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Step closer to being a heritage area

Leaside has taken a first step toward becoming a Heritage Conservation District (HCD)

North York Community Council (NYCC) has passed a motion by Councillor John Parker, backing a proposal from the Leaside Property Owners’ Association, asking to have the residential portion of Leaside south of Eglinton designated.

The motion directs City of Toronto Preservation Services staff to proceed with a review of the Leaside application and consider it a priority for formal study.

“The process we have now embarked on is a new one for the City of Toronto,” Parker says. “In past years, any community seeking HCD designation had to carry out its own research work and advance its own application. The complexity of the research involved has always been a practical barrier to applicants. 

“The 2014 budget approved by council equips Preservation Services to carry out some of that work.”

Preservation Services staff must now determine which of several nominated communities will be chosen for formal study. Parker says  Leaside residents will have plenty of opportunities to submit their views on the application as part of the study if one is approved.

The purpose of an HCD is to protect the general look and feel of a streetscape without interfering with the right to make alterations to the side, back, interior, or any other portion of any building that is not readily visible from curbside.

“A number of Toronto neighbourhoods have chosen to pursue HCD status as a means of protecting themselves from developments that they deem unsuited to their community,” said Parker. “This application could eventually give Leaside residents the same protection.”