Letter to Councillor Saundercook - January 20, 2010

Mr. Bill Saundercook - Councillor
January 20, 2010

The proposed demolition of 66 Baby Point Road will result in the destruction of the historic architecture, ” built culture“, and unique character of the historic Home Smith Baby Point residential community.

This area has long been referred to as “a jewel” within the City of Toronto, with Wychwood Park, founded in the 19th Century, as perhaps its only legitimate rival. Baby Point has been continuously inhabited since the early 1600's. It was settled by James Baby in 1816.

In 1913, it became part of the Toronto Land Company holdings directed by Robert Home Smith. The utilization of space and street design by his development team resulted in an aesthetic integration of home and space that has stood the test of time.

Its historical and architectural heritage have been long established. Notable residents includethe late Conn Smythe, owner and manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs and his family, who were long-time residents of Baby Point Road.

The construction of the proposed replacement home on the site of 66 Baby Point Road will adversely affect the long standing architectural integrity of the neighbourhood. The projected property footprint and square footage (in excess of 6500 sq f) of the 3 story building are sufficient to qualify it as a “Mega Home”.

It is patently obvious that neither the owner or the architect of this McMansion, respect either the history of the “Baby Point Enclave” nor its “Built Culture” and architectural heritage.

The present home is a vintage “Arts and Craft” style house without any significant structural deficits or other significant blemishes that justifies its demolition.

There are several homes within the residential community that have undergone renovation and a concomitant significant increase in their respective inhabitable floor space. The vast majority, if not all of these renovated homes, have been done in good taste and continue to harmonize with the rest of the properties in the neighbourhood.. I cannot point to one of these properties that intrudes on the space of the present street scape the way that the proposed development does.

In addition, I am concerned that the size of the projected new home will exceed the flat portions of the lot to accommodate such a huge dwelling. A significant portion of the lot is on the steep slope of the Humber Ravine. It is my opinion that the projected construction to the rear of the house threatens the structural integrity of the ravine and its associated fragile ecosystem.

After a decade of exposure to requests from concerned individuals, non-profit organizations and governmental agencies for energy conservation, eco friendly waste management and a decrease in our collective carbon footprint, it is inconsistent for a governing authority to overtly support or otherwise endorse a mega project as submitted by the applicant as it relates to the demolition and redevelopment of 66 Baby Point Road.

Anne & Robert Galway

62 Baby Point Road

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