New retail stores and second storey apartment planned for former TD building



There are exciting plans afoot for the former TD building on Huntsville’s Main Street.

Ben Jardine of Greystone Project Management was before Huntsville’s planning committee on July 10 representing the building’s new owners. He said the idea is to bring back some of the traditional architecture of the building, a blend of Gothic and Renaissance styles designed in 1926 by renowned architect John Macintosh Lyle whose more recognized work includes the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto and the Memorial Arch at the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, as well as contributions to Toronto’s Union Station.

“We’re very much trying to bring back the traditional, original architecture of the building, again highlighting the limestone mouldings, adding the inscribed signage over the central door, reverting the main entrance from the right side of the building back to the centre and then bringing back many of the original glazing details,” said Jardine.

A modern, residential second storey will be added to the building while the main floor will serve as retail space for two new stores — one with access off Main Street and the other to be accessed from the River Mill Park side of the building.

Wolfe Co. Apparel and Goods will be located on Huntsville’s Main Street and Zahara’s Boutique will be located on the King Street/River Mill Park side of the building.

The committee was pleased with the presentation and the site plan was approved. Committee chair Nancy Alcock said the proposal was “awesome” and Huntsville Mayor Scott Aitchison said, “it certainly activates the park side of the building in a way that we are very hopeful that others will soon emulate and catch on to so kudos, I think it’s fantastic.”

Rendering of the back of the proposed redevelopment of the former TD building, which will serve as the entrance for Zahara's Boutique

Rendering of the back of the proposed redevelopment of the former TD building, which will serve as the entrance for Zahara’s Boutique

You can find the staff planning report here.

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  1. Even in the mock-up, I see no concessions to accessibility. There is no designated, accessible parking space; no wheelchair ramp; the sidewalk across the face of the building appears to be too narrow; the entrance doors are not automated; etc. One would think that 14 years after the passage of the AODA, 2005; such obvious omissions would be noted by the Planning Committee. With one in seven people having at least one disability, it saddens me to see people without disabilities blithely praising such presentations. I can only imagine what the King William St. elevation and the plan view of the interior feature.

    • Debbie Kirwin on

      The AAC has been asked for comment on the site plan albeit post the planning committee approval. So often a rendering at the Site Plan stage is not always the final deal. By creating a new entrance, they are bound by the OBC to make it accessible. Nevertheless, all accessibility issues will be pursued by the AAC.

      • Thanks, Deb. I wasn’t aware of the order of reviews. For the record, it seems preemptive for PC to approve a site plan prior to the AAC review. After all, the additional costs might be problematic for the developer; or the particular, desired “look” might be spoiled by the changes (especially in unique architectural examples such as this).

        • Debbie Kirwin on

          No site plan gets final approval until all commenting agencies have provided comments and those comments have been addressed. If a motion was made to accept it, it would have been subject to to agencies comments. It was deemed to be a minor site plan as the building already exists. This is not the practice for new development. Accessible parking does appear on the site plan. All is good.

  2. Patricia Astley on

    There is not enough parking to accommodate this creative endeavor. Great things happen around this area but still, no one is addressing the need for a parking garage somewhere close by all this.

  3. This is a great design. I love the balconies for the tenants. It gives them outside space and the way the apartments have been integrated into the design. I’m sure the issues of accessibility will be addressed.

  4. There is not enough parking to accommodate this creative endeavor
    No problem Pat. They can park on some side street and walk two blocks.
    This is what is expected when shopping downtown Huntsville.

    • What is wrong with walking two blocks? unless one uses a wheelchair or has some other physical disability and cannot walk why do you need to park in front of the store or bank you are going into? I agree that the issue of parking is not being addressed but do not make this about lack of convenience for yourself.

    • I think the Town should pay a little extra to Huntsville Transit and have mini-buses running around the downtown every ten minutes or so. I don’t shop downtown as much as I would like to because I find the lack of parking spaces to be obnoxious–especially in the summer. If I could park my car at a parking garage (it could be made to be nice-looking rather than utilitarian) on the old Empire Hotel site, I could then catch a mini-bus to wherever I wanted to go downtown. Problem solved. Would require some capital for building the parking garage but, some enterprising car parking people just might jump at the chance to live and work in Muskoka.

  5. If I remember correctly we had 4 wheel chair parking spaces
    behind the old TD Bank building.
    I guess no more wheel chair access to shopping downtown anymore?

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