Demolition of rear half of 1873-era heritage house heralds construction start for Karma condo tower


Karma condo site

August 27 2012: Formerly a surface parking lot, the 9-21 Grenville Street site for the Karma condo tower has been fenced off for the past several weeks …


Karma condo site

… and work to prepare the site for construction of the 50-storey tower has finally started with the demolition of the rear half of the heritage house at 21 Grenville …


21 Grenville Street Toronto

… seen here on March 12 2011. The front half of the 139-year-old building will be relocated to the northeast corner of the property and incorporated into the condo development.


Karma condos

This artistic rendering, from the Karma condos website, shows how the heritage house will be positioned beside the northeast corner of the sleek glass tower …


Karma condos

… which will contain 495 units and  soar 50 storeys near the northwest corner of Yonge and College Streets. Karma was designed by architectsAlliance.


Construction karma: Demolition work on a brick house dating back to the early 1870s has signalled the long-awaited start of construction on the Karma condo tower near the northwest corner of Yonge and College Streets.

When I passed the Karma site this afternoon, I saw that the rear half of the John Irwin House, a city-designated heritage building, has been demolished. The 2 1/2-storey house was built around 1873 as a residence for John Irwin, a local contractor and municipal politician who developed a series of properties along Grenville Street. The house was added to the city’s list of heritage properties in 2007. A city background file, prepared as part of the listing process, explained that the property has cultural heritage value “as one of the last surviving examples of a house form building in this area, and for its Second Empire stylistic features.”



One thought on “Demolition of rear half of 1873-era heritage house heralds construction start for Karma condo tower

  1. Eric

    Why is it Tam Wong is always against tall buildings, when her riding is in the heart of downtown? Personally, I think she should have no say in it! She does NOT have a background in architecture, so what does she know about? We are a city of tall towers, the taller the better as far as I’m concerned. If people don’t want to live near tall towers, hen they’d better move out to the burbs, Toronto has no where to go but up. What she, and her constituents don’t seem to understand, is land is at a premium, so the more units hey can put on one property the better. As for this “fee” she requires the developers to dole out in order for an approval, I think it’s absolutely disgusting!! It’s nothing but blackmail! Essentially, she’s saying if you don’t fork over an extra few million, city council won’t approve your application. Notice how in this case she approved 50 floors, when, before the developer paid $2.8 million, 50 floors would have been to tall, but 50 floors + $2.8 million = approved proposal? It’s all dirty business, as for Tam Wong, she should be fired, or at the very least be removed from any influence on the approval process. If it were left up to her, our city would never grow! She belongs in the stone age! Just wait until she tries approving he application for 50 Bloor Street West. At 83 stories, I can just imagine the so called “neighbor improvement fee”( her worn words, said last year). She’s already stated she’s going to oppose it, why the hell do these flakes stay in office? She’s bad for business!!


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