local counselor Sarah Doucette, who made sure to emphasize that this was was pre-application meeting and that the plans were not yet submitted and/or approved by the city, with there to be a more official meeting after approval. The main part of the meeting involved a presentation made by the principal architect behind this project.
Here is the full text of what I said:
Hello, my name is Sean Kelly.
I was a resident of the Bloor West Village area from 1986 to 2013. I am currently a freelance film writer, currently writing for my own site Sean Kelly on Movies, as well as the online magazine Toronto Film Scene.
It would be an understatement to say that I have a nostalgic connection to the Humber Cinema. As a teenager, I saw countless films at both the Humber and Runnymede Theatre, which helped to develop my love of cinema. It was a very sad day for me when the Runnymede Theatre closed back in 1999, but at least the building received historical status and is preserved, despite now housing a Shopper’s Drug Mart.
I believe that it is a crime that the Humber Cinema did not receive the same treatment as the Runnymede Theatre, particularly since it was first opened in 1949 as one of the first five theatres of the Odeon Theatre chain, which would later become part of Cineplex Odeon. When Cineplex closed the Humber back in 2003, this building was simply left to rot for eight years.
I considered it a very big deal when the Humber reopened back in 2011. While there were some bumps in the road, I believe that the Humber has been thriving over the course of the last five years and is an important part of the Bloor West Village community. I am personally still a very regular patron of the Humber, even though I haven’t lived in the area for the last two years.
The last thing this community needs is a 14-storey monstrosity that will forever change the face of Bloor West Village. This is the latest example of condo developers in the city of Toronto, who want to build condos with little or no consideration about the area they are developing. While I may be just one person with nostalgic memories of a local cinema, I am sure that I am not alone in the belief that this condo would like transform the great Business Improvement Area of Bloor West Village into just another over-developed area of a city that is becoming overdeveloped.
Just I was leaving, I was actually approached by a reporter for, Bloor West Village's community newspaper, The Villager, to whom I answered some questions about my concerns. I will definitely keep an eye out and see if I am quoted.
I will be the first to say that I am not really the activist type and while I am happy that I didn't passively stay at home, it was still a very stressful experience. I will be really sad if the Humber Cinema does end up being replaced by a condo, since it was once of the few resurrection stories in a city full of dead cinemas.
If you want to help save the Humber Cinema, I have created an online petition to try and get the cinema declared a historical landmark.