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Issue No. 272 | December 24, 2018

1. Catherine Nasmith Announcing Retirement from Built Heritage News
Catherine Nasmith

After 18 years and 370 issues of Built Heritage News I have decided to retire as manager and editor.

BHN has been a labour of love, largely subsidized by a few sponsors and my modest architectural practice. I am finding that more and more I am relying on Facebook and Twitter to send out stories, so if you are not already a follower of BHN on Facebook and Twitter, please sign up.  The estimated cost of $7,500.00 for a much needed technology update, coupled with my 65th birthday created a decision point for me. 

My retirement could create an opportunity for others to take over the publication, I am open to offers, I would love to see someone continue the work. There are 2500 subscribers. The archives contain an important record of the early years of the 21st century, and I will keep these online for a while yet.

Happy Holidays to you and your family. I am hoping that 2019 will bring renewed energy to the project.

2. Davisville Junior Public School Demolished
Catherine Nasmith

Even though this has been coming for a couple of years, nothing prepares for the actual wicked, wasteful and wanton destruction of a building so many hoped to save. The week before Christmas 2018, photographer Vik Pahwa spent time recording the destruction. 

For those who had leant their time and expertise to trying to get the attention of the province and the TDSB about the looming disaster of squandered environmental and cultural resources inherent in current public policy  this demolition marks a failure, yet those efforts are to be applauded. Public policy is slow to change. In this era of global warming, conserving resources should be the default position. 

Architectural Conservancy Ontario, and Built Heritage News would like to send out a special thanks to Mod Squad members Kim Storey and Carol Kleinfeldt, Lloyd Alter, Monica Contreras and Luigi Contreras for their efforts in making the case for conservation, as well as journalists Alex Bozikovic and Dave LeBlanc for excellent media coverage of the campaign. More recently Andrew Pruss of ERA and architect Joey Giamo took another kick at the can, reported by Alex Bozikovic. They analysed the plans for the new school and compared them with the costs of adaptive re-use and additions to the existing building and found it would cost some 3M less to renovate. But once the wheels of bad public policy start turning, no alternative argument, no matter how sensible, stands a chance. 

Over the week there was an ongoing twitter debate between architectural critic Alex Bozikovic and Toronto District School Board trustee Shelley Laskin, un-apologetic until the end.

In 2017, architect Peter Pennington, the key design architect for Davisville Junior Public School was awarded the ACO's Post 1945 Award for an outstanding body of modern architecture. On the good news front, another of his buildings, the Lord Lansdowne Junior Public School is being restored after several years as the poster child for TDSB deferred maintenance. The Adult Learning Centre at 1 Danforth Avenue is another Pennington masterpiece currently suffering neglect. 


Editor's Note:
Sorry for not being able to include a photo, technology challenges!

3. OHA+M: Farms as Cultural Heritage Landscapes
Dan Schneider

The Farm as Cultural Heritage Landscape, part one

The first of three (or four) posts on the protection of Ontario farmscapes.

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4. Oshawa Express: Concerns about future of historic building
Dave Flaherty

The future of the former Ontario Malleable Iron Building is now in the hands of Metrolinx as part of the expansion of Lakeshore East line. Oshawa resident Marg Wilkinson would like to see the building maintained for adaptive use. Metrolinx says it is comm

A recent edition of The Oshawa Express’ Fourth Estate has sprung a local resident into action.

The article profiled 500 Howard Street, the home of the former Ontario Malleable Iron Company plant and Knob Hill Farms.

In 2013, the property was expropriated by Metrolinx and is pegged for the site of the new Oshawa Central Go Station as part of the Lakeshore East line expansion

The buildings themselves have been mostly vacant since Knob Hill Farms left in 2000.

The older building, which faces west towards Front Street, has fallen into disrepair over the years but appears to be structurally stable.

The future of this building is of concern to Marg Wilkinson.

Wilkinson is a former member of the Heritage Oshawa advisory committee and performs some other committee duties for the organization.

She wants to make sure that the opinions of local residents are heard on the future of the former Ontario Malleable Iron Company building.

“Personally I’d like to see open consultation with the public and interested parties to plan the use for that building,” she says.

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