On the tail of a controversial demolition permit for four Victorian buildings in Gore Park, the council has put forward a new bylaw. By-law 12-2 gives all new buildings an expiry date of 75 years, after which they must be torn down and rebuilt.
City Hall sources say a councilor pushed it through last-minute. “Basically, the idea behind the By-Law is to avoid arguments, especially with Brian McHattie – who wants to protect every decrepit building in town – and spur the construction industry. It’s really ingenious.”
Not everyone is happy about this bylaw. McMaster University representatives, who plan to expand their campus downtown, say that state-of-the-art research facilities are too costly to rebuild every 75 years. One mountain councilor shot back during the press conference, “You wouldn’t have to spend as much on materials if you knew it was getting torn down. This is a very progressive law, and no other city has even attempted it. New jobs, modern buildings, no arguments. Win-win-win.”
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