Stop the Demolition Deal

Stop the Demolition Deal

August 9, 2022
Petition to
Mayor Donna Reardon and
Signatures: 134Next Goal: 200
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Why this petition matters

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This is not a done deal. The owners of this property are working hard to make a deal with council for special treatment so they can retain control of this property, which is protected by the Heritage Bylaw, and requires that a property be put on the market for public sale before it can be demolished. 

In 1996, JD Irving, Limited purchased a residential property at 111 King Street East, commonly known as The Brown House. Since 2016, when the owner embarked on a large development of a parking garage nearby, the Brown House has sat vacant, has had power and utilities disconnected, and has been allowed to fall into disrepair.

JDI are now applying to the city to have this property removed from the heritage conservation area designation, effectively paving the way for the building to be demolished and bypassing the requirement for the property to be listed for sale. In a presentation to common council on July 11, JDI presented a plan to construct a play park, at an estimated cost of $500,000 - $1,000,000, far above the current assessed value of $259,100.

When asked what their plan B is if the application is denied, JDI representative Chris MacDonald stated "we don't have any plans for the site at all. It is likely the building will continue to deteriorate".

When asked why they would not want to sell the property, MacDonald stated "our building looks out over top of king street east, and so you know it's important from our perspective to maintain that property because then we have control over that property".

Link to July 11 council meeting on YouTube:

In effect, JDI are asking Common Council for an unprecedented exception to be made to the Heritage Conservation Bylaw, because they wish to maintain control of a property that they has been neglected for years.

In the second reading of this application, common council voted 5-4 in favour of supporting the application. Councillor Brent Harris, who campaigned on housing issues and has been outspoken on this issue, chose to remain absent from the vote.

In order for the demolition to move forward, this application requires a third reading in council. This is likely to take place in an upcoming council meeting in August. This is our opportunity to let council know how we feel about it.

Sara Stashick, a longtime resident with a background in community planning states “A desire for control is not a legitimate reason to ask for special treatment.”, and has voiced concerns that council is not using tall of the legislative tools available to them.

“Most councilors at the session seemed to share the sentiment that they simply don’t have any power to compel JDI to either improve the state of the property or sell it, and appeared resigned to granting JDI’s request for special treatment. What they seem to have missed is that the City had already begun exercising its authority by initiating the Vacant and Dangerous Buildings Program.”

We feel that this property needs to remain in the heritage conservation area, to ensure that due process can be followed to the full extent of the law, and the public can have confidence that these processes will be followed fairly and equally among property owners.

We are calling on Common Council to re-think their positions on this issue, to walk the walk, and stand up for what they believe in.





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Signatures: 134Next Goal: 200
Support now