Posts tagged ‘Downtown London’

London: “We need to have pilot projects up and running. We want to be leaders, not followers.”

The city is moving ahead as quickly as possible to get a solar panel pilot project started on public buildings.

The city’s investment and economic prosperity committee will on Monday ask an outside company, Ameresco Canada, to put together a plan that will give green energy companies a framework to bid on solar panel projects.

In July, London-based solar energy company German Solar Corp. told the committee they were ready to mount panels on 10 city rooftops as part of a pilot project.

The project would create 337 jobs in eight years, 219 skilled-labour jobs and 108 operations and maintenance positions in 20 years, the company president predicted.

Another 1,200 jobs would be created indirectly, the company said.

“We’ve had two or three companies that are interested in putting panels on public property,” said Joe Swan, chair of the investment and economic prosperity committee.

“We need to come up with a licensing fee to lease the space, figure out the cost of installation and the return on investment.

“The marketplace is ready to implement these and the city hasn’t developed a framework.”

Ameresco Canada will develop the framework so the project gets off the ground, Swan said.

“This got support from council to move as quickly as possible,” Swan said.

“We need to have pilot projects up and running. We want to be leaders, not followers, in this.”

Source: The London Free Press


September 9, 2012 at 5:38 pm Leave a comment

Proposed Commercial Building Represents an Important Milestone in London’s Downtown Revival

A Windsor developer plans to build a three-storey, 30,000-square-foot building at Richmond and Carling streets on what is 15,000 square feet of parking space and a Sammy’s Souvlaki stand, next to Moxie’s restaurant. The new space will feature a “funky” exterior design and just may be a new home to a new Shoppers Drug Mart in the core. If the tenant is a new Shoppers, that will help the downtown as the existing store on Dundas St. is small, old and does not have the larger grocery line found in new stores. It is not a grocery store, but along with the market, will offer a good lineup of foods for downtown residents.

“This is excellent news,” beamed Janette MacDonald, manager of Downtown London, formerly MainStreet. “It will be well built. The builder has an eye for urban design.”

The builder is Rocco Tullio, who owns Rock Developments in Windsor. “London is a good market. It is somewhat insulated from the economy,” he said. “That is a good corner, in the heart of downtown. It’s a great site and we are looking forward to building a first-class office building.” He would not comment on rumours a Shoppers may locate there, but said a major tenant is interested. “I am confident we will make this go.”

Construction could begin this year or in spring 2011, depending on how fast the development moves. The land, about one-third of an acre, was sold by Dennis Dimitrakopoulous who operates several parking lots in the city. The space behind the new building will remain parking.

I just hope it looks helluva lot better than all of Rock’s boring big-box designs.


March 24, 2010 at 2:23 pm Leave a comment

Farhi Holdings Acquires Market Tower in London

He just keeps adding to his already huge portfolio. Do other developers even exist in the downtown??

After two decades of attempting to buy the property, London developer Shmuel Farhi has acquired the historic Market Tower building on Dundas St. “I was looking at this building for the past 20 years and I’m glad we are able to put it to sleep and add to our holdings in downtown London. We believe in the downtown,” Farhi, head of Farhi Holdings Corporation, said. Farhi said Market Tower is a beautiful building.

The Market Tower Building is a strategic purchase for the company, giving Farhi control of the west side of Richmond between Dundas and King Streets. Farhi Holdings owns the Royal Bank building on Dundas. The two properties have more than 350,000 square feet of office space. The Market Tower building at the corner of Dundas and Richmond Streets was a focal point for the downtown when it was the Simpsons department store.

Farhi Holdings other downtown London properties include:

  • TD Canada Trust building at 220 Dundas St.;
  • 201 Queen’s Ave.;
  • Bell building at 100 Dundas St.;
  • Duffield Building at 215 Dundas St.;
  • Wright Litho building at 424 Wellington St.; and,
  • The former Royal Trust Building at 137 Dundas.


March 24, 2010 at 2:07 pm Leave a comment

Fanshawe College to Move to London’s Downtown? YES PLEASE!

A downtown Fanshawe College campus could produce greater economic spinoffs than the John Labatt Centre, arguably the highest-profile piece of the city’s core-revitalization efforts. That’s the reaction of Bob Usher, chairperson of Downtown London, to the proposed Fanshawe campus that could become the heart of a potential education and arts district. “I think it’s as important as the JLC, or more so,” Usher, who runs Covent Garden Market, said Tuesday. “This is every day — students and staff and people coming in to participate.” He also added that, “JLC is hit and miss, some days we have it, some days we don’t. You’re not at the whim of ‘what’s the next big rock band (coming in).’ ”

London is working with Fanshawe College on a downtown campus housed in heritage buildings, a plan that’s potentially the final major piece of city hall’s effort to revitalize the core. The proposed plan, which would be rolled out during the next decade with $10 million in city subsidies, is the backbone of a hoped-for education and arts district city officials want to turn into a tourism hub. Because it would cost Fanshawe more to renovate old downtown buildings than to build new structures elsewhere, the city has proposed a subsidy of up to $10 million to help cover those extra costs.

The proposed district, focused on Dundas and Richmond streets, would be bounded by Talbot, Kent, Clarence streets and just of south Dundas St. to Market Lane. “We’re not looking for one big, contiguous block,” said Bernice Hull, the college’s vice-president of administration. “We’re really focusing on the district concept.” Fanshawe, looking for as much as 100,000 sq. ft. for an eventual 1,000 students in a so-called School for Applied and Performance Arts, is interested in underused or empty “heritage-type” buildings to buy and renovate.

Fanshawe now offers its theatre arts program in the former Galleria mall, now CitiPlaza, where its lease lasts another five years, but needs additional space to offer new theatre-related programs. Fanshawe also is eager to partner with professional arts groups, specifically the Grand Theatre and Orchestra London, to create mentoring and other opportunities for its students. The city proposal, heading to council’s board of control Wednesday, would see those Fanshawe spaces also used on nights and weekends for youth-focused arts events, creating a potential tourism magnet.

Personally, I think the district should be bound by Dundas, Wellington, York and Richmond Streets. There are so many derelict and under utilized buildings in this area than for the area they are proposing… Bring some life back to other parts of the downtown!

Source(s): and

February 11, 2010 at 1:11 pm Leave a comment

High Speed Rail Symposium

Earlier this evening I had attended the London High Speed Rail(HSR) Symposium, which was an interesting mini conference with 3 industry experts,each representing their respective rail manufacturing company (Alstom, Siemens and Bombardier) along with a former federal transportation minister, David Collenette. Basically all the experts along with the former minister agree that HSR is a viable alternative to transportation within the Windsor – Quebec Corridor, however the only way we can make it happen is if we get a high power champion to move the cause along and bring it to the forefront. Personally I believe that if there was a HSR system in the Windsor-Quebec corridor and London was a stop it would create great opportunities for our city to grow as well be a major boost to our downtowns’ redevelopment. We could essentially become a Toronto bedroom community- but before we do that we need to raise the standards of design and quality of life by enhancing our public realm. With the transportation technology available to us, these days, people are able to live in cities just because they enjoy the character and life style it offers and commute to work in a city 200km’s away in just under an hour. London really needs to step up to the plate and play ball if we want to continue to grow and flourish, I do believe we are on the right track especially with what is going on in our Downtown.

Here is an article from the London Free Press about the Symposium;

Next economy: High-speed rail plugged in London


A high-speed rail line would change London into a flourishing Toronto bedroom community, an industry expert says.

Chuck Wochele, a vice-president with international rail manufacturer Alstom, told a London symposium tonight such rail lines — which carry passenger trains as fast as 170miles an hour — are successful across Europe and could spur enormous growth in London.

“It changes the dynamics of cities,” said Wochele, who called London a “perfect” stopping point on a high-speed line. “You would get people moving away from Toronto to live here and commute to work every day.

“It would be a breeze commute.”

Wochele was one of several industry veterans who were to discuss the merits of high-speed rail, which proponents say should run from Windsor to Quebec.

The issue has been discussed for decades, but prohibitive construction costs have stood in the way.

The event was run by Paul Langan of High Speed Rail Canada — a group he says gets no funding from industry heavyweights such as Bombardier. He’s speaking in cities nationwide, promoting what he says was “neglected in Canada for 50 years.”

Coun. Judy Bryant and city planner John Fleming pushed for Langan to bring his presentation here.

“We need to work very fast if we’re going to be relevant in the 21st century,” Bryant said.

As if to prove the benefits of high-speed rail, the main speaker, a former federal transportation minister, David Collenette, was late — stuck in traffic on the Hwy. 401.

At the conclusion of the meeting, Paul Langan urged everyone in attendance to sign up to the High Speed Rail Canada advocate group on his website:
He also told everyone it is important to write letters to our MP’s and MPP’s and show them our interest in the subject. It is important that we get a political champion in order for HSR to happen!


May 28, 2009 at 9:42 pm Leave a comment

Dundas-King Pedestrian Mid-block Connection: A Downtown Public Space Concept

Last semester we were asked by our professor to create an independent project that would be one of the key pieces in our portfolios. As I am interested in Urban Design, urban renewal and I am active in the revival of downtown London, naturally I chose to do a concept project for the downtown.

I realized that the downtown lacks in quality urban spaces to entertain those who live in the core and those who are there to shop and visit.


I looked at the available spaces to create an interesting public space and narrowed it down to two, the parking lots between Dundas Street and King Street, and King Street and York Street [Site 1]. This would create an direct pedestrian mid-block connection between Dundas Street and the VIA train station on York Street; and the other site was the parking lots at Richmond Street and Carling Street [Site 2].


Listing the pro’s and con’s of each site I chose to do the midblock connection, however because of time constraints I could only do the portion between Dundas and King.

Realizing that this is an existing parking lot, that is usually full on weekdays, it would be important to re allocate the parking somehow. My solution to this is that there would be a public private partnership to build a mix use parkade between the midblock connection and Clarence and King and the existing buildings along clearance. My Concept poster shows the new building having retail at grade with a false second floor or it could be office space or apartments.

Existing Amenities

(Click for larger images)


Check out the 3D walkthrough of the space..

let me know what you think? Would you use this space? Is this something that would attract people to the downtown?



May 14, 2009 at 5:27 am 6 comments

Galleria – Now Officially Citi Plaza

As of yesterday (May 7, 2009) galleria has officially become Citi Plaza, as to my previous post on the redevelopment of Galleria I still do no believe that the physical changes made to the “centre” have improved it from an urban design point of view. However it has successfully reinvented itself into an office/shopping/learning/eating destination and cleaned up the southern portion. I was at the opening ceremony on Thursday morning, there were many Citi bank employees and officials as well as others who joined in the morning ceremony. I was hoping for the announcement of a new tenant – maybe the rumored grocery store?- but no luck.

Here are some pictures of what the new entrance off of Wellington Rd. looks like; also there is a couple pictures of the new food court.

The Fox & Fiddle along with Country Style and Cotton Ginny are all now officially open.

The following article is from the London Free Press, about the Fox & Fiddle;

“Pub lovers can return to Citi Plaza, the mall formerly known as Galleria London. The Fox and Fiddle is opening in renovated space vacated by the Elephant and Castle.  Renovations have made the interior brighter and more spacious and a new long bar has been built along one wall.  The face behind the bar will be familiar. John Young,  the veteran bartender from the Elephant and Castle, was one of the 40 people hired to work at the pub. “We saved the best of the old and added something new,” said Mark TenEycke, director of operations for the chain.  The menu features traditional pub favourites such as fish and chips and bangers and mash. But there are also burgers, sandwiches and Asian dishes such as butter chicken and curry.  TenEycke said it’s more than “pub grub,” with an emphasis on quality.  The Fox and Fiddle was founded 20 years ago in Mississauga and has expanded to 20 locations in Ontario and one in British Columbia.  Most of the locations are in the Greater Toronto Area but the chain has also expanded to Hamilton, Guelph and Waterloo. ” Hank Daniszewski is a Free Press business reporter.


May 8, 2009 at 12:02 pm Leave a comment

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