New Lister Plan is Fairer

Jeremy Freiburger believes City Council finally "gets it" about preserving the Lister Block.

By Letter to the Editor
Published October 06, 2006

I was there for the City Council meeting that discussed the new Lister Block plan on September 27.

It seems as thought the plan is now one of "rehabiitation," as the architects called it: not full restoration or preservation but a hybrid approach.

They are now moving public health into the Lister instead of community services. This makes a lot of sense financially as the province contributes up to 75 percent of some costs when public health moves, but not so with community services. This will help offset the increased cost of this proposal.

The main floor will still be commercial from my understanding, with fewer spaces on the ground floor being taken up by the City and more by private businesses.

I honestly like the new plan. It's fairer, if still not completely fair in my eyes, and relatively progressive.

Last night, I honestly saw Council finally understand that the Lister must not be torn down. Both consultant architects made this abundantly clear, and council heard it in no uncertain terms. The building is sound and needs to be saved through this intervention process.

I'm happy with this plan.

Jeremy Freiburger

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By Trevor (registered) | Posted October 06, 2006 at 11:49:58

Is Public Health moving from the Right House to the Lister? If so that's hardly an improvement, since Right House will surely close then.

Commercial space on the ground floor? What is 2000 sq feet? Its one dinky little store, they probably mean moving the Right House Tim Hortons to Lister as well and call it mixed-use.

It time to consider Lister being a residential building. Styled into NYC apartments with a ground floor mall where the retail has two fronts, one to the street and one to the inner mall.

The low floor to floor height and support columns cause too many obstacles to a wide open office space, it just makes more sense as a residential building. James and King William is also more condusive to residential living.

If we need office space. Then build a proper post-modern tower at the parking lot of King and Bay. Or move into Stelco Tower and make the high vacancy rate look a little better on paper.

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By A Robot (anonymous) | Posted October 12, 2006 at 22:54:10

Stick them in the building that keeps pumping out the legionnaires... that'll teach em.

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By asdf (anonymous) | Posted October 18, 2006 at 13:02:53

I actually like the idea of converting to residential mentioned above... The current proposals are all crap. The city balked 5 or 6 years ago at renting office space at less than half what they're offering to pay now. Back then they said it was too expensive. Now they're falling all over themselves to pay the highest rent in the area... That's us that will have to pay that rent, whether it comes from the province or the city...

I've been in the building a few years ago. The structure is solid, the facade can be repaired with the damaged pieces of terra-cotta replicated in fibreglass for a reasonable cost. I couldn't find the lovely tile floor they go on about, and I was looking for it... Either way, the building is totally impractical for office use without major enlargement... It's actually very tiny inside.

Residential sounds like a really interesting idea + there's a pool in the basement already, but I'm not sure the Lister's big enough to pay for the renovations

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