Municipal Hearing Board Application: Clocktower Application



Municipal Office

395 Mulock Drive P.O. Box 328 Station Main, Newmarket, Ontario
L3Y 4X7

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Background Information 

The Town of Newmarket received an application for a zoning by-law amendment as part of a development application for the properties of 178-194 Main Street South, known by many Newmarket residents as the Clocktower.

The Committee of the Whole meeting on November 28, 2016 Council considered the matter regarding the resubmitted zoning by-law amendment application and the recommendations in Development and Infrastructure Services - Planning and Building Services Report 2016-25. The application was denied. This decision was then ratified at the Council meeting of December 5, 2016.

The denial of the application for a zoning by-law amendment for the Clocktower has been appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) by Main St. Clock Inc. (MSCI) together with the earlier decision by the Town to designate the property as being within the Heritage Conservation District for lower Main Street South under By-law 2013-51. Both appeals were heard under OMB case number MM130083. 

More information on the Municipal Board Application Clocktower Application can be viewed below. 

Settlement Reached

The Town of Newmarket is pleased to announce that through a very cooperative process with Main Street Clock Inc. (MSC Inc.), a settlement has been reached for the future development of the historic Clock Tower and 184-194 Main Street, Newmarket. This development proposal will mostly consist of renovation within the existing building and could include office, residential and retail uses.

This settlement will resolve the two Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) hearings related to the property, as well as a pending court application related to a 2003 land exchange agreement for lands in market square. The Town and MSC Inc. are fully committed to an open and transparent process with all details and conditions outlined in Minutes of Settlement

View the full media release for further details.

Update: September 10, 2019

As a result of the application by Main Street Clock Inc. ("MSCI") for consents to sever a portion of its lands (see Clocktower Application May 2019 Update for details), the Town and MSCI began discussions to amend the Minutes of Settlement to address the effects that the severance would have on the terms of the Minutes of Settlement.  The severance consents were granted by the Committee of Adjustments on June 19, 2019.  The Amended Minutes of Settlement were signed on August 26, 2019, and provide clarity on the following matters for future owners of the MSCI lands: a) the applicability of each of the Minutes of Settlement terms to new owners of the severed land parcels;  b) modifying how a historic right of way on the east side of the Market Square would be addressed; c) the ability of future owners of the severed MSCI lands to exercise an option to purchase a small portion of Town lands; d) adjusting the permission to demolish a portion of the single story additions at the rear of the Main Street Buildings by removing the reference to use of the buildings.

Update: April 29, 2019
In accordance with the Minutes of Settlement between the Town and Main Street Clock Inc. (“MSCI”), MSCI has recently applied for funding through the Community Improvement Plan (“CIP”) Incentive Program. MSCI has also begun some work on the buildings and has publicly announced its intention to put its properties up for sale. Legal and Procurement Services Report 2019-46 puts each of these developments into context and provides some more information about what exactly is contemplated for these properties.

Update: August 10, 2018

The LPAT (formerly the OMB) has issued a Order rescinding its prior order issued on August 19, 2014 and confirming that the Lower Main Street South Heritage Conservation District By-law 2013-51 now applies to the Main St. Clock Inc. lands. 

August 7, 2018
Section 21 of the Minutes of Settlement referenced the completion of various tasks by the Town and MSC Inc. in order to resolve the OMB and Newmarket Superior Court matters.  The Town is pleased  to announce that those steps have now been completed.  The various land exchanges contemplated under the Minutes of Settlement have been registered on title to the Town and MSC Inc. lands.  The documents to be registered, exchanged and filed under the Minutes of Settlement are listed below with links to each document:

Party vs. Participant Status at an OMB Hearing

Anyone may attend an OMB hearing. The hearings are open to the public and are subject to Ontario Municipal Board procedures.  Hearings are formal meetings presided over by the appointed Board Member.  To take part in a hearing you must be a party or a participant. 

What does it mean to be a party to a hearing?  Any person or corporation granted party status is required to participate fully in the hearing.  This includes attending every day of the hearing, preparing witness statements and expert reports, receiving copies of all documentation filed or exchanged by the other parties, cross examining witnesses, and presenting legal argument and submission in support of their position.  A party is entitled to seek costs and may also be subject to an order for costs if the OMB determines that the party's conduct unnecessarily delays or prolongs the hearing.

What does it mean to be a participant to a hearing?  Any person or corporation granted participant status may attend the hearing but is not required to be present every single day.  Participants may make a statement on some or all of the issues in the hearing, but they are not permitted to call witnesses or cross examine witnesses presented by the other parties.  Participants cannot bring a cost order against any other party or participant, nor can they be the subject of a cost order awarded against them.

The Town of Newmarket and the Owner of the Clocktower property, Main St. Clock Inc. are automatic parties to the OMB appeals.  All others who wish to obtain party or participant status must request such status at the first hearing scheduled by the OMB.

Parties as determined by the OMB at the Pre-hearing of May 3, 2017 and August 11, 2017
Town of Newmarket represented by Leo Longo of Aird & Berlis LLP
Main St. Clock Inc represented by Ira Kagan of Kagan Shastri LLP
Heart of Newmarket Citizens’ Group, represented by Mr. Gerald Fox 

Participants as determined by the OMB at the Pre-hearing of May 3, 2017 and August 11, 2017
  • Heather Burling
  • Ann Campbell
  • Margaret Davis
  • Pina Donia
  • Athol Hart
  • Elisabeth Hempen
  • Dave Kempton
  • Greg King
  • Anne Martin
  • Olga Paiva
  • Carmina Pereira
  • Jackie Playter
  • Wayne Playter
  • Debra Scott (Newmarket Chamber of Commerce)
  • George Smith
  • Joe Sponga
  • Peggy Stevens
  • Siegfried Wall
  • Glenn Wilson
  • Jone Wright
  • Gordon Prentice (Architectural Conservancy of Ontario)
  • Sandra Fuller

Expert Witnesses

The following experts have been retained to provide evidence on behalf of the Town of Newmarket:
  • Phil Goldsmith, as the Town's heritage expert. 
  • Wendy Nott, as the Town’s planning expert.
As other experts are retained by the Town and other Parties to provide evidence at the OMB hearing, they will be listed here.

Ontario Municipal Board Hearing Schedule - Clocktower Application

Meeting Date
TimeLocationRelated Documents/ Comments
May 3, 2016
Pre-hearing Conference
10:00 a.m.Municipal Offices, 395 Mulock Drive (Council Chambers) Notice of Pre-hearing
Memorandum of Oral Decision
Revised Development Plan as submitted by Main St. Clock Inc. 
August 11, 2017 
Pre-hearing Conference
10:00 a.m.Municipal Offices, 395 Mulock Drive (Cane Room, overflow in the Mulock Room) Memorandum of Oral Decision 

February 8, 2018
Pre-Hearing Telephone Conference
9:00 a.m.

Memorandum of Oral Decision
August 7, 2018 for 15 days
10:00 a.m.
Municipal Offices, 395 Mulock Drive (Council Chambers)
Adjournment Letter

Council and Committee of the Whole Meetings - Clocktower Application

  • Council Meeting of December 5, 2016
  • Committee of the Whole Meeting of November 28, 2016
  • Committee of the Whole Meeting of May 9, 2016

To read the Minutes of these meetings please see the Agendas, Minutes, and Meetings page.


For background information and the planning reports (including Development and Infrastructure Services - Planning and Building Services Report 2016-25) regarding the application please see the Clocktower Application page. 

Freedom of Information Requests and Responses

The Town has received a number of requests for documentation and/or information related to this matter through the Freedom of Information process. For information on the requests made and the Town responses to each, please see the Summary of Freedom of Information Requests 2016 and Summary of Freedom of Information Requests 2017 pages.

On June 27, 2017, the Town released a copy of a land exchange agreement from 2003 that was entered into between the former owner of a portion of the Clock Tower property and the Town.  This agreement can be found at the second link above (Summary of Freedom of Information Requests 2017) under Request Number A17-17-16. This document is not the "Agreement in Principle" referenced in Main Street Clock Inc.'s planning documents.  This agreement does, however, impact some of the lands subject to the Main Street Clock Inc. appeal before the OMB, and the Town has issued and served on Main Street Clock Inc. a Notice of Application to enforce this agreement. 

Ontario Superior Court of Justice Court Application No. CV-17-131451-00

The court application to enforce the 2003 Agreement referenced above has been adjourned to the 3 week trial sittings of the Newmarket Superior Court that commence May 14, 2018.  It has been scheduled for a full day hearing.  When the trial scheduling office advises legal counsel for the Town and Main Street Clock Inc. of the actual hearing date within that 3 week period, the date will be posted on this web page.  A copy of the Notice of Application can be found here.