A home once owned by Toronto hockey legend Conn Smythe could soon be designated a heritage property -- but its new owners may not be on board.
“This is the house that many ideas started from and as far as Canada goes it is in our culture and history,” area resident Mary Anne Demonte-Whelan told CTV Toronto.
Smythe moved into the property on Baby Point Road, located in the Jane and Bloor streets area, in 1927.
The home was where Smythe lived when he changed the name of the city’s hockey team from the St. Pats to the Maple Leafs, switched the team’s colours to blue and white, built Maple Leaf Gardens, and won Stanley Cups before he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.
“We see the style of the house as being important,” chair of the Etobicoke York Community Preservation Panel Brian Mooney said. “Its arts and craft with Tudor additions. The house itself is beautiful.”
The home was recently sold for $2.7 million and members of the community said they believe the new owners are planning to tear it down and rebuild.
The new owners have hired lawyers to fight the heritage status, claiming they didn’t know the home’s history.
The Baby Point subdivision has been identified in the city’s Archeological Management Plan as an archeologically sensitive area, according to a city report on Aug. 19.
The report said the designation would “ensure that all of the heritage values and attributes of the site are identified and conserved.”
“If this property is not designated today, at any point in time it can be demolished,” Demonte-Whelan said.
For now, the home will be protected under a temporary heritage status granted following a unanimous vote at an Etobicoke York Community Council meeting Wednesday afternoon. The temporary status prevents the owners from demolishing the home while the permanent designation is being considered.
If there are objections, a hearing would be held by the Conservation Review Board and other officials to decide on the designation.