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Issue No. 245 | October 24, 2015


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Feature Stories

  1. Protecting Indigenous Heritage in Canada
  2. ACO Toronto Re-launches TO Built as a Crowd Sourced Information System
  3. Globe and Mail: Toronto City Hall at 50
  4. H-MTL PLATFORM--Profiling Montreal's Vulnerable Heritage Sites
  5. Inside Toronto: Magna Carta at Fort York
  6. New Legislation a Threat to New York City Heritage


Main Street as Old Growth Forest
November 17
+ read

Heritage Ottawa Walking Tour of Carleton University Campus
Sunday, October 25
+ read


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1. Protecting Indigenous Heritage in Canada
Catherine Nasmith

One of the most moving days at the National Trust for Canada conference was the Moh-Kins-Tsis workshop, an all day session of sharing between the Blackfoot nation and conference delegates. Approximately 1/3 of the delegates were First Nations, a rare chance for face to face conversations - and there were many.

The morning was spent creating a small measure of understanding about the separate value systems of indigenous and western cultures. For example, western ideas of property and ownership are individual and exploitative, whereas indigenous people are communal and understand themselves as part of nature instead of western domination. Several tribal elders (those entrusted with the community memory stretching back over time immemorial) spoke of their role as both teachers and healers.

There are many places of spiritual importance to natives across Canada, but they are disappearing fast. The elders noted that some 80% of their important places have been damaged or lost to western development. Sounds remarkably like the rate of loss of heritage property in general: with it our connections to previous generations, including intangible associations.

Moh-Kins-Tsis is the native name for the area in which Calgary is situated. Until recently the planning system did not take into account recognition of the presence of aboriginal occupation pre-contact, or attempt to consider or consult. However, that is changing, Alberta seems ahead of much of the country in native “engagement”. For example The City of Calgary employs Lorna Crowshoe as Aboriginal Issues Strategist. (Ms. Crowshoe will be joining the Board of The National Trust for Canada).

The afternoon session had several speakers describing the process for native engagement regarding the development of a portion of Paskapoo Slopes in Calgary. The site is partially owned by a private developer, the highest parts will be developed by the City of Calgary as a public park. Both areas contain many important places of native memory, including a medicine wheel. The engagement of natives resulted in preservation of access to some, but not all, native sites in the developed area and the park. New street names were chosen by aboriginals to reflect the Blackfoot history of the place.

Even with Calgary Mayor Nenshi asking for aboriginal inclusion, considerable effort was needed to overcome hesitation in the bureaucracy. Ms. Crowshoe was critical to the outreach needed. What followed was an, elaborate and conciliatory sharing process, but ultimately yielding a result that to me seems to be a little on the ½ empty side of the equation. Baby steps? Best that could be done within the limitations of private development? Nonetheless, there was more of a process than is usually seen in Canada. It seems that if left to voluntary participation, aboriginal historic sites, important to all of Canada, will continue to be hard to conserve.

The election night remarks of Justin Trudeau regarding reconciliation with First Nations suggest the moment has come to consider the mechanisms to preserve First Nations sites. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission made some suggestions on how this might be achieved.

79  We call upon the federal government, in collaboration with Survivors, Aboriginal organizations, and the arts community, to develop a reconciliation framework for Canadian heritage and commemoration. This would include, but not be limited to:

 i.         Amending the Historic Sites and Monuments Act to include First Nations, Inuit, and Métis representation on the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada and its Secretariatiat

ii.         Revising the policies, criteria, and practices of the National Program of Historical Commemoration to integrate Indigenous history, heritage values, and memory practices into Canada’s national heritage and history.

 iii.         Developing and implementing a national heritage plan and strategy for commemorating residential school sites, the history and legacy of residential schools, and the contributions of Aboriginal peoples to Canada’s history.

Given that National Historic Site designation is honorific, ie not binding in any way, and only awarded when the owner is in agreement with the designation, it seems these well meaning recommendations will need to be strengthened to be effective, perhaps by amending the Historic Sites and Monuments Act to give the Board sufficient powers and resources to achieve real and lasting protection for the places that matter to First Nations. 

2. ACO Toronto Re-launches TO Built as a Crowd Sourced Information System
Catherine Nasmith, ACO President

Every architecture firm has tons of files on the buildings they have worked on. And pictures. And drawings. And magazine articles on their work. Often architects have to pull historic drawings out of building records or archives when they are asked to make alterations. As architects, we never quite know what to do with all this stuff.

We all wonder who designed that building or landscape? When was it built….and so on.

The Architectural Conservancy of Ontario, Toronto Branch (ACOTO) is making it easier to share such information by re-launching TO Built as an online database that any ACOTO member can augment. (its easy to join at

The first thing you will see when you go to the website are 8 images of Toronto buildings. These are drawn from the database and will be different every time you refresh the page. Mousing over the images will give you the address of the building. TOBuilt is one of the subpages that shows up as you mouse over the photographs. Once open you will find it has basic and advanced searches allowing searches in many different ways, including neighbourhood, type, date and soon by architect.

The first 7000 listings in the database were photographed and researched by one person, archivist Robert Krwaczyk, who was awarded Honourary membership in the Ontario Association of Architects for his superlative work. The database was donated to ACOTO, and the re-launch as part of a new ACOTO website, was designed by Barry Veerkamp at Meta Strategies.

Over the past two summers, ACOTO student researchers have cross referenced all of the architect listings for Rosedale with those found in the Biographical Dictionary of Architects in Canada and have added over 200 new architectural attributions in that important Toronto neighbourhood.

Our hope is that once launched, TO Built will become the go-to place to share information for architects, community researchers, heritage professionals, whether in private practice or government. Architects will be able to post their portfolio of buildings, pdf’s, photographs and include a link to their websites, a great way to make sure the public knows “who designed that building”. Community groups researching buildings will be able to use this as a central place to store the information they are collecting.

While ready to use, the system will be modified on an ongoing basis; for example ACOTO hopes to align the fields to permit output in a format compatible with Heritage Conservation Districts. We are sure that as people start to use it there will be lots of ideas. Please send any suggestions or comments you may have to

While no online database can guarantee 100% accuracy, to be included new entries must include information sources.  New entries will go into a holding area to be checked by ACOTO before going live.

The laptop version is available now, and will be followed very soon by TOBuilt for tablets and smartphones. It is our hope that Toronto’s architectural fans will make TOBuilt their own, use it to find information and start adding new buildings right away.

As ACO President, I am already dreaming of ONBuilt……but one step at a time.

3. Celebrating Deserving Canadians and Heritage Conservation Projects
National Trust for Canada Release (Heritage Canada)

Ottawa, ON, October 22, 2015 –The National Trust for Canada congratulates the recipients of its 2015 National Heritage Awards for outstanding contributions in their fields. The recipients of the Prince of Wales Prize, the Leadership Awards and the Ecclesiastical Insurance Cornerstone Awards were formally nominated by Canadians from across the country. 

Read about our recipients’ accomplishments, including Julia Gersovitz of Montreal, recipient of the Gabrielle Léger Medal, Marianne Fedori of Edmonton, winner of the Lieutenant Governor’s Award, and the Town of Grimsby, ON, recipient of the Prince of Wales Prize for Municipal Heritage Leadership.

Ecclesiastical Insurance Canada joins us in congratulating this year’s eight outstanding projects which will be presented with our Ecclesiastical Insurance Cornerstone Awards for Building Heritage:

  • Market Street Development, Toronto, ON, Taylor Smyth Architects and Woodcliffe Landmark Properties
  • New Learning Centre – Building 94, Central Experimental Farm, Ottawa, ON, GRC Architects Inc. and the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum
  • Congregation Emanu-El Temple, Victoria, BC, Donald Luxton and Associates Inc. and Congregation Emanu-El
  • The London Roundhouse, London, ON, Creative Property Developments
  • Trinity-St. Paul’s United Church Sanctuary, Toronto, ON, ERA Architects Inc., Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir and Trintiy-St. Paul’s United Church
  • Sir John A. Macdonald Building, Ottawa, ON, Public Works Government Services Canada, MTBA Associates Inc. and NORR Architect, Engineers, Planners
  • École des métiers de la restauration et du tourisme de Montréal, Montreal, QC, Affleck de la Riva architectes, Commission scolaire de Montréal and City of Montreal
  • Cycloroute de Bellechasse, MRC de Bellechasse, QC, Société historique de Bellechasse and MRC de Bellechasse

Learn more about the 2015 Ecclesiastical Insurance Cornerstone Award recipients.

Recipients’ accomplishments  will be fêted at the National Trust’s National Awards Ceremony and Receptiontaking place in Calgary, AB, on October 23, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. at the Petroleum Club with Her Honour, The Hon. Lois Mitchell, Lieutenant Governor of Alberta presenting.   

For further information contact:
Carolyn Quinn, Director of Communications
Telephone: (613) 237-1066 ext. 229; Cell (613) 797-7206

4. Call for Papers 2016 Ontario Heritage Conference Stratford and St. Marys
Rick Huband

May 12-15, 2016

Keynote Speakers


  • David Prosser: Director of Communications Stratford Festival
  • Ken Greenberg: City Builder and Author

Deadline for submissions: January 11, 2016

The Architectural Conservancy Ontario (ACO) and Community Heritage Ontario (CHO) are pleased to announce that the 2016 Ontario Heritage Conference will be held in Stratford and St. Marys, Ontario. The conference attracts 250-plus participants including heritage advocates, volunteers, consultants, municipal planners, heritage tradespeople, provincial agencies and others concerned with the preservation of Ontario’s built heritage and cultural heritage landscapes. The conference program covers broad issues while showcasing local successes and concerns in the heritage conservation field.

Conference Theme:

The conference theme is “Preservation in a Changing World.” The theme provides a platform to examine the formidable changes taking place in today’s world and their impact on our cultural heritage. The conference will explore the challenges, benefits and opportunities of these changes — from the global to the local — for the conservation of Ontario’s heritage resources.

Sub-Themes: Conference planners are seeking speakers and panelists to help delegates explore the following sub themes:


  • How to use social media more effectively in the campaign to promote and preserve heritage structures • More effective use of conventional media (some panelists selected Christopher Hume Toronto Star and Dr. Romayne Smith Fullerton Faculty of Journalism Western University). Need specialist in radio & television
  • Legislative changes required to encourage adaptive reuse of heritage buildings. Four panels proposed to bring perspective of developers, local politicians, heritage activists, architects and heritage professionals. • Building networks for successful advocacy of heritage preservation
  • Preserving our heritage in a time of climate change
  • Using green technology for adaptive reuse (one case study already chosen – Windmill Developments adaptive reuse/redevelopment of Domtar Site in Ottawa River)
  • Application of new technologies in heritage preservation and adaptive reuse
  • Learning from the Future: How to engage and learn from future generations the future custodians of our built heritage • Is our rural heritage at risk?
  • Case studies of repurposing heritage buildings in Perth County and beyond
  • How to make heritage properties more accessible.

We are open to other suggestions for presentations or panels that are compatible with our overall theme.

Early Acknowledgement

Please advise Rick Huband, Conference Planning Chair ( by Friday, October 30, 2015 if you are planning to send in a submission.

  • Submission and format: Abstracts should include:
  • Proposed title of your presentation or session
  • Summary not exceeding 500 words
  • How your proposal aligns with conference theme/sub-themes
  • Your name and contact information and a short bio.

Abstracts should be sent by e-mail to Rick Huband, Conference Planning Chair ( no later than Monday, January 11, 2016.

The results of the selection process will be announced no later than February 11, 2016. For more information, please contact Rick Huband

5. Heritage Thorold Places Eight New Plaques in Thorold
Pamela J. Minns

Heritage Thorold is in the process of having 8 history plaques installed at various locations in the City during the summer/fall months. Seven of these are free-standing plaques, adding to the approximately 14 of these plaques (some free-standing and some installed on buildings) we already have installed at various locations around the City.

Check out our web site at :

(photographs will be added to our web site as installations are completed)
The current installations underway are as follows :

Kennedy-Ward House c.1854
6 Welland St. South
This imposing brick house was built for Wm. Waud, a carpenter and joiner and has elements of neo-Classical and Classical Revival styles with a symmetrical 3-bay façade, central doorway and substantial portico. In 1871 it was sold to John Morley and in 1885 to merchant tailor Thomas Kennedy. In 1915 it was transferred to a son-in-law – dentist Herbert Ward who retained it until 1968.

Moore-Lampman House c.1853
44 Clairmont Street
This one and one-half storey “Ontario Classic Revival House” with pillastered door case and shuttered double-hung windows was built for Jones Moore and Caroline Pew (UEL). Jones Moore was an importer and wholesale merchant originally from Avon, Livingston County, N.Y. Their daughter Amelia married Frederick Lampman (UEL) a local barrister and solicitor whose office was located in his home. After Frederick’s death in 1886, Amelia ran a boarding and day school onsite for several years while raising her five children. The home stayed in the Moore-Lampman family until its sale in 1966.

Flannery House 1859
22 Portland Street
This house was built for Matthew & Agnes Flannery within a year after Matthew, at age 26, purchased the land in 1859, for $235. Matthew was one of Thorold’s early artisans; not only was he a painter by trade, he specialized in “sign, carriage and ornamental” painting, and contributed to the early commerce of the downtown area and economic development of Thorold. His place of business was nearly opposite The Thorold Post on Front Street. This one and one half storey, brick vernacular “Ontario Cottage” design evolved from the popular “Regency Cottage” style of the 1830s. With romantic gothic touches, it has a 3-bay façade with end gables, pitched cedar-shingled roof, a verandah on the south side, a central gable and rear wing. The Flannerys remained in the house for over 50 years until Agnes’ death in 1909.

Lynch House 1908
65 Chapel St. South
This Edwardian brick structure with many fine features, built by the Lynch brothers, has a commanding location in relation to the Welland Canal. As tradesmen and tending locks on the canal, the Lynchs were all involved in the early years of Thorold’s development. Transient sailors stayed on the third floor as their ships were docked in Thorold during the latter operation of the 3rd Welland Canal (c.1908-1932). The well on the property serviced workers when the canal was under construction. A notable feature is the engraved limestone lintel datestone over the front door.

Carter-Holland House 1875
35 Welland St. South
This Gothic Revival and Italianate style home was built by Henry Carter, a mason, a firefighter and member of Council, who organized what later became the well-known and successful Thorold Reed Band. This house has many exquisite untouched details and fine features, including the steep-pitch roof and cathedral windows. The frame rear section was a later addition to the house. The Holland family bought the house in 1939 and it remained in their possession for the next 60 years.

Millar House c.1876
43 Welland St. South
The original owner of this brick house was William England who sold it in 1901 to James Millar, a local tailor and merchant, and it remained in the Millar family until 1992. James, who had a family of 6 children, had a business at 31 Front St. South and contributed to the early commerce and economic development of Thorold. His place of business burned in the fire which devastated downtown Thorold. After the fire he rebuilt the business and was an active member of the community through his membership on the School Board and Board of Trade. His son, David, followed him in the business and was Mayor of Thorold in 1906-7.

Beckett’s Reserve-McFarland House c.1840
Stephen Beatty House 1879
10 Canby Street, Port Robinson
The history of and the people associated with this site highlight the prominent position the village of Port Robinson enjoyed in Upper Canadian and early post-Confederation Canadian history. The site initially belonged to the descendant of a family of loyalist Quakers who settled in Pelham, Edwood Beckett, before it was sold to the entrepreneur Duncan McFarland in 1836. Here, a first house appears to have been built in c.1840. From 1847 the property was associated with the medical pioneer and later President of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, Dr. Duncan Campbell. Acquired in 1855 by an official on the 2nd Welland Canal and superintendent of nearby St.Paul’s Church, John Beatty, the house was rebuilt by his son Stephen – a hero of the Battle of Ridgeway – in 1879. In 1887 it became home to one of Thorold Township’s most cherished family doctors Dr. Hugh Park for nearly three decades.

Dominion Government Building – Former Post Office 1935-36
18 Front St. North
Constructed in 1935, officially opened in May 1936, this landmark building was enlarged in 1957 by increasing the size from 6 to 10 bays. It was one of more than 240 federal buildings erected in the 2nd half of the 1930s under the Public Works Construction Act which allocated $40 million for Federal construction – intended to stimulate a depressed Canadian economy. N.A. Kearns a Welland Architect supervised the construction. Framed of steel with a concrete basement and Queenston limestone façade in a bold Modern Classical style, the building was erected by R. Timms Construction Ltd. Welland at a cost of $37,082. Canada Customs and other federal business was also transacted here and, like most post offices, became part of the fabric of the community and a meeting place.

All of these illustrate the rich heritage we have in Thorold’s group of communities (including Beaverdams, St. Johns, Allanburg and Port Robinson) and will serve to help educate residents, visitors and tourists to our area.

Pamela J.Minns
Secretary - Treasurer
Heritage Thorold LACAC

6. Game Changer in Bala Falls?
Catherine Nasmith

Bala Falls, Aerial view, the bridge in question is the north bridge on 169

Sometimes winning a battle is all about persistence and stamina, waiting for that one piece of information that changes the game. After over ten years of struggle, includng several unsuccessful legal appeals, the Save the Bala Falls campaign seemed to have exhausted its options to prevent the destruction of their beloved waterfall for an unwanted hydro plant. The Township of Muskoka Lakes Council seemed to be helping, not hindering, the hydro developers. And then someone at the District Council (Muskoka is a two tiered municipal government), worried about potential damage from construction to a District bridge did some careful investigation and discovered that the District of Muskoka not only owned the bridge but the land under it, and could prevent access and construction on their property.

That is not game over, but could be the beginning of a seventh inning stretch. For the first time, the municipality has a card to play. Until now it seemed as if the municipal government, robbed of planning powers for Green Energy Act projects, with this project proposed on provincially owned land, could do little but bark. If inability to blast under the bridge forces a redesign of the construction process or even the project, then it will be time for a “conversation” between the Township of Muskoka Lakes, The District of Muskoka and the province. Those discussions might find a solution that saves the falls, and finds another location where the hydro potential of these falls can be captured without loss of important cultural landscape features.

Here follows the Muskoka Lakes Press Release:

In a 6-4 vote this morning, Muskoka Lakes councillors have recommended the District not allow blasting work to be done on a key segment of District land at Bala Falls.

The committee of the whole motion that was voted on recommends the District not permit any blasting or excavation of any District owned land in and or near the Muskoka Road #169 bridge in Bala, save and except or repairs to the bridge. If approved at District, it’s not known how it would affect Swift River Energy’s plans to build a controversial hydro plant at Bala Falls.

The motion that was voted on suggests concerns exist about potential negative implications to business, emergency services and school transportation should damage to the District owned bridge occur, requiring road closure resulting in a significant 50km plus detour as witnessed by the 10 day closure of MR #169 near Bass Lake and the two month closure of MR #141 near Rosseau, both in the summer of 2015.

In attendance at today’s meeting to watch the vote happen was District Chair John Klinck. Voting in favour of the motion were councillors Currie, Kruckel, Nishikawa, Barrick-Spearn, Edwards and Harding. Voting against it were Mayor Don Furniss and councillors Baranick, Ledger and McTaggart.

Editor's Note:
Alas, subsequent to this article Swift River have amended their construction plans to eliminate work under the bridge...So they are pushing ahead at full speed. What is encouraging about the vote was it is the first time that a majority of Township of Muskoka Lakes Council has indicated an ongoing will to reshape this project. Watch this space.

7. Call for Applications: Gordon Cullingham Research and Publication Grant, Heritage Ottawa
Laurie Brady

Heritage Ottawa invites applications for the Gordon Cullingham Research and Publication Grant. The grant program was created in 2008 and is named in honour of the late Gordon Cullingham, journalist, broadcaster, editor and heritage activist.


The grant program supports work on all aspects of the preservation of Ottawa's built heritage, such as its architectural history, biography, material and technologiclal history, heritage conservation, cultural landscape and heritage planning. Grants can be awarded to assist research on an appropriate topic or to contribute to the publication of a book or article.


Grants may be awarded to an individual, team or not-for-profit historical, heritage or community organization or to a publisher.


The yearly maximum individual grant will not exceed $1,000 for research and $2,000 towards the cost of publication. A three-person jury will review the applications and will make an appropriate recommendation to the Heritage Ottawa Board of Directors. If no application is deemed worthy of support in a given year, no grant will be awarded.


Research grant applications should include an 800 word research proposal stating the nature of the research being proposed, how it meets the guidelines noted above, a brief resumé of the applicant(s), a budget for the project, the names of two references who can attest to the applicant qualifications, and an indication of the potential for publication arising out of the research.

Publication grant applications should also provide a detailed publishing budget and three draft copies of an article or one draft copy of a book or monograph being considered for publication.


Three copies ( an original and two photocopies ) of each application should be submitted to Heritage Ottawa at :

Heritage Ottawa

Cullingham Grant Committee

2 Daly Avenue

Ottawa, ON K1N 6E2

Applications can be sent by email to Please include the words "Gordon Cullingham Grant Application" in the subject line.

All applications must be received or postmarked no later than November 1, 2015. Application forms can be downloaded at

8. Bracebridge Examiner
Brent Cooper

Swift River backs off bridge excavation plans

BALA - The company planning to build a hydroelectric plant in Bala has possibly sidestepped a potential roadblock in its path to constructing the controversial project.

Save the Bala Falls, a community group created to stop the plant project, and some Muskoka Lakes township councillors had expressed concern over plans by Swift River Energy Ltd. to excavate below the Highway 169 bridge over the Bala north channel.

There were discussions on both sides as to the ownership of the land below the bridge, with Swift River claiming the Ministry of Transportation owns the land, while Save the Bala Falls maintains the lakebed land had been transferred to the district in 1997.

Council was facing a resolution at its Oct. 16 meeting from its Sept. 22 committee of the whole meeting, requesting the District of Muskoka reject any offer from Swift River for use of these lands. The resolution passed at the meeting.

Click here for Link

9. The Globe and Mail: Gardiner Expressway East Section..
John Lorinc

Rerouting the Gardiner: How Toronto has been down this road before

It’s not every day that local politicians get a chance to move something as, well, immovable as a highway.

But that’s just what will happen beginning next week, when a council committee sits down to figure out exactly where the “hybrid” eastern leg of the Gardiner Expressway should run.

During the Sept. 22 public works and infrastructure committee meeting, city staff will present three alternatives to the current routing, which swoops in a broad arc south from the Don Valley Parkway, hugs the northern edge of Keating Channel and then curves back up toward the railway corridor west of Cherry Street.

The options, developed in the wake of last June’s showdown over the highway’s future, feature tighter curves linking the DVP and the Gardiner. The city’s aim is to shift the highway north and free up as much as 121/2 hectares of city-owned shoreline real estate. Staff members estimate land sales could generate proceeds of $60-million to $100-million, depending on the configuration chosen.

The stakes, in other words, are massive.

Click here for Link

10. CBC: Re-using Toronto's Old City Hall

Old City Hall: staff to study city museum option

Those who feared Toronto's Old City Hall would become a new city mall in five years can breathe a sigh of relief.

The city's Government Management Committee voted Monday to study the feasibility of turning the historic building into a city museum, before examining any other options for future tenants.

The building, which opened in 1899, is currently in use as a courthouse by the government of Ontario, but that lease will expire at the end of 2021.

The committee examined options on Monday for future tenants of the building once the lease with the province expires.

City staff had consulted with a real estate broker, who concluded that the best use of the space would be "conversion to a retail centre that contains a mix of food service, leisure, event and civic uses."

The real estate broker's report had many city-watchers fearing the historic building might be turned over to a retailer with plans to transform it into something resembling a food court.

Click here for Link

11. Globe and Mail: Protecting Modernist Heritage
Dave LeBlanc

'McMansion' threat in Modernist Scarborough community ignites activism

It has received the UNESCO stamp of approval. The World Monuments Fund advocates for it. Entire cities, such as Palm Springs, Calif., rely on it for tourism. Governments routinely designate single buildings and whole neighbourhoods because of it.

Its finally safe to say that Modernism  that distinctive, unadorned, optimistic, future-forward and magical architecture that changed the way we see ourselves during the postwar period  has more admirers than detractors.

But what it really needs to survive is hard-working folk who go above and beyond; people who do the legwork, digging, organizing, door-to-door pamphlet dropping, phone calls and letter writing.

When Lisa Duperreault and her husband Garnet bought a home in Midland Park in 1994, Mid-century Modern was not part of her vocabulary; while the low-slung, 1959 post-and-beam homes in this leafy, central Scarborough enclave were certainly a textbook example of that style, and their realtor had used the term California Modern to describe them, we didnt know what it meant, she says.

Midland Park dates to the late-fifties and many of houses retain the Mid-Century Modern sensibilities that to this day remain a selling point.
The fronts looked very plain, she says. I found that really strange because, normally, youre used to the living room window at the front  a big bay window thing. And, no garage was something that we were kind of concerned about, because every house that Ive ever lived in, and Garnet as well, had a garage.

However, the neighbourhood spoke a clear language regardless; after all, fluency in Italian isnt required to identify an Italian love song, and the love that architect Edward Ross lavished on these homes for developer Curran Hall was obvious.

It wasnt until over a decade later, however, that Ms. Duperreault learned the specifics as to why Modernist architects favoured carports over garages (they dissolve into the streetscape better), and eschewed front porches and showboating picture windows in favour of floor-to-ceiling windows that look onto private backyard gardens.

Soon, she was energized. While a mural (completed in late 2010) celebrating the neighbourhoods history at Oakley Boulevard and Ellesmere Avenue helped educate residents and passersby, she felt it wasnt enough. So, Ms. Duperreault formed the Midland Park Modernism Alliance in 2011. I really wanted to do it for the people who live here, she says. Everyone knows they have something special, but they dont know why.

Modernist architects favoured carports over garages and eschewed front porches and showboating picture windows in favour of floor-to-ceiling windows that look onto private backyard gardens. (Lisa Duperreault)
She created a website,, and filled it with history  Curran Hall was owned by Paul Hellyer, Canadas defence minister in the 1960s  and with entertaining tidbits on how to identify Modernism. At first, she envisioned the site as a resource for those seeking to understand their homes and, with hope, to be a little more sympathetic when renovating. You cant go to Home Depot and buy the skinny baseboards, she says, and when youre working with contractors, they want to give you the homogenized stuff. And if you dont have your wits about you, you end up decorating all wrong.

And it worked, she says. Right from the get-go, it has had what we call in sales stickiness, and Ive had this slow momentum building.

A reissue of the original Curran Hall brochure, featuring floor plans and original prices  from $14,270 to $17,930  was a hit with residents, and taught them that six of the homes were Design Council Award winners. A few original residents of Midland Park sent Ms. Duperreault snapshots of their homes when new, with muddy roads and baby trees (although it should be noted that mature trees, wherever possible, were retained, as well as the sites natural topography  this was no bulldoze-and-start-fresh approach).

Then, a couple of things happened that changed everything.

A reissue of the original Curran Hall brochure, featuring floor plans and original prices  from $14,270 to $17,930  was a hit with residents.
In March, 2013, Canadas first Heritage Conservation District (HCD) of Modernist homes, Briarcliffe in Ottawa, was created. Then, in the summer of 2014, Midland Park residents learned an application to develop a McMansion had been filed on Rosswood Crescent; while other Toronto Mid-century hotbeds, such as Don Mills, already have dozens, this would be Midland Parks first, and its nearly 5,000 square feet not only would tower over other homes, it would set a dangerous precedent.

While Ms. Duperreault had already written to the citys Heritage Preservation Services about considering Midland Park as Torontos first Modernist HCD  something the department wholeheartedly agrees with but says budgets prevent until 2017  the monster home threat galvanized her into taking further action. Within two weeks, a focus group of 25 active community members was formed to discuss both the HCD option and the public hearing for the minor variance that would make a major difference on Rosswood.

Ms. Duperreault stresses, however, that the HCD was the main agenda item, since its better to focus on what your goal is, because the rest sorts itself out. By the end of January, 2015, door-to-door volunteers had collected 500 signatures that represented about 300 homes  or almost half of the homes in Midland Park  in support of an heritage designation. A further 50 residents signed a form letter and sent it to their city councillor.

By the end of January, 2015, door-to-door volunteers had collected 500 signatures that represented about 300 homes  or almost half of the homes in Midland Park  in support of an heritage designation. (Lisa Duperreault)
At Ms. Duperreaults request, the campaign received support letters. Mr. Hellyer, now 92, wrote that he wanted to create something different from the tract housing subdivisions hed seen elsewhere. Scarborough Community Preservation Panel chairman Rick Schofield observed that it is quite unusual for a neighbourhood to have retained all the original architectural styles with renovations that are in keeping with the original design. The son and grandsons of John Race, Curran Halls secretary-treasurer, wrote that the heritage features of the Midland Park neighbourhood have created a cultural identity that resonates with its occupants.

While the McMansion will almost certainly get built, this avalanche of appreciation has resulted in a sine die on the application and forced consultations between the property owner and concerned residents. Even though a more sympathetic architectural plan may result, only an HCD can dictate the size and setbacks of complete rebuilds or additions.

This doesnt faze Ms. Duperreault, however, who has seen what happens when people come together: Whatever chemistry we have, its magic, she says. I have not fought to make this happen, I havent struggled, its all just been a real nice evolution.

And even the variance, it came at a perfect time  I think everything happens for a reason, and I think this is meant to be.

Click here for Link

12. Globe and Mail: Toronto City Hall at 50
Alex Bozikovic

City Hall's Alls Well that Ends Well


It landed like an alien spacecraft: the curviest and most innovative thing in a city of straight lines and Victorian brickwork. When City Hall opened in 1965, it instantly transformed Toronto’s image of itself.

Fifty years later, that building and Nathan Phillips Square are Toronto’s civic and symbolic heart. This summer, I saw the square packed with thousands of people for concerts during the Panamania festival; the newly renovated square felt like the city’s grand yet comfortable living room. Like all great design, it seems inevitable.

But as we mark the complex’s 50th anniversary – there is a public party there on Sunday – it’s worth remembering the truth: The hall and square, with their exuberant architecture by the Finn Viljo Revell, just barely came to pass. Toronto surprised itself, with the sort of bold leadership that doesn’t exist in the city today.

This month an exhibition, a series of talks, an online exhibit and a new book start to unpack some of this complex history – which has lessons for Toronto today.

Toronto in the mid-1950s was much smaller, still deeply Protestant and colonial. The project began with political infighting and a mediocre design. And during the eight years from design to opening day, it evolved through Toronto’s contrary strands of boosterism, parochialism, parsimoniousness (there were extended political battles over the furniture and the Henry Moore sculpture on the square) and prudery. (The idea that alcohol might some day be served at a City Hall restaurant prompted angry protests.)

Somehow, it worked out.

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13. Globe and Mail: Rehabilitating two Pre-Confederation Houses in Toronto
Dave LeBlanc

Restored townhouses keep Corktown quirky despite gentrification

In August, this space featured a 1960s apartment tower in the running for a 2015 Heritage Toronto William Greer Architectural Conservation and Craftsmanship Award. Today, a second candidate is presented below; in early October, we will present a third. Winners will be announced on Oct. 13 at the Heritage Toronto Awards gala.

Fifteen years ago, Toronto’s Corktown neighbourhood was a destination only to those who lived there. Many buildings were dilapidated, a few were vacant, and alleyways were littered with syringes and condoms. Shady characters on doorsteps steered nice folk into taking evening constitutionals elsewhere; besides, Corktown coffee came only in the lukewarm, greasy spoon variety.

But, as with most pockets of this booming city, gentrification soon came a-calling. However, because of Corktown’s physical makeup – much of it sits in the shadow of the Richmond Sreet overpass, and many streets are narrow culs-de-sac – and because authentic grit is so deeply rooted here, a quirky honesty remains rather than the crass commercialism that usually strangles a neighbourhood.

The Francis Beale Buildings, after restoration by DTAH. (Photo by Arnaud Marthouret)
“There’s a heritage conservation district coming in this area,” says architect Joe Lobko, a partner at DTAH, a firm known for sensitivity to heritage buildings and stunning landscape architecture.


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Editor's Note:The survival, let alone the rehabilitation of these two buildings is a small miracle in overheated Toronto. And a note of disclosure, my husband Robert Allsopp is a partner in dtah.

14. Globe and Mail - Developers put new stamp on Old Post Office

Two years ago, Edmonton developers bought Saint Johns 134-year-old Old Post Office and began converting the upper floors into luxury condominiums.

When the Great Fire of Saint John wiped out 80 hectares of the New Brunswick city in 1877, a post office on Prince William Street was one of the first buildings to rise from the ashes. Nearly a century and a half later, the Second Empire building has once again become a beacon of regrowth: Thanks to a pair of developers from Alberta, the heritage property is transforming into a luxury condo complex in the heart of the city’s core.

Long referred to as the “Old Post Office,” the three-and-a-half storey stone building is one of Saint John’s most recognizable architectural icons. It boasts a mansard roof and high Roman arch windows; when lit up at night, it’s impossible to look away from it while walking or driving along Prince William or Water streets. The waterfront-facing property was designated a historic place in 1982.

 Two years ago, Edmonton developers Rob Fediuk and John Kupchenko bought the property for $2-million with plans to convert the upper floors into seven condo units. Enticed by the proposed Energy East pipeline, which would connect to the Atlantic Ocean through a terminal in Saint John, the developers saw a chance to invest in the city’s prospects for renewed growth.

 “From an outsider’s perspective, it’s just an absolute rarity to see something like that,” Mr. Fediuk says of the Old Post Office, which has been renamed The Royal. Even if Energy East falls through, he’s confident he’ll be able to entice buyers to the building: “It’s got all the character in the world.”

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15. cbc: A short history of building to be demolished for Tour des Canadiens

Building housed new immigrants, then interned Ukrainians during World War I

The building at 1162 St-Antoine St. W. shortly after construction. It was built as temporary logding for new immigrants, then to intern "enemy aliens" during World War I, mostly Ukrainians. (Library and Archives Canada)

Heritage activists are decrying the demolition of a historical building to make way for the third condo tower with the Montreal Canadiens brand.

The building at 1162 St-Antoine St. West, built in 1914, has a rich and dark history. It was used, among other things, to intern Ukrainians who were considered "enemy aliens" during the First World War.

Here's a short history of the structure, according to a historical study made for the Office de consultation publique de Montréal.

Inaugurated as Immigration Hospital and Detention Building, it welcomed, processed and medically treated new immigrants. It was also a temporary housing for deported immigrants.

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16. Arch Daily: What's Worth Saving

Should Victorian-era Architecture be "Saved at all Costs"

Empathetic historicism and romanticising older buildings has become an ever-common sentiment in modern Britain. In an article for the British daily The Telegraph, Stephen Bayley tackles this trend by questioning whether Victorian-era architecture is actually all worth saving? Victorian architecture, so called because it was implemented under the reign of Queen Victoria, was stylistically preoccupied by Gothic Revival — an attempt by architects and commissioners to impose a 'pure', chivalrous unifying aesthetic designed to instill a sense of civic importance and reaffirm a social hierarchy. Yet "their architecture," according to Bayley, "has an inclination to ugliness that defies explanation by the shifting tides of tastes."

It was recently reported by the BBC that repairs to the Palace of Westminster (pictured) could run up to near £6 billion (around $9 billion).

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17. H-MTL PLATFORM--Profiling Montreal's Vulnerable Heritage Sites
Heritage Montreal

Interactive Platform for Sharing Information about Vulnerable Heritage

Many great strides have been made in heritage management since Heritage Montreal was founded 40 years ago—a time when entire neighbourhoods were disappearing. You can help us continue to make progress, and to that end we’ve developed this interactive map-based toolkit that profiles vulnerable heritage sites. It’s designed to evolve thanks to the vigilance and collaboration of users like you. Inspired by the actions taken over the past 40 years to better integrate Montreal’s DNA into the city’s evolving heritage, this platform makes available a range of tools we can use to create—together—positive, well-equipped and inspiring grassroots movements to build a meaningful heritage for the future.

To go directly to the Map 

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18. Inside Toronto: Magna Carta at Fort York
Hilary Caton

Check out the 800-year-old Magna Carta on display at Fort York Visitor Centre

Check out the 800-year-old Magna Carta on display at Fort York Visitor Centre
Copy on loan to Toronto is insured for $37-million, under 24-hour surveillance

Magna Carta at Fort York
Magna Carta at Fort York
Staff photo/HILARY CATON
The Magna Carta docment is on display at the Fort York Visitor's Centre from Oct. 4 to Nov. 7.From left, Larry Ostola, director of museum and heritage services withteh city of Toronto, co-chairs of Magna Carta Canada Lend Rodness and his wife Suzy get up close to check out the Magna Carta.
Beach Mirror
By Hilary Caton
The Magna Carta has landed and it’s in Toronto for the first time in its 800-year history.

Nestled in a special glass case at the Fort York Visitors Centre, in a light and temperature controlled room, Torontonians will have their chance to come face-to-face with one of the world’s most significant historical documents.


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19. Jennifer Keesmaat at Ontario Heritage Conference
forwarded by Stephen Otto

There are two sets of videos on the 2015 Ontario Heritage Conference held in Niagara, this link is for Day One. If you like what you see think about signing up to attend the 2016 conference in Stratford, which promises to be excellent. Sneak Preview on Facebook 



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20. Little intact 60's interior

This Old Ladys Home Looks Ordinary&But What She Did Inside? UNBELIEVABLE!

I remember so many interiors like this in high school

A96-year-old Toronto resident is selling her two-story home located in the West Toronto neighborhood of Bloor West Village. From the outside, the house doesn’t look like anything out-of-the-ordinary, and even her neighbors had no idea the surprise she kept inside…

Decorated in perfect style circa 1965, the home is intricately and gorgeously decorated in the 1950s and ’60s era — from floor to ceiling. We’re talking metallic wallpaper, modern baroque prints, colorful carpeting, and neo-ornate splendor and much, much more.

The homeowner is a 96-year-old seamstress who has always been passionate interior design, but was never able to make it her profession. Despite her age, she and her family have lovingly maintained the home’s classic beauty and eccentricities for 72 years. The interior remains in absolute pristine condition, and is currently on the market! How much would you love to call this place home?!

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21. New Legislation a Threat to New York City Heritage
Municipal Arts Foundation (New York)

Testimony re: Intro 775

September 9th, 2015, 10:45 am

Testimony given by Christy MacLear, chair of MASs Preservation Committee

Thank you for the opportunity to testify today on a bill that we believe will have a lasting negative
impact on our city. I am Christy MacLear, member of the Municipal Art Society Board of Directors and
Chair of the organizations Preservation Committee. MAS is a non-profit membership organization that
advocates for intelligent urban planning, design, and preservation. I am joined by architects Judith
Saltzman and Charles Platt who have over 75 years combined expertise building and restoring
landmark buildings.

The 120 year-old Municipal Art Society was the organization that lead the charge to create the
Landmarks Preservation Commission in the 1960s, one of the most far reaching in the nation, after the
devastating loss of Penn Station. We are a group of civic leaders and proud New Yorkers who want to
ensure that we will continue to protect buildings and districts that are of value to our great city.

MAS supports efforts to bring greater transparency and accountability to LPCs work, but we do not
support the legislation being discussed today.

To understand the proposal being discussed today, one must first understand the existing landmarking
process: LPC staff reviews applications and decides whether to calendar a proposal. The act of
calendaring indicates that the LPC has evaluated a building or site, and determined it to be eligible
for landmark designation. Calendaring also triggers a public hearing and a vote by the commissioners
of the LPC. Over the years, LPC has calendared items, but not proceeded with a designation decision,
leaving properties in limbo for years. For example, LPC currently has 96 properties that have been
calendared for 5 years or longer.

Intro 775 would impose time limits for review of applications before the Landmark Preservation
Commission (LPC). It would require LPC to hold a public hearing within 180 days for individual buildings
that have been calendared, and another 180 to make a final decision about the designation, effectively
putting a one-year time limit on LPC review of applications. Historic districts would have to be
reviewed and designated or dismissed within two years. If no action is taken, then the application
would be automatically dismissed. In all cases, properties that were not designated would receive a 5-
year ban where resubmission would not be allowed. All items calendared at the time the law goes into
effect must be designated or dismissed within 18 months.

While we have concerns about many elements of the bill, the most dangerous section is the proposed
five-year moratorium on reconsiderations of potential landmarks. The original 1965 version of the
landmarks law had a moratorium provision which Ada Louise Huxtable, in a New York Times editorial,
called the laws weakness and an extraordinary joker in the final revision. She goes on to say:
&this extremely questionable solution is no more than an ironic guarantee of speculative
destruction as usual  under protection of the preservation law itself.

In 1973 the City Council itself recognized that the moratorium was antithetical to the ideals of the
Landmarks Preservation Commission, and amended the law, and the moratorium provision was
eliminated. Inserting a new moratorium into the law today will only go backwards in time and
endanger the very intent law. We strongly advise you to remove the moratorium provision from

As you move forward, we urge the Council to consider a set of agency rules, rather than legislation, to
improve transparency and move applications more swiftly through LPC. Or, you could draft legislation
that sets a framework for new LPC policy, rather than dictating the policy itself.

We look forward to working with the Council and LPC on such a set of rules, and hope they will
consider the following recommendations as conversations continue:

The deadlines in the bill are too short. LPC should be given two years or longer to review and designate
or dismiss individual applications, rather than a year, and specific time periods of 6 months for each
step of the designation process are unnecessary. For historic districts, LPC should have at least 3 years
for review of historic districts. In fact, an analysis by Landmarks West showed that nearly 40 districts
would not have been designated with the language in the proposed legislation.

We believe that automatically dismissing properties if no action is taken undermines the Landmarks
Law, and should be withdrawn from consideration. This dangerous proposal could allow property to
run out the clock on applications. MAS is equally opposed to a five year ban if a property is not
designated. In fact, we believe this is a dangerous step backwards, since the Landmarks Law used to
allow dismissal with prejudice.

MAS opposed LPCs proposal to clear its backlog of calendared items without holding public hearings,
and we are pleased that the agency will now review the applications through a series of public
hearings. We have reviewed all the proposals and look forward to commenting in more detail at the

We urge the Committee to work with LPC to continue to improve its website. We applaud for the
changes LPC made over the past year to bring greater transparency to its website, and hope more
changes are on the way. For example, application presentations should be online at least two weeks
before a hearing is held and agendas for each meeting should link directly to presentation materials.

Regarding Intro 837, an online database seems like a fine idea, but we ask that the Council work with
LPC to ensure that the database is not too far reaching, and doesnt impose an undue burden on the

Thank you for the opportunity to testify today.

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