Blackfriars residents celebrate, but development concerns continue
Plans to bulldoze a small, old home on Wilson Avenue in the city’s Blackfriars neighbourhood to build a large duplex have been cancelled, at least for now.
Area resident Kevin Bice says “Well initial reaction is wonderful, we're really elated.”
After weeks of talks with London’s city council, residents of the Blackfriars area finally heard some good news about 108 Wilson Avenue.
A developer had proposed plans to turn the home into a two-story, 10-bedroom duplex. But residents feared it would be the beginning of the end for the quaint neighbourhood.
Bice says “The problem we had was that it was completely inappropriate, and to find other means of at least drawing attention to the issue and stopping it if we could.”
Now council has halted the development for a year as it studies whether the neighbourhood merits heritage status.
But the battle isn't quite over with the same developer buying a property on Albion Street and at 12 Leslie Street, with the same plan to build large duplexes.
Councillor Paul Hubert says “There's a lot of work to be done with this heritage study so that we can continue to protect these neighbourhoods but also encourage development in them that’s appropriate.”
Hubert also says it is important for residents to continue trying to protect their neighbourhood in a proactive way.
“Neighbours need to be vigilant about their neighbourhood...Caring about the people and the nature of their neighbourhood.”
Details about the heritage study are expected to be released in the next few months.