April 20, 2011
The Honourable Dalton McGuinty
Premier of the Province of Ontario
Room 281, Queen’s Park
Main Legislative Building
Re: Protecting the viewshed (silhouette) of the Ontario Legislative Assembly
Dear Premier McGuinty:
Your help is needed to protect OUR HOUSE….which, of course, is YOUR HOUSE, too!
The Bay Cloverhill Community Association (BCCA) is bounded by Charles Street West on the north, Yonge Street on the east, College Street on the south, and Queen’s Park Crescent West on the west. It is a community of more than 11,500 residents.
The BCCA believes that it is imperative that the Province of Ontario and the City of Toronto work together to put in place the necessary rules and regulations to protect forever the heritage silhouette of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from large scale development appearing in the background.
We ask you to support us in an immediate call for a temporary freeze on new development in the viewshed of the Ontario Legislature. This action is supported by the Ontario Capital Precinct Working Group (OCPWG) which includes architects, planners, representatives of several residents' associations, and individuals interested in protecting our provincial democratic symbols.
A “time out” will allow the critically important assessment of what is needed to protect the view of the silhouette of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from development appearing in the background. At this very moment (and for the FIRST time ever!), a 3-dimensional perspective of this viewshed is being prepared by architectural experts who specialize in this discipline.
Following the architectural study of this view corridor (which will require a few weeks), we will need legislation from the Province of Ontario and by-laws from the City of Toronto put in place to protect the heritage silhouette of the LAO. This action is supported by many including:
• the Ontario Capital Precinct Working Group(mentioned above)
• Councillor Wong-Tam, Ward 27 (in whose ward the Ontario Legislature is located),
• the Federation of Urban Neighbourhoods (Ontario),
• many community/residents’ associations and
• a fast growing list of citizens of Ontario.
As you know, Ottawa has such protection for our national symbols. We seek similar protection of our democratic symbols for the Province of Ontario, one of the oldest provinces in Canada.
In the past 10 years, 2 pieces of provincial legislation have put growing pressure on this historic viewshed. The pieces of legislation to which we refer are:
• the amalgamation of the several individual cities into one City of Toronto which has required a re-ordering of municipal zoning by-laws and
• The Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe which has put enormous emphasis on population intensification in downtown Toronto.
A temporary freeze on new development in the area of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario will provide the time needed for the completion of the ongoing architectural study and to allow for the preparation of the necessary legislation/zoning changes.
Similar letters have been mailed to Ms. Andrea Horvath, Leader of the Ontario NDP Party; Mr. Tim Hudak, Leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party; MPP Greg Sorbara; Honourable Kathleen Wynn, Minister of Transportation; Toronto Mayor, Robert Ford.
N. C. Waite
President, Bay Cloverhill Community Association
CC: Honourable Steve Peters, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario
Honourable Rick Bartolucci, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Honourable Michael Chan, Minister of Culture
Honourable Glen Murray, Minister of Research and Innovation
MPP Rosario Marchese
Mr. Tom Symons, Chair, Ontario Heritage Trust
Mr. Gary Wright, Toronto Chief Planner
Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam, Ward 27
Councillor Adam Vaughan, Ward 20