May 23, 2014 7:12 pm

Businessman might spend $1M to move ‘free’ Toronto house


TORONTO – The historic Toronto coach house that was up for grabs – for free – has a buyer.

Business owner Robert Hiscox has made an offer to Casey House, the speciality HIV/AIDS hospital that owns the building, to move the house from it’s current location on Isabella Street to a nearby residential area.

“It’s part of shared history in the city of Toronto,” he said. “Rather than see it go into landfill, we think it’s very merit worthy to try and save it.”

Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam suggested in April that whoever takes the house could have it for free – as long as they pay for it to be moved.

Hiscox plans on spending approximately $1 million to lift a portion of the structure from where it sits and transport it two kilometres. At the end of the journey, it would replace a three-car garage at the back of a property he has purchased on Roxborough Street.

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Neighbours in the area are concerned with the plan and what it means to have a new home moved into the community.

“The coach house is too big for the space,” said Peter Rehak. “The developer has asked the lot be severed, which brings the fear that this will happen all over the place.”

Sam Jephcott simply doesn’t like the look.

“It’s not a heritage building or historic building, ” he said. “It’s a very ordinary staff quarters that is approved for demolition,” he said.

Zoning bylaws would normally prevent the property from housing two residences but that’s not stopping the city’s Commitee of Adjustment from debating the idea on June 11.

Hiscox has launched a petition with the hope of finding support from others interested in preserving Toronto’s history.

The coach house needs to be moved by Labour Day to make room for renovations at Casey House in the fall.

© 2014 Shaw Media

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