Dec 19, 2013
By Scott Walker
Toronto City Council has blocked the way forward for a new downtown development that would replace the Princess of Wales theatre with three striking new condo towers.
But Council has left the door open to a compromise.
City staff had recommended against the proposal by impresario David Mirvish and architect Frank Gehry. They feared the towers of more than 80 stories each would add to congestion downtown. They recommended smaller towers. But Mirvish says he is already setting aside a great deal of space in the project for a museum and gallery that won’t generate revenue.
The complex would house Mirvish’s art collection, the Canadian Theatre Museum, and OCAD University.
So Council has proposed an expert panel work on a solution. The group will include representatives from the local business improvement association and Heritage Toronto.
Councillor Adam Vaughn will lead the panel. The project is in his ward.
Mirvish says he is also leaving the door open to appeal council’s decision to the Ontario Municipal Board. He says Frank Gehry’s design will add to Toronto’s reputation as a world class city.
He also wants to move the project ahead as soon as possible, because Gehry is 84 years old.