At the corner of Barrie and Colborne streets sits the home of Rose DeShaw, a place where she’s lived for decades.
Normally a quiet area near the city’s downtown, that may change because of construction.
“They’re asking for a 16-storey building, and it would be right next to my house,” says DeShaw.
Her house sits at the end of three other houses that are now owned by developers and currently used for student housing.
“We believed that this was our forever home. That was the whole idea,” Deshaw continues. “Finally, after renting for 35 years, we finally had a place that we could call our own…This was a big shock, a big surprise.”
According to Podium Development’s planning application to the city, it’s looks to turn the four-storey building at 275 Queen Street and the parking lot next to it into a “mixed-use residential and commercial building” with 227 residential units.
“Podium has been an active builder in Kingston for about 18 years, and we’ve always acted to be a good neighbour and worked with our community during the process,” says Podium Development Director of Development Christian Petersen. “We’re going to take the opportunity to present this development application and hear from both neighbours in the community, as well as the planning committee at the city of Kingston.”
Petersen says that, if the project does move forward, there shouldn’t be any reason for DeShaw to have to vacate her home during construction, but she remains worried.
“This is a real corner of people who are here and have homes and help and support one another,” DeShaw says. “I’ve had so much help and support and sympathy over the fact that it looks like I couldn’t…hold out against what somebody wants to do. But I surely hope that we can.”
King’s Town City Councillor Rob Hutchison says nothing is final yet, but he understands the concerns he is hearing from constituents.
“You know, you can’t tell people not to be concerned about something they should be concerned about,” Hutchison says. “But there’s no decisions being made, there could be changes as of yet, and we’ll have to see how the process goes.”
A public meeting will be held on April 21 at 6 p.m., at which point community members like DeShaw will have a chance to ask questions and voice their concerns.