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Condo towers to loom over Church

North end of the village to get 25- and 45-storey additions

Village real estate appears to be on the rise. Literally.

The widely advertised Five Condos are set to take over the site of former gay dance haven 5ive, and now plans for another condo development are confirmed in the same area.

A 25-storey condo tower is slated for the Dundonald/Gloucester block of Church St, the city’s planning division confirms.

Allison Meistrich, a senior planner at Toronto City Hall, says a proposal for a 25-storey condo tower has been submitted, which would see the demolition of 596 Church St (Gloucester Mansions), as well as a portion of 69 Gloucester St.

Bruce Hawkins, speaking for Meistrich, says more buildings on Gloucester could be torn down as well, though a part of 67 Gloucester will be preserved.

The tower will feature 35 replacement rental units on floors two to six and condos on floors seven and up. The proposal is still in the application stage, and a date of construction has not been set, though Hawkins says it will probably be “in the next 12 months.”

Online forums have recently been abuzz with debate over the proposed project.

The fate of hotspots Fuzion and Voglie, located at 580 and 582 Church, has generated public concern. In addition to being a popular village destination, the building at the corner of Dundonald is listed on the City of Toronto’s Inventory of Heritage Properties, as are a number of buildings on the strip, including 592 (Wallace Millichamp Houses) and 596 Church.

To the relief of Villagers, the buildings that house Fuzion and Voglie will be spared in the development.

When the preliminary proposal was made last year, city planners submitted a request to have the buildings on the southwest corner of Church and Gloucester streets (the site of the project) listed on the heritage inventory; 596 Church St was listed in October.

But being listed on the inventory does not prevent a building from being altered or destroyed. “Listing” a property allows Heritage Preservation Services to review development and building applications affecting those properties. It also means that developers must give city officials 60 days notice if they plan to tear a building down.

“Designation” as a heritage property, however, does empower City Hall to refuse a development proposal.

Also generating considerable buzz in the community is the condo project at St Joseph and Yonge streets, formerly the site of 5ive. The project will see 45 storeys soar above the current building at 5 St Joseph St, a Part V-designated (ie “district” rather than “individual property”) heritage site. As per regulations, the current building will be preserved as heritage lofts.

The project is also in the preliminary stages, and registration is open.

Xtra contacted Ward 27 councillor Kyle Rae, but he declined to comment on either development.