Another, better picture showing the exposed hole in the roof at 195 Simcoe St. N. Many people know the benefits preserving heritage buildings - especially creating a unique sense of place and pride in the community.
Naturally you can't save them all. However, central to why I am posting this is that DEMOLITION BY NEGLECT is like rot. If a developer is going to buy a property in Oshawa, especially a heritage one, they must be made aware the City and its stakeholders expect them to consider adaptive re-use seriously + show respect by maintaining property standards so that the neighbourhood area and the City are not negatively impacted.
195 Simcoe is a historic house on Oshawa's main street, one block from Parkwood National Heritage Site. When a poorly installed tarp covering the large hole in the roof blew down it appears the owner took no measures to stop rain and snow from further damaging the building for EIGHT CONSECUTIVE SEASONS.
Oshawa Property Standards/Municipal By-law Department received many complaints and issued orders but the neglect continued.
The owner who has the letter for demolition on the Agenda for the Monday February 8, 2021 Oshawa Development Services Committee meeting is the same owner who was asking for a demolition in 2017!
Time to put in place strong measures that more than deter, but actually prohibit, demolition by neglect of Oshawa's history. Oshawa can and should do better. As Antony Von Palleske pointed out to me, the Town of Whitby refused the demolition of the 1876 house known as Ringwood Manor. It had a flood and major fire and was restored.
In fact, Antony bought and restored the landmark heritage house at 1200 Brock St. S. Whitby...which if you have driven just north from Hwy 401 on Brock St. you are sure to have seen it -the Victorian one with the turret...in his comments Antony said it wasn’t even designated historic but the town still denied the previous owner a demo permit.
Pictures of Ringwood Manor & 1200 Brock St. S Whitby before & after restoration are included here showing a municipality serious about heritage preservation:
195 Simcoe St. N. (at the north/east corner of Simcoe and Elgin) built in 1887 is a former home of Robert McLaughlin, founder of the famous McLaughlin Carriage Company, and father of Robert Sam (R.S - Colonel Sam) McLaughlin founder of General Motors Canada. It is across the road and one block south of Parkwood, the National Heritage former home of R.S. McLaughlin. (195 Simcoe St. also at one time was the home of another Oshawa Mayor R.H. James)
The elder McLaughlin played a very important role in the history of early Oshawa. Not only was his highly regarded carriage company the largest in the British Empire in the late 1800s, he was also Mayor of Oshawa in 1899 and served on Oshawa's 1st Board of Health and 1st Water Commission in 1904 and was 1st President of the local YMCA.
In 2017 the house was vacant and the owner (same owner today, who also owns the dwellings immediately to the north and east) made a presentation to Heritage Oshawa regarding his proposed demolition of the house. He maintained it was of little heritage importance and said he thought of building a Tim Hortons on the site.
In 2018 the previous term of City Council received a Heritage Report on 195 Simcoe St. N. www.oshawa.ca/city-hall/resources/Heritage/Heritage-Research-Rpt_195-Simcoe-St-N.pdf and gave the building some limited protection, when they approved adding the home to the non-designated Heritage Registry.
In 2019 the building remained vacant, when in April there was a fire and an individual was charged with stabbing and arson. www.thepeterboroughexaminer.com/news/crime/2019/04/22/man-charged-with-arson-after-fire-at-historic-oshawa-house.html
This Monday, Feb 8, 2021 Development Services Committee has received a request from the same owner for demolition of the home: app.oshawa.ca/agendas/development_services/2021/02-08/CORR_DS-21-24.pdf
More about 195 Simcoe St. N.
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