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NEWS: Estonian Centre gets green light (Summer 2019)

July 16th, 2019 · 1 Comment

Aerial view of the proposed 3-storey Estonian Cultural Centre and the set to be built at 9 and 11 Madison Ave. in Toronto. The building will have an eye-catching rooftop garden for visitors to enjoy. COURTESY ALAR KONGATS

New building plan clears hurdles at Committee of Adjustment

By Juan Romero

The Committee of Adjustment at the City of Toronto and the Annex Residents’ Association (ARA) have approved the latest changes proposed for the New Estonian Cultural Centre. The new centre, to be located in the Annex, will replace the current building, located on Broadview Avenue.

The Estonian Centre’s project committee had submitted eight minor changes to the design of the building. These changes, which included adjustments to the building’s eight and parking, were well received by neighbours.

“In the latest proposal we liked the design and we were in favour of the changes. We think it will be really beneficial for the Estonian community,” says Sandra Shaul, the chair and director of the ARA.

The three-storey building will be located on Madison Avenue, where the Green P parking is located, which is very close to the Estonian Tartu College.

On the building’s third floor there will be a music hall which will be used for special Estonian celebrations, as well as by the Estonian Choir and schools. COURTESY ALAR KONGATS

The new centre will be used by the Estonian Credit Union, the Estonian Choir, and Estonian schools and it will be occasionally rented out to third parties as well. Public events such as Estonian events and celebrations will also take place there.

Despite the wide approval for the development of the centre, the Estonian Vice-Consul in Toronto, Tom Heinsoo, says the community is divided on the project.

“Some people in the community thought it would be better to spend the money on the existing house on Broadview and renovate the current building,” says Heinsoo, who adds that he is in favour of the creation of a new centre. “I do think the majority of people realize that it wouldn’t be financially logical to renovate the old building since it would cost a small fortune to bring it up tomodern standards.”

According to the Estonian Centre’s due diligence report, the Madison Avenue project is set to cost approximately $25 million. Construction is scheduled to begin in January 2020.

Tags: Annex · News

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 An Estonian // Jul 20, 2019 at 1:20 am

    There is a lot more to “the community being divided”. The project is tearing the Toronto Estonian community apart! A number of larger Esto businesses/associations held a majority of votes and outvoted what the majority of individual
    Estonians actually wanted. This is a poor location for what our community needs. There is nothing wrong with fixing an older building. All things shiny and new are not the best options.