The city is adding three Gore district properties to a registry that would buy a little more time should anyone ever apply to demolish them.
All of the properties in the district that are listed in the city's heritage inventory, minus 24 and 28 King St. E., will be added to the downtown heritage register. That means should anyone apply to demolish them, there will be a wait time of 60 days after a permit is issued for council and the public to bring forward concerns. Currently, it's only 20 days.
"The net impact is another 40 days for us to have the opportunity to bring something forward if it's serious enough," said Tim McCabe, general manager of economic development.
The city issued a demolition permit to developer Wilson Blanchard for 24 and 28 King St. E. earlier this year to build a new development there, which sparked some outcry. That inspired Coun. Jason Farr of Ward 2 downtown to introduce the motion at the general issues committee on Monday.
The move bridges the gap between the properties being provincially designated — which would mean no demolition at all — and the usual 20-day period for other city properties, Farr said.
"It would allow for the kind of consultation that was obviously seen, albeit in the final hour here" on the Blanchard development, Farr said.
There is still opposition to the demolition of 24 and 28 King St. E., which were built in the 1870s. But Farr said he has faith in what will replace it.
"This is difficult nonetheless," he said. "I'm not going to sugar coat it. It's a tough decision. But I've said many times that bringing more people to the core is going to help us in the end."