Toronto’s heritage community is devastated over the death of a developer heralded as a champion ofthe city’s architectural past. Paul Oberman, president ofWoodcliffe Properties, was killed ina plane crash in Maine on Monday.Oberman, 53, was responsible forthe immaculate restoration of theSummerhill train station as anLCBO store, a project that generatednational attention.He and another man were flyingfrom Halifax to Quebec City in afour-seater plane when they ran intoan ice storm. The second man,who has not been identified, survivedand was taken to hospitalwith non-life-threatening injuries.Oberman was on his way backhome after flying his son to Halifax.
“Historic buildings integratingold and new are, for me, thelifeblood of a city. If we don’tcare about renewing ourhistoric buildings, if we don’tcare about preserving them byfinding new uses for them, whatwill we care about? How will wecreate a vibrant urbanenvironment consisting ofexciting and remarkable builtforms if we turn our backs onthe great achievements — andeven the mere survivals — ofour past? If we don’t value ourheritage, how will we createanything of value in the future?A desirable future, I submit, istied to our past.”
Paul Oberman President of Woodcliffe Properties
Heritage developer dies in Maine plane crash – Original Article (PDF)