Nomination of Beaconsfield Avenue as a Heritage Conservation District

Over the past decade, the West Queen West neighbourhood has undergone substantial development.  While this development has been focused in the West Queen West triangle area bounded by Queen Street West, Sudbury Street and Dovercourt Road, adjacent neighbourhoods have also witnessed some development.  This development has typically consisted of either minor, or at times major renovations to existing homes.

As many of you would agree, Ward 18 is comprised of unique and exciting neighbourhoods, one of which is undoubtedly Beaconsfield Village.  The history of this neighbourhood dates back to the mid-1800s, when a series of streets were built in the former Brookfield estate.  At the time, Beaconsfield Avenue became famous in this newly built neighbourhood due to its beautiful Victorian row and semi-detached houses.

The majority of the houses on Beaconsfield Avenue were built between the 1880s and 1890s.  Given the history, many of them have been designated as 'Heritage Buildings' by City Council.  These late 19th century houses define, maintain and support the historical character of the street.

At the present time, the unique built form on Beaconsfield Avenue, between Queen Street West and Argyle Street remains considerably intact.  Nevertheless, the local community has voiced concern over the potential disruption that future building applications can have on the character and heritage of this street. 

In response to community concerns, I am pleased to inform you that I moved a motion at the Toronto and East York Community Council in November 2015 requesting that Beaconsfield Avenue, between Queen Street West and Argyle Street, be nominated for consideration as a Heritage Conservation District.  This motion, which was unanimously approved by me and my colleagues at Community Council has initiated the process of protecting the unique and historic built form on Beaconsfield Avenue.  I have included a copy of my motion for your reference below. 

Should you have any questions on this process, please do not hesitate to contact my office at (416) 392-7012.

Sincerely,

Ana Bailão
City Councillor
Ward 18, Davenport

Text of Motion to Toronto and East York Community Council

Chair and Members
Toronto and East York Community Council
100 Queen St. West
Toronto ON, M5H 2N2

November 10, 2015

Dear Chair and Members:

Re: Nomination of Beaconsfield Avenue for Heritage Conservation District Study

The history of Beaconsfield Village dates back to the mid-1800s when a series of streets were built on the former Brookfield estate in the area bounded by Ossington Avenue, Queen Street West, Dufferin Street and Dundas Street West.  Beaconsfield Avenue in particular became the trademark street of the newly built neighbourhood with its beautiful Victorian row, and semi-detached houses.  It was named after British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, who was given the title 'Lord of Beaconsfield' by Queen Victoria.  

The houses on Beaconsfield Avenue and surrounding streets were built circa the 1880s and 1890s.   Many of the houses on Beaconsfield Avenue, between Queen Street West and Argyle Street, have been designated 'Heritage Buildings" by City Council, as they are well crafted examples of the late 19th century house form buildings that define, maintain and support the historical character of the street. 

To date, the distinct built form on Beaconsfield Avenue, between Queen Street West and Argyle Street, remains substantially intact; however, there are fears amongst community members that future building applications may eventually disrupt the character and heritage of this street.  A Heritage Conservation District study would help ensure that the late 19th century Victorian style built street is evaluated and preserved.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

1. That Toronto and East York Community Council

a)     Nominate Beaconsfield Avenue, between Queen Street West and Argyle Street, for consideration as a Heritage Conservation District;

b)     Request the Manager, Heritage Preservation Services, City Planning to review the nomination and bring forward a study authorization report should the area demonstrate sufficient cultural heritage value; and

c)     Request the Manager, Heritage Preservation Services to consider the nominated area for prioritization, should it satisfy all of the Council approved prioritization criteria.

Sincerely,

Ana Bailão
City Councillor
Ward 18, Davenport

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