November 9 2012
The historic Postal Station K in north Toronto has been sold to a private developer by Canada Post.
Postal Station K, located just north of Eglinton Avenue on Yonge Street was the site of a significant moment in Canadian history.
First built in 1937, the site housed The Montgomery Tavern – the birthplace of William Lyon Mackenzie’s Upper Canada Rebellion a hundred years prior in 1837.
The sale of the building to a private condo developer has sparked outrage among some local politicians.
“I think it’s absolutely shameful that the federal government would allow Canada Post to sell an historic public building to a private condo developer with ensuring that it would be protected,” Councillor Josh Matlow said.
A spokesperson for Canada Post tells Global News that an agreement has been signed with The Rockport Group, a private developer.
The decision was made in part because of recent financial losses by Canada Post.
A plaque outside of the Canada Post building states that the Upper Canada rebellion contributed “significantly to the legislative union of Upper and Lower Canada in 1841 and to the establishment in Canada of responsible government.”
“Postal Station K is a deep part of north Toronto’s heritage. In fact, it’s a big part of Canada’s heritage,” Matlow said. “The building itself is one of the few buildings in the British Empire with King Edward the VIII insignia before he abdicated the throne.”
“Canada post was allowed to sell it like it was some parking lot and that’s wrong.“
It’s currently unclear who the building was sold to but some city councillors are working on designating the building a heritage site.
“We assured Ward 16 and the Yonge-Eglinton community that any new owner(s) of Postal Station K must preserve the space at the front of the building as a public space, remaining accessible to all our residents in the manner they enjoy it now,” Councillor Karen Stintz wrote in a statement to her constituents.
“Canada Post and the prospective owner are aware that Station K will be designated a Heritage Building and that the façade is especially important.”
On October 30, city council voted to begin the process of designating the site a heritage building – which in effect would protect the legacy of the building.
In the same motion, city council designated the small space in front of Postal Station K a “green space,” and that any redevelopment of the land should consider the “heritage significance” of the building.
The motion though may “lack teeth,” Matlow said, suggesting that developers are able to circumvent city council decisions.
The potential sale of the building sparked much protest in previous months with rallies led by MPP Mike Colle and City Councillor Josh Matlow.