Why is the BWVRA concerned only with the height and bulk of the proposed Humber Theatre development and not with the quality of the building architecture?
Our Association is acutely aware of the opportunity this highly visible location at the western end of the Village presents for a special landmark building incorporating distinctive architecture and high quality exterior finishes. Unfortunately the Planning Act of Ontario, that sets out the rules for regulating new development, provides our City Planners with very limited authority, and no effective opportunities for residents, to influence the architectural details and the quality of the finishes on any given proposal. Therefore, these important aspects of a development are left almost entirely to the discretion of the proponent.
However, the Planning Act does empower municipalities, communities within them as well as individual residents, with considerable latitude to influence the ultimate built form of new developments. Therefore, this is what decisions to approve or not approve, at both City Council and the OMB, are usually all about. So that is where BWVRA focuses its efforts, when we believe that a proposed re-development does not respect the pedestrian-friendly scale and mid-rise context of Bloor West Village.