NEWS FLASH: HVRA now has the party status it was initially denied. Here are the documents ending its exclusion:
- July 31 letter from Provost Regehr on behalf of President Gertler, reversing the U of T stand on party status for HVRA
- Aug. 8 letter from HVRA to Provost Regehr, accepting that reversal and noting remaining issues
- Aug. 15 statement by CRB, naming HVRA as having immediate party status and noting the value of its participation.
THE BACK STORY: In Spring 2017, U of T appealed to both the OMB and to the OMB’s heritage equivalent, the Conservation Review Board (CRB) in order to push ahead with plans for a large student residence at the corner of Spadina and Sussex. The CRB can make a recommendation back to City Council to confirm or reject Heritage status for the wonderful Ten Editions Bookstore building at 698 Spadina. Heritage status would require changes in architectural plans for the residence.
THE BLOCKAGE: On July 25, 2017, at the pre-hearing conference on the University’s challenge to the CRB, U of T lawyers argued against granting HVRA immediate full party status at the CRB hearings—with rights from the start to call witnesses, cross-examine and participate in mediation. HVRA has acted as a party on mediations and OMB hearings since 1999, and has extensive experience with Heritage designations. We have never before been denied immediate party status.
HVRA strongly protested this blockage. Our initial communications with the University president, Meric Gertler, and the CRB are available here:
- July 9 letter to President Gertler, welcoming an upcoming meeting and sending a summary of HVRA’s interactions with U of T on this issue
- July 20 letter to President Gertler, stating appreciation of the meeting, but outlining specific development issues still needing attention
- July 26 letter to President Gertler, expressing dismay at being denied party status at the CRB
- July 27 letter to the CRB, outlining the reasons HVRA should be granted immediate full party status.
The webpage Proposal for Spadina-Sussex Student Residence outlines the full sequence of events in this longstanding discussion between U of T and local residents, setting out a timeline and giving links to key documents. Those now include a strongly negative report from City Planning.