and the historic Adelaide Street Court House.

Constructed by Cumberland and Ridout in 1851-1852, the building functioned as the York County Court House from 1852 until 1900, at which point the courts relocated to Toronto City Hall. Following this, it served as the headquarters for The Arts and Letters Club of Toronto.

In more recent times, the Courthouse Market and Grill restaurant was located within the building until its closure in 2007. The upper-level space was then transformed into a jazz nightclub. In December 2007, the main courthouse area was reopened as a Southern Italian-style trattoria, Terroni, which occupied the upper floors in November 2016 and now boasts a four-story restaurant.

Rending of a portion of the development and open space

It is, perhaps most famously, the site of Toronto’s last public hangings. Selling feature? Maybe.

According to a cover letter from the development application to the city, four of the five buildings that encompass the development are on the city of Toronto’s Heritage Register. But, according to the development proposal, the heritage aspect is a key component of the plan.

“The proposed 80-storey tower includes 816 new housing units in a range of sizes and configurations. The base building, made up of the existing heritage structures, will be retrofitted to accommodate contemporary office and retail needs, replacing what currently exists with a total of 2,618 square metres of non-residential Gross Floor Area,” reads the application, in part. “The heritage facades will be restored. The heritage facade of 55 Adelaide Street East will also be restored, and the interior space transformed into a 335-square-metre publicly-accessible atrium. The atrium will provide a visual and pedestrian connection from Adelaide Street East to Courthouse Square.”

In addition, the plan is for the York County Courthouse at 57 Adelaide St. E., home of Terrain, to be retained “in situ” and restored for continued use “as a restaurant or other commercial use.”

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