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Home to 1500 federal bureaucrats, the Dominion Public Building sits on a prime piece of downtown real estate. The property is zoned “commercial residential” and building regulations would permit a tower up to 137 metres tall. But it’s also registered on TORONTO’s heritage inventory and forms part of the Union Station Conservation District. <PHOTO ABOVE – GregRob.ca>
Built between 1929 and 1935 and designed by architect T. W. Fuller, the neoclassical structure is an important federal tax administration centre. Its curved facade forms a large part of the Front streetscape, and is a key site in the history of the federal government in TORONTO. It will go to a major developer for a fortune.
<PHOTO ABOVE – Toronto Public Library>
Although the interior and exterior heritage features of the former customs house will be protected, the building will likely become a significant development site. Depending on what the city permits, the site might allow up to 1-million square feet, suitable for a hotel and/or residentials. A city staff report says “it is up to the real estate industry to bring 21st century design and conservation excellence to one of TORONTO’s most important and busiest intersections, and in the context of the urban design of Union Station.”