City of Brantford Council unanimously voted in favour of approving demolition permits for a downtown block during the Committee of the Whole – Planning and Administration meeting on Tuesday, October 10, 2023.
The City has received demolition applications for four properties within the Grey Street, George Street, Marlborough Street and Market Street block.
After a fire broke out at 28-30 Marlborough St. on August 28, 2023, the building was subsequently demolished in September and the owner has now submitted Non-Routine Demolition Applications to the City for their other properties including 187-203 Market St. (the building formerly known as The Alex), 11 Grey St., as well as 168 and 168 ½ George St..
While the vacant buildings remain secured and in adequate condition, a report prepared for staff noted that before the August fire, the Brantford Fire department received five emergency calls concerning the properties in 2023. The By-law and Security Services staff also responded to eight calls, seven of which were for insecure buildings such as plywood boarding being removed.
Due to the ongoing issues, the applicant wants to demolish the remaining buildings due to the risk of health and safety for the public.
The applicant also submitted an official plan amendment application and zoning by-law amendment application that would allow the entire property to be redeveloped into a mixed-use development.
The proposed building would include a five-storey podium and two 11-story towers that would contain a total of 216 residential units and approximately 209-square-meters of commercial space.
While applications for the by-law amendment were circulated around the community for comment, CN Rail submitted concerns to the City.
The City attempted to address the concerns from CN Rail with the applicant, however, the applicant decided to file an appeal with Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) due to the lack of a decision from the City within the allotted time frame. A pre-hearing conference has been scheduled by the OLT for February 2024.
Councillor Richard Carpenter said that he was in support of the demolition stating that “it will be a wonderful development for downtown.”
“I am very much in support of this demolition permit and the demolition of these buildings. This particular block had been in development proposal for a long time and I’m happy to see them move forward,” he said. “… In the long term, it’s going to be a wonderful development for the downtown, and it’s going to be part of a catalyst that will move downtown forward in residential development.”
The vote concerning Non-Routine Demolition Application was carried 11-0 and will come to council again at a later date for approval.