The following is a cross-post of a missive sent out by Lloyd Alter, President of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario late last week. Two hangers at Downsview are slated for imminent demolition, but there may be time to stop it. When Downsview is finally (one day….one day) developed as a proper urban park, you can imagine the many ways these fine structures could be incorporated. Think of 401 Richmond, or the Artscape Whychwood Barns on Christie. Or even indoor soccer.
The Department of Defence is demolishing two world war 2 vintage hangars at Downsview Airport. Being the Feds, they don’t need a demolition permit and just go ahead and do it, even though they’re deemed significant and gained Recognized federal heritage building status. â€œRecognizedâ€ is the second of two levels of heritage status, the uppermost being Classified.
You have to wonder sometimes what people are thinking. Huge, clear span structures, spectacular lighting from those windows on the roof, close to the subway and highways, you could put these buildings to so many kinds of uses. But to the Department of National Defence they are just rusting inventory, so they are tearing them down….
Toronto Heritage developer Paul Oberman says stop. He wants to restore them and put them to use again, to make yet another landmark in Toronto. (And his track record is pretty good.) So email The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence (email or snailmail addresses here) and ask him to stop this waste, and give us a chance to look at alternatives.