Photo: SimonP / Wikimedia Commons

A beloved Toronto concert venue and Tex-Mex dive bar could soon be the site of a new midrise residential tower.

On Friday, September 4th, Toronto city planners received an application to develop a 13-storey mixed-use project that would span several properties located near Bathurst and College streets, including the building that is occupied by Sneaky Dee’s.

Preliminary information available on the Toronto development application website says the proposed building would consist of approximately 140,027 square feet of residential and non-residential gross floor area across 419, 421, 423, 429 and 431 College Street. Sneaky Dee’s currently inhabits 431 College Street.

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A total of 169 dwelling units would be included in the new building, plus retail and commercial space on the ground level. No detailed documents have been made publicly available yet. At this stage, it’s unclear whether the tower will be made up of condo or rental units.

The proposal has sparked an outpouring of concern and conversation from the Toronto community over the long weekend, including the launch of online petitions and Facebook groups supporting Sneaky Dee’s, an iconic city bar and live music space.

City councillor Mike Layton, whose Ward 11 district includes the Bathurst and College streets area, took to Twitter to comment about the proposal on Sunday.

“I’ve watched friends bands upstairs and eaten king’s crown at brunch for as long as I can remember. We can’t lose institutions like these,” wrote Layton.

“While I haven’t seen any details of the proposal, we know it includes most of the block of buildings. There are many considerations, but first will be that the area has been under review as part of a Kensington Market Heritage Conservation District coming to council in fall,” he added.

Mayor John Tory has also expressed his feelings about the Sneaky Dee’s proposal, telling news outlets that he and Councillor Layton will be listening to community feedback throughout the planning process.

“We know the importance of music venues in our city — that’s why we have taken action to help provide property tax relief for these sites to help them remain viable,” Tory said in an email to CBC Toronto on Monday.

Sneaky Dee’s has yet to publicly comment on the situation.

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