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Waterfront: West Don Lands (DTAH)

There are many shots on of it. A friend of mine took some amazing shots
The whole neighbourhood plan is designed around that building and restaurant, so I'm wondering how the TWRC is going to handle it.
You may have the clue to an answer right there: the building's already recognized as a critical (and genuinely historical) centerpiece, Canary or no Canary.

Methinks that unless a fire ravages it beyond repair, it'll be earmarked for some kind of community facility--and it may even work out better (i.e. less theme-parky/festival-marketplacey/contrived) as such than the Distillery District.

Heck, don't rule out the Canary itself resurrected in some (maybe necessarily gentrified) form...
It needs white and orange tiles for a Pizza Pizza outlet.

(ducks and covers)
And from the Globe:

This Canary is singing the blues
Venerable diner shuts
Zosia Bielski, National Post
Published: Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The venerable Canary Restaurant has died, unable to survive the lean times while awaiting waterfront revitalization.

"We're done like dinner," Tom Vlahos announced from behind the bar at the Front and Cherry street landmark, the Canary's retro chairs stacked neatly on the tables.

Mr. Vlahos' mother, Rita, decided to call it quits on Friday. Three months behind in rent, Ms. Vlahos had begun dipping into her pension to save the restaurant she and her late husband, Steve, had operated since 1986. A great uncle had moved the Canary to the corner in the mid-1960s after his original location at Dundas Street West and University was expropriated.

Tom Vlahos' brother, Nick, who along with sister Ana Wovanovski operated the restaurant, sat stunned in the darkened room yesterday. He had dropped out of high school to help his father Steve run the business. Now in his forties, he is jobless, his close family's precious "eggs all gone in one basket."

The family blames the closure of the Bayview extension one year ago for the Canary's collapse.

"That killed us," Ms. Vlahos said. A re-constructed Bayview is to be the centrepiece in the West Don Lands, a $213-million, two-decades long waterfront development project that would transform the area from contaminated wasteland into a modern, mixed-use community.

"We were never making big money at it, but we were making enough to survive. This just took everything else out of it," Mr. Vlahos said.

Even though his regulars were still making the trek out every weekend, weekdays were grim: The Canary was pulling in a paltry $150 a day, a far cry from its glory days when Torontonians would line up at 4:30 a.m. and its legendary meatloaf got reviewed in the local papers.

But construction closed off the area last year, and the film crews the Canary had come to depend on disappeared too. They had hoped to make it to 2008, which is when the Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Corp. promised its first occupants.

The final vision for West Don Lands includes affordable rental housing blended with new homes, an eight-hectare park, daycares, a community centre and a school.

Yesterday morning Ms. Vlahos gave her landlord, the provincially run Ontario Realty Corporation, 30 days notice of her intent to leave.

"I feel like somebody's dead, that's how dead I feel," Ms. Vlahos said.

A note on the door broke the bad news for customers who didn't get to say goodbye on the weekend, and thanked them for four decades of patronage.

"This has been a very difficult decision for our family?we feel like the Canary was our second family," it read.

The note also included an email address for those hoping to help out by buying a piece of history. Yesterday, Ms. Vlahos wasn't sure if her sons would be selling the Canary's trademark sign, its brilliant yellow bird looking down on the corner.

"Maybe if they get a good price for it," she added. Address your bids

© National Post 2007

anyone know the status of the West Donlands project? from my daily ride on the Queen Streetcar it looks to have stalled. i thought the infrastructure (roads etc) was supposed be completed by the of 2007. i guess this one is moving at typical Toronto speed
^I thought there was some work being done near the river (for the eventual birm) and some soil remediation under way.
I forgot about the Martin Goodman Trail being done around Ontario Place. That's great! Also love all of the other updates. Thanks for posting that link.


It kinda reminds me of the description of Fitzgerald's Valley of Ashes in the Great Gatsby.