I have both good and bad news regarding the old McBride Cycle Building at the corner of Dundas Street West & Indian Grove. The sad news is that the existing building will be demolished. The City lacks the legal means to prevent the demolition because commercial properties are not subject to the same restrictions as residential sites. For example, there is no requirement to provide notice to the Councillor before a demolition permit for a commercial site is issued and an applicant can proceed without obtaining a building permit for a new structure – in contrast to the rules for residential sites.
The good news regarding the site is that the new owner and his architect Robert Chang have agreed to my request to meet with residents to discuss their project and look for common ground. Mr. Chang has designed a number of buildings along Toronto’s main streets including 260 Queen St. West and the former site of the Bamboo Club. An initial meeting to begin a dialogue has already taken place with representatives of the West Bend Residents’ Association. At this early stage the proponents are proposing a mid-size, 74 unit condominium building with commercial at grade. If properly designed the project could provide an important boost to the retail business strip along Dundas Street West in the Junction. I would encourage all interested residents to work with me and The West Bend Residents’ Association to ensure the new building is a positive addition to our community.