There has been a decision made on what to do with one of Toronto’s oldest rooming houses. Built in 1890, the Palace Arms has been a staple in the King and Strachan area. Ever since it was listed for sale in 2014, the real estate world has been watching closely. Developers have finally announced that they are moving forward with redevelopment.

Although no formal plans have been announced and details are still under wraps, an application for development was submitted last Friday. Initial drawings submitted by Sweeny & Co Architects show a bit of an unusual design that will encompass the original heritage building.

The plans, thus far, indicate that the building will be a mix of condo units, ranging from one to three bedrooms and some retail space.

There is also a plan to have some rental unit available. Some living space will be designed into the current historical building. The current layout of dwelling rooms, while offering affordable to those with limited budgets, does not provide a high-quality living environment. The plan is to turn these into smaller units as “efficiency suite condo units”.

The area residents have not been in favour of the build. The local Facebook groups have been flooded with comments and angry residents are calling the design “ugly” and “horrid”. Some have gone so far as to ask if it is possible not to move forward with the project. It also sounds as though the city wasn’t behind the design when it was submitted. A new consultation meeting has taken place and the city is expecting a final report in the second quarter of 2019.

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