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June 27, 2003
City makes progress in discussions about the site of Ontario's first parliament
  
Toronto City Council today directed staff to proceed with discussions aimed at
preserving the site of Ontario's first parliament. The site is located near the
intersection of Front Street East and Berkeley Street, and currently is
privately owned.

Discussions with an owner of part of the site have focussed recently on a set
of specific, creative proposals. Staff say they have been making progress in
the discussions and are optimistic about the prospects for a successful
conclusion.

"This is one of those rare occasions where opportunity and history are both
knocking on our door at the same time. We now have the basis for a deal that's
good for the owners, good for the City and good for the community. I'm proud of
the leadership my colleagues on Council have shown in this matter," said Pam
McConnell, councillor for Ward 28, in which the site is located.

Councillor McConnell expressed gratitude for the role which Heritage Toronto,
the South East Downtown Economic Redevelopment Initiative (SEDERI) and Citizens
for the Old Town have played in representing the views of the community and
heritage advocates.

Deputy Mayor Case Ootes also expressed satisfaction with the process.

"I look forward to the day when Council can approve a negotiated settlement
that brings this portion of the first Parliament site into public ownership,"
he said. "We want to work with the Province to see that the entire site becomes
public property so that many generations of Canadians will be able to
appreciate its historical significance."

In 2000, Council authorized an archeological assessment of the site, in
co-operation with the property owners. In 2001, the assessment discovered
artifacts and remains, which proved that Ontario's first parliament is located
on the site.

Council has directed staff to report back about the progress of discussions in
July.


Media contact:
Rita Davies, Managing Director, Culture Division, 416 397-5323



 

 

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