A tale of two cities

One hotel landmark to become luxury condos, another proposed as homeless shelter

The City of Toronto should get ready to say goodbye to yet another two hotel landmarks— although their proposed replacement buildings are very different.

North York community council approved on Tuesday a proposal to convert the Don Valley Hotel, near Leslie and Eglinton avenues, into a luxury condominium buildings.

Originally built in 1963, the hotel was opened by the Four Seasons under the name, Inn on the Park. It was their first attempted venture outside of downtown Toronto.

Unsuccessful, it turned into a Holiday Inn and then was renamed the Don Valley Hotel after it was bought by Rowntree Enterprises.

Recently, HCA Architecture sought to amend zoning by-laws to allow for two residential towers on the site.

These 30- and 36-storey buildings are to be in addition to the existing six-storey hotel, which will be converted into 283 units, 141 hotel rooms and 142 residential units.

Meanwhile, in the east end of the city, city councillors are looking to service the needy with a former hotel.

Councillor Gary Crawford of Ward 36 has been working to transform a hotel in the Scarborough Southwest area into a homeless shelter.

The Comfort Inn East at 3306 Kingston Rd. is proposed to be renovated to house the Birchmount Men’s Residence. The proposed timeline for the project is spring of 2016.

“We’re doing what we can to do to help these residents achieve a higher quality of life,” Crawford said on a news release on his website. “This new facility will go a long way toward ensuring a safe and comfortable environment for its residents and staff.”

The current location of the Birchmount Men’s Residence at 1673 Kingston Rd. is said to no longer meet the needs of the residents.

Crawford’s website says that the “change of venue will mean that the facility’s residents, senior men aged 55 and up, will be able to enjoy a greater level of privacy and improved living conditions in a renovated, city-owned facility.”

The new location will be able to house up to 120 seniors, with professional support staff onsite around the clock.

A public information meeting on the city’s plan is to be held at Scarborough Village Recreation Centre on Nov. 17 at 6:30 p.m.