Allied Properties and RioCan have acquired 491 College St. and 289 Palmerston Ave. in Little Italy for $7.7 million. This might be another fight for downtown residents who are already battling RioCan over a proposed Walmart near Bathurst and Dundas. 491 College is the site of the Latvian House heritage building which was built in a classical revival style in 1910. The properties are currently being rented out (probably only as a parking lot), but the new owners intend to intensify the property over time by creating a mixed-use office, retail and residential complex. RioCan and Allied Properties, along with Diamond Corp., have also teamed together to build a massive new development at Spadina and Front Street at the site of The Globe and Mail headquarters.
The Latvian house was originally built in 1910 as Freemason's Hall by architects Edwards & Saunders and was designated a heritage property in the 1970s. The property and adjacent parking lot which used to serve as the community centre for Toronto's Latvian community has been sitting in a derelict state for the good part of a decade. While, the site certainly isn't suited for a Walmart if the former site of Kromer Radio doesn't pan out, it could certainly use some creative reuse. Will another neighbourhood battle brew?
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