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Last of the Leaside, Toronoto, Canada Durant plant faces demolition! Lets do what we can to save her

I received this letter from Geoff Kettel recently about the Durant Leaside, Toronto, Canada Durant site. There is an effort by developers to destroy the building to put up some new retirement apartments. At the bottom of the letter is an email address to send your concerns as well as if any of the Canadian Durant Members are in the area, please make every effort to address the meeting. You must register first. You can contact Geoff Kettel at gkettel@gmail.com to find out more. We've lost the Elizabeth plant to fire, the Lansing plant to the wrecking ball and now the Leaside plant. Only one left which is now a mall is the Oakland plant. Let's try to save this one too! Please contact City Planning which invites comments on the plans and you can contact Guy Matthew at 416 395-7102 or gmatthe2@toronto.ca with comments. He's with the planning board.

Hi Mike

I am contacting you in regard to the upcoming OMB hearing for the application by VIVA Retirement Homes to partially demolish and replace the former Durant Motors office building on Laird Drive in Leaside (Toronto), a listed heritage building, as a seven storey condominium with 109 units, linked to an eight storey rental retirement home with 175 units next door. Attached is a copy of an article that I wrote in Old Autos magazine last year, and also attached is an aerial photo showing the Durant Motors factory and administrativce buildings across from each other on Laird.

The OMB hearing will take place February 29 to March 11 2016 (10 days set aside) As a participant this involves appearing on Feb 29 at 10am to register as a Participant, and then again on the date (to be determined by the OMB Member) for Participants, and ideally provide a written statement that is spoken to at the Board.

It would be great to have someone from the Durant Motors interest sector to be there to talk about the importance of Durant in the Canadian car industry, and the link to the building on Laird. We are delighted that Paul Denter has already agreed to be a participant, and he suggested we contact you as well.

Attached is a copy of the Participants Guidelines that I have drafted to assist the residents in the area with their Statements.

I am pleased to be of assistance with the preparation of a Statement.

Look forward to meeting.


Geoff Kettel
129 Hanna Road, Toronto
416 425-8954

So what can you the devoted readers of Old Autos do about this? The planning process has not finished in fact it may have just begun. At the community public meeting held in February to consider the public’s comments there was not one voice in support. City Planning invites comments on the plans and you can contact Guy Matthew at 416 395-7102 or gmatthe2@toronto.ca with comments. The planning application, together with the applicant’s plans and reports submitted can all be viewed at the city web site at

Where Are You From? Oviedo, Florida

Do You own a car built by Durant? 1928 Durant Model 65

Re: Last of the Leaside, Toronoto, Canada Durant plant faces demolition! Lets do what we can to save

I've written a long letter to be read to the Ontario Municipal Board support any efforts to preserve the last remaining part of the Durant Motors Inc, Leaside plant. I believe the hearing start on 02/29/2016 and go on for a few days. If you haven't yet, please contact Geoff and let him know your thoughts. He might be able to get more letters sent to the board members prior to them making a decision on letting developers demolish the Durant Motors Administration Building. For you Canadian members in Ontario, I believe the meeting is open and if you'd like to make a statement you have to submit notice in advance. Please contact Geoff Kettel or Guy Matthew. Their telephone numbers are posted above. We're losing our history people, lets try to save what is left!

Where Are You From? Oviedo, Florida


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