The President of the prestigious Architectural Conservancy of Ontario (ACO), Catherine Nasmith, is to speak in Newmarket next month about the looming threat to the Town’s Heritage Conservation District. She will also describe similar struggles elsewhere in Ontario where developers and local communities have locked horns.

The meeting will be held at 7pm on Thursday 14 April 2016 at Trinity United Church, 461 Park Avenue, Newmarket. The venue is directly opposite the site of Bob Forrest’s proposed seven storey Clock Tower development.  The location is in the heart of the heritage district where a Town-mandated three storey height cap ostensibly applies.

Forrest backs the Heritage Conservation District but says it should not apply to the lands in his ownership. He has appealed to the OMB on this point.

The meeting is open to the public. All are welcome.

Councillors to debate Forrest’s plan

The race to preserve Newmarket’s unique panoramas and vistas in one of Ontario’s most immediately recognisable historic Main Streets will move up a gear when two key committees meet to consider Forrest’s plans.

The influential Heritage Newmarket Advisory Committee meets at 7pm on 5 April 2016 at the Town’s HQ at 395 Mulock Drive.  Then the Town’s Committee of the Whole meets at 1.30pm on Monday 18 April 2016. Councillors will receive a detailed report from the Town’s planners and will decide whether the proposal should go out for the second time to a public meeting.

 Chronology: Bob Forrest and the Clock Tower

30. Forrest’s Clock Tower up for decision on 18 April 2016

Dave Ruggle, the senior planner responsible for the Clock Tower file, told the Heritage Newmarket Advisory Committee last night that Bob Forrest’s proposed redevelopment on Main Street will likely be considered ...

Created on 09 March 2016

29. The Heritage Impact Assessment of Bob Forrest’s Clock Tower Planning Application is to be “Peer Reviewed” but who decides who does the reviewing?

... HQ at 395 Mulock Drive. The agenda at item 8(b) under “Designated property Maintenance and Concerns” refers to Main Street Clock Tower – 178-180 Main Street. These heritage properties have been boarded ...

Created on 05 March 2016

28. The Clock Tower and Land Ownership

As we all know, Bob Forrest’s proposed seven storey apartment block in the heart of Newmarket’s heritage conservation district can only go ahead if the Town agrees to a land swap. In documents lodged ...

Created on 23 February 2016

27. Bob Forrest and the Clock Tower Redevelopment

Bob Forrest has spent five long years on the Clock Tower project. Patiently assembling the land he needs for his giant disfiguring condo in the heart of Newmarket’s historic downtown. But has he bitten ...

Created on 05 January 2016

26. Showdown looms between Main Street Business and Van Bynen over condo in the heart of the Historic Downtown

Back Story:  1 March 2011 the Clock Tower on Newmarket's historic Main Street was purchased from Premier Retirement Residences Inc for $2,340,000 by 2259613 Ontario Inc also known as Main Street Clock ...

Created on 20 December 2015

25. Van Bynen set to give approval to condo blighting Newmarket’s historic Main Street

Backstory: The developer Bob Forrest bought the Clock Tower (the old Post Office) in the Town’s Lower Main Street Heritage Conservation District in 2011 for $2.3m and the adjacent properties at 184-194 ...

Created on 16 November 2015

24. Clock Tower Condo is coming back again - and other matters

... whispers are. Forrest has told the Town that a resubmission of the Clock Tower proposal is on the way. But it is too soon to say if planning staff will recommend a new statutory public meeting. Given ...

Created on 05 June 2015

23. The Clock Tower: here we go again

Bob Forrest's monstrous application for a condo in the heart of Newmarket's historic downtown could be on its way back. Forrest put the Clock Tower up for sale in June last year but the last time I checked ...

Created on 09 April 2015

22. Tony Van Bynen

...  The Clock Tower on Main Street South Hundreds of hours of Newmarket planning staff time (paid for by the taxpayers) have been devoted to Bob Forrest’s notorious condo project which, had it been allowed ...

Created on 06 October 2014

21. The Clock Tower and Joe Sponga

... downtown. But all we ever heard were mumbles. Forrest put the Clock Tower and his other Main Street properties up for sale on 19 June 2014. 26 days to the election (Just after this blog was posted ...

Created on 01 October 2014

20. Whatever happened to… King George School?

... might relocate some of his business tenants on Main Street South to the old school with the idea of making it some kind of “community hub”. (This was before he decided to cut his losses and put the Clock ...

Created on 09 September 2014

19. The Clock Tower is up for sale

The Clock Tower and adjacent buildings owned by developer and self-styled entrepreneur, Bob Forrest, is up for sale. An ad in the Business Section (page B13) of today's Globe and Mail states this: FOR ...

Created on 19 June 2014

18. The Clock Tower, Joe Sponga and where are we now?

Why is the Clock Tower saga dragging on with no resolution in sight? Almost two months ago, members of the public blew a giant raspberry at Bob Forrest’s plan to dump a nine storey condo in the middle ...

Created on 26 April 2014

17. Clock Tower eviction threat lifted – for now

... be putting a report on the Clock Tower to the Committee of the Whole in April. Councillors should reject the Forrest condo plan outright. The question then is how long will Forrest want to hold on to ...

Created on 04 March 2014

16. Nine Storey Clock Tower condo gets the thumbs down

... always insist it has got to be done their way or they can’t make money. He sees the pattern repeating in Slessor Square, Glenway and now the Clock Tower. Dave Kerwin, a Newmarket councillor since Confederation, ...

Created on 05 February 2014

15. Council can veto Clock Tower development

... ground, that the developer needs from the Town. There are a million reasons for rejecting Forrest’s Clock Tower development and these will be raised tomorrow at the Statutory Public Meeting. But it ...

Created on 02 February 2014

14. NINE Storey Condo planned for Newmarket’s historic Main Street

A last minute revision of plans for the Clock Tower development in Newmarket’s Main Street South will plant a 9 storey condo in the heart of the historic downtown, utterly destroying its character. The ...

Created on 23 January 2014

13. Clock Tower Statutory Meeting

The Statutory Public Meeting on the proposed Clock Tower development on Newmarket's historic Main Street will take place at 7pm on Monday 3 February 2014 in the Council Chamber at 395 Mulock Drive. Anticipating ...

Created on 17 January 2014

12. The Clock Tower

Bob Forrest’s plans to build a seven story condo on Main Street South, demolishing historic commercial properties in the process, could be stopped dead in its tracks if the Town refuses to make land available ...

Created on 26 November 2013

11. Heritage District gets go ahead despite plea from developer to delay

The Town’s historic Main Street South received heritage status at the Council meeting on 21 October despite an eleventh hour plea by Clock Tower owner Bob Forrest to defer the decision. Forrest wants ...

Created on 27 October 2013

10. Demolition on Main Street

... owner, Main Street Clock Inc, (aka the Forrest Group) is terminating the lease, citing demolition and redevelopment as a reason, even though there is no certainty the Council will give approval to demolish. ...

Created on 02 October 2013

9. Clock Tower developer needs Town owned land

... Michael Bryan who owns properties on Main Street that are needed if the monster Clock Tower development is to go ahead. My spies tell me that Bryan has been offered $1.7m – but only on condition that ...

Created on 16 July 2013

8. We need a Heritage By Law now - not when it is too late to matter

... on the proposed Clock Tower development given by Chris Bobyk (see earlier blog post). Councillors now know what is in the developer’s mind even though no formal application has been lodged. The Clock ...

Created on 21 June 2013

7. Clock Tower plans get rough ride

... immediately behind and dwarfing the iconic Clock Tower. With a straight face, Bobyk assures councillors his goal is “to preserve the historic character of Main Street”. His boss, the close cropped self ...

Created on 18 June 2013

6. Developer to give presentation on plans to transform Newmarket's historic downtown on Monday 17 June

The Forrest Group - the developers who are determined to wreck Newmarket's historic downtown by erecting a condo on the iconic Clock Tower site - will be addressing a special Committee of the Whole at ...

Created on 14 June 2013

5. The Clock Tower redevelopment on Main Street

... the Clock Tower site in Main Street South (see earlier posts below). In January 2011 the Clock Tower Inn Retirement Residence was offered for sale at $3,275,000. On 1 March 2011 it was snapped up for ...

Created on 30 May 2013

4. Historic Newmarket needs a By Law now - before it is wrecked by developers

... Street, the Forrest Group, is methodically putting together plans to redevelop the Clock Tower site and demolish irreplaceable historic commercial buildings in the heart of the old downtown. Councillors ...

Created on 30 April 2013

3. Developers are taking us all for fools

... behind the proposed Clock Tower redevelopment – the Forrest Group - are taking us all for fools. Chris Bobyk (see below) and his colleagues want us to believe it is possible to dump a huge condo in the ...

Created on 16 April 2013

2. Developer promises to bring "vitality" to Newmarket's historic downtown

I am in the Community Hall at Doug Duncan Drive waiting for the Clock Tower developer to tell us why Newmarket’s historic Main Street needs a giant condo building as a backdrop. The meeting has not been ...

Created on 04 April 2013

1. Developers are out to wreck Newmarket's historic Main Street

Newmarket's delightful Main Street is about to get an unwanted make-over. The Clock Tower Development, if councillors give it the go ahead, will superimpose a brutal new addition to the skyline in one ...

Created on 01 April 2013

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