April 9, 1923 (14th Parliament, 2nd Session)



Conservative (1867-1942)

1. Is there any truth in the announcement made by Director Gough of the Canadian National Railway and by J. E. Dalrymple, vice-president, in Toronto evening papers, Friday, March 23rd, that the Canadian National Railways is to erect the largest skyscraper in the British Empire on the corner of King and Yonge streets, Toronto, for regional headquarters, and have the National Railways under the existing legislation the power to erect such a building without the consent of parliament and by what statute?
2. What will be the cost of said building, how will the money be provided, and will parliament have to pass on the money for this item?
3. Is it intended that the building of this skyscraper shall have priority and take precedence over the contract the city has with the government for the building of the following long delayed essentials and the carrying out of the contracts herein, viz.:-
(a) A post office,
(b) A customs house,
(c) Completion of the new Union Railway Station,
(d) The viaduct,
(e) Harbour improvement?

4. Why are the Canadian National Railways expropriating this property when private ownership was ready to build a similar building on this site, and was not the new Union Station erected for this required accommodation if at present needed at all, and is not the new station the logical site for headquarters?
5. Is the erection of said building not a violation of the station and viaduct agreement, 1913, by which headquarters were to be in the new depot?
6. Who recommended this construction to the government, and why?
' Hon. Mr. GRAHAM: .
1. If such a statement were made in Toronto, it was without authority. The property has been expropriated largely for ticket office purposes and to protect the interests of the Canadian National Railways in its uptown location. An amicable arrangement in the matter has been reached with the owners.
2. Plans for the utilization of the property have not yet been decided upon. When they ire, whatever requisite authority is required will be obtained.
3. The necessity to protect the railways' interests uptown does not interfere with any other public improvement required at Toronto.
4. The lease of the Grand Trunk for the location in question was expiring, and no other suitable site was available.
5. No violation of said agreement is involved.
6. The Railway Management recommended the expropriation for the purpose already referred to.

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