The private school now occupying what used to be CDCI West wants to build accommodation for its students. They have bought adjacent properties – 125-129 King St. W. and 209 Hibernia St – and want to demolish them and build new buildings in their place. The King Street property was previously “Sleep Made Simple” and the Hibernia property had a succession of businesses on the ground floor and a rental unit upstairs (see photos below). The application for demolition was presented to Town staff and staff recommendations were presented to the Heritage Advisory Committee who endorsed them and will ask Council to endorse them at the next Committee of the Whole Council meeting. Basically, they agreed to the demolition but not the proposed replacement building which “is not sensitive to the existing cultural heritage resource to the east and thus much more work is required.” That is, the proposed accommodation building does not meet Heritage requirements.
When the School had an open house in April 2019 (see photo and links below), there were 46 students and 75 expected in September. The 46 were housed in dormitories at the school and it was planned that the additional students would be boarded in nearby homes. There are no updates available on these numbers.
As part of the application, a Heritage Assessment was required (see link below). This includes background information including extensive details of previous owners. William Academy bought the properties for $559K in May and June of 2017. That was a few months after CDCI West was reported to have been sold (Feb 2017). Sleep Made Simple at the King Street location has now moved to new premises at 1 King Street East. The report describes the properties and concludes that, for the King Street location: “The building has no heritage architectural features worth saving” and “Similarly, the two-storey dwelling located directly behind the mattress store has no architecturally significant heritage features”. And for the Hibernia location: “Overall, the building does not have any special architectural characteristics or heritage value.” It appears that staff and the Heritage Advisory Committee agreed with this assessment.
The application describes the proposed buildings:
The proposed development is composed of two buildings. Building A along King Street is three storeys which includes a commercial ground floor and two upper floors for residential dorm rooms for the William Academy. Building B, closer to Hibernia Street, is four floors with a commercial ground floor and residence dorms on the three upper floors. This building would be linked on the second and third floors to the respective floors of the existing William Academy building.
Note that on both King Street and Hibernia, the ground floors would be commercial (stores).
Below are some images from the school’s application. The current building on the corner of King and Hibernia is not part of the development but any proposed building must not clash with it. As noted above, the proposed building has not been approved; all that has been approved (subject to Council endorsement) is demolition in principle. (I think that means “OK but don’t do anything until the new building designs are approved.)
Given the purchase dates of these properties, it appears that building additional accommodation was planned from the start. Proceeding now implies that the School is doing well although there are few signs of the students around Town.
Previous Cobourg News Blog Posts
- William Academy Open House – 15 April 2019
- William Academy opening this fall – 19 May 2018 – Includes photo of owner Jeff Weng and Chair of the Board Louis Sacco. Principal at the time was from the Scarborough campus.
- Heritage Assessment Report – on Town’s web site – may not be available indefinitely.
- William Academy Web site – covers Scarborough as well as Cobourg Campus.