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Issue No. 150 | November 4, 2009


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Feature Stories

  1. Advice From the Province on HCD Protection
  2. Ontario Churches want Control of Heritage Designation
  3. Eye Weekly: The Leona Drive Project
  4. Inside Toronto: Neighbourhood has designs on old Canada Malting silos
  5. St. Thomas Times-Journal: Courthouse Recycled


Lecture--Losing Site: Architecture, Memory and Place
17 November, 12:00 to 2:00 pm
+ read

CCA's exhibition Actions: What You Can Do With the City
until 13 March 2010
+ read

Fundraiser: Jolly Miller Tavern
November 9th
+ read

Philip Beesley lecture
November 12 2009
+ read

The City as Art: Panel Discussion
November 10 2009
+ read

Parallel Nippon: Contemporary Japanese Architecture 1996-2006
November 10 2009-January 11 2010
+ read

Remembrance Day Dinner: University Club
November 11
+ read

Room Enough Between the Trees
Opening Event: Wednesday, November 11, 2009
+ read

The Pier Group presents a Speakers Night - Tim Jones and God Hume
Thrusday November 19th, 2009
+ read

Old House Maintenance and Repair
Saturday Nov 14, 2009
+ read

Ontario Urban Forest Council's Annual Conference and AGM
November 12th
+ read


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Built Heritage News Sponsors


1. Advice From the Province on HCD Protection
Catherine Nasmith

Harbord Village HCD, Brunswick Avenue, Catherine Nasmith photo
Cabbagetown, Wellesley Cottage, Catherine Nasmith photo

What to do if your Heritage Conservation District was established before 2005 when the Ontario Heritage Act was strengthened? After the recent OMB decision permitting a 17 storey tower in the Port Dalhousie you may be wondering whether your HCD plan provides sufficient protection for your special place, also wondering if you work to have it amended and re-adopted under the 2005 legislation will the original Heritage Conservation District come into question. Would you lose the protection already there?

The good news is the Ministry of Culture has issued some advice on what to do, the bad news is it will take quite a bit of work to move pre-2005 HCD plans into the more secure protection offered by the post 2005 Ontario Heritage Act. So far, the province is not offering any financial assistance for municipalites to do that work, but that might change if enough ask.

The Ministry of Culture has recently sent letters to all municipal clerks across the province suggesting reviews of all HCD plans to determine if they are doing the job communities need them to do. The correspondence offers some checklists as guidance.

Heritage Districts have been permitted since 1975, but the 2005 changes to the Ontario Heritage Act finally made protection binding, instead of providing guidance to municipalities and the OMB. The catch is that when the Act was passed there was confusion as to whether pre-existing HCD plans were grandfathered or not, so municipalities have a lot of work to do to ensure the many pre-existing HCD’s enjoy the full protection now available. Even though designations under Part IV for individual property were grandfathered to the full protection available under the amended 2005 Act, it was felt that because the 1975 Act did not have standards for designation under Part V, there was too much disparity in administration of HCD's to extend blanket protection. For example, some Districts do not have any kind of District Plan. It was left to the municipality to determine if the level of protection in place for their Districts was appropriate, and whether to seek increased protection by amending or re-adopting existing HCD plans.

Some of the other changes for Heritage Conservation Districts in the 2005 Act include municipal powers to refuse applications for demolition of designated property, (subject to appeal by the owner to the OMB), the ability to regulate both landscape and buildings in an HCD, the ability to have property designated under both Part IV (individual property) and Part V (districts) and most importantly, once an HCD plan is adopted the municipality cannot pass bylaws that conflict with the HCD plan.

This last power is very important given the negative impact that out of scale development or civil engineering projects such as road widenings, bridges, paving, lighting can have on an older streetscape. HCD protection allows features that civil engineers might consider a “lower” standard, such as older lighting fixtures, narrow roads, older paving, drainage ditches, streets without sidewalks and soft shoulders to continue in use or be reinstated. The tree canopy can be protected. It is also interesting how such “lower” standards coincide with alternative development standards proposed by new urbanists and environmentalists.

Ever since the Port Dalhousie decision was announced by the OMB, municipal and provincial officials have been trying to determine to what extent other HCD’s are also vulnerable to demolitions and out of scale development. The recent Ministry correspondence provides guidance, but there is still uncertainty in some areas, in particular the question of the status of pre-2005 district plans.

In the Port Dalhousie case, a key issue at the OMB was whether the municipality could pass a bylaw that contradicted the in force District Plan and its height guideline. A significant point of debate was whether the plan, adopted shortly before the Ontario Heritage Act was strengthened, had the same status as if it had been adopted under the amended Ontario Heritage Act.

PROUD, the citizen group, led efforts to gain heritage protection, and the defence of the District against two succeeding development proposals that did not conform to the District Plan. The Council who approved the development through a rezoning, were voted out of office shortly after. The subsequent Council passed a resolution against the project, but did not rescind the zoning before the matter went to the OMB. That, along with not re-adopting the HCD plan under the 2005 Ontario Heritage Act proved to be fatal errors.

Even though there was extensive evidence during the hearing that the HCD plan in place met the requirements of the post 2005 OHA, Susan Campbell, a Vice Chair at the OMB ruled that the plan offered guidance, but was not binding on the municipality in the same way it would be if passed under the new Act.

The OMB heard contradictory evidence from heritage experts and chose to accept the argument that the economic revitalization offered by the development, which included a theatre and shops, would lead to a better economic life for the village, and would therefore guarantee the future of the remaining heritage structures. They also accepted evidence allowing cherry picking of what could be preserved in the District, even though District plans are based on the principle of the sum being bigger than any of the individual parts, ie. not a collection of individually protected monuments, but a place to be protected as a whole.

The lawyer acting for PROUDJane Pepino of Aird and Berlis felt that there were grounds to appeal the OMB ruling. One reason for an appeal was a contradictory decision issued a week before the Port Dalhousie, by another OMB member Marc Denhez, which said that a plan adopted before 2005 in Vaughan was the plan in force and therefore binding on the municipality. When questioned on this contradiction as part of a request for a Section 41 review of the decision by the OMB's chair, Mrs. Marie Hubbard responded in letter form agreeing with Mr. Denhez’s ruling, yet indicating that this point would not be sufficient to change the decision on Port Dalhousie.

Even though PROUD's lawyers felt the agreement with Denhez's interpretation should have changed the outcome, PROUD was too exhausted to continue with further appeals, particularly given that a successful appeal would have put them back at square one having the case heard over again by the OMB with no guarantee of a different decision. There are only so many times a community group can raise $500,000.00. 

Confusing? You bet. The Ministry of Culture has been scrambling to provide clarification, and a response to "What do we do now?" In previous discussions and correspondence the Ministry of Culture had been of a similar view to Campbell on the point of whether a pre-2005 plan binds a municipality. However given that each case before the OMB is separate, that OMB decision making is not bound by precedent, and reluctance or inability to contradict a ruling by the OMB chair on a point of law, the Ministry is exercising an abundance of caution and suggesting municipalities seek their own legal advice on whether their pre-2005 plans offer sufficient protection or need to be updated and re-adopted under the new Act. 

Many plans adopted before 2005 would meet the requirements of the new Act, but to be certain that the plan offers all the protection possible, it is best to re-adopt it under the new OHA. That process requires review of the documents, making amendments where necessary and undertaking the public processes associated with passing a new bylaw, including the potential for an objection by property owners to the OMB.

In discussions of whether or not to amend or re-adopt an HCD plan there has been concern expressed that the re-adoption process could re-open the original designation of an area. In recent correspondence from the Ministry of Culture it was clarified that even if the amended plan was defeated for some reason, the original plan would still be in place. The District would retain all the heritage protection it ever had.

Given the scarcity of municipal resources, it may be quite a while before all HCD's enjoy the full protection available. This work will undoubtably draw scarce resources away from establishing new Districts too.

Ontario is just now getting protection similar to what other countries have had for 30 years. During that time we have become accustomed to compromise for our heritage. Without an injection of resources into public education, recruitment and development of heritage professionals, revision of pre-existing documents....that culture of compromise is going to be around for quite a while to come.

As we are learning, the law is just the beginning.

Editor's Note:
Both of these Districts were established pre 2005 OHA. Are they safe?

2. Toronto Preservation Board? Permission Granted to Demolish former National Hotel in Old Town
Catherine Nasmith

The National Hotel, photographed 1972
Proposal for redevelopment showing rebuilt facades

Following a lengthy set of questions to staff, the Toronto Preservation Board, the Toronto Municipal Heritage Committee, ignored their advice to refuse demolition of the former National Hotel at 251 King Street East, a designated structure, and voted for full demolition and reconstruction of two facades and corners to give the illusion of a full building. 

The property in question is the last surviving hotel in the Old town area, built in 1887 with a 1905 addition by prominent architect Henry Simpson.

The application to demolish and reconstruct a faithful replica using reclaimed material was submitted by the owners as part of a proposal to redevelop the site for a seventeen storey condominium tower. The rationale for the demolition was that the existing brick had been damaged by sandblasting; that the excavation for the 6 storey parking structure and demolition needed for this out of scale project would make it impossible to shore the remaining fragile walls, and that the vibration of construction would inevitably lead to collapse. The conservation approach had been recommended by E.R.A. with structural advice from Yolles.

To me, this seemed putting the cart before the horse. Call me a purist, but surely if Council has designated a building indicating it is to be conserved then any redevelopment proposal should start with figuring out what the site can accommodate with the designated structure in situ?

The project had been in front of the Design Review Panel as well and there were concerns expressed about how the new development addressed the heritage building, but these comments were not made available to the Preservation Board. The Design Review Panel was also looking for advice from the Preservation Board.

The staff advice was to refuse the demolition on the basis that the building had potential for re-use, is structurally sound, it was premature to give permission for a demolition until the planning matters had been resolved, that the area was about to undergo an HCD study which would likely conclude that this building should be preserved, (think Gladstone Hotel) and suggesting there may be other means to conserve the walls in situ.

Quoting from the staff report "In accordance with the Parks Canada document “Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada” endorsed by City Council, staff do not consider this approach to be a legitimate conservation strategy given the extent of alteration proposed and the potential for rehabilitation of the resource. As such, staff cannot support the proposed demolition."

One member of the Board asked, why would we refuse permission to demolish and rebuild here when we have given permission to do just that on another project? Good question...

The most head-spinning argument came from Councillor Kyle Rae. Notwithstanding the property is designated and may also become part of an HCD, and that it is by no means clear that planning staff support this project, Councillor Rae simply jumped to "this is a redevelopment property--even if this application is refused, the next owner will want to do the same thing." He moved to vote against the staff recommendation and approve the demolition, with conditions that the process be modelled on another recent partial reconstruction. The only support for the staff came from Mary Louise Ashbourne, who indicated discomfort with facadism.

Councillor Rae's motion passed with a large majority.

In my view, staff gave the Board and Council sound advice in suggesting that agreement to demolition is premature. It seems in Toronto, where we are so used to having our heritage compromised or lost to development, even when Council has the power to stop losses and has adopted the National Standards and Guidelines old habits continue.

What was most surprising was that the Toronto Preservation Board, the body one would expect to exercise utmost caution, showed less concern than the Design Review Panel, whose mandate is not primarily heritage. Even more surprising was the ease with which staff advice was dismissed. It used to be the Toronto Preservation Boad ignored staff advice that compromised heritage.




Editor's Note:
I was the first chair of the Toronto Preservation Board, which was established as the City's Municipal Heritage Committee post amalgamation.

3. North York Modernist Architecture Forum
Geoff Kettel

Inn on the Park, Peter Dickinson Architect, On the List, and Designated
Not enough to keep North York Council from permitting demolition for a car dealership

The North York Modernist Architecture Forum was held at the North York Civic Centre on October 27. The Forum consisted of presentations and a panel discussion among Leo deSorcy, Program Manager, Urban Design, North York District, City Planning Division, City of Toronto; Kim Storey, Principal, Brown + Storey Architects Inc., Lloyd Alter, President of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario (ACO) and Dave LeBlanc, Globe and Mail columnist. The moderator was Matthew Blackett, Editor, Spacing Magazine.

Leo deSorcy examined the application of the “neighbourhood unit” – a concept developed by Clarence Perry, an American planner - as the basic building block of urban structure in post 1950 development in North York. Don Mills is the most well known example in North York, but others are Lawrence Manor, and Parkway Forest. He expressed hope that the broadening of the mandate of the Ontario Heritage Act in 2005 to embrace “cultural landscapes” may provide some additional heft to protect these urban forms. Given the growth projections for Toronto, the inner suburbs such as North York will be transformed – however it will be important to understand the urban design history to provide the proper setting for modernist buildings and in order that sensitive accommodation to change can be made.

Kim Storey exploring the idea of the ‘modernist imprint’ that has largely defined the former City of North York, gave a personal perspective on the International style that is at the core of Modernist architecture and especially the influence of her father who worked in that style in Southwestern Ontario. She underlined that the heritage of modernist buildings should consider their full composition and landscape as important for preservation as a whole.

Lloyd Alter, whose mantra is “the greenest brick is the one already in the wall”, described how Modernist buildings are usually sustainable buildings with such features as operable windows and orientation to natural light. However today they are frequently threatened with demolition partly because of an inability to readily maintain or replace these same features.

Dave LeBlanc (who with his weekly Architourist column in the Globe and Mail has done more to promote Modernist Architecture than most) pointed out that there was a lack of public awareness of these buildings and the place to start was to arrange tours (such as Heritage Toronto’s new iTour of Don Mills) and to publish articles in places (such as Spacing Magazine) visited by a younger generation.

Matthew Blackett displayed an excellent understanding of the inner suburbs (he revealed that he was born and raised in Willowdale), proving adept at asking questions about the public realm, walkability and cycling trails.

Coincident with the Forum was the release by ERA Architects of North York’s Modernist Architecture – A Reprint of the 1997 City of North York Publication. North York’s Modernist Architecture was published by the former City of North York in July 1997, prior to amalgamation in 1998. The 1997 document acknowledged as Modernist Projects approximately 200 structures that were constructed within the time frame of 1945 to 1981. The document is available in hard copy and will be made available on-line (details to be confirmed).

Recognition was given to Moiz Behar who as Director of Urban Design for the former City of North York had the foresight to initiate the inventory of Modernist Architecture. The exercise was more than just a paper inventory; he persuaded the North York Council to add many of the buildings to the Inventory of Heritage Properties of the City of North York.

The evening was an opportunity to re-discover a part of the City that most know only from their car’s windshield. With the re-issuing of North York’s Modernist Architecture, however, it may stimulate longer term possibilities for consideration, reflection, and hopefully, action towards protection of North York’s built heritage.

The Forum was an initiative of the North York Community Preservation Panel in partnership with E.R.A. Architects and Heritage Toronto, and with the support of the City of Toronto Special Community Heritage Events Fund. The North Toronto and North York Historical Societies supported the event with displays, proving that heritage need not be just about pioneer settlements. And kudos go to Edith Geduld, former Chair of the North York Community Preservation Panel for initiating the Forum and to Michael McClelland whose idea it was to re-issue North York’s Modernist Architecture.

Geoff Kettel, Chair, North York Community Preservation Panel

Editor's Note:
The neighbouring Bata building is also gone. Eglinton was once graced by some of the finest modernist buildings in the City. The issues raised by the panelists are so important, yet will it be possible to act before the resources are completely compromised?

4. Heritage Canada Foundation Makes the Case For Heritage Building Rehabilitation Incentives
Heritage Canada Press Release

Ottawa, ON October 29, 2009 –

Appearing yesterday before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance during its pre-budget hearings in Ottawa, Natalie Bull, Executive Director of the Heritage Canada Foundation (HCF), called for measures to encourage the rehabilitation and re-use of Canada’s older buildings.

“We need measures that assist and reward those who show leadership in re-using existing buildings,” stated Ms. Bull, noting that new construction, no matter how green, cannot compete with the environmental benefits of rehabilitation.

Ms. Bull also pointed to evidence that heritage rehabilitation creates green new jobs, stimulates the economy, and spurs the revitalization of adjacent properties.

HCF’s recommendations included the introduction of a Heritage Rehabilitation Tax Credit, building on interest in the Home Renovation Tax Credit, and increased funding for the National Historic Sites of Canada Cost-sharing Program, a stimulus measure introduced in Budget 2009.

Read HCF’s Pre-Budget Brief here.

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

5. Heritage Day 2010: The Heritage of Sport and Recreation Start Planning Today!
Heritage Canada Press Release

For Heritage Day 2010, Canada’s Olympic year, the Heritage Canada Foundation will be celebrating the Heritage of Sport and Recreation. HCF promotes the third Monday in February as Heritage Day and has long advocated adopting this date as a national holiday.

This year, HCF is encouraging Canadian communities to start planning their February 15, 2010 event now.

Across Canada sports and recreation activities have always played a central role in building social cohesion and community involvement. The late 19th and early 20th centuries saw an expanding variety of athletic activities being promoted—from lacrosse, curling and hockey, to boating, skiing and hiking. Canadians were quick to embrace these sporting pleasures and to build the infrastructure needed to support them.

To this day, communities both large and small possess a legacy of sports and recreation facilities which continue to serve Canadians.

Visit HCF’s website for examples of active historic sporting centres that can assist in the development of community programs that celebrate The Heritage of Sport and Recreation.

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


6. Ontario Churches want Control of Heritage Designation
Ontario Heritage Connection

Ridgetown United Church going over

Because almost every church in Ontario could be considered a heritage property, a recent study argues that three provincial church bodies should have control over designation as they do in England. The Architectural Conservancy of Ontario counters that special rights for Churches will gut heritage protection laws in Ontario as other groups will argue for special rights.
Posted September 15, 2009 - 11:27 AM

The report, Religious Heritage Resource Management Discussion Paper, dated January 2009 was commissioned by the United, the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches.

The report argues that Historic Designation in Ontario is equivalent to expropriation without compensation and that it affects churches unfairly. This 84-page document (including 56 pages of appendices) makes several other interesting points including the following.

1. Although new criteria for designation were enacted with the 2005 Heritage Act, previous designations have been grandfathered, meaning that building which would not meet the criteria for designation have stronger protection that was originally envisioned, i.e. they cannot be demolished.

2. The current act prevents many churches from removing liturgical property to a new church. This goes against the religion of the churches. Want to be able to remove altars to another church.

3. Want province-wide management of church historical designation controlled by the churches as in Britain.

4. The current Heritage Protection regime puts an unfair burden on dwindling and changing church congregations.

The Architectural Conservancy of Ontario has written a letter to Minister of Culture Aileen Carroll

1. It agrees that designation without an accompanying grant program to preserve designated properties is unfair and unworkable in the long run.

2. It expresses its concern that a select group appears to be seeking special privileges.

3. It argues that the British system is a top-down system. Preservation of religious buildings is looked upon from the national point of view. The Ontario Heritage protection philosophy is that each community has the right to preserve its own heritage. For example, the demolished Erie United Church in Ridgetown was a local treasure whose steeple was a signpost for miles around.

4. Creating a two-tiered system, will lead to the dismemberment of the Act and threaten Ontario’s cultural heritage framework.

5. Call for open discussions to assist in seeking practicable solutions that will protect Ontario’s heritage while also fulfilling the needs of the Church.

6. This is perhaps the opportunity to consider the longstanding request by ACO and others for a grant program for owners of designated heritage buildings in Ontario, tied to compliance with the Ontario Heritage Act.

Editor's Note:
This article first appeared on Ontario Heritage Connection. If you don't know this website, it is definitely worth checking out from time to time, link is above

7. New life for the Guild Inn site
Councillor Adam Giambrone Newsletter

Guild Inn Grounds, from city of Toronto website

Toronto City Council approved an initiative that will create a vibrant new future
for the Guild Inn site in Scarborough. An agreement in principle between
the City of Toronto, Centennial College and the Toronto and Region
Conservation Authority allows the college to construct a new home for a
Cultural and Heritage Institute. This multi-use development is to
include a new hotel and a conference centre as well as restorations to
the historic Bickford Residence. The college will seek a private hotel
developer/operator to invest in the project.

For background information on the Guild Inn:

8. Pier Group report finds pier buildings a great opportunity for Port Hope
By Jennifer O'Meara

PORT HOPE -- A revitalization study of Port Hope's centre pier, which called the factories the greatest redevelopment opportunity in the municipality's history, was presented to council on Oct. 27.

"You have an opportunity here that's going to be squandered if you take those buildings down," said Doug Simpson, from NetGain Partners Inc., who prepared the revitalization study for the Pier Group.

The group has been working to change the municipality's decision to demolish the industrial buildings on the centre pier as part of a revised waterfront. The municipality plans to tear down the pier buildings as part of the clean-up of low-level radioactive waste (LLRW) in Port Hope over the next 10 years. The buildings have been used for years to store waste.

In January, the Pier Group released a heritage assessment that found the pier buildings were an asset worth saving.

The new study stated the existing buildings, if restored, would complement the rest of the redesigned waterfront, add potential uses, and provide year-round facilities and economic benefits. The economic study was funded by a grant from the Port Hope Branch of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario.

"Passive parks have no opportunity to capture revenue, basically it's an ongoing expense for the municipality," said Mr. Simpson.

The report made three recommendations - keep the buildings in a state of good repair; create a committee to manage the adaptation and reuse with the least possible risk to the municipality; and a phased-in approach to reuse.

Phase one would be development of ground floor commercial services to waterfront park users - food and beverage services and boating/fishing retail stores. Leasing retail space between three or four commercial operations could bring in $550,000 per year, according to the report.

Phase two would be renovating Building 40, which is 25,000 square feet, for another use, such as an indoor sports facility, or trade show venue.

Phase three would be finding long-term large institutional tenants for the buildings. A big institution, like a community college or public and voluntary sector organizations, would make the project financially stable.

"None of these things are really cost intensive, they're really just about time," Mr. Simpson told council.

Councillor David Turck told the group that if they wanted to save the pier buildings they need to find entrepreneurs willing to invest in the buildings and not rely on municipal funding.

"I find myself looking at a business wish rather than a business plan," said Coun. Turck. "We need entrepreneurs and a bona fide business plan."

Chris Wallace, co-chair of the Pier Group, has said it is impossible to find business people willing to commit to a site that is slated for demolition.

"Nowhere in our report do we suggest the municipality foot the bill," added Mr. Simpson.

The economic study recommends Port Hope hold the mortgage for the pier redevelopers and if the money is not paid down, the property will revert back to the municipality.

Council sent the report on to the Harbour Commission, which owns the waterfront property.

"The cost to maintain the buildings and the risk factors are all factors that council and the Harbor Commission have taken into consideration," said Mayor Linda Thompson.

The commission is a private organization made up of council members and two citizens. For years, the meetings have been off-limits to the public because it is considered a private organization. The commission's meetings are expected to be opened to the public in 2010 after an independent legal review found they should no longer be behind closed doors.

The Pier Group is hosting a speakers night at the Cameco Capitol Arts Centre on Thursday, Nov. 19, at 7:30 p.m. Tim Jones, director of Artscape, Toronto, will be the keynote speaker. Artscape has successfully reused historic buildings to support creative business and re-invigorating communities. Gord Hume, chair of the municipal cultural planning partnership, is one of the leading pioneers of the 'Creative City' movement in Canadian municipal government.

A community input workshop will be held on Saturday, Nov. 21, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus Hall, to gather public opinion on possible reuses for the buildings.

"There are a lot of people in town who believe that a well-restored pier might be wonderful. They're just afraid it can't be done. We want to bring in people who say, yes it can be done," said Mr. Wallace.

9. It's full steam ahead for Elgin County Railway Museum
Elgin County Railway Museum-Press Release

The result of two year's work developing a strategic plan for the future of the 20-year-old museum was presented Sunday to a room-filling crowd -- and there appeared to be little question that the museum is headed in the right direction.

"It's encouraging," retired city economic development manager Maurice Beaudry said following the museum's information session at the Canada Southern station.

"It's unfortunate it took so long, but that's progress, I guess," smiled Beaudry, instrumental with former Elgin PC MP John Wise in getting the museum going by securing the collection's foundational locomotive, CN 5700.

The plan's research supports the purchase and restoration of the museum's century-old Michigan Central Railway shops building off Wellington Street, and creation of a professionally-staffed organization which meets Ontario museum standards.

And while that may come as little surprise -- confident that public sentiment would confirm its actions, the museum already is involved in purchase of its historic home -- the plan still is necessary if the organization is to fundraise successfully to turn its vision of the future into a reality.

"We're going to have our hands out," strategic planning chairman George McNally admitted in an interview with a smile.

"With a strong plan in place, we can show the various funding agencies we are we are not just a few retired railroaders who won't give up, and a few model railroaders who won't grow up," he told his audience of more than 75 people -- whose number was triple what organizers said they expected.

10. Remembering Arthur Erickson
Keith Loffler

To the Toronto friends and colleagues of Arthur Erickson


When I attended Arthur Erickson's memorial service in Vancouver last June, tributes to Canada's greatest architect came from many sources, all wanting to ensure that his creative genius is appropriately remembered. Having worked closely with him for sixteen years, it came to my mind that one of the best ways of celebrating his memory here in Toronto would be to complete the exterior of Roy Thomson Hall as he envisaged it; that is, to install a green roof on the four quadrant sections immediately below the circular curtain wall. This important landscaping element was eliminated during construction because of budget constraints, and Arthur was extremely frustrated. In previous budget sessions he had already lost his ingenious but expensive circle-to-square glass roof, and was adamant that the simplified circle-to-circle roof should terminate within mounds of terraced planting, and not crash (Arthur's word) directly into a flat concrete roof plane. When the landscaping was eliminated he predicted that the critics would not be kind.... and they weren't.

I have spoken with Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, Arthur's favourite landscape architect, who also happens to be an expert in green roof technology. She is prepared to create a conceptual design for the landscaping, and is currently researching plant material and micro-climate conditions at the site. By the way, she is also working on implementing the landscaping as Arthur originally envisaged it at the Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver.

I have also spoken to Roy Thomson Hall CEO Charlie Cutts about this and he likes the idea of having Mr Erickson's name associated with a landscaping element in the building. By undertaking this project Roy Thomson Hall would be doing voluntarily what the City of Toronto has now enacted as a by-law - at least 50% of the roof area of all large new buildings must be 'green', an environmental initiative Arthur would have fully supported. Mr Cutts also noted that to date neither Arthur nor his architectural partner Douglas Haldenby have their names anywhere on the building, an omission he would like to see remedied.


We have estimated that it could cost up to $500,000 to install the green roof . It is unreasonable to expect Roy Thomson Hall to immediately find funds from its ongoing budgets for this purpose, so that could delay installation for a long time.... unless we can find generous donors to fund it, a task I have in hand.


Dear friends and colleagues, I am not asking you for money, but if you agree with this initiative, would you please respond to me by return email. This show of support will help us raise the funding, and also send a message to the owners of Roy Thomson Hall that their efforts to complete the building as envisaged by Arthur Erickson will be most appreciated by the architectural community.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Keith Loffler
keith loffler mcalpine architects

10 St Mary Street Suite 402
Toronto Ontario M4Y 1P9

T (416) 964 1902
F (416) 964 8245

Editor's Note:
Great idea,

11. Job Search Executive Director Sharon Temple

The Sharon Temple, located just north of Toronto, is a National Historic Site and Museum of significant historic and cultural importance. Constructed by a group of disaffected Quakers – The Children of Peace – in the late 1820s, the site offers visitors both the opportunity to experience the social, economic, and political history of early Upper Canada, and enjoy various cultural and musical events in a remarkable setting. The Sharon Temple is unique – unique in its architectural importance, in its acoustical excellence, and in its link to a people who embraced the values of peace, equality and social justice long before these values became a mainstay of our national identity. (See website: )

Currently, The Sharon Temple Museum Society (STMS), responsible for the operations of the Sharon Temple and related buildings, wishes to hire a full time Executive Director who will lead the transformation of STMS into an economically viable organization, with a vibrant community role and strong social purpose.

The measures of success for the role include: developing and executing a new business model to provide economic sustainability; stewardship of the venue and museum; strong relations with our local and national publics, and with our supporting levels of government; and the admiration of the heritage community.
If you would like to apply for this full-time leadership position, please write and tell us about yourself, your applicable experience, and what distinguishes you as a leader. We would also like to hear your preliminary thoughts on leveraging the Sharon Temple’s historic and architectural significance to take the STMS into the next stage of its evolution. Note that the desired start date for this position would be January, 2010.

Interested applicants should email their cover letter and resume by November 9th to: Rosanne Wild, or Call Rosanne at (289) 240-1099 to arrange to Fax your documents. Please do not mail your application to the site.

12. Hank Young: Happy Trails to You, Until We Meet Again
from Fife and Drum

Hank Young greeting visitors in the lobby of the Gladstone Hotel.

The words of Dale Evans’ cowboy song come to mind with the passing of Hank Young who died from a stroke on October 24, 2009, aged 68. An energetic supporter of the Friends for many years, he was a director from 1999 to 2004.
In 1997 the Friends decided to stage annual re-enactmentsat Fort York. A few challenges had to be overcome. How would we feed 300 re-enactors breakfast, lunch and supper and sell hotdogs, hamburgers and refreshments to another 1000 visitors.

Councillor Martin Silva, then a member of the Friends’ Board came to the rescue and introduced us to Hank and his colleague Patrick, former chefs then volunteering at the Niagara Neighbourhood Out of the Cold program.

We never looked back. Hank organized and trained a keen group of volunteers from the Niagara Neighbourhood and the re-enactors awoke to bacon, eggs and pancakes at 7am each morning. Hank was a showman and how. Jane Kennedy
recalls touring meatpacking plants with Hank and Patrick to choose the perfect 800 pound side of beef for barbecuing. For 24 hours this full half a cow held by bed springs was roasted over a large bed of coals by the fort walls. No army had ever been so well fed. Hank led our food operations for a further three festivals, but the size of the roasts shrunk.

Hank was an active board member and served as liaison to the community. He continued to attend Directors’ Dinners right up to last year dressed always in the best of western gear.

In 2005 he joined the staff at the newly renovated Gladstone Hotel as its general greeter, operator of its antique Otis elevator, and entertainer in the karaoke bar. It was in this last capacity that he became known best and was nicknamed “The
Singing Cowboy” for his dress and repertoire. His CD will be replayed there for many years.

Editor's Note:
I knew Hank for many years, in all the capacities noted above. He had really found his nirvana at the end of his life as the Gladstone Cowboy. He will be missed by many. There will be a remembrance motion at Toronto City Council from Councillor Pantalone.

13. CanadaNewsWire: New hospital will transform care for people living with complex chronic disease
Infrastructure Ontario

TORONTO - Ontario is increasing access to care and creating jobs with the groundbreaking of a new 680,000 square foot hospital designed especially for treating individuals with complex chronic diseases.

The new state-of-the-art 472 bed hospital will create a 'campus of care', integrating patient care, research and teaching in complex chronic disease and disability.

When completed, the new 10-storey facility will provide improved patient care, including:


- More living space for patients;
- Double the existing therapy space and patient lounges;
- Increased ambulatory space for outpatient/community programming;
- Modern therapy areas on each floor;
- A larger therapy pool, new public areas and cycling paths; and
- Walkways integrated with Riverdale Park.


At the peak of construction, approximately 90 sub-contractors and approximately 600 workers will be on site.

The new hospital will replace the current congested and aging facility, and will be located on the existing site at the corner of Broadview Avenue and Gerrard Street East in Toronto. The historic Don Jail will be preserved and restored into a centre for administrative and support services. The hospital will be designed with environmentally responsible and sustainable features and will be certified under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System.

Click here for Link

14. CBC.CA: Historic Bellevue House damaged during tree removal
CBC News

A driveway pillar at the 193-year-old Bellevue House in Amherstburg, Ont. was recently knocked down by heavy equipment, in what Bellevue advocates are calling the home's 'first significant structural damage.' (John McDonald/Friends of Bellevue)

A historic home in Amherstburg, Ont., that is on the Heritage Canada Foundation's 2009 Top Ten Most Endangered Places List has suffered its first significant structural damage, CBC News has learned.

Pillars at the driveway of Bellevue House, as well as iron- and brickwork, were recently knocked down when a man using heavy equipment to remove trees accidentally bumped into them, according to Jackie Hubbs, the manager of development services for the Town of Amherstburg.

Though the damage happened "without any malice or intent," Hubbs said, it is one more sore for a house that the HCF on July 7 called a "scandalous case of demolition by neglect."

"It makes us feel very concerned for the future of this building," John McDonald, the chairman of the Amherstburg Heritage Committee and member of Friends of Bellevue, a watchdog group dedicated to preserving the 193-year-old home.


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15. Train station renovation clears another hurdle

J.D. Irving Ltd. brought revised design documents to the city's planning advisory committee Wednesday night as it sought the committee's approval on a municipal plan amendment to allow for the addition of a liquor store to the York Street train station. Less than a month after it presented its schematic for the liquor store, company officials have met with representatives of the federal government's Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, who made a trip to Fredericton for a site visit. Based on the federal body's recommendations, additional tinkering was done to the design. The planning advisory committee has recommended the project and it now goes forward to city council for a public hearing and three bylaw readings as part of final zoning approval. At the meeting Wednesday night, questions were raised about whether the addition - to be attached to the rear portion of a restored train station - should mimic the 1923 design. Rick Davis, representing J.D. Irving, said the federal officials - who must give their approval to the design - don't want the liquor store to replicate the historic train station, but rather to have a similar theme. So that means the proposed 947-square-metre (10,000-square-foot) retail liquor store will have modern windows and a different roof line, but it will have complementary design features. "We're happy to be where we are now," he said of the design. Fredericton Heritage Trust president Liz Burge attended to support the development, but questioned whether brick work could be duplicated and whether a green roof, said to be part of the station's original design, would be restored. "If you'll pardon the expression, this is a project that carries huge emotional baggage in the city and we're one of the organizations that tends to get all the bullets flung at it when people don't like what they see in a plan," Burge said. "We're very pleased to see this development, of course."

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16. Eye Weekly: The Leona Drive Project
Shawn Micaleff

Bungalow's last stand

from Eye Weekly, Artist An Te Liu transforms bungalow to monopoly chit

There are a million stories in the naked suburbs — Willowdale’s is just one of them

The city creates, devours and recreates itself constantly and the velocity of this cycle is quickest in Toronto’s inner suburbs. If you stand at Yonge and Sheppard in Willowdale you can see it happening in one 360-degree glance, as the new and big give way quickly to tiny bungalows. If urban planning were a game of chess, these are the pawns that only a few generations ago were the first line of Toronto’s expansion into Ontario farmland.

Yet urban growth is more like Monopoly, ruled by a market that decides what has value and what can be discarded. Some of those bungalows, now sitting uncomfortably close to streets that have grown fat and eaten up their front lawns, have become offices for dentists and lawyers or offer shiatsu and psychic readings rather than containing nuclear families as intended.

Two blocks east of Yonge is Leona Drive, where a bungalow painted green stands out like a real-life Monopoly house, part of the Leona Drive Project, a temporary large-scale art installation taking over six 1950s bungalows that will soon be demolished to make way for newer, shinier housing. The vacant houses, interpreted and transformed by over a dozen artists, explore the deep territory of this suburban landscape, the one we’re led to believe (at least by popular mythology) has no worthwhile stories and isn’t interesting.

It’s a remarkable project by the collectives Public Access Collective and L.O.T.: Experiments in Urban Research. The green house is by artist An Te Liu, and though made of solid brick, wood and plaster, a simple paint job renders the house plastic-seeming, as if it really is as disposable as we are treating it. Next door, Daniel Borins and Jennifer Marman have impregnated a living room window with a white Honda Civic, evoking a common late-night news story where an errant car drives up over a lawn and crashes into a house, a David Lynch–Blue Velvet view of the tranquil suburbs, where the very instrument that gave rise to this kind of development later destroys it.

Editor's addition: Photos of the installation can be found at Flickr

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Editor's Note:This was a fantastic installation, fleeting as the buildings it examined. It is a pity that the planning system encourages such destruction and waste. In doing this installation artists are at least staging a funeral for the premature loss of perfectly usable houses and the loss of memory, private and public associated with that. If only the creative energy exhibited here could be channeled to building on what is there instead of observing destruction.

17. Globe and Mail: The Leona Drive Project
Lisa Rochon

Art invasion: the Leona Drive Project

That children in the burbs of Miami are being offered a trip in a Hummer to McDonald's as a reward for being top fundraisers at their school is enough to make us gag on our lattes while exploding in laughter. Tell the story to your Canadian kids and watch them crinkle their faces into expressions of sadness, or, simply emit a sustained: “Euwwwww.”

Overbloated and overscaled, the suburbs in the United States are doomed, and not even the trim, fit mind of President Barack Obama can make it right. But, on this front, Canadians should resist feeling overly smug and self-righteous. The suburbs in Canada are a piece of madness, too, and only draconian measures can help inject some humanity and grace into these zones of wounded streets and crush of ugly condominium towers. Face it: The suburbs have colonized our minds, and our bodies.

Artists and architects treat the suburbs as a no-man's land – a dreaded place of formula they'd rather avoid. Admittedly, there's no art in the suburbs. I know this when aiming my camera at the patched, potholed sidewalks, photographing the narrow, mean space allowed for people to manoeuvre, heads down, against the harsh wind created by the tunnel of towers at Yonge Street and Sheppard Avenue in one of Toronto's suburbs. Other than Wimpy's and beleaguered-looking sushi joints, I'm unable to find fresh food. Dark chocolate at the gas station doesn't actually count. They may not be exactly alike but Canadian and American suburbs definitely share the Jenny Craig factor. Live there and resist no more: Your life will be confined to a car so as to access work, groceries and trips to the fat-reducing farms located in the suburban malls.

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18. Inside Toronto: Neighbourhood has designs on old Canada Malting silos

Vaughan warns that a parking lot is not wanted

photo from Urbanism

Trinity-Spadina Councillor Adam Vaughan is holding design charrettes in the community surrounding the old Canada Malting silos to determine the best use for the site - a use that won't include parking to service an expanding island airport.

"We have to do something," said Vaughan, following a community meeting Oct. 21 on the future of the site. "The neighbourhood is pretty clear that they want to see a development there - but not one that overwhelms the site with too much activity, because it's in a fairly confined area."

Vaughan is worried because he's heard interest expressed in transforming the site, currently occupied by historic concrete silos formerly operated by Canada Malting, into a space that would include parking.

"I can assure you that's not a position that this city, this councillor or the neighbourhood, or even the culture department that has carriage over this property, thinks is good city planning," he said. "We will not pave to the water's edge to park cars. We won't build a parking garage and lose heritage."

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19. Toronto Star: Liebeskind Tower
Martine Knelman

Partnership saves a city landmark and adds a new one Image

Has Daniel Libeskind, reigning architectural superstar, become the provocateur Toronto's elite loves to hate? By reshaping two of the city's most important venues, he has clearly rattled a lot of influential people with a preference for all things safely understated.

With his Crystal addition to the Royal Ontario Museum, Libeskind went way too far for the tastes of this town's opinion-makers. Crowds of ordinary people line up around the block, but at upscale cocktail parties, the smart set are almost unanimous in pronouncing it a blight on Bloor Street.

Now another burst of antagonistic shrieking seems to be erupting over the soaring bird-like condo tower about to be constructed at Front and Yonge on the grounds of the Sony (nee O'Keefe, a.k.a. Hummingbird) Centre.

But at the risk of entering a danger zone, I must say that last week's groundbreaking ceremony – which foes of the project predicted would never happen – strikes me as cause for celebration, not lamentation.

It took a year longer to get the shovel in the ground than originally planned, but here's the upshot: Castlepoint Realty Partners Ltd., the development partner of the venerable performing arts centre, is starting construction on Libeskind's so-called L Tower – with a likely completion date of late 2011 or early 2012.

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20. Toronto Sun: Maple Leaf Gardens Project Moving Forward
Bryn Weese

Feds mull help for Gardens It's 'just $20 million,' Flaherty says with a laugh

The federal government is thinking about helping Ryerson University and Loblaws restore Maple Leaf Gardens, according to Finance Minister Jim Flaherty.

While in Toronto yesterday for the ground-breaking on a new waterfront park, Flaherty confirmed he and his colleagues in government have had "discussions" about the plan to turn the iconic 80-year-old building into a grocery store, hockey rink, gymnasium, and recreation centre.

"It's an interesting proposal and as the federal minister responsible for the Greater Toronto Area, we're having a look at it," Flaherty said.

"I've had some discussions this week about that subject.

"We'll see."

According to Ryerson's president Sheldon Levy, the nearly $100 million renovation to 60 Carlton could be complete by 2011, and work could begin as early as December if the feds come to the table soon.


And while Loblaws, which bought the heritage building several years ago, is on board for the development, Levy told the Sun recently the federal government remains the last piece of the funding puzzle.

Ryerson students even favoured paying for the university's share with increased student fees in a recent referendum.

Toronto Mayor David Miller said he is "crossing his fingers" that the deal goes through.

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21. New commercial development for Brooklin will maintain heritage of area
Parvaneh Pessian

Applicant plans to preserve south and east facades of historical structure

BROOKLIN -- A recently proposed development for a portion of lands located in the Brooklin heritage conservation district will aim to mingle the new with the old in order to preserve the area's historic value.

The subject properties are located along Baldwin Street and Winchester Road in Brooklin. The applicant, Stockworth Developments Limited, plans to change land use designation to allow for several additions in the area, including business or professional office, day care, eating establishment, health club, personal service store and retail store uses.

"We've gone by the book on this," said Vincent Santamaura, architect for the project, explaining the company's mandate to maintain the heritage value of a single detached dwelling at 20 Winchester Rd. E.

"We started directly with the town's heritage guidelines and we worked backwards."

Though the structure is not officially designated under the Ontario Heritage Act, it is part of the Brooklin heritage conservation district, which was established through the Act.

The applicant intends to preserve the south and east facades of the structure and incorporate them into the development.

"We want to bring living and retail commerce uses back into the heart of a downtown heritage town in order to revitalize it and bring it back to its former glory as a hub of a community," Mr. Santamaura added.

Brooklin resident Rene Sonnenschein said while he encourages development in the area, he hopes consideration will also be given to the increasing amount of traffic.

"Over the last number of years, we've seen our neighbourhood diminish and deteriorate into a place that we don't want to live anymore," he said. "We know progress has to happen but remember, there are people living here as well."

The application will be reviewed by the Town's public works department, the Ministry of Transportation and the Region of Durham to determine the type and location of access to the site of the new development and ensure traffic levels are kept under control.

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Editor's Note:The authors' facts as written, regarding the Ontario Heritage Act (O.H.A.) are misleading. If the property in question is identified as being part of a heritage conservation district under Part V of the O.H.A., then it is in fact designated. The Town of Whitby recognizes this distinction as does the developer. see Planning and Development Committee REPORT NO: PL-90-09 at

22. Keep building as active station: ACO
Malcolm Wardman,President, ACO Cobourg Branch

The following letter to Via Rail Canada Chief Operating Officer John Marginson was copied to this newspaper.

Re: Proposed $8-million improvements to Cobourg’s heritage train station

As president of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario, Cobourg Branch, I wish to advise that we were surprised by your recent press announcement of Via’s intention to spend $8 million on extensive changes to the Cobourg train facilities.

This announcement was lacking any details except: "In Cobourg, this involves adding one new main line track and a second platform, which cannot be done while making use of the existing station" and "Via’s new Cobourg station will be a fully accessible and aesthetically pleasing structure adjacent to the existing building. Via is currently studying options for the design of the new station, with the final design to be selected later this year. Whatever design is selected for the new Cobourg station, the preservation of the existing structure is assured. Discussions will soon begin with the Town of Cobourg regarding the preferred use of the historic building. The existing heritage designated building opened in 1911 is no longer large enough to accommodate all customers at peak travel periods."

We are, of course, pleased that Via is recognizing Cobourg’s status as the 10th busiest railway station in the country and therefore an important contributor to Via’s network.

We are supportive of Via’s plans to streamline service with additional lines and hopefully additional parking, but the perceived inadequacies of the station building are news to the Cobourg citizens who use it. About the only time the station is crowded is when over 100 people catch the early morning train to Toronto. Even then, they can all fit into the existing waiting room.

A recent comparison shows the Cobourg building already has as much room as the heritage reproduction station Via built at Oshawa within the last five years which serves double duty accommodating the GO train ticket office.

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23. Owen Sound Sun Times: Judge tackles Paisley Inn's fate
Scott Dunn

yesterday's proceedings also brought into focus the difficulty judges have faced to sort out problems over the past 3 1/2 years

The loss of the Paisley Inn would leave an awful gap in this square, Nasmith
View from the back, Nasmith

Structural shortcomings of the Paisley Inn were detailed yesterday during a convoluted opening day of a trial to decide whether the municipality may tear the inn down.

But yesterday's proceedings also brought into focus the difficulty judges have faced to sort out problems over the past 3 1/2 years that the old inn's fate has been before the courts. At least four judges have had a crack at this case, the latest being Superior Court Justice Donald Gordon, who halted the trial early yesterday to read background documents because he said he found it too confusing.

He remarked it appeared as if he was hearing "two different cases" and he urged both sides to focus on identifying and narrowing issues.

"I want to have a better understanding of positions and where we're going." He said the trial record was the "oddest trial record I have ever seen."

The trial resumes this morning.

Arran-Elderslie is seeking permission to use a demolition permit issued by former chief building official Craig Johnston to remove the inn "because it is unsafe, dangerous," Arran-Elderslie lawyer Ross McLean said.

Johnston was dismissed from his job as chief building official this summer for breach of contract, which he disputes.

There has been public animosity between Johnston and inn owner Burke Maidlow and his supporters, but Johnston appeared yesterday under subpoena initiated by Maidlow.

Johnston initially refused to say anything to Maidlow's lawyer yesterday, citing a "gag order" the municipality placed on him upon his dismissal.

McLean said normal employment confidentiality is all that Johnson was subject to and he had no object to him testifying.

Gordon directed him to testify in the proceedings. Arran-Elderslie Mayor Ron Oswald, who attended court, said in an interview later he knew of no gag order.

McLean conceded in a series of agreed facts that conditional building permits issued by Johnston in December, 2006 were illegal  as was Johnston's revocation of them.

But Maidlow wasn't able to get to work. The day Maidlow started he was met by Johnston and a Ministry of Labour investigator, who issued stop-work orders.

Johnston eventually revoked the permits illegally, because it wasn't done on the proper form, McLean said.

The building code doesn't allow the building official to issue conditional permits in the first place without the consent of the applicant, Maidlow's lawyer Sharon Ramsden said.

McLean said the case will come down to whether efforts made to satisfy municipal building permit conditions were met.

Any arguments by Ramsden citing "personal grievances" involving Johnston are not relevant to the building's safety, McLean said.

While the municipality acknowledges the inn has heritage value and is of architectural significance, this is not relevant either, McLean said.

The municipality wants to see the revival of the Paisley Inn but "while the builder dreams, the building has been falling down," McLean said.

Maidlow's plan submitted to obtain a building permit "falls short of even making the building safe" and even if the inn doesn't present a danger, it should be demolished now, McLean argued.

Whether Maidlow has met the terms required to get a building permit has been at the heart of the ongoing court process partly because the definition of what exact work must be done is disputed.

The Paisley Inn was structurally well made, back in 1863, testified structural engineer Mailon Marshall, Arran-Elderslie's expert. But over the years, additions and modifications caused problems, he said.

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24. Owen Sound Sun-Times: Branningham Grove up for debate

Branningham Grove should be preserved where it is, a consultant hired by the building's owner says, but the owner still wants the city to allow the building's demolition.


Owen Sound's community planning and heritage committee is scheduled to debate the building's fate Thursday night and draft a recommendation to city council.

The building at the centre of the year-long saga is a 128-year-old former brothel and restaurant that sits on a commercial lot next to Hwy. 26 near Owen Sound's eastern fringe.

The building's owner -- Vaughan-based Villarboit Development Inc. -- has submitted a plan to city hall to build a 284,000-square-foot shopping centre on the property. Company officials say Future Shop, Michaels Arts&Crafts and Value Village have each committed to opening a store in the shopping plaza, while Lowe's has "entered into an agreement" to buy 10 acres for a home improvement store.

Villarboit has applied to alter the zoning of the property's northern half from industrial to commercial to match the southern section and permit a large-scale retail development.

But the company says to proceed with the development the property must be graded to the same level as the highway. Branningham Grove sits atop a hill.

"As a result, in order to properly grade the site, the hill must go and therefore the building must go," Villarboit said in a letter to city officials.


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25. Owen Sound Sun-Times: Court may decide fate of Paisley Inn

The fate of the forlorn 19th century Paisley Inn may finally be decided in an Owen Sound courtroom during a hearing starting Monday.

Inn owner Burke Maidlow and the municipality have been deadlocked since early 2006 over whether he has met requirements to obtain a building permit to make repairs.

Thirteen days are set aside for the trial before Justice Donald Gordon, who will hear experts testify as to the structural integrity of the historic main street inn.

He will decide whether Maidlow should get the building permit, or whether execution of the municipality's two-year-old demolition permit should proceed.

If the municipality is successful, it intends to demolish the entire building, Arran-Elderslie lawyer Ross McLean said.

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26. PROUD Facebook Group
PROUD Bulletin

Collecting interesting, historical or beautiful images of Port Dalhousie

PROUD member Robert Montgomery has started a new Facebook group. Please see below for more details.

I have started a new Facebook group, whose sole function is to gather interesting/historical/ beautiful photographs of Port Dalhousie. The best of them will be printed in an album and given to Jim Watson and Aileen Carroll. Those two Members Of Parliament should know what Port Dalhousie is about and what is at stake!  If you have any suggestions or other forms of guidance, I would love to hear from you.

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27. St. Thomas Times-Journal: Courthouse Recycled

$100 million investment in courthouse

Elgin County Courthouse. Photo By Bob McNaughton

It's among the largest-ever investments by a government in St. Thomas, estimated at up to $100 million and destined for the historic Wellington Street courthouse.

Friday, politicians gathered at the aging facility to announce a consolidated courthouse facility, combining the Ontario and Superior courts of justice, will be located there.

The facility will combine modern amenities -- security measures and accessibility for the disabled -- but retain the historic features of the 155-year-old building.

Shovels should be in the ground by spring 2011 and the project could take up to four years to complete.

"The investment the province is going to make in the city at this site is the largest single investment made in the history of the City of St. Thomas ... . The decision that has been made will not only recognize the past but preserve the future," said Mayor Cliff Barwick, who later added he's heard the project could end up costing between $90 million and $100 million.

"Our long wait for a courthouse is almost over and I'm committed to seeing the process through. I will not stop working and being a dogged advocate to ensure this building gets completed," said Steve Peters, Liberal MPP for Elgin-Middlesex-London and local history buff. He became involved in saving the courthouse in 1982 when the jail yard walls were torn down. Friday's announcement, he said, is a "significant investment to preserve justice facilities in this community and an investment toward preserving one of the most significant heritage buildings in this community."

The courthouse was commissioned by the newly formed County of Elgin in 1853 and began operating the next year. Serving as a seat of justice for the area, the historic structure was struck by lightning in July, 1898, and rebuilt a year later by the county. In 1987, the building was sold to current owner Shmuel Farhi and three years later, the provincial courts moved to the Colin McGregor Justice Building on St. Catherine Street.

Attorney General Chris Bentley said the goal of the project is to create a courthouse that serves present and future needs of the justice community.

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Editor's Note:originally designed by architect John Turner and built in 1852-1853. After a fire in 1898, the original building was repaired and enlarged by architect N .R. Darrach, More detailed information on the careers of both of these significant architects can be found at ,

28. St. Thomas Times-Journal: Full steam ahead for rail museum

It's full steam ahead for Elgin County Railway Museum.

Result of two year's work developing a strategic plan for the future of the 20-year-old museum was presented Sunday to a room-filling crowd -- and there appeared to be little question that the museum is headed in the right direction.

"It's encouraging," retired city economic development manager Maurice Beaudry said following the museum's information session at the Canada Southern station.

"It's unfortunate it took so long, but that's progress, I guess," smiled Beaudry, instrumental with former Elgin PC MP John Wise in getting the museum going by securing the collection's foundational locomotive, CN 5700.

The plan's research supports the purchase and restoration of the museum's century-old Michigan Central Railway shops building off Wellington Street, and creation of a professionally-staffed organization which meets Ontario museum standards.

And while that may come as little surprise -- confident that public sentiment would confirm its actions, the museum already is involved in purchase of its historic home -- the plan still is necessary if the organization is to fundraise successfully to turn its vision of the future into a reality.

"We're going to have our hands out," strategic planning chairman George McNally admitted in an interview with a smile.

"With a strong plan in place, we can show the various funding agencies we are we are not just a few retired railroaders who won't give up, and a few model railroaders who won't grow up," he told his audience of more than 75 people -- whose number was triple what organizers said they expected.

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29. Niagara Falls Review: Turning back time

Ridgeway Public School principal Lynn Tisi looks at the gear mechanism of the 89-year-old clock tower atop the school. The four-faced time-piece has been a historic landmark in the town. Mike DiBattista The Review

We're going back in time this weekend.

Clocks should be turned back an hour tonight for Eastern Standard time, meaning people can gain an hour of sleep and an extra hour of daylight in the morning.

But when one thinks about clocks and going back in time, it's interesting to note the 89-year-old clock tower at Ridgeway Public School.

Positioned at the top and in the middle of the building on Ridge Road, the clock, which provides a four-faced timepiece to the town's inhabitants, has been reconstructed and adapted to operate in conjunction with the school's computerized clock system.

That means the old system of having a person climb into the tower to change the time back in the fall and forward in the spring is no longer necessary.

"It's all digital now," said principal Lynn Tisi. "It's all programmed to change when the school system changes its clock."

Ridgeway Public School principal Lynn Tisi looks at the gear mechanism of the 89-year-old clock tower atop the school. The four-faced time-piece has been a historic landmark in the town.

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30. Northumberland News: Pier Group report finds pier buildings a great opportunity for Port Hope
Jennifer O'Meara

Group pushing to save buildings slated for demolition

PORT HOPE - A revitalization study of Port Hope's centre pier, which called the factories the greatest redevelopment opportunity in the municipality's history, was presented to council on Oct. 27.

"You have an opportunity here that's going to be squandered if you take those buildings down," said Doug Simpson, from NetGain Partners Inc., who prepared the revitalization study for the Pier Group.

The group has been working to change the municipality's decision to demolish the industrial buildings on the centre pier as part of a revised waterfront. The municipality plans to tear down the pier buildings as part of the clean-up of low-level radioactive waste (LLRW) in Port Hope over the next 10 years. The buildings have been used for years to store waste.

In January, the Pier Group released a heritage assessment that found the pier buildings were an asset worth saving.

The new study stated the existing buildings, if restored, would complement the rest of the redesigned waterfront, add potential uses, and provide year-round facilities and economic benefits. The economic study was funded by a grant from the Port Hope Branch of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario.

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31. Waterloo Record: Heritage committee upset with cuts to awards
Terry Pender


KITCHENER - Members of the city’s heritage committee are upset with city council’s decision to stop an awards program that recognizes property owners for outstanding work in the preservation and restoration of old buildings.

Elizabeth Gallaher, an outspoken member of Heritage Kitchener, said she expected the move because the economic downturn wreaked havoc on city finances.

"The people who own heritage properties go the extra distance to give us all something to be proud of," Gallaher said, "and I do think they need to be recognized."

The Mike Wagner Heritage Awards and the urban Design Awards will now be deferred until 2011.

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32. Waterloo Record: Lang Tannery building showcases its "new" look
Terry Pender

100-year-old construction methods ... can be put to new use today. The Lang Tannery is really a collection of more than 12 buildings.


KITCHENER - Business types mingled with bureaucrats and architects with developers in a room steeped in the city’s industrial past but bubbling with enthusiasm for the future.

On Wednesday morning, dozens of people gathered for a buffet breakfast in the Lang Tannery building to mark the halfway point in the massive $30-million redevelopment of the historic property.

So far the Toronto-based developer Cadan has leased out 120,000 of the 150,000 square feet of space available in the first phase -  known as the Artisan Building.

"We are very pleased with the way the leasing has been going," Lana Sherman, managing director of Cadan, said.

The second phase includes about 200,000 square feet of space for research and technology firms, restaurants and specialty retail.

"That is looking good, we are very excited," Sherman said. "We have a really strong level of interest in people moving in so it is not at all like some other markets that we have experienced."

At least two large high-tech firms are on track to lease large amounts of space in phase two, Sherman said.

"It’s like this community has a lot of old, forgotten buildings that have now come back to life with new technology businesses that are thriving and the whole focus of the community has shifted from old manufacturing," Sherman said.

By early 2010, the second phase of the building should be renovated and ready for the first large tenant in April. Some retail tenants are expected to move in before that.

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Editor's Note:for more information on this significant adaptive re-use project see, and see

33. Windsor Star: Heritage body draws fire over school reno
Doug Schmidt

This is a file photo of John Campbell school in early 2008, before rebuilding work began on the heritage building. The local branch of the Architecture Conservancy of Ontario is trying to save the distinctive front lobby doors of the school, which was bui

Windsor's heritage committee is being criticized for allowing important historic features to be removed from the only designated school on the city's heritage properties register.

"This sets a terrible precedent," Pat Malicki, Windsor region president with the Architecture Conservancy of Ontario, told city council Monday.

Even worse, she said, the removal work at John Campbell School began even before approval was sought from the heritage committee, contrary to Ontario Heritage Act rules.City council agreed with Malicki and voted to send the matter back to the heritage committee, with the aim of trying to save the distinctive front lobby doors of the school, which was built at 1255 Tecumseh Rd. E. in 1927.

"The doors we can't live without because they're an integral heritage feature," Malicki told The Star.

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34. Construction & Adaptive Reuse at Windsors John Campbell Public School

John Campbell Public School on Tecumseh Rd. is undergoing a massive $10.4 million dollar interior renovation. The school, originally built in the late 1920s, has been completely demolished from the inside  up to its exterior walls.

Originally opting to build a new John Campbell school from the ground up, the Greater Essex County District School Board selected a costlier, yet more historically focused route to adaptively reusing the existing school after various parent councils, The Walkerville Times, the Windsor Heritage Committee under direction of chair Greg Heil, former Heritage planner Nancy Morand and other groups sought out to save the architectural treasure located in South Walkerville.

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Editor's Note:This Blog was posted in late August, and since than, an interesting thread of comments has evolved.

35. Winnipeg Free Press: Heritage reborn - Union Bank Tower to become multi-purpose Red River College facility
Bartley Kives

Peeling paint in the hall shows the toll time has taken on the heritage building. (KEN GIGLIOTTI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS )
Union Bank exterior


For the past 17 years, the Union Bank Tower at the corner of Main Street and William Avenue sat vacant because the cost of renovating the 104-year-old heritage building proved prohibitive to developers.

Now, the redevelopment of the national historic site is moving forward because architects and engineers figured out they could save an old office tower by building a brand-new low-rise structure alongside it.

On Thursday, officials from Red River College and all three levels of government held a ceremony to mark the beginning of a two-year heritage-restoration and construction project that will see the tower and two adjoining buildings become the new home for the college's hospitality and culinary programs, student residences and three restaurants with two outdoor seating areas.

Financially, the $27-million project is moving forward with the help of funding from Ottawa, Manitoba, Winnipeg, downtown development agency CentreVenture, Paterson GlobalFoods, the Winnipeg Foundation and the college itself.

But from a technical standpoint, the construction of a new annex on the west side of the building and the renovation of a smaller building on the south side are what will make the project possible, as the steel-frame "tower" -- considered the oldest "skyscraper" in Western Canada -- could not house the heating and cooling systems necessary for teaching classrooms, kitchens and restaurants on its own.

"We have to put all the machinery in the new buildings," said Dudley Thompson of Prairie Architects, which has designed the redevelopment.

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Editor's Note:This 10-storey building was built during 1903-04 and was designed by the architectural firm of Darling and Pearson (Toronto and Winnipeg) with W. Percy Over and is believed to be the oldest surviving skyscraper in Western Canada. For more on this building see, and see

36. Edmonton Journal: City must act soon on Kelly-Ramsey hulk - Future of Rice-Howard Way may hang in the balance
Paula Simons

The building is two four-story, brick and steel frame buildings. The Ramsey portion was an addition to the Kelly Block. The two building are quite different. The Kelly Block is done in dark brick and the Ramsey Building has a stone facade


In a city short on both downtown street life and heritage buildings, the Kelly-Ramsey Building was a treasure, a gracious historic structure that filled Rice-Howard Way with culture, bustle and apple strudel.

The heritage block is really two buildings in one. The imposing brown-brick Kelly Building, designed by architect William D. Van Sicklen, was built between 1914 and 1915, by Edmonton blacksmith-turned-alderman-turned-realtor Jack Kelly.

The adjoining Ramsey Building, taller and slimmer, faced in granite and limestone, was built as a department store in 1927 for James Ramsey, Edmonton's so-called "Merchant Prince." Together, they are two of the last survivors of the old downtown commercial centre, reminders of our unique urban Prairie history.

Despite its storied past, the Kelly-Ramsey Building faces a bleak future. In March, the building was damaged in an arson fire. It now stands derelict and forlorn, filled with pigeons, a magnet for panhandlers, a ghostly eyesore.

The longer it sits derelict, the worse the impact on the Rice-Howard Way cafe district. And the longer it remains unrepaired and open to the elements, the more likely it is that we will lose this signature downtown site, as we lost the old Arlington apartment building.

Coun. Ben Henderson, whose ward includes Rice-Howard Way, vows that won't happen.

"The Arlington wounds still run pretty deep with us. The city will fight tooth and nail to make sure this building's not turned into a parking lot. I will fight tooth and nail to save it, and I won't be the only one."

But it won't be easy. While the Kelly-Ramsey block is included on the city list of historic buildings, it has never been designated an official historic resource. That means the city has little power to prevent its demolition, or to order its repair. The city can't designate a building against an owner's wishes without paying the owner full market compensation for any lost value. And since the corner would be worth more without the building than with it, the cost to the city to protect the structure against its owner's wishes could run into the tens of millions.

Technically, the block is still owned by Worthington Properties Inc., the debt-plagued company owned by Edmonton's Dan White.(My attempts to reach White by phone and e-mail were unsuccessful.)

White's longtime friend and business ness associate, Michael O'Reilly, has been charged with shopbreaking and arson in connection with the fire, which was centred in White's own office.

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37. Edmonton Journal: Edmonton's Garneau Theatre building to be preserved
Gordon Kent



EDMONTON - The Garneau Theatre building is being preserved under a deal approved by Edmonton city council Wednesday to pay up to $547,000 for renovations and protect the structure as a historic site.

The 109th Street landmark, with its signature marquee, will look like it did when it was built in 1940 once construction is finished early next year, owner John Day said.

The movie house, run by Magic Lantern Theatres, has a one-year lease, while the surrounding retail space will house a corner coffee shop, two restaurants and a food store, all locally owned, he said.

The changes include restoring outside brick walls and colours, undoing earlier changes, improving the roof and the cladding, and repairing the lobby.

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Editor's Note:for more on the theatre's history see,, and for the Reasons for Designation see,

38. Moncton Times & Transcript: Saving Moncton High

Students speak out in support of landmark building

VIKTOR PIVOVAROV/TIMES & TRANSCRIPT. Heritage Canada calls Moncton High School and outstanding example of Normandy Gothic Revival-style architecture.



Moncton High School is almost 75 years old. It has seen a lot of history since the cornerstone was laid back in 1934; but the real question is, what should be done with it now?

 The entry way to the Moncton High School Auditorium makes one believe they are entering a magical place. "Moncton High is the best school in the province," says Conner MacNeil, a Grade 12 student. "It has the best faculty and the absolute best drama program, there is no place I would rather be."

Of course, staying there comes with a hefty price tag. Architects say it would cost $48 million to renovate the school and bring it up to code, while it would cost in the neighbourhood of $25 million to build a brand new school.

And it seems everyone has been adding their opinion to the debate; everyone that is except the people who actually call this place home.

"When you look at it, you know this is definitely the most creative looking High School," says Michael Ford, who is the Grade 10 representative on student council.

"It has an old castle look to it, it has heritage, and just looking at it you can tell there is history. It is a whole different experience from other schools to be inside it, a completely different atmosphere.

"We are the Purple Knights and we live inside a castle. It is perfect."

When the city held its 'Open Doors' event earlier this month, offering residents a look inside some of Moncton's best architecture and buildings, Moncton High was on the list.

It also sits on the Heritage Canada Foundation Top 10 most endangered places list. Calling it "an outstanding example of Normandy Gothic Revival style architecture in New Brunswick," and a "symbol of permanence in the city," Heritage Canada states that "The cornerstone was laid for this imposing 3-storey sandstone structure in 1934, and its arched bays and massive wood entrance doors have seen thousands of students come and go over the years. The school's character is further revealed in the wood panelling, carvings, vaulted plaster ceilings and other historic details that abound throughout the building."

"Sure, it is an old building," says Colin, "but the school is driven by the students and staff, not by the building itself. There are things that need to be fixed, but what makes the school great is that it is filled with history. It is 75 years old, it is a part of Moncton."

Most people who live here feel the same way, Moncton city council had unanimously passed a resolution calling on the province to maintain the building.

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39. Montreal Gazette: This old door
Susan Semenak

A beautiful old door, well cared for and weathering the elements just fine. Photograph by: Dave Sidaway, The Gazette

Nothing gets Natalie Dionne riled up like an ugly front door.

Pocked and peeling white-painted steel doors. Doors adorned with faux-Byzantine stained glass motifs and fake brass trim. Doors with cattails, swans, and pagodas etched into frosted glass.

"A bad front door is a blight on the whole street," she fumes. "But they are everywhere, all over the city and across the suburbs. It’s deplorable."

Dionne is a Montreal architect whose Iberville St. home features a standard windowless steel door that she bought in white then had custom painted flat black and topped with a transom window. It’s a bold, spare entrance perfectly suited to the contemporary style of her home design, which won a prize this year from the Ordre des architectes du Québec.

But it’s not just award-winning architects who have a beef with ill-suited entryways.

A number of Quebec municipalities and Montreal boroughs have tightened up bylaws governing the installation of new doors and windows and other alterations to the facades of residential buildings in recent years. In the Plateau, for instance, homeowners wishing to make changes to any part of their building visible from the street must submit their plans, along with photographs of the materials they wish to use, when applying for a renovation permit. Under the borough's five-year-old "architectural integration plan," an urban-planning committee studies the homeowner’s proposal and determines whether the changes are "in harmony with the streetscape" and in keeping with the architecture of the neighbourhood. The committee has the power to make recommendations and to nix a homeowner’s plans and levy fines for non-conforming work.

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40. Victoria Times Colonist: Lawyer fires back at city's store ideas
Bill Cleverley

Proposal for Rogers' Chocolates won't work, Victoria council told

Rogers' Government Street store a heritage site.Photograph by: Debra Brash, Times Colonist, Times Colonist


A city proposal that would allow Rogers' Chocolates to expand its historic shop is more suited to a porn-video outlet than a chocolate shop, city councillors were told last week.

And if Victoria's move to amend the heritage designation of the store's interior is designed to reduce the financial compensation it would have to pay to Rogers, it falls far short, says the store's lawyer, John Alexander.

"We've spoken with commercial retail consultants -- the designers. They've looked at this design and said, in fact, it was an excellent layout and was a well-known layout -- if you're going to run an X-rated video store," Alexander said. "That's how they all are -- little door at the back so those kind of customers can go in there. It's not going to work for a chocolate shop, a jewelry shop, a soap shop or any other of the retail shops you see along Government Street."

In a precedent-setting move in February, city council designated the tiny Government Street store's interior a local heritage site.

The designation was intended to block an expansion Rogers had planned for the store's interior. The store's existing retail space is 950 square feet. Rogers wanted to push back the back wall 20 feet, increasing the space to 1,600 square feet.

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Editor's Note:Roger's Chocolates is carrying through on a threat to seek financial compensation for the designation of their Government Street store interior in Victoria. The City of Victoria designated the National Historic Site last February to prevent a proposed alteration and expansion. The company's solicitor had warned council at the time that the firm would seek compensation. The case is now headed to arbitration. see,

41. / Associated Press: New York State auctioning historic armories

The Tonawanda armory now known as the Tonawanda Castle, a catering business, is shown in Tonawanda, N.Y., Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2009. (AP Photo/David Duprey)

GLENS FALLS, N.Y. (AP) - The turret offers a great view of the nearby Adirondack Mountains, the weapons bunkers can serve as wine cellars and the cavernous gymnasium could be turned into the ultimate rec room.

Those are just some of the possibilities for the 38,000-square-foot Glens Falls Armory, being auctioned by New York state on Wednesday. Of course, the rehabilitation potential is a far cry from the structure's original function as a munitions storehouse, military drill hall and last stand should war revisit America's shores.

The 115-year-old fortress-like structure is one of several stone and brick state-owned armories up for sale in coming weeks as New York sheds some of these unique buildings in the name of modernization.

As the Army National Guard here and in other states continues to evolve into a 21st-century fighting force, units are ditching many of their older buildings _ and the name armory _ for more modern digs dubbed "readiness centers." In New York, with the nation's largest collection of the oldest and most architecturally significant armories, that means disposing of imposing structures.

The unit based at Glens Falls recently shifted to its new $11.5 million readiness center in a suburban industrial park.

The New York National Guard has 52 active armories, down from 70 a decade ago, most of them on the National Register of Historic Places. They include the Seventh Regiment Armory covering an entire Manhattan block and the castle-like Connecticut Street Armory in Buffalo. Some, like Glens Falls, were designed in a medieval military style by state architect Isaac Perry in the late 1800s, others from the 1930s were designed in a more Gothic style by William Haugaard.

Nationwide, there are nearly 3,000 readiness centers, including armories of various ages, according to the National Guard Bureau based in Arlington, Va. In 2002, there were about 3,150. How many of the nation's older armories are still being used by the guard units isn't known, the bureau said Tuesday.

After a New York armory is decommissioned, it's considered surplus state property and handed over to the state Office of General Services. The properties are first offered to local municipalities, but if there are no takers, OGS puts the armories on the auction block.

"In terms of age and architectural sophistication, the armories built in New York State between 1799 and 1941 compose the oldest, largest, and best collection of pre-World War II era armories in the country," Nancy Todd, a state architectural historian, wrote in her 2006 book , "New York's Historic Armories: An Illustrated History."

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