According the rezoning proposals rubber-stamped by London City Council, the proposed 8-story and 28-story buildings at 50 King Street would have little or no impact on the heritage Middlesex County Courthouse.
I took some photos today at 11am, showing the shadows cast by the current 3-story building at 50 King. I also took some photos of the shadows cast by the Renaissance Tower on King Street. The shadow from the Renaissance Tower stretches all the way from the south side of King Street north to the north side of Dundas, more than a block in length. Here is a photo of the north Renaissance Tower, 11am, Feb 18, 2016, casting its shadow onto the Budweiser Gardens.
And here is a photo of that shadow across the Bud Gardens (located directly east of the heritage Middlesex County Courthouse):
And here is a photo taken at the same time, showing the reach of the shadow from The Renaissance all the way up to and onto Dundas Street, more than a block north of the 20-story Renaissance Tower.
Quite clearly, a 28-story building located on the north side of King Street, slightly to the west of the current building at 50 King, would cover the heritage Middlesex County Courthouse in shadows much of the day, even in the summer when shadows are shorter.
But that's not all.
The other portion of the proposal includes an 8-story building where there is presently a 3-story building. Even this lower building will cast shadows that reach the heritage Middlesex County Courthouse much of time. Here are some photos I took at the same time. These show the shadow cast by the present 3-story building. You can see the shadows reach halfway or more to the heritage Middlesex County Courthouse.
An 8-story building, especially the planned building which would be even closer to the heritage Middlesex County Courthouse, would cast shadows that would reach the heritage building some of the time and would cover the space between the two buildings most of the time. Putting an atrium between the 8-story building and the 28-story tower would not provide much relief from these shadows.
This overshadowing will have a strong, negative effect on the heritage value of the Middlesex County Courthouse, but it will also greatly darken the space between the proposed building at 50 King and the heritage Middlesex County Courthouse. The entire heritage value of the property associated with the heritage block will be severely diminished.
These heritage issues need to be addressed by the London Heritage Advisory Committee and need to be considered by the Ontario Municipal Board.