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Issue No. 187 | December 5, 2011


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Feature Stories

  1. Concerns Re Proposed Signs on Tower 5, Toronto Dominion Complex
  2. ACO Student and Emerging Professionals Group
  3. Very Small Window for Comments on City of Toronto's Proposed HCD Policies
  4. Museum Reprieve in Toronto
  5. David Wencer Blog - Two Solitudes in Heritage Preservation....Youth and Age


Toronto's Bicentennial Commemoration of the War of 1812
Thursday December 8
+ read

NFB: Reimagining our Vertical City
December 6,
+ read

Villain or Scapegoat?: The Ontario Municipal Board and Land Use Planning in Ontario
Tuesday December 06
+ read

Book launch -- "Newfoundland Modern"
Monday, Dec. 5, 2011
+ read

The Art of Light, Sarah Hall
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
+ read


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1. Concerns Re Proposed Signs on Tower 5, Toronto Dominion Complex
Marie-Josee Therrien

I am sending this email to many important citizens of Toronto like you. Do not hesitate to contact me at  if you wish to attend the hearing on December 13. This could be big. I was able to convince Phyllis Lambert to send a letter.

If you believe that “God is in the details”… Motto attributed to Mies van der Rohe

I am writing to you in my capacity as an architectural historian to ask you for your support with regards to a decision being considered by the City of Toronto, a decision that, if implemented, would threaten the nature of the Toronto Dominion Centre, one of the most significant examples of our modern corporate heritage.

The current owner asked to display two illuminated walls signs, on two of the façades of the 32 storey office building commonly known as “Tower 5” of the Toronto Dominion Centre. The size of these two signs will be 19.43 metres in length and 2.6 metres in height. That is over 63 feet long by over 8 feet and represents more than 1,000 sq. ft of signage. In addition there is a proposed ground level illuminated sign of 2.13. metre wide by 2.13 metres long (about 7 feet by 7 feet), that would be located beside the banking pavilion, fronting Bay Street.

The Ernst and Young Tower, or Tower 5, was devised to conform to the design principles of Mies van der Rohe's original buildings on the site. Mies's signage plan was simple and elegant, with font and font size clearly specified. The TD Centre had diligently maintained that signage throughout the complex and it is also maintained in other significant Mies projects such as the Seagram Building in New York and Westmont Square in Montreal.

This signage plan did not incorporate high-level building signage. The Ernst and Young Tower is outside the 2003 designated property of the TD Centre as it was not one of the original grouping of Mies's buildings. It is however on designated heritage property in recognition of the adaptive reuse of the former Stock Exchange, now the Design Exchange.

Should the signs be erected, the elegant orchestration of lights that moved across the surface of the building as planned by Mies would be seriously altered. As an architectural historian, it is my opinion that such a decision demonstrates a lack of leadership in the area of architecture and design excellence. Placing illuminated logos on Tower 5 and on the ground would create a strong precedent for requests by others for similar signage throughout the TD Centre. The results would compromise the original intentions of the architects and the visionary developers who “all worked together to create a distinctly public realm in the midst of Toronto’s formerly private financial district” (Phyllis Lambert, Mies in America, p. 417).

If you believe that there are reasons to be concerned please support this cause, either reply to this email with your own message of support (you can cut and paste from my letter and add more specific requirements based on your expertise) and, or join this group on Facebook -, post comments or repost the letter on your own page or simply click on the like button and join the group.

You can also show your support by showing up at Toronto City Hall, Tuesday December 13, 2011 at 9:30, Committee Room # 4, 2nd Floor, Toronto City Hall, 100 Queen Street West, Toronto where I will be appealing the decision in front of the Sign Variance Committee of the City of Toronto. Please email me if you plan to attend.

Marie-Josée Therrien PhD

Associate Professor

Ontario College of Art and Design University

(416) 544-9401 

2. Mayor Ford urged to ask the Government of Canada to preserve
North York Historical Society

(Willowdale Ontario, December 4, 2011) - - The Toronto Preservation Board is calling on Toronto Mayor Rob Ford to petition the Government of Canada to preserve the WWII structure known as 65 Carl Hall Road, the decade-long home of the Canadian Air and Space Museum.

Present plans by Canada’s Parc Downsview Park Corporation (PDP) are to demolish 65 Carl Hall Road for other uses, rather than to continue to celebrate the men and women who volunteered to serve in the air and on the ground in Europe, Asia, and North America.

The property at 65 Carl Hall Road is associated with both the former air base and with the building of aircraft during WWII.

During WWII, Canada trained 73,000 Canadian pilots at 231 locations across the country and tens of thousands of pilots from member nations of the British Empire, costing Canadians $1.6Bn.

At its meeting of September 21/22, 2011, Toronto City Council adopted the following resolution:

“ ...City Council calls on the Federal Government to recognize the contributions of

Canadian aerospace and aviation innovation; grant the Canadian Air and Space Museum

(CASM) located on the site of the former military base in Downsview a long-term reprieve;

and, provide assurances of its preservation on the Downsview lands…”


The North York Historical Society is asking the Mayor to 1) request that the federal government re-designate the property on its own historic register, and 2) respect the City of Toronto’s demonstrated interest in ensuring its protection as directed in the Downsview Secondary Plan and on the City heritage inventory.


Contact: Geoff Geduld at 416-222-3485 or

3. Professor Robert Shipley Addresses ICOMOS Assembly in Paris
U of W Press Release

Professor Robert Shipley, (right) Director of the Heritage Resources Centre, spoke Tuesday to the 17th General Assembly of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, addressing over 200 representatives from dozens of countries around the world.
Shipley is one of the leading international researchers on the economic impacts of heritage conservation and his paper was one of a small number selected from over 500 submissions to the conference.

4. ACO Student and Emerging Professionals Group

The Architectural Conservancy of Ontario ( has recently launched a Student and Emerging Professionals Committee. This group recognizes the need for a centralized heritage and sustainability group that is designed to specifically support young academics, emerging professionals, writers, advocates and other who are interested in this dynamic field.

Please 'like' our ACO Emerging Professionals Facebook Page where we will post job opportunities, events, study abroad initiatives, resources and other pertinent items of interest.

5. Very Small Window for Comments on City of Toronto's Proposed HCD Policies
Catherine Nasmith

No one wants to hold up the adoption of the proposed new policies for HCD's in Toronto, yet no one wants to push ahead with policies that might limit the processing of new HCD's in Toronto.

That is the dilemma facing city staff and other interested parties regarding the report and document, "Heritage Conservation Districts in Toronto: Procedures, Policies and Terms of Reference" which became public just four days before it was on the agenda of the Toronto Preservation Board. 

Nontheless, those who had been watching closely for this document were able to get some comments to the TPB. More are emerging as others become familiar with the document.  

Since last week, I have become aware of comments from Pamela Blais of Wychwood Park....they raised a different set of concerns that relate to the process for amending existing HCD's. She pointed out in her letter that an abridged process is needed for amendments.

Since the Preservation Board meeting ten days ago, several heritage consultants have been sharing thoughts on possible improvements to the policy and will be meeting this week to hammer out comments to go to Scott Barrett, the staff person in charge of this project, on Friday. 

Also several HCD Advisory Committees are hoping to offer comment, but it is difficult to put a position forward without internal consulation. 

Scott Barrett, is also trying to get comments in before he leaves on holiday over the Christmas break to make sure that changes can be incorporated to go back to the TPB's January meeting, and on to the Planning and Growth Management in February. In response to an email from Ms. Blais he set out a timeline for comment. 

"The report and document "Heritage Conservation Districts in Toronto: Procedures, Policies and Terms of Reference," is going to February Planning and Growth Management Committee and Council in March.

The TPB asked us to undertake some final consultations with parties who expressed concern at the meeting to make any minor changes that may be necessary or desirable by staff prior to consideration by PGM.

Because I will be away most of January this will need to be wrapped up by Mid-December. Although this is required, the document is regarded as complete (as in no longer a draft) and we will not be holding a public meeting or open house on this matter.

Should you wish to submit comments I invite you to do so for critical matters directly to me prior to December 8. If you wish to discuss any matter regarding this document and report, please call me at 416-338-1083" 

In the next issue of BHN I will publish the comments that the consultants' group puts together. If you have particular concerns please get them to Scott this week.

It is everyone's hope that we can get this much anticipated set of policies both streamlined and adopted as quickly as possible, and leave Scott free to enjoy a well deserved holiday after all his hard work bringing this important policy document forward. 


6. U Vic Announces Graduate Program in Cultural Heritage Management
U Vic

Announcing our new graduate program!

We are pleased to announce our new graduate program in Cultural Heritage Management! The Graduate Professional Certificate (GPC) in Cultural Heritage Studies will be offered online starting in May, 2012. This advanced-level part-time program is designed for working profes-sionals, and will ladder into a Graduate Diploma in Cultural Heritage Management commenc-ing 2013. As a current student in our Diploma and Professional Specialization Certificates (PSC), there is limited transferability of  undergraduate course work into the graduate program. However, students must meet admission requirements for the graduate program. Applications must be received by January 6, 2012 for the 2012 intake.

Visit our website for further details, including course offerings, entry options and admission requirements. Watch this space for more info on the programs.

7. Museum Reprieve in Toronto
Janice Etter, For Montgomery's Innovators

The worst of all of our concerns that some of the City's museums will close have been put to rest -- for a year.

Over the next year, a review of their operations will take place to see how they might overcome what the Core Service Review tagged as their "underperformance."

Thanks to everyone for your support, and keep it coming. There's more to do to secure the future of the museums, and we'll need your ongoing support and assistance. Our hard work at Montgomery's Inn has not been wasted. We're well into figuring out what we need to do to keep moving forward.

Thanks to Councillor Jaye Robinson for advocating for us all!

8. June Botkin One of 20 Accepted at ICCROM
Catherine Nasmith

I received a note from June Botkin, an extraordinary woman who I had the pleasure of meeting in Victoria at Hal Kalman's course on Heritage Planning. June trained as a mason but she has been in charge of conservation of the Saskatchewan Legislative Buildings in Regina for many years.

She wrote "I received notification from ICCROM that I have been accepted to attend the course on the Conservation of Built Heritage. I was lucky enough to be 1 of the 20 in the world accepted to attend. I am pretty excited and also a little on the terrified side. It will be a great experience and I am looking forward to all the information that I will be able to gather while there."

And we are looking forward to having this training in Canada.

Congratulations June! It is ICCROM who should be terrified of June, a force to be reckoned with.


9. Torontoist: Loblaws Opens in Former Maple Leaf Gardens
Sarah-Joyce Battersby

Cleanup at Centre Ice

Photo David Cooper from Torontoist

After lying fallow for more than a decade, Loblaws re-opens the doors of Maple Leaf Gardens to Torontonians.

The lineup outside the new Loblaws, formerly Maple Leaf Gardens, on Carlton this morning.









It’s probably not the first time people have done this. Surely others have camped on the sidewalk outside the Carlton Cash Box, hoping to be first let in the next day. Maybe they were there to see the Beatles, or watch a Stanley Cup game, or marvel at the skating carnival. But today the more than 300 people lined up as of 7:20 a.m. were definitely the first to camp out on that sidewalk to score early entry to the produce section.

After cutting a seven-foot-long baguette (in lieu of a ribbon), Loblaws’ executive chairman Galen Weston welcomed the crowds into the new stores at the old arena. In addition to the main floor grocery store, the Gardens’ new tenants include Loblaws’ clothing store, Joe Fresh; the freshly minted Peter Gilgan Athletic Centre; an LCBO; a tea shop; and a President’s Choice cooking school.

Click here for Link

10. Torontoist: Debate over closing Kensington Market Streets

Kensington Market Debates Street Closures

f there’s one thing about Kensington Market that will probably always stay the same, no matter what else changes there, it’s this: Everybody associated with the neighbourhood has very strong ideas about what Kensington Market is, or what it should be. This was especially apparent Tuesday night, in a community-centre gymnasium on Bellevue Avenue, where about two dozen Kensington dwellers met to discuss a proposal to close the neighbourhood’s streets to auto traffic more frequently.

Kensington Market already closes its streets to cars on the last Sunday of each month from May to October for its popular Pedestrian Sundays, which feature musicians and street performances. The new proposal is to make those Sunday closures a weekly occurrence, with less associated hoopla—no performers, just lots of relaxed, car-free shopping and dining in the open air. (The performers would be welcome only on designated festival days.) The City will be installing permanent gates, anchored to concrete planters, at some of Kensington’s major intersections, to obviate the need for neighbourhood organizers to rent barriers each time they want to keep drivers out. Yvonne Bambrick, the Kensington Market Business Improvement Area’s coordinator, said she believes the barriers will be installed whether or not road closures become a regular thing.

The rental savings will come in handy, because the City’s proposed 2012 budget will likely result in Pedestrian Sunday’s annual subsidy—approximately $12,000—being cut, along with small pedestrian-project grants for groups all over the city. To keep Pedestrian Sunday going, the market’s BIA will be making up the shortfall out of its own budget.

Click here for Link

11. Toronto Star: Montgomery's INNovators

Museum fans have message for Ford: Hands off

Former history teacher Janice Etter has a message for anyone who wants to shut down the Montgomery’s Inn museum.

“Hands off.”

A dedicated volunteer at the preserved tavern and inn, she loves everything about the lodgings run by Margaret Montgomery from 1830 to 1855.

The chamber pots, straw mattresses where guests slept three to a bed, wash stands, the wooden bar where whisky and beer were sold, smoky kitchen hearths with big black kettles — these are all dear to her heart.

“I live here,” said the head of the volunteer committee, which boasts more than 125 members who help out at the historical museum on a hill at the intersection of |Islington Ave. and Dundas St. The tavern, its wooden floor worn into a deep groove at the entrance by hundreds of weary travellers, was a community hub where men and women mingled to discuss the news of the day.

Today, that news would be that Montgomery’s Inn may face the axe, along with three other small museums, Market Gallery, Gibson House and Zion Schoolhouse.

More than 200 people showed up at the inn Sunday to hear about councilor Joe Mihevc’s plan to preserve the museums through increased earnings. He also announced a public participation campaign involving social networking and people were asked to use their Twitter and Facebook sites to show their support for museums and tell their stories.

Then, they linked arms and surrounded the stone inn as a symbolic way of protecting the building.

The cost-cutting measure could save Toronto $1 million a year but people attending the museums Saturday — some of them spurred to visit the sites after reading the Star’s Saturday article about the potential cuts — made the case for cultural preservation.

“We all should know where we come from,” says Hong-Kong born Greg Pau who lives in Richmond Hill but frequently makes the weekend trek to the St. Lawrence Market for shopping.

The fine art gallery, which regularly changes its paintings and photographs, is located in the city’s first council chamber. The red leather mayor’s chair, originally the seat of mayor Edward F. Clarke, sits majestically beneath windows that look below at the hustle and bustle of shoppers. At one time, councillors could see Lake Ontario from those windows and Jenny Lind gave a concert there.

Ivor Simmons comes here frequently because he enjoys the old pictures of Toronto and says closing it would make him “really sad.” One of his favourite displays was portraits of all of the Toronto mayors starting with the city’s first mayor, William Lyon McKenzie.

Dave Darby was moved to see the gallery for the first time after reading about its possible closure. Interested in looking at photographs and drawings of old streetscapes, Darby says, “You don’t know what you’ve got til they take it away.”

Francisca and Bruce Gazley, of Whitby, couldn’t wait for Gibson House to open at noon and peeked through the windows at the horsehair furniture, jars of preserves, upright piano and original surveyor’s tools used by Scottish immigrant David Gibson.

“There’s such a connection that happens with history,” Francisca says. “You can feel what it was like to live in another time.”

The value of cultural institutions “can’t be measured”, she says, acknowledging millions could be made by developing the charming plot of land.....

A petition has been set up for those interested in preserving museums:javascript:void(0);/*1322842100956*/


Click here for Link

12. The Moose: MPP Norm Miller Petitions to Save Bala Falls

Petition Opposing Bala Hydro Plan Gets Our MPP's Attention

Our MPP is standing up for some residents opposed to the proposed Bala Falls hydro plant. Norm Miller, MPP for Parry Sound Muskoka, presented a petition to the Legislative Assembly this week. The documents are filled with thousands of signatures of those who want the Ministry of Natural Resources to reverse a decision to release crown lands for the plant.

Miller says it's about getting awareness for the issue, as he plans to present more copies of the petition as they come in. Meantime, next week a private members bill will also be debated to give local government more zoning control on where projects like this are located.

13. The Atlantic Cities: Preserving Churches
Kim A O'Donnell

The Trouble With Church Preservation

When it comes to the holy trinity of art, architecture, and religion, few buildings are more significant than the 1898 Methodist Church in Norwalk, Connecticut. Anchoring a main street, the Romanesque-style church features a stained-glass rose window designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany himself. The founders of American Methodism preached there. Given its prominence and pedigree, should the church’s governing body be allowed to sell the building for development, as it is currently trying to do?

The U.S. Constitution, according to many observers, says yes, but historic preservationists beg to differ. Who decides?

In cities nationwide, churches are struggling to maintain the physical plant. Congregations are dwindling, budgets are tight and buildings are becoming aging white elephants. Many denominations, perhaps most notably the Catholic Church, are closing and selling off their buildings to stay afloat.

But these old churches are beloved landmarks, whether people worship there or not. Churches are key to a city’s architectural character and its social and religious history, preservationists say. Often, these advocates will stamp a capital L on these landmarks through official historic designation. At the state or local level, such designations can limit what happens to church buildings by preventing significant alterations or demolition.

Click here for Link

14. Heritage Toronto: Downsview Park Story
David Wencer


De Havilland hangar spans our aviation history

Downsview's aviation history traces its origins to De Lesseps Field near Jane Street and Trethewey Drive where, in 1928, de Havilland Canada had its first facility. De Havilland was, up until World War II, a relatively small aircraft company in Canada, initially established by the British de Havilland Aircraft Company to construct Moth aircraft out of parts manufactured in England. At the time of de Havilland Canada's founding, the Moth was standard equipment for most flying clubs.

Click here for Link

15. Heritage Courses at U Vic
U vic

Heritage, Culture and Museum Studies Courses

The Cultural Resource Management Program offers courses in both on-campus and distance education formats. With over thirty courses in the curriculum, you can specialize in museum studies, heritage conservation, or cultural management, or choose courses from all three areas to develop a program that satisfies your particular needs and interests.

Each session we offer a number of courses for you to choose from.

Click here for Link

16. David Wencer Blog - Two Solitudes in Heritage Preservation....Youth and Age
David Wencer

Talkin' 'Bout My Generation

I’ve been active with the Toronto heritage community for about 4 years now and, when I’m at a meeting or attending a heritage-related event, I expect to be the youngest person in the room by about 15 to 20 years. I’m 29.

As such, I am frequently asked by those around me what it is that got me into history, as if I am some sort of aberration. They then ask me if I have any tips on how to draw more young people into history and heritage.

The thing is, I know that young Torontonians are into this city’s history. Several colleges and universities offer programs in heritage-related fields. In recent years, Toronto culture websites such as blogTO and Torontoist, generally popular with the younger crowd, have run far more historical interest pieces than the traditional news and television outlets. A look at the comments sections of these articles will reveal excitement over the content, and laments for the loss of long-gone buildings. More personally, I have met many young Toronto history and heritage fans through Twitter, people who are interested in old stories, old buildings, and just old Toronto in general.

Click here for Link