Loss of a local heritage development visionary

The man behind the redevelopment of the North Toronto railway stationdies in plane crash.

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Last month, the life of one of the area’s most respected real estate developers ended after a small plane he was travelling in crashed en routeto Quebec City. Local resident Paul Oberman was the CEO of heritage development company Woodcliffe Properties, and many say he setthe standard when it came to revitalizing and preserving Toronto’s old buildings.“There’s probably a number of developers around the city scratching their heads, wondering what was his secret,” said Peter Ortved, chair ofHeritage Toronto. On a local level, Oberman was the driving force behind the old North Toronto railway station, now the Summerhill LCBOstore. He also recently transformed the shops at Scrivener Square, a series of Midtown buildings on Yonge Street dating back to the 1890sbetter known as the Five Thieves. He was also responsible for preserving one of this city’s most well-known, unique and wedged-in heritagebuildings: the Gooderham Building (commonly known as the Flatiron Building) at Church Street and Wellington Street East.“It really came from a very deep passion Paul had for this kind of work,” said Ortved. “We couldn’t have asked for a better role model.”

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