Queen West postal station condo development

Beloved Queen West Postal Station going condo?

Housing is vitally important and a key issue for the city. But is it at all costs? That’s what some are asking when faced with the possibility of plunking down a 29-storey tower on a historic building on Queen West.

For more than a century, the historic Postal Station C has been a landmark at the junction of Queen Street West and Abell St.. 

The iconic 1902-built Beaux-Arts-style building, once operated by Canada Post, has been at the centre of discussions since the postal service vacated the premises in 2021.

Although the building was listed on Toronto’s Heritage Register within the West Queen West Heritage District, its federal status exempted it from formal heritage designation. 

Following its transition to private ownership, and according to a City of Toronto spokesperson, the city moved to designate it under Section 29 of the Ontario Heritage Act. 

In November 2023, the owner appealed this decision to the Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT).

Rendering of the development at the Queen West postal station site

Now, with an application for a zoning bylaw amendment from developer Queen Street Post, plans are underway to potentially transform the site into a mixed-use development, featuring a blend of community facilities and a residential tower. 

The proposed tower, which reaches a height of 102.4 metres and includes 272 residential units, is complemented by 919 square metres of community space within the preserved Postal Station C building.

“On Feb. 8, 2024, [Toronto City] Council adopted the staff recommendation to refuse the owner’s application filed under the [Ontario] Planning Act for a 29-storey tower,” said city spokesperson Deborah Blackstone. 

Provincial MPP Marit Stiles, NDP leader, has spoken out against the development.

“The potential loss of 1117 Queen St. W. Postal Station “C” has galvanized the community here in Davenport,” she said, in a statement. “I hear about it not only from residents near that area, in the extreme south end of my riding, but all across the riding.”

A petition was also initiated to protect the historic site from development.

According to Blackstone, there are many examples in Toronto of designated heritage properties that have been conserved and integrated into development schemes, thereby allowing for growth and change while also conserving important heritage buildings.

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