Recent reports that the Queen’s Park may expropriate the First Parliament site, at Parliament and Front Streets, for construction of the Metrolinx Ontario Line offer another reminder of the dual problems of “out of sight, out of mind” and the familiar refrain we hear from politicians and planners when considering development of properties with heritage value, that ‘heritage is only one concern of many.’
Metrolinx has announced it is expropriating property at the southwest corner of Front Street East and Parliament Street, adjacent the Distillery District. Metrolinx is expropriating the site of the first Parliament buildings of Upper Canada, which predates Confederation. Hence the naming of Parliament Street.
The Doug Ford government's decision to expropriate downtown Toronto properties once home to Upper Canada's first parliament came as a surprise, city officials say — prompting one councillor to insist the land is "not for sale."
Sheltered from the rain in the old Porsche dealership on Front Street at Berkeley, the Ontario Government announced yesterday the next step in the ongoing efforts to honour the site of the first parliament buildings of Ontario, then Upper Canada.
Ever wonder why Parliament Street is nowhere close to Queen's Park? The reason is that Queen's Park is actually Ontario's third parliament building. The second was located where Roy Thomson Hall is today. And the first? It was located at the southwest corner of Parliament and Front Streets. Today the site is occupied by a car wash and a Porsche dealership. Plans are now underway that will hopefully finally properly acknowledge the important historical nature of this location.