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Issue No. 143 | May 26, 2009


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Feature Stories

  1. Editorial: PROUD on OMB and Port Dalhousie
  2. Globe and Mail: Obituary Arthur Erickson


LAST CHANCE TO REGISTER: Ontario Heritage Conference Peterborough
May 29-31
+ read

TSA Forum: Regent Park Revitalization
May 26
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Jan Gehl at the Design Exchange
Wednesday, June 3
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Cabbagetown Garden Tour
June 7
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Friends of Fort York Annual Georgian Mess Dinner
Thursday, June 11
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1. Editorial: PROUD on OMB and Port Dalhousie
Carlos Garcia

Port Dalhousie Debacle: OMB Presides Over Destruction of our Heritage, Ministry “Fiddles While Our Heritage Burns”

Ontario’s dismal record of failing to preserve our heritage is about to get worse –much worse. The landmark OMB decision to allow a 20-storey height condo tower in Port Dalhousie’s low-rise Heritage Conservation District (HCD) means every one of over 90 HCDs in the Province is now vulnerable to towers and inappropriate development.

Volunteer community organization PROUD’s epic struggle in St. Catharines has included: City and Regional Council meetings, OMB Pre-Hearings, a failed OMB Mediation, and a 71-day marathon OMB Hearing. The City and PROUD put forward a very strong OMB case, supported by leading expert witnesses and provisions of Provincial Policy Statement and City’s Official Plan, Zoning By-Law (3-storey height limit) and Heritage Guidelines.

Despite this herculean effort, OMB Vice-Chair Susan Campbell claimed to strike a balance between the Planning and Heritage Acts and approved the proposal in almost its entirety. (the OMB had NEVER before approved a tower in a designated HCD). PROUD then requested a review of the decision arguing that, contrary to Campbell’s ruling, the HCD Plan had the elevated status of the 2005 Heritage Act and, accordingly, Council "shall not ...pass a by-law for any purpose that is contrary to the objectives set out in that plan".

In an ironic twist, Chair Hubbard ruled that the Plan did have elevated status but she agreed with Campbell that the tower proposal did not contravene that Plan. This despite testimony from five leading heritage experts that the proposal did contravene the plan. The OMB supported the developer’s arguments that the Plan was not specific enough in stating that the height of new construction should not exceed that of existing buildings. In doing so, they ignored expert David Cuming who drafted the Heritage Guidelines and was very clear the intent was not to allow higher buildings (who can know more about the intent of the Guidelines than the author?). If the Board felt the Plan was not specific enough, should it not have erred on the side of caution? Is it possible to imagine that ANY heritage expert would have drafted a Plan that did allow towers in a 19th century village??

Campbell and Hubbard also supported the argument that the proposal would promote economic revitalization and this would therefore protect the heritage that survived. The developer was not required to provide any proof that this revitalization would actually work. A fascinating argument since planners and Campbell herself, always claim the Board considers only planning arguments –not economic justifications.

The full process from beginning to end will have cost PROUD over half a million dollars and this does not include the thousands of hours donated by so many volunteers.

Where was the Ministry of Culture during this 5-year battle? Nowhere to be found. The Ministry has failed to support its Heritage Act. They responded to the Region’s request for comments without making the effort to visit the site. They then did not offer to testify in support of their comments or otherwise try to advance the case that the City and the community were left alone to defend. In fact, at the recent heritage forum at Fort York, Ministry staff abdicated any responsibility and argued they only write the laws and it is up to the lawyers to interpret and test them.

The implications for other HCDs are very scary indeed. It is cold comfort that all existing HCD plans can now claim to have the elevated status of the 2005 Heritage Act. Unless the plan is absolutely bullet-proof, and peer reviewer Michael McClelland, testifying for the developer under subpoena at the OMB stated Cuming’s Plan was already one of the best he had seen, developers will be able to argue their proposals do not contravene. The OMB can then accept the developers’ arguments as it “strikes a balance”. Throw in a claim of economic benefits and revitalization and the Port precedent and OMB approval is almost guaranteed.

Two major changes are needed if our remaining heritage is to be saved: OMB reform and proactive intervention by the Ministry. The Ministry of Municipal Affairs needs to rein in the OMB and make it clear that in designated buildings and districts, the Heritage Act and plans take precedence. The Ministry of Culture needs to use its powers decisively including stopping demolitions and designating threatened buildings. Only then will we have appropriate development that truly revitalizes, increases heritage tourism and provides an adequate return to developers. Start writing both Ministries and your MPP TODAY or it will be too late.

Carlos Garcia is Executive Vice-President of PROUD Port Dalhousie and a member of ACO-St. Catharines

Editor's Note:
The response is always lively when Port Dalhousie is mentioned. If you have a comment please post directly to Submit a News item at or to the ACO Blog on this topic.

2. Muskoka District Has the Opportunity to Create Local Archives
Catherine Nasmith

Do you have connections to Muskoka? Would you like to be able to explore them? Do you think it is important that Muskoka or any community keep archives?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, please send a short note to Muskoka Regional Councillors to encourage them to take advantage of the funding that is available to build an archives for Muskoka.

In June, 2010 the community will be turned upside down for the G8 meeting at Deerhurst. One of the opportunities created by this was a legacy fund which could be directed towards establishing a local Muskoka Archives.

This facility was the dream of the recently deceased Barb Paterson, a local heritage, genealogist and researcher for Muskoka-Parry Sound. An article in the Muskoka Sun in May 18, 2006 said: “Barbara’s vision is that one day there will be a comprehensive archive in the District of Muskoka. Archives are not a popular thing, she says, and you need someone to champion the cause. Barbara believes that the establishment of an archive should be at the District level because of the staffing, an infrastructure, and the conditions that will allow the preservation in perpetuity”

Regrettably, at a recent Township of Muskoka Lakes Council meeting the Councillors voted against supporting in principle building such a facility even if the construction were paid for citing the operating costs and their own expertise in storing the records in the Glen Orchard fire hall.

If a community does not preserve its past then it can have no future. A simple comparison would be to the challenges that adopted children face when trying to understand their own history. Without a place to store our collective records, the community is orphaned, without a sense of its roots and without a means to find them.

Heather Coupland, who has a long standing interest in preserving Muskoka’s history, was disappointed by the decision,  “Muskoka government was short-sighted in passing up the opportunity to have a purpose built structure to house the past and present records for the future. Some early township records were lost in house fires. Others have succumbed to mold and mice." For Heather "the location is immaterial as long as it is in Muskoka.  We need to preserve our heritage so that it can be seen now and in the future.”

There was a previously unscheduled District Council meeting on May 6, 2009 to discuss this matter. The May 8, 2009 edition of the Weekender stated: “Citing limited time to research the need for an archive building and the cost to the taxpayer for maintaining the building , district councilors rejected $4.5 million in G8 funding for the 10,500-square –foot archive building at a Wednesday committee of the whole meeting.”

Nonetheless it can’t hurt for those who have an interest in historical research and the preservation of past and present records for the future to write to the Councillors and express their views.

Please write to Councillors at the local area municipalities or at the District Municipality of Muskoka. If you address your letter to the Chairman and all the Councillors, everyone will receive it.

The District Councillors and the District Chairman, Gord Adams can be reached at the District Municipality of Muskoka, 70 Pine Street, Bracaebridge, Ontario P1L 1N3.

Gord Adams email is

You may ask in his email that he share it with the Councillors.

The Chief Administrative Officer is Jim Green-email:

Your support for an Archives would be appreciated by all those who are interested in saving the history of Muskoka.

3. HCF marks the launch of Main Street Ontario with the publication of Main Street: Past & Present
Heritage Canada Press Release

Ottawa, ON May 20, 2009 – In recognition of the recent launch of Main Street Ontario, a new program of the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), the Heritage Canada Foundation (HCF) is releasing Main Street: Past and Present This report presents the Main Street approach to downtown revitalization in Canada, and describes existing programs in Alberta, Quebec, the United States and abroad.
“We’re pleased to see OMAFRA bringing the Main Street approach to Ontario,” said Natalie Bull, HCF’s executive director. “Main Street Ontario focuses on business development strategies that strengthen local economies through investment, business retention and attraction.” 
The new program will provide matching funding to help communities hire a downtown coordinator and implement a revitalization strategy, to a maximum of $150,000 over 3 years.
Rural Ontario communities interested in pursuing a Main Street Ontario program should contact the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs Regional Economic Development Consultant (EDC) at 1-877-424-1300.
The Heritage Canada Foundation was involved in the creation of Main Street programs that are now well established in Quebec and Alberta, and produced Main Street: Past and Present for the Saskatchewan Ministry of Tourism, Parks, Culture and Sport.
Main Street’s green credentials will be showcased in HCF’s September 2009 conference, The Heritage Imperative: Old Buildings in an Age of Environmental Crisis.
For further information:
Carolyn Quinn, Director of Communications,
Telephone: (613) 237-1066 ext. 229; Cell: (613) 797-7206

Editor's Note:
Very exciting news from HC and OMAFRA. It is very interesting to see OMAFRA so convinced about heritage buildings as a part of economic renewal in rural communities. Of course the same is true in communities of all sizes, but that is not their mandate.

4. Winnipeg International airport - Future is not positive

The Winnipeg International Airport (now known as the James Armstrong Richardson Airport) was designed by Green, Blankstein and Russell, Winnipeg's most prominent post-war architectural firm. Opened in 1964, as one of the first series of terminals designed for jet passenger aircraft in Canada, Winnipeg's airport is widely recognized as one of the finest examples of mid-century modern architecture in the country. It remains the only major terminal that has not been either renovated beyond recognition or demolished.

Of particular note with this airport was the integration of public art into the design as well as the extensive use of the latest in Canadian and internationally designed furniture. The mounted artworks instill a gallery-like quality in the open spaces of the main hall and mezzanine level. The two mounted works of art, Eli Bornstein's Structurist Relief in Fifteen Parts (1962) and John Graham's Northern Lights (1964), are significant surviving modernist works, adding colour and playfulness to the subdued and minimalist space.

A new terminal is under construction and is scheduled to open in 2010. No public announcement has yet been made on the future of the 1964 terminal.

The Winnipeg air terminal is one of ten buildings on the Heritage Canada Foundation's 2008 Top Ten Most Endangered Places List.

To express concern about the future of the original airport buildings and to encourage itheir evaluation as a building of cultural and historical importance, write to:

Barry Remple
Winnipeg Airport Authority
Room 249, Administration Building
2000 Wellington Avenue
Winnipeg, MB R3H 1C2

and also to:

Honourable John Baird,
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A6

5. Architect's Journal: Arthur Erickson (1924-2009)

rthur Erickson, possibly Canada’s most important architect of the 20th century, has died aged 84

The architect, who had been suffering from Alzheimers, was responsible for a number of Canada’s landmark buildings such as Lethbridge University, Alberta and Simon Fraser University in British Columbia.

In addition he designed the Canadian embassy in Washington, California Plaza in Los Angeles and the Kuwait Oil Sector Complex in Kuwait City.

After studying Asian languages at the University of British Columbia for a career in diplomacy, Erickson earned a degree in architecture from McGill Univeristy, Montreal, from which he graduated in 1950. He also worked as an associate professor at the University of British Columbia from 1957 to 1963.

Click here for Link

6. Globe and Mail: Obituary Arthur Erickson
Sandra Martin

The greatest architect we have ever produced'

Sandra Martin

From Friday's Globe and Mail, Saturday, May. 23, 2009 03:29AM EDT

Is it any wonder that Arthur Erickson always imagined buildings ensconced in their settings?

He grew up in the wet, lush climate of British Columbia, a land of tall trees, towering mountains, crashing waves and ancient reminders of totem poles and longhouses.

Scenery was rampant, landscape was monumental and both evoked reverence and a wary respect for rigorous weather and a desire to create human shelters in structures that were in harmony with their environment.

His buildings, which are legion, include the University of Lethbridge, the inverted pyramid for the Canadian pavilion at Expo 67 in Montreal, the Canadian Embassy in Washington, and Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto.

But it was his native British Columbia that is the most abundant repository of Mr. Erickson’s architecture, beginning with the Filberg House in Comox, Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, the Museum of Anthropology and the Koerner Library at UBC, the MacMillan Bloedel building, the downtown Law Courts and the Robson Square Complex in Vancouver.

"He was ahead of his time which is why he was not properly recognized," said Phyllis Lambert, founder of the Canadian Centre for Architecture. "He has created architecture of the earth out of the earth," and "He has done it with extraordinary humanity."

But where did his vision come from?

He was innately curious, he hated regimentation and grew up in a family that encouraged him to think for himself. And he travelled, first because he was sent to India and Malaya during the Second World War and then because he won two travel grants at seminal points – the first after he graduated from McGill University and the second before he won the design competition for SFU – journeys that enabled him to explore the world before he was hemmed in by credentials and overheads.

Click here for Link

7. Barrie Advance: City stops china shop demolition
Laurie Watt

Battered and bare, Steele's China Shop has a reprieve.

Barrie has voided an April 17 demolition permit and, Wednesday afternoon, issued an order to comply which requires the 1884 building be secured.

"Due to council's intent to designate under the Ontario Heritage Act, notice had to be served to the owner, the Ontario Heritage Trust and published in a daily newspaper. Once that has taken place, any permit regarding demolition has become void," explained Barrie's chief building official Gord Allison.

Click here for Link

8. Barrie Examiner: Heritage designation may be too late

The demolition permit on 2 Collier St. could crumble by week's end.

City council approved its intention Monday to designate this downtown site under the Ontario Heritage Act, which would void any permits on the property. Council's intentions need to be served to the owners and advertised before the demolition is halted, however.

The former Steele's China and Gift Shop was recommended for designation by Heritage Barrie, and it would seem just in time. Equipment was brought in yesterday and demolition of the building has already begun.

"If everything goes as planned, that property would probably be down by the end of the week," said Coun. Andrew Prince, chairman of Heritage Barrie, noting the need for a heritage designation.

The building, located at Bayfield and Collier streets, dates back to 1873 -- when it was built for a company making wooden parts for carriages. Steele's China and Gift Shop occupied this building for several decades. Harris Steele died on Dec. 16, 2007.

But the building hasn't been saved just yet, aside from serving notice and publishing council's intent.

"Do the owners support the (heritage) designation?" asked Coun. Barry Ward. "Have any properties in Ontario been designated against the wishes of the owners?"

Click here for Link

9. Barrie Examiner: Raze historic building, councillor says

Barrie's 2 Collier St. should come the rest of the way down, says Coun. John Brassard.

He will ask city council Monday to withdraw its notice of intention to designate the old Steele's China and Gift Shop as a heritage building, and continue with its demolition, which is supported by the owners.

Brassard said his motion would resolve a very unfortunate set of circumstances.

"The preservation of our heritage should be of utmost priority to everyone in this city," he said.

"That being said, there is clearly no commitment from the building owners, or anyone else for that matter, to come up with the money and resources required to fix the damage that has already been done, as well as maintain the building in a condition worthy of a heritage designation," Brassard said.

Click here for Link

10. Another historic building bites the dust
Laurie Watt and Janis Ramsay

It wasn't the ending Andrew Prince had anticipated.

The chairperson of Heritage Barrie saw his committee's dreams of saving one of the last historic buildings in downtown Barrie shattered Tuesday afternoon.

As he returned from lunch just before 2 p.m., he saw a Priestly Demolition crane hit the wall of the Steele's China Shop - the 1884 building on the corner of Bayfield and Collier streets.

"The ironic things is we passed the intent to designate (a heritage building) at council last night and, 12 hours later, a crane's digging into the wall," he said, adding the sight of the three-storey example of 19th-century commercial architecture being demolished turned his stomach.

A week ago, Prince called an emergency meeting of Heritage Barrie. On Friday afternoon, the committee recommended city council begin the designation process, starting with an intent to designate. That document would void the demolition permit the city issued April 17 to the estate of Harris Steele, the longtime china proprietor.

On Monday night, he brought a direct motion to council circumventing the normal process that would have had the heritage committee recommendation work its way through the standing committee process.

Although that was not enough, Prince tried to stop the crews from continuing their work.

Click here for Link

11. Canadian Architect Daily News: Landmarks, Monuments & Built Heritage of the West

A major component of community life is the landmarks, monuments and built heritage within that community. Canadian historians have often claimed that the physical and geographical heritage of Canadians has played a key role in the development of our identity as a nation. Western Canadians, in particular, have been shaped by their landscapes and architecture. From sod huts to towering skyscrapers, the built heritage of western Canadian communities has influenced the development of the region and the people.

The University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections, along with its partners, the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Winnipeg Archives, the Canadian Architectural Archives, and the Archives of Manitoba, have created a website devoted to western Canada's architectural history and the effects it has had on Canadian society. The 7,000 textual documents, photographs, blueprints, films, and sound clips that comprise Landmarks, Monuments & Built Heritage of the West document this rich historical legacy.

Click here for Link

12. Chatham Daily News: New life for old facilities

Tecumseh Park in historic downtown Chatham may soon be sporting a museum of natural history.

That's the plan of Chatham business entrepreneur Dan Warrener, who hopes to acquire the century-old former Chatham armoury from the municipality.

Warrener, who has and continues to be heavily involved in large-scale redevelopment and restoration projects in downtown Chatham and elsewhere in the municipality, revealed he has been working on plans for the natural history museum for the past eight months.

"But there are a number of hurdles to pass before it can become a reality,' he said. "One requirement is that the municipality must ask for proposals from other interested parties before deciding who gets the building.'

Warrener said he has has discussions about the building with the Department of National Defence.

"They like the idea that I am willing to pick up all the costs and will have the former Armoury designated a heritage building,' he said.

Warrener said he's convinced a natural history museum would be a huge tourist attraction for Chatham-Kent.

Click here for Link

13. London Free Press: London Psychiatric Hospital - Future bright for former sanatorium
Debora Van Brenk

A public meeting is set for June 22 to make plans for the future of the sprawling property

One of London's largest and most storied land parcels is in the early stages of a major review that could lead to its redevelopment as a unique "urban village."

The east London property, that includes the grounds of the former London Psychiatric Hospital, may become just as innovative as the hospital itself was 130 years ago, when Dr. Maurice Bucke transformed the idea of a "sanatorium" into a mental health refuge.

"We really see this as an opportunity to build a real community,"

said London Coun. Joni Baechler, who heads city council's planning committee.

Establishing a vision for the sprawling property now will help set a framework, ready to put in place, when the buildings are vacated in a few years, she said.

"We're trying to get an early start," said Baechler, who worked as a rehabilitation manager at the hospital for 10 years until 1992.

The plan to make plans was accepted by council without debate last night, based on a report by a consultant hired by the Ontario Realty Corp., the provincial Crown corporation that owns most of the lands.

Note 1: The terms of reference for the study includes built and landscape heritage an can be seen at,

Note 2: There is a video linked at this story

Click here for Link

14. Milton Canadian Champion:"Sunny Mount Farm" - First Line farmstead could become community park
Tim Foran

The farmhouse has two distinct wings. The rear wing was the original farmhouse and was built in the 1840s. The front wing is a two-storey brick section built in 1856

Tucked away from the roadway and nestled on a small hilltop that gave it the name "Sunny Mount Farm," the farmstead at 6607 First Line, south of Derry Road, is a reminder of a different time in Milton's not-so-distant past.

The predominant sounds heard at the well-treed plot with immaculately preserved farmhouse, barn and sheds is of rustling trees, with only a faint roar of traffic audible.

But the quiet rural calm merely precedes the coming storm of urbanity.

Like much of rural Milton, the past is giving way to the fast growing present, and the property will in the next few years be surrounded by thousands of houses.

To Heritage Milton, though, surrounded is better than destroyed. The advisory committee has recommended the property, owned by the Wilmott family in the mid-1800s, be designated under the Ontario Heritage Act, a move endorsed by Town staff and councils planning committee Tuesday night.

If council approves the same, and the decision survives an objection period, the property will be designated as a heritage landscape requiring conservation of not only the farmhouse and large gambrel-roofed barn, but the treed hilltop setting on which they lie.

The question then will be what to do with the property.

The large homebuilder Mattamy proposes to build 1,257 housing units on 68 hectares from the farmstead to the future extension of Louis St. Laurent Ave. Its proposal envisions maintaining the property in a neighbourhood park to be given to the Town, meaning the municipality would essentially become the landlord.

Click here for Link

15. National Post: A last look at the Don Jail, before it becomes just another office building
Chelsea Murray

Torontonians are getting one last chance to peer into the Don Jail's dark past before it becomes an office complex.

Free tours are being offered during this weekends Doors Open Toronto, and owner Bridgepoint Health will offer daily historical and ghost tours from June 1 through October.

People can actually come in and see it in its original form, said Bridgepoint CEO Marian Walsh. For sure this is an historic occasion.

Once a place where hangmen lurked and prisoners slept in metre-wide cells, the Don Jail, which has sat unused at Gerrard Street East and Broadview Avenue for over 30 years, is set to become a research and administration centre for Bridgepoint Healths new hospital by the end of 2013.

The jail is a snapshot in time: Painted outlines of gallows remain on the execution chambers wall; the impressive, expansive centre rotunda is untouched. The one-by-three-metre cells look as they did when they held inmates  barely livable, barred, little bigger than a reclined body.

Construction on the Don Jail  designed by architect William Thomas  started in 1858, but the building burned down before completion and wasnt finished until 1864. One of a few remaining buildings in Toronto built before Confederation, the Don Jail (originally dubbed The Prisoners Palace) signaled a change in the way the Canadian public thought prisoners should be treated.

Click here for Link

16. National Post: Back to it's Saintly State
Jack Kohane

the crumbling Gingerbread House gets a sensitive restoration

from National Post

For the refurbishment to the nunnery, Stephen Pearson restored 53 double-hung windows and replaced six wooden storm sashes.Brett Gundlock / National PostFor the refurbishment to the nunnery, Stephen Pearson restored 53 double-hung windows and replaced six wooden storm sashes.

With a silent "amen," Stephen Pearson puts the finishing touches on one of the city's premier restoration projects.

Dubbed "the Gingerbread House," the home, a stunning example of Victorian Italianate architecture on Augusta Avenue, was showing its age when Mr. Pearson first examined it in August, 2007.

He found peeling paint on most of the gingerbread adornments, and the capitals of the ornate Corinthian columns gracing the porch were eroding badly.

"[The Gingerbread House] needed a major facelift," says Mr. Pearson, the owner of Fine Restoration and Painting, heritage property specialists.

Click here for Link

17. Niagara Advance: New hotel in heritage district too important to rush, councillors say
Penny Coles

Some, including NOTL Conservancy president Gracia Janes, questioned the process of approving a heritage permit before dealing with other issues.

A hotel proposal for Picton Street, referred to as one of the most significant decisions this council will likely have to make, at least in the heritage district, was once again put off at Monday's planning meeting, councillors tired from hours of discussion on the issue and unwilling to rush a resolution.

Developer Bob Cash wants to build a three-storey, 84-room hotel on two rectangular lots on Picton Street that have been vacant for decades.

Zoning allows for a hotel, and although there was strong opposition voiced about the project Monday, nobody is objected to a hotel, but to the density of the proposal and parking issues.

Sue Murray, owner of the Shaw Club Hotel around the corner on Wellington Street, pointed out that 84 rooms, meeting, banquet and restaurant space with a courtyard in the middle are planned for less than an acre. Shaw Club has a 20 per cent larger property with just 30 rooms.

This proposal is the densest hotel development that has ever been considered in the heritage area, Murray said.

To achieve this density, the building has virtually covered the entire piece of property.

Click here for Link

18. Ottawa Citizen: St. Isidore's dreads heritage designation
Patrick Dare

Saving century-old stone church will be too expensive, deacon says

The old stone church on March Road doesn't come close to meeting the needs of the estimated 1,400 families in the Catholic parish. As plans are being made to demolish it and build a new church, city staff recommend the 1885 church be given heritage status.
Photograph by: Jean Levac, the Ottawa Citizen, The Ottawa CitizenThe City of Ottawa is in for a fight with Roman Catholics in Kanata as it seeks to designate a century-old stone church a heritage building.

The city's heritage planning staff is recommending that the stone church on March Road, built in 1885, be designated a heritage building just as the parish is making plans to demolish it and build a new church.

The church was designed by Georges Bouillon, a priest and architect who also designed the Rideau Street convent chapel that was saved from demolition in 1972 and rebuilt inside the National Gallery of Canada.

A city report on the proposed heritage designation of the March Road church says the building, featuring round arch windows, gable roof and stone construction, is a rare Ontario example of Bouillon's work and "a reminder of the former way of life in the rural township of March."

NOTE: for further background on this church and its place in Ottawa Valley architecture, see, Victoria Bennett. Early Catholic Church Architecture in the Ottawa Valley: An initial investigation of nineteenth century parish churches. CCHA, Historical Studies, 60 (1993-1994), 17-42
"In January of 1860 the Montreal Gazette ran an article in which it referred to the present day as the age of church building.2 Indeed for many Christian denominations in Central Canada, the nineteenth century was also an age of intense architectural activity.3 In the Ottawa Valley alone over 800 churches and chapels are known to have been built for Christian worship. Although many of these buildings were modest log cabins, destined to be used for only a few years, they nevertheless represented considerable financial sacrifice on the part of those who built them. At least three hundred of these structures were Roman Catholic. . . ."

Click here for Link

19. Heritage committee ponders courthouse designation
Carli Whitwell

The Parry Sound Courthouse may get something extra with its upcoming renovations.

The Parry Sound Municipal Heritage Committee is investigating the possibility of applying to the town for heritage status for the 138-year-old building.

It takes a lot of homework and research, said Stephen Wohleber, from the heritage committee, adding priorities for designation include the courthouse itself, the registry building; the jail governors house (out front of the courthouse) and the stone walls and stone set. They also hope to keep the exterior of the original portion of the jail.

The building is always being upgraded, so our main issue is to retain as many of the heritage features as possible, he said.

Renovations to the courthouse were announced in late January.

Click here for Link

20. Peterborough Examiner: Committee fighting to save parish hall in Ennismore

ENNISMORE  A small, white century-old parish hall in the heart of Ennismore might be saved from demolition if it's designated a heritage site, an official said.

Peterborough MPP Jeff Leal said his staff is researching whether the 105-year-old empty building qualifies for designation through the Ontario Heritage Act, which could prevent it from being razed and might also mean it could get financial support from the Ministry of Culture.

The St. Martin's Parish Hall, a building near the hamlet's main intersection and owned by the Peterborough Diocese, faces possible demolition because of its age and expense for maintenance.

The building, commonly referred to as the Optimist Hall, opened its doors in 1904 and operated as the first rural highschool in the province until 1953. It has since been used for activities such as meetings, celebrations and sporting events but has been empty since the Optimist Club stopped using it about a year and a half ago.

Ten Ennismore residents formed the Ennismore Heritage and Artspace Committee to try and save it.

Click here for Link

21. St. Catharines Standard: PROUD mulls next move while developer starts making plans

How about that Son of Port Tower issue, eh?

It's got more lives than your average cat.

The legal wrangling over the bid to put a monster development in Port Dalhousie was seemingly put to rest in early March when a citizens group informed St. Catharines city council it would not seek a judicial review of an Ontario Municipal Board decision that cleared the way for the project.

PROUD strongman Carlos Garcia said the result of a successful court appeal would be "another lengthy OMB hearing, which will likely be, once again, brutally expensive for all."

Garcia said the group's leaders decided they didn't want to place more stress and financial burden on PROUD's members.

Shortly thereafter, though, PROUD joined with a couple of other opponents in choosing a relatively painless and inexpensive way to keep their hopes alive. It requested that OMB boss Marie Hubbard review the decision of hearing chair Susan Campbell.

Alas, Hubbard backed Campbell and her belief the development's economic stimulus will serve the long-term interests of heritage conservation, despite acknowledging that the hearing chair made a couple of errors in law.

Hubbard determined the errors weren't serious enough to have affected the final outcome.

Thing is, Campbell did seem to expend an inordinate amount of ink on one of the contentious points.

She spent 10 pages explaining -- wrongly, as it turns out -- why the new, tougher Ontario Heritage Act did not take precedence over the old one when it came to assessing the project.

Thus, one can understand the frustration of PROUD members when Hubbard minimized this particular Campbell faux pas. No doubt her reliance on the wrong Heritage Act confirms in their minds that they deserved to win.

Click here for Link

22. - Kanata Kourier: One way or the other that church is going to fall down - Parish fights recommendation to make St. Isidore a heritage building
Blair Edwards

If they think we're going to do fundraising for another $3.5 million, they're in dreamland."

Kanata's Roman Catholics are up in arms over a proposal to designate a 124-year-old church on March Road as a heritage building.

St. Isidore Roman Catholic Church is an historical treasure and must be protected from the wrecking ball, say city heritage planning staff.

The church, built in 1885, is a rare example of the work of notable priest-architect George Bouillon and a valuable reminder of the way of life in the former rural March township, states a staff report to the city's local architectural conservation advisory committee.

St. Isidore Roman Catholic Church has cultural heritage value and is worthy of protection, states the report.

But the church's parish has been waiting for three years to tear down the dilapidated building and build a new one for its rapidly expanding congregation.

St. Isidore is bursting at the seams, serving more than 1,400 families in a building that seats 250 people.

Its catchment area includes all of Kanata north of Hwy. 417, an area targeted for further large housing developments. Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Glen Cairn serves Catholics living in Kanata south of Hwy. 417.

St. Isidore has been forced to offer five masses every weekend, including a service held at All Saints Catholic High School, and it can't hold large funerals.

We build churches not as community landmarks but as places of worship, said Father Ross Finlan, the parish pastor. The building served us well for (124) years, but (we definitely) need a new one.

NOTE: for further background on this church and its place in Ottawa Valley architecture, see, Victoria Bennett. Early Catholic Church Architecture in the Ottawa Valley: An initial investigation of nineteenth century parish churches. CCHA, Historical Studies, 60 (1993-1994), 17-42
"In January of 1860 the Montreal Gazette ran an article in which it referred to the present day as the age of church building.2 Indeed for many Christian denominations in Central Canada, the nineteenth century was also an age of intense architectural activity.3 In the Ottawa Valley alone over 800 churches and chapels are known to have been built for Christian worship. Although many of these buildings were modest log cabins, destined to be used for only a few years, they nevertheless represented considerable financial sacrifice on the part of those who built them. At least three hundred of these structures were Roman Catholic. . . ."

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23. e-conservation magazine: HERITAGE IN DANGER Târgovi_te, Monuments at Risk. The Royal Church
Oliviu Boldura and Anca Dinã

Introduction - The importance of cultural heritage for the identity of a nation is unquestionable. Despite this, the protection of some monuments and of their artistic components is far from being a suitable conservation model.

Through out our experience and activity of mural paintings conservation, we encountered severely damaged monuments imperatively needing safeguarding interventions.

Among those that may be considered of a remarkable historical and aesthetic value, two churches from Târgovi_te, former capital of Wallachia1, are presented herein: The Royal Church which is part of the Museal Complex The Royal Court of Târgovi_te and The Holy Emperors Constantine and Helen Church.
Although their historical evolution was different, at present both monuments are in advanced state of decay and are worth being presented as case studies of endangered monuments. We chose to start with the presentation of the actual state of The Royal Church, due to its historical and patrimonial importance.

The Royal Church of Târgovi_te is currently affected by massive meteoric water infiltration due to the damaged roof. The effect is visible on the outside in the form of dark stains slashed by salts efflorescence and gaps where elements of masonry disappeared. From the inside, particularly aggressive evolution of salts can be seen which has led to brittleness of the support layer, paint layer detachment and a rapid development of biological agents, including algae. Basically, moisture infiltration has joined with the capillarity in some areas being almost impossible to distinguish how much from the original painting still survived underneath.
Beside salts weathering problems, some fragments of the murals that were detached some years ago and remounted appear now as folded into ridges such as a moistened cellulose material.

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24. Montreal Gazette: Condo project would be bad for the mountain - Yet city and province seem determined to push development of Marianopolis site
Peter Howell

A vast residential project planned for the magnificent site of the former Marianopolis College is now undergoing three nights of public consultation. This project - within the Mount Royal Historic and Natural District - derogates from the mountain's protection plan and the city's urban planning by-laws on use, density, height, volume, allowable installation on the site, and adequate protection of vegetation.

And yet Montrealers have been given a remarkably short time to prepare comments and opinions on this multi-million dollar project. It has all the appearances of provincial and municipal pre-approval.

Just last week, Montreal city council finally announced creation of the Mount Royal Protection and Enhancement Plan, saying that "Never in its history has Mount Royal been so well protected."

The astonishing contradiction between our provincial and municipal leaders' creation of a master protection and enhancement plan for Mount Royal and its decision to push an overtly oversized if not outright unacceptable project through public consultation is a sad indictment of our leaders' weakness when faced with making the right decision.

This dramatic abyss between policy and practice is an affront to citizens and to true democracy. Rather than debate the nature of the project, we are forced to criticize its minutiae. Citizens are left to defend the mountain in the face of this political ambivalence, risking being labelled as antagonists or, worse, "immobilistes" - those who fight change for the sake of fighting change.

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25. Regina Leader Post: Regina school board chooses to tear down Scott Collegiate
Joe Couture

Designed by Storey & Van Egmond in 1923

The Regina Public School Board has decided to tear down the current Scott Collegiate building to make way for the new North Central Integrated Facility.

Barbara Young, board chairwoman, said after extensive evaluation of the available options, the board chose on Mar. 17 to build new rather than to use or to integrate the existing structure.

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Editor's Note:Tearing down beautiful old schools seems a national disease

26. Regina Leader-Post: Regina city council agrees to Leader renovation
Joe Couture

It was one of the early homes of the Leader-Post

The former Leader building in Regina on Hamilton Street.Photograph by: Roy Antal, Leader-Post filesREGINA - Regina's city council gave the green light to the heritage-based rehabilitation planned for the Leader building on Hamilton Street at a meeting last week.

With that approval secured, the work on the building should be done by this fall, stated Ross Keith, president of Nicor Developments, which owns the property along with Harvard Developments.

Keith's firm purchased the building about four years ago. It was in rough shape, having been vacant for the 10 years before Nicor assumed ownership.

The company is involved in dozens of buildings throughout the city, including several that have been designated heritage structures. The Leader received its municipal heritage designation in 1987.

The building is protected and can't be demolished or undergo any exterior alterations without approval from the city.

"The city has been very supportive. It's a very important building," Keith said. "It's also in the national register of historic buildings. The building qualified under the Canadian Commercial Heritage Properties Incentive Fund."

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27. Vancouver Free Press / Is Vancouver's Chinatown world-class?
Charlie Smith

A Vancouver heritage advocate wants to have Chinatown declared a UNESCO world heritage site. In an interview with the Georgia Straight at Floata Seafood Restaurant, Fred Mah said the first step is to have Chinatown designated a national historic site. It can only go before the UNESCO with the support of three federal ministries: Canadian Heritage, Environment Canada, and Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada.

What we're hoping is a national heritage site would be declared before the Olympics, Mah said. The next stage is we'll push for UN status.

He said he got the idea after seeing federal government ads in National Geographic for the Historic District of Old Quebec, which is a UNESCO world heritage site. Mah noted that after Joggins Fossil Cliffs in Nova Scotia achieved a similar designation last year, the area was overrun with tourists. He added that tourism increased threefold in Kaiping, China, after its historic area was also commemorated in this way.

If Quebec can do it, why can't we do it? he asked. You know, if Kaiping can do it, why can't we do it?

Today (May 21), Vancouver city council's city services and budgets committee is expected to vote on a staff recommendation to allocate $500,000 from the 2009 capital budget to enhance historic buildings in Chinatown. If approved, the money would be parcelled out in five $100,000 grants to Chinatown societies to help them rehabilitate historic buildings. This comes after a similar program last year, which also awarded $500,000 in five grants.

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28. Winnipeg Free Press: Cash for inner-city campuses
Bartley Kives and Geoff Kirbyson

Higher education in Winnipeg and inner-city revitalization will both see an upside from the downturn as Ottawa plans to spend $27.5 million on a pair of downtown campus expansions as part of the Conservative government's $7-billion economic-stimulus plan.

Within the space of 90 minutes Wednesday morning, $18 million was announced for the University of Winnipeg's new science college on Portage Avenue and $9.5 million toward a Red River College makeover of Main Street's Union Bank Tower.

Note: for detail on this Winnipeg Exchange District gem, and what, "is believed to be the countrys oldest surviving steel frame and reinforced concrete skyscraper, designed by Darling and Pearson (Toronto and Winnipeg) with W. Percy Over (who ran their Winnipeg office) go to, 

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29. Winnipeg Free Press: Scrap the old terminal? Heritage assessment not required, but airport's architecture has defenders
Bartley Kives

A HERITAGE assessment planned for Richardson International Airport's passenger terminal has been cancelled, paving the way for the demolition of the architecturally sig­nificant structure when the airport's new terminal opens in 2010.

In April, the Winnipeg Airports Au­thority planned to assess the historic and artistic value of its 45-year-old glass-and-steel terminal, which academics consider a rare and robust example of mid-century modern design.

But the formal review was cancelled when the private corporation learned it was not subject to rules that require federally owned buildings to undergo heritage assessments, WAA spokes­woman Christine Alongi said.

The authority now plans to tear down the existing terminal

Note 1) an excellent book review in the Canadian Architect. Authored by Christopher Macdonald. Modern Ambitions - An exhibition and catalogue on Winnipeg modernism explores the history of one of this country's strongest and most successful efforts to create an innovative and contemporary city from 1945-75. see

Note 2) Journal of the Society for the Study of Architecture in Canada, by R h o d r i W i n d s o r L i s c o m b e. Grounding the New Perspectives of Modernism: Canadian Airports and the Reconfiguration of the Cultural and Political Territory. see

Note 3 ) Heritage Canada Foundation, Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport Winnipeg, Manitoba  AIRPORT HEADING FOR CRASH LANDING. The future of this extraordinary public building is dependent upon it overcoming inadequate protective legislation at the federal level, and the willingness of Transport Canada to support efforts to find an ongoing sympathetic use. see

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Editor's Note:If you look at the comments below the story on the Free Press website you can see what a hot topic this is. There are some interesting suggestions for use, but as usual, funding is the issue

30. New York Times: Architect Without Limits

Frank Lloyd Wright died half a century ago, but people are still fighting over him.

The extraordinary scope of his genius, which touched on every aspect of American life, makes him one of the most daunting figures of the 20th century. But to many he is still the vain, megalomaniacal architect, someone who trampled over his clients wishes, drained their bank accounts and left them with leaky roofs.

So Frank Lloyd Wright: From Within Outward, which opens on Friday at the Guggenheim Museum, will be a disappointment to some. The show offers no new insight into his lifes work. Nor is there any real sense of what makes him so controversial. Its a chaste show, as if the Guggenheim, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary, was determined to make Wright fit for civilized company.

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31. New York Times: Streetscapes | East 80th Street The Dime Store Tycoon's Kingdom

The town houses F. W. Woolworth built for his three daughters in about 1920 and today; all are still standing.

GAIL FENSKES new book, The Skyscraper and the City: The Woolworth Building and the Making of Modern New York (University of Chicago Press, 2008), is an exhaustive and engrossing account of the iconic skyscraper in Lower Manhattan. She very briefly treats another earlier Woolworth building: the dime store millionaires own neo-Gothic house of 1901, long gone but survived by the three nearby houses at 2, 4 and 6 East 80th Street, which he built for his daughters.

By the late 1890s, Frank Winfield Woolworths chain of low-priced stores was expanding rapidly. He selected a house site at the north corner of 80th and Fifth Avenue and in 1899 retained the mansion architect Charles Pierrepont Henry Gilbert, who had just finished the delicate French Gothic house at the south corner of 79th and Fifth, now the Ukrainian Institute of America.

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