Saturday, February 6, 2010

Another historic Victorian home in Peel demolished

Sadly another striking example of Queen Anne Victorian architecture has been demolished in Peel Region. The house was just outside of Alloa off of Mississauga Road. When I saw the mountain of red brick, my jaw dropped in disbelief. Luckily, I had photographed the home in late 2009, and incorporated it into my Abandoned Ontario book.

UPDATE!!!! I was speaking with Glen Judge this morning, the nice man who owns the nearby Cheltenham General Store, and apparently the house BURNT down. Very suspicious.

This was a beautiful home, and was in near pristine condition. I drove past the house in late January, and noticed that they had torn down the large barn and various outbuildings at the back of the property. Although I was somewhat skeptical, part of me was sincerely hoping that they would leave the home to be.

What frustrates me, and many others I speak to, is what is so wrong with incorporating the existing landscape into new community designs? Why do builders exist on flattening every building, cutting down every tree, and filling in every wetland that lies in their path? If they are smart enough to create these master designs for new communities, they are certainly smart enough to incorporate the old in with the new.

A subdivision is a method of development popularized in the 1950's. Guess what, that was 50 years ago! Sprawls of homes that rely on the ever polluting automobile are a design of the past. At the very least, why not make use of this big, beautiful home? Turn it into a community hub. Incorporate a store, a meeting place, whatever. My feeling is that if people are aware of and respect the history of a local area, they are more likely to have pride and respect for where they live. If you're a resident of the area, and you would like to see less of these types of homes torn down, contact the city to get involved.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, what great work you have done Bruce!! I am so looking forward to your book, I plan to buy it this weekend.

    I have been obsessed with all these houses my whole life, and am also from Streetsville Meadowvale Village...I'm in Orangeville now. I was so saddened to see these homes destroyed. But not at all surprised. Of course they could have been saved, but how does that profit the developers?? It's not like they have hearts or souls, or care about preserving history, all they want is something to build on. Build their weak cheap excuses for homes...we all know they won't last for 50 years let alone 150.

    I find a pattern going on here, it seems whenever some old historical gem gets in the way of development, those gems suddenly, mysteriously and conveniently burn. They may have been standing open and empty for years, used by vagrants, teenagers or wildlife and survive just fine apart from small fixable damages. Then the developer steps in, and it's toast. No way to prove anything one way or another. Incredibly transparent. There is more security for grocery store garbage bins than for historically designated homes.

    The house that burned could have been an attraction for sure. It got in someones way. They like to call it progress, to somehow justify the carnage!! I call it shameless, ugly greed, despicable!!

    It hurts to think of the many ways these old homes could have been saved and utilized too. Skilled Trades students could have restored and trained simultaneously with these houses, benefiting everyone. Hey, today's builders could have learned how to build a valuable home that functions and lasts!! Wouldn't that be something..

    Thanks for helping preserve these historical buildings the only way anyone really can.

    Michelle Flinta-Godier