OMB hearing to decide fate of Thomas G. Elgie House

The Thomas G. Elgie House has a distinguished past. But does it have a future? Right now this is a live question.

The Elgie farmhouse and its large landscaped lot is threatened with major change. A developer has purchased the property and intends to subdivide the lot (the largest in Leaside) into three, demolish the back part of the original house, move the front part forward on the lot, add a major addition behind, demolish the north and south side later additions, and construct two new houses, one on each side of the moved heritage house. The proposed re-development would require severance of the existing lot into three; and numerous zoning bylaw variances involving massing, coverage and setbacks. The City has rejected the proposals at each stage, but now the developer has appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board. And that’s where we need your help.

The case involves a designated heritage property, the Thomas G. Elgie House and the City has agreed to have a heritage staff person there to defend their decision to reject the development on heritage grounds. However there are also planning issues. The neighbours together with the Leaside Property Owners’ Association (LPOA), have opposed the development, on the grounds that this proposal represents over-development of the lot and loss of the cultural heritage character, both buildings and landscape. The LPOA has agreed to be represented as a Party and to hire a Planner to be an expert witness. The City has agreed to share the costs of hiring a Planner, but that is where you come in.

We need your support to attend the hearing beginning on July 23, 2014 and to assist with the costs of hiring a planning expert. Please consider attending the hearing on Wednesday, July 23 at 10 a.m., 655 Bay St. Suite 1600, and making a donation to the LPOA to support the costs of hiring a planner.