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Issue No. 239 | April 14, 2015


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Feature Stories

  1. HURRAH Better Searches on Biographical Dictionary of Architects in Canada
  2. Architectural Conservancy Ontario Goes to Queen's Park
  3. Clarendon Wood Pickering: Architect Unknown A Royal Whodunit-
  4. Preservation Green Lab: Environmental Benefits of Recycling Buildings
  5. Various: Monument to Victims of Communism
  6. CBC: Demolition by Neglect - Gore Park Buildings


Riverdale Historical Society April Event
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
+ read

Continuing Education Course: Toronto's Neighbourhood Architecture
Tuesdays, May 5 - June 23, 2015 (8 sessions)
+ read

An Evening at Alderlea
Thursday 16th April 2015
+ read

Main Street as Old Growth Forest
April 15, 2015
+ read


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Built Heritage News Sponsors


1. HURRAH Better Searches on Biographical Dictionary of Architects in Canada
Catherine Nasmith

With this little note from Robert Hill, the diligent scholar behind Biographical Dictionary of Architects in Canada, the search for information on who built what in Canada just became easier.

 "A quick note to tell you that our Dictionary website has now been redesigned with new search features that will enable all users to quickly find information relating to more than 80,000 citations which we have included within nearly 2,300 entries. You can now search our Dictionary website by using two word or three word combinations including:  

TOWN & CITY NAMES:  such as “Grand Forks“,  or  “White Rock“,  or “Shawnigan Lake“, or “North Vancouver”, or “Portage La Prairie”, or “Port Arthur”, or “Fort William”
STREET NAMES:  such as “West Hastings Street“,  or “West 11th Street“, or “Connaught Drive”, or “Mount Pleasant Road”, or “Castle Frank Road”, or “Dorchester Boulevard West”, or “Spring Garden Road”
BUILDING NAMES:  such as “Hotel Europe“,  or “MacKinnon Block“, or “St. Paul’s Hospital”, or “Royal York Hotel”,  or “Chateau Laurier”, or “Casa Loma”
CLIENT NAMES:  such as “Benjamin T. Rogers“, or “Robert Dunsmuir”, or “Henry Pellatt“, or  “Peter Lyall”, or “Duncan McIntyre”, or “Hugh Allan”
Here is the link to the improved version of our website: "
If you haven't used this site in the past it covers architects all across Canada. If you are searching to try to find out if an architect designed something, you can punch in the the street name, or the name of the owner and see what comes up. The site is continually updated so if you find information on a building not covered there please let Robert Hill know about it. For example, the intrepid  Sandra Shaul recently found a house by Hamilton Townsend in the Toronto Annex that had not been included before. Its in the Dictionary now..
If you haven't used this resource before, start now. And think of Robert Hill's lifelong devotion to the research all across the country that has built this resource. A toast to you Robert! 

2. Architectural Conservancy Ontario Goes to Queen's Park
Catherine Nasmith, President ACO Toronto

42 representatives of Architectural Conservancy Ontario celebrated Heritage Week by visiting our MPP's. We obtained appointments with 27 Members of Provincial Parliament, 25% of the members, and have also been able to meet subsequently with a few more. 

President Richard Longley wrote post event, “those meetings went extremely well and practically all MPPs expressed an appreciation of the value of built heritage and heritage landscapes in their constituencies.

We were also able to present ACO's case that the Province needs to do more to encourage municipalities who are reluctant to apply the Ontario Heritage Act. It was confirmed to us that there is considerable resistance on the part of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport to "interfering" with municipalities, even when all that may be required is encouragement.

ACO's Heritage Day at the Legislature was not a lobbying expedition; nevertheless, certain problems that have vexed ACO for years, such as the destruction of the old port of Port Dalhousie to make way for a re-development that has yet to be started, were raised.  

We also learned about local concerns that ACO might take an interest in and opportunities to better integrate heritage consideration into various pieces of legislation as they are undergoing a ten-year review."

It took quite a bit of co-ordination, including changes and new appointments coming forward on the day. Luckily Linda Schultz our scheduler was up to the task. All who participated felt it was worth while, and we hope to repeat the event next year. 

The big lesson of the day was heritage has friends in all the political parties, so keep in touch with your local MPP. Most MPP's spend Friday morning meeting with their constituents, so get on the list! 

Editor's Note:
Can't resist pointing out that Ontario's provincial government is hands off municipalities when it comes to heritage, but runs roughshod over municipal concerns when it comes to green energy projects....??

3. Clarendon Wood Pickering: Architect Unknown A Royal Whodunit-
Victor Russell

Early View of Clarendon Wood
With Gardens

On October 2, 1912 a Toronto newspaper noted that English aristocrats, Lord and Lady Hyde, their two small children, and Lady Hyde’s brother, Lord Somers, had moved into a new house on their estate called Clarendon Wood. It was also reported that during the construction of the house in the summer of 1912, Lord and Lady Hyde gave a tour of the property to HRH the Duke of Connaught, the son of Queen Victoria, along with the Duchess of Connaught, also known as Princess Louisa of Prussia. These Royals brought along their daughter, Princess Patricia (of the Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry distinction) to view their new, albeit unfinished home.

It happens, however, that the estate was not in some pastoral setting in England a la Downton Abbey; rather, it was in Pickering, Ontario, a few kilometres east of Toronto. The Clarendon Wood property was actually a typical Ontario farm of 100 acres situated at the north end of Liverpool Road, about a kilometre past old Kingston Road.  The property was purchased by Lord Hyde upon arrival in Canada in 1911 and was intended to be the permanent family home of the two British Lords and their related families.

After acquiring the Pickering property, Lord Hyde and his extended family moved into a small stone farm house that then existed on the property. But soon after, he commissioned the construction of a new, much grander home.  During the construction of the new house, observers noted that Hyde and Somers worked closely with their architect to complete a home suitable “for a family of six, with three servants” and ended up with a large scale, three story house of eighteen rooms.  While the English, almost Tudor, influence was readily discernable Clarendon Wood has been described as a large house “of no pronounced architectural treatment … a happy blend of good construction and beauty of design.”

Unfortunately, attempts to uncover the name of the architect of record have come up empty.  Surprisingly, Mary Agnes Pease featured the home in the October 1934 issue of Canadian Homes and Gardens but does not name the architect that worked with Lord Hyde in 1912. Mary Pease hints that the architect was Canadian when she writes that Hyde and Somers wanted certain “English methods” followed; but,  the architect insisted that “differences were necessary because of the rigours of the Canadian climate.” Other brief articles have been written by local historians on the property but none have named the architect of Clarendon Wood.  Both Lord Somers, the godson son of poet Alfred Lord Tennyson, and his uncle, Arthur Percival Somers Cocks, were members of the Arts and Letters Club of Toronto where any number of established architects were also members; but there is no source that indicates if any of these men designed their lordships’ new home.

The outbreak of World War I changed the plans of these aristocratic settlers and most of the entourage immediately returned to England.  Lord Hyde, George Herbert Hyde Villiers, became the 6th Earl of Clarendon upon his return to England and he entered the House of Lords.   Hyde would later serve as Governor General of South Africa and Lord Chamberlain to the Royal Household.  Arthur Herbert Tennyson Somers, Lord Somers, returned to England to rejoin his regiment, the Life Guards, and saw action at Ypres where he was twice wounded.  As a Lieutenant Colonel, Somers later commanded the 6th Battalion of the new Tank Corps. For his service, Somers was awarded the Military Cross and the Distinguished Service Order. Somers later became the 6th Baron of Evesham, served as the Governor of the State of Victoria, Australia, and in 1941 he succeeded Lord Baden-Powell as Chief Scout of the British Empire. Arthur Percival Somers Cocks actually joined the Canadian Army and served with the 198th Bn. of the CEF, known locally as the “Buffs” and affiliated with the Toronto based Queen’s Own Rifles. Somers Cocks returned to England after the War and succeeded his nephew to the Barony, becoming the 7th Baron of Evesham in 1944.

As for Clarendon Wood, although abandoned by the British nobles in 1914, the property remained unoccupied but cared for until 1922 when it was purchased by Victor Ross as a country home.  Ross, a wealthy business man and vice president of Imperial Oil, made few changes to the house, but he did improve the grounds and gardens. He had a pond excavated, fed by Duffin’s Creek, and then had a lily pond and sculpture by Florence Wyle added to the front of the house.  Lord and Lady Clarendon (formerly Lord Hyde) were known to have visited Clarendon Wood as guests of the Ross family, and later the widow Mrs. Ross hosted Lord Hyde’s daughter during her visit to Canada. The Ross estate sold Clarendon Wood in 1948 to the Jesuits and today it is a well- known landmark in the area as the Manresa Retreat Centre.


4. Province applies to Destroy early 19th Century Whitevale Heritage
C. Gordon Wilson

Last night I learned the Government of Ontario (owner) has applied to demolish the home of John Major, founder of our village. I believe the house design is early Georgian and built here not too long after the end of the War of 1812.

Before Truman Pennock White came to the village in 1845, Whitevale was known as the Village of MAJOR for the first 30 odd years of its existence. Major brought the house design with him when he returned from Halifax where he served as an officer in the British Army during the War of 1812. It seems the design was popular on the eastern seaboard on both sides of the border around 1800.

I don’t know exactly how many of this style of house design there are in Ontario. I know of six. Four are found in Niagara on the Lake (see Peter Stokes book), one in Grafton Ontario and the other immediately east of our village on historic Whitevale Road. They are all variants of the same design.

There is much suspicion and unanswered questions as to why the government is intent on the demolition of this gem of early architecture... This act of intended destruction is such a betrayal of all the residents of this village who fought to save our architectural heritage over the past 40 odd years. My wife Anna was Chair of Town of Pickering’s LACAC and helped shepherd-in the Heritage Conservation District under Part V of the OHA in the early 90’s. Recently, the government drastically shrunk the District and now only applies to our village leaving most others, outside its municipal limits, without any protection.

Covered over from view, the front door features a transom light. The portico is thought to have been added sometime in the last 100 years.

If the government, who own most of the homes on historic Whitevale Road and elsewhere on the Seaton city site, can apply to demolish this home, all homes are now at risk.

5. Another Heritage Effort in St. Thomas Stunted by Bureaucracy
Catherine Raven

HMCS OJIBWA a Cold War Oberon Class submarine, an artifact of the Elgin Military Museum in St. Thomas, Ontario

Please speak up for the Cold War warrior HMCS OJIBWA and the efforts of a small museum that took on a National challenge, met it head on and is now threatened after only a year and a half of operation. The bank  for reasons beyond our control, has started the process to call our loan  albeit with the option to negotiate. Nevertheless, our position is currently precarious. We were named the Innovator of the Year by the tourism associations of both the Province of Canada and the national Canadian Tourism Association while in our first full year of operation in 2014  an astounding accomplishment. Our ground breaking programming is recognized as unique in the world.

Please help us over this growing pain so that we can continue this work. Most will understand that it is very difficult for a not-for-profit museum to generate large funds in its initial year or two of operation. Once we have our building in place alongside our submarine, we will be able to be open year round and thereby stabilize our financial position. We urgently require your support. A supporter of our museum has started this petition of support to federal and provincial ministers. 

The Elgin Military Museum in St. Thomas, Ontario has been self-sufficient and able to double in size twice in the thirty years it has existed without government support. Taking on the task of saving an important piece of our national heritage requires a little assistance. Please help.

Find us on the web at and as well as

6. blogTO: 50 Stories on Bloor Street East
Chris Bateman

50 storey condo pushes development east on Bloor

Bloor Street East between Jarvis and Sherbourne has seen relatively little in the way of high-rise residential development since the 1970s--until now. The oxymoronic "Rosedale on Bloor," a pair of condominium towers planned for the south side of the street beside the new National Post headquarters, could add new life what's long been a staid stretch of downtown.

Click here for Link

Editor's Note:The ink is barely dry on the City of Toronto's Tall Building policy....which sets out where these things go.

7. Bloor and Bathurst Development Website

Toronto rarely sees such well developed and thoughtful presentations. This project really raises the bar for development processes. Take a look!

Click here for Link

Editor's Note:Doing big developments in one hand tends to lead to homogeneous solutions, this project is different in trying to create a more vibrant mix. One thing that would make it really interesting going forward is to mix the types of tenure within...some rental, some ownership, particularly for the low rise portions. It is a lot of city to have under one owner, mixing it a bit more would allow for a more interesting future evolution.

8. & North York Mirror: Heritage preservation too cumbersome to be effective, proponents say

Onus should be on developers to prove why buildings cant be maintained

W.J. Morrish Building served the W.J. Morrish family from 1890 until 1989. The building fell into disrepair, but was expropriated by the City of Toronto in 2000. Scarborough Historical Society which fully restored [it].

Proponents of preserving local historical architecture say the process to designate heritage properties in Toronto is too complicated and slow to be effective and is often trumped by the desire to intensify.

It’s why buildings such as Stollerys, a 114-year-old downtown building that housed a clothing store, was cleared for demolition in January before preservation advocates could get the property designated as a heritage building, said Scarborough archivist Rick Schofield.

“There’s a huge backlog of buildings that could be threatened and we want to have them listed (on the city’s inventory of heritage properties), not designated. As a result, things like the Stollerys building were demolished because it wasn’t listed.”

Properties listed on the inventory are flagged by the city’s Heritage Preservation Services for review when applications for municipal permits or approvals are made. Property owners must provide 60 days’ notice of intent to demolish. Getting on the list is the first step towards city staff ultimately seeking to designate the property under the Ontario Heritage Act, giving it long-term protection against any development that may adversely affect the property’s heritage attributes.

Schofield said Scarborough is lucky its important heritage buildings had been listed on the former municipality’s heritage registry, preserving them in the amalgamated city.

Before amalgamation, to get a registry listing, all a person needed was to provide an address and a reason why a property should be listed. Now, even though any citizen can nominate a property for the inventory list, the process to do so is complicated and time consuming, requiring much research to prepare it.

In the west, preservation advocate Denise Harris said Toronto currently is more proactive in preserving heritage buildings than the former city of Etobicoke was, but there’s such a backlog of nominations for the inventory list that the city’s Heritage Preservation Services can’t get through without additional staffing.

Despite this, she said the city today would likely not have allowed several properties to be demolished that Etobicoke did before. Among those is the 1797-built home of Lt. Col. Samuel Smith in Long Branch, which was likely the second oldest home in the city, right after the Scadding Cabin, built in 1794, which is preserved today.

Harris said the council of the day couldn’t see the value of the Smith home, which was in a terrible state.

“Those homes belonged to are our forbearers,” Harris said. “Those are the generations who did all the hard work, physically, of cutting down the trees and creating the towns and the streets that we have today. It honours them and it gives us examples that we can use when teaching about what it used to be like.”

Preservation architect Catherine Nasmith said heritage properties are under threat because the system to protect them is wrong, saying conservation should be seen as an environmental issue.

“I think we should be moving away from having a list of the ‘special ones’ and we really need to think about all the buildings in the city, not just through a cultural lens, but through an environmental lens,” she said. “We shouldn’t be throwing perfectly good buildings in the garbage.”

Nasmith said 20 to 35 per cent of all landfill waste is building waste, and that construction accounts for 50 per cent of all the natural resources humans consume.

Click here for Link

9. National Post: The urban consquences of vanishing churches
Natalie Bull

Places of faith often meet an array of community needs, such as soup kitchens, shelters and low-cost space for non-profits.

On Sunday, members of Ottawa’s largest downtown synagogue closed its doors for the last time, carrying holy Torah scrolls from their sacred ark to their new temporary location 10 kilometres away. After annual losses reportedly in the order of $200,000, Beth Shalom’s congregation sold their building to a developer for $15 million, and will soon see it demolished to make way for commercial space and residential condos.

The Beth Shalom congregation is just one of hundreds of faith groups grappling with big real-estate decisions these days, in the face of dwindling attendance and rising property costs. Canada’s towns, cities and rural areas are already facing an epidemic of uncertainty and change for churches, synagogues and other faith buildings, and it will only get bigger.

Managing more than 27,000 properties, faith groups are the second largest real-estate holder in Canada after the government of Canada itself. Their real-estate assets include landmark places that anchor and shape our communities. Thousands have already been sold, converted to new uses, or demolished, and an estimated 9,000 more will be on the chopping block in the next few years.

This tsunami of sweeping change for faith groups and their buildings has serious implications on many levels: As vessels of history, heritage and collective memory, and as neighbourhood anchors, these buildings matter to many to more than just the faithful. What happens to them willaffect planning and place-making on a massive scale.

There are big social consequences too: places of faith often meet an array of community needs beyond their spiritual mission, such as soup kitchens, shelters and low-cost space for non-profit partners. Case in point: Beth Shalom’s closure displaced no fewer than 18 local charities.

For downtown churches, the option to cash in on land value and development potential has its appeal, but turning a community asset into private property can be painful for parishioners and the broader community alike. At the other end of the spectrum, there are inspiring examples of congregations that have kept the doors open and found new sustainability through creative partnerships, generating new revenue and at the same time expanding their mission and impact.

Click here for Link

10. Toronto Star: Christopher Hume Praises Honest Ed's Redevelopment
Christopher Hume

Honouring his parents at Honest Ed

For too many developers, the legacy that matters most is the one that’s counted in dollars.

For David Mirvish, impresario, art collector, city-builder and accidental developer, the legacy that counts is the one that comes with being the son of “Honest” Ed Mirvish, easily the city’s most beloved retailer.

Aside from keeping locals entertained for decades with his publicity stunts, in the 1960s Ed Mirvish single-handedly saved the Royal Alexandra Theatre from demolition. In so doing, he struck a huge blow for the city’s cultural life and laid the groundwork for what’s now the Entertainment District.

The younger Mirvish’s commitment to his family’s civic history is most obvious, perhaps, in the elaborate project now being planned for King and John Sts. Designed by one of the world’s most sought-after architects, Frank Gehry, the two-towered scheme will include condos, an art gallery, an Ontario College of Art and Design University satellite facility, and several floors of shops and restaurants.

Nothing like it has ever been seen in Toronto. Easily the most ambitious development proposal in this city since the Toronto-Dominion Centre in the 1950s, it will become one of those rare structures that define a community.
But then there’s Honest Ed’s itself, the store, at Bloor and Bathurst Sts. It will eventually be torn down to make way for a mixed-use complex so enlightened that people — and neighbours — actually like the proposed development. In a city awash in NIMBY-fuelled fear of change, such a positive response is rare, if not unique.

Click here for Link

Editor's Note:Would be fun to somehow capture the memory of the signage?....Projection on special occasions? From all reports this development has had an exemplary process, and is doing a lot of things right in a City plagued by generally damaging development. 1000 new rental units in the core, many for a really interesting neighborhood.

11. Toronto Star: The End of Viceroy Homes
Susan Pigg

Hammers go silent at Viceroy Homes

They are as iconic as cottage country sunsets.

For 60 years Viceroy Homes have been distinctive fixtures atop the granite cliffs of Muskoka or centrepieces of sprawling properties across Canada.

They are Canadiana at its best.

Fashioned out of British Columbia lumber, with signature soaring windows and massive beams, some 70,000 Viceroy Homes have been built since the company was founded in 1955 and shipped in ready to assemble packages as far away as Japan, Korea, Spain, France and Germany.

But for weeks now, Viceroy’s two plants — one in Port Hope, the other in Richmond, B.C. — have been effectively shut down and more than 130 employees have been trying to figure out if they will ever build the makings of another Viceroy home.

“It’s been a mystery to everyone,” says Lou Rinaldi, the MPP for Northumberland-Quinte West which includes the Port Hope plant that has 100 or so employees at peak building season. The Richmond factory, built to service what was expected to be a hot Asian market for the classic wood homes, has another 30 or 40 employees.

Click here for Link

Editor's Note:I've had to modify a few over the years....these are iconic across the country, sad to see the demise of another fine Canadian company

12. Owen Sound Sun Times: Branningham Grove demolition pending
Denis Langlois

Branningham Grove subject of demolition permit

The days may be numbered for historic Branningham Grove.

The owners of the 134-year-old building, which was once a brothel and most recently a restaurant, applied March 5 to city hall for a permit to demolish the structure on 16th St. E., Owen Sound's chief building official Kevin Hicks confirmed Monday.

Council now has 60 days to act if it wants to stave off demolition, since the structure is listed on the city's registry of properties of cultural heritage value or interest.

A staff report, with three options for council's consideration, is expected to come before the city's community planning and heritage advisory committee March 26. The committee is to make a recommendation to council.

Click here for Link

13. Preservation Green Lab: Environmental Benefits of Recycling Buildings
Preservation Green Lab, National Trust for Historic Preservation

The Greenest building: Quantifying the environmental Value of building reuse

Until now, little has been known about the climate change reductions that might be offered by reusing and retrofitting existing buildings rather than demolish- ing and replacing them with new construction. This groundbreaking study concludes that building reuse almost always offers environmental savings over demolition and new construction. Moreover, it can take between 10 and 80 years for a new, energy-efficient building to overcome, through more efficient operations, the negative climate change impacts that were created during the construction process. However, care must be taken in the selection of construc- tion materials in order to minimize environmental impacts; the benefits of reuse can be reduced or negated based on the type and quantity of materials selected for a reuse project.

This research provides the most comprehensive analysis to date of the poten- tial environmental impact reductions associated with building reuse. Utilizing a Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) methodology, the study compares the relative environmental impacts of building reuse and renovation versus new construction over the course of a 75-year life span.

Click here for Link

Editor's Note:Thanks to ACO North Waterloo for bringing this study to my attention.

14. Owen Sound Sun Times: Branningham Grove April 14 decision day

Committee recommends starting process to designate Branningham Grove

The owners of Branningham Grove in Owen Sound would fight any move by city council to designate the historic structure under the Ontario Heritage Act.

Louis Gavaris, an agent for the landowner Halton Place Horse & Country, made those comments Thursday after the citys community planning and heritage advisory committee voted to recommend that council serve notice of its intention to protect the 134-year-old building under provincial legislation, which, if approved, would stave off a planned demolition.

The land has no value if the old house must remain standing, Gavaris said in an interview.

I sold the property in good faith in 1997 to be developed, to move forward with no strings attached. All of a sudden, public comes along and says theyre taking control of somebody elses future. How is that possible?

He said he does not believe the building  which served as a summertime brothel from 1907 to 1915 and a steakhouse from 1977 to 1997  has enough historical or architectural significance to preserve.

An inspection of the property on 16th St. E. by GM Blueplan Engineering Ltd. recommends the structure be demolished, based on an assessed value of $374,500 and the cost to renovate it.

Click here for Link

15. Various: Monument to Victims of Communism
Many, thanks to Barry Podolsfky for assembling the list of links

Many, Many Articles and Widespread Concern about this Design Mis-Step

Ottawa Citizen Article March 24,2015

How John Baird erased "totalitarian" from the Victims of Communism Memorial

 Globe and Mail article March 25,2015

 Globe and Mail article March 26,2015 

 Globe and Mail  letters to the editor:  March 27,2015 

 March 27: Monumental dissent on Victims of Communism memorial – and other letters to the editor

 Globe and Mail article Saturday March 28,2015 (Jeff Simpson) 

 Read this on The Globe and Mail

Harper’s monumental determination
Why, despite a chorus of opposition, is the Prime Minister pushing ahead with the plan for an Ottawa memorial to victims of communism? Politics and determination

CBC National Radio (The 180 with Jim Brown) Sunday March 29,2015


Globe and Mail editorial March 30,2015 

 From The Globe and Mail: 

The Victims of Communism Memorial: Right idea, wrong place

 Ottawa Citizen article March 30,2015 (Don Butler) 

 The NCC changed its donor recognition policy after groups claimed it made fundraising hard

French coverage of Canadian Bar Association statement:

Interview with the Move the Memorial petition founder:


Editor's Note:Many professional organizations that rarely take political positions have weighed in, I was pleased to see the Ontario Association of Architects (I am a member) join in expressing concern about the chosen location and the variance from a long standing plan for the National Capital Precinct.

16. YouTube: Restoration of Grant Hall Moose Jaw Saskatchewan

From Ravaged to Ravishing

Thanks to my sister in law- Amber Nasmith for this link to a great heritage success story in Saskatchewan. I'll be staying there next time we visit.

For Reservations:

Click here for Link

17. CBC: Demolition by Neglect - Gore Park Buildings

'Demolition by neglect': Gore buildings rotting away

Raise the Hammer photo, Gore Park Buildings in 2013

A strip of historic buildings lining Gore Park has endured two frigid winters exposed to the elements without heat, and now it's just a matter of time before they rot away, says the city's former head of heritage planning.

This lengthy saga between the city and Wilson Blanchard is turning into just what some feared – demolition by neglect, says Philip Hoad, the city's former manager of Heritage Facilities and Capital Planning.

"Leaving a building vacant and unheated is going to exponentially increase its deterioration," Hoad told CBC Hamilton. "The constant freeze-thaw cycle just blows apart the building materials."

'Now we build cheap so we can rape and pillage as much out of this stuff as we can – and then we die.'
- Philip Hoad, former city manager of Heritage Facilities and Capital planning
"These century buildings are what gives a city its heart and soul. Well, the whole character and heart of the city has been ripped out and we're still ripping it out."

Hughson Business Space Corporation owns 18-28 King Street East, and bought the historic 19th century properties in 2000. The developer tried to demolish the buildings back in 2013, but a sudden city heritage designation halted the process.

Since then, it has been a back and forth between the city and developer David Blanchard over what to do with the buildings, and if pieces of them can be saved.

Click here for Link

18. City Lab: Barcelona to Protect Historic Shops
Feargus O'Sullivan

Why Barcelona Is Giving Special Preservation Status to 228 Historic Stores

Sombrerería Obach is one of the soon-to-be-protected old shops in Barcelona. (Wikimedia Commons)

Barcelona is about to get a new, different breed of protected monuments. They aren't churches, museums, or archaeological sites. They're a candle shop, a costumier, a drugstore, a café, and a herbalist. These sites, along with 223 more, have just been selected by a city committee as being worthy of special protection. When the plan is voted through after this year's election (and it's all but certain that it will be), these businesses will have extra planning restrictions placed on them that will make it effectively impossible to significantly alter their décor, and difficult to change their use.

Click here for Link

19. Guardian: London's Threatened Skyline and Unesco
Jamie Doward

Eric Pickles under fire for allowing

South Bank plans could obscure the famous views of parliament

South Bank towers development passes final planning hurdle despite Unesco heritage fears, with communities secretary announcing he will not intervene

Heritage groups have accused the government of failing to protect Britain’s world heritage sites after effectively allowing plans for a development on London’s South Bank that will obscure views of the Houses of Parliament.

Campaigners say this confirms fears that the National Planning Policy Framework, promoted by ministers to encourage house-building, is giving too much power to developers.

Unesco had taken the unusual step of asking the government to reconsider plans that would see the demolition of Elizabeth House in Waterloo, a 1960s tower block, and replace it with two new buildings, one 29 storeys high. The £600m scheme will provide 142 new homes alongside offices and shops, but Unesco said this, along with the Nine Elms Regeneration and Vauxhall island site in Battersea, would affect London’s skyline, and the world heritage status of the sites.

Click here for Link

20. James Russell Website: Critique of Conventional Placemaking
James S. Russell

Enough of Bogus Placemaking


The Campbell Fitness Center at Columbia University’s sports complex at the northern tip of Manhattan looks strange to a lot of people. But the more you know the context–an elevated train rattles past it; industrial uses collide with with residential and institutional ones—the more you appreciate why its unconventional form is so right for its place. The building, on paper, could have been a windowless box, walling off Columbia’s athletic complex from the residential blocks as earlier buildings (and the regrettable new fence) do. Instead it opens views to athletic fields and the hills of the South Bronx beyond, and plays off the grey-metal counterweight of the Broadway Bridge (which is just out of this photo). Its sculpted volume and zigzagging stairs recognize the industrial pragmatism of the surroundings while making a boring, emptied street intersection come to jazzy life.

Click here for Link

Editor's Note:Not sure if his book, The Agile City, is in the category of great or know thy enemy. I've ordered a copy to find out. Shawn Micaleff recommends.

21. Leica Camera: Exploring the Landscape of Uncertainty
Olaf Willoughby / Jonathan Castellino

Exploring the Landscape of Uncertainty

Click here for Link