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Town of Mono seeks heritage designation for cherished house slated for demolition

February 16, 2017   ·   0 Comments

By Peter Richardson

Following Valentines Day candy surprises from Mayor Laura Ryan and Councillor Sharon Martin, the first order of business for Mono Council Tuesday night was a presentation from the Heritage Advisory Committee, regarding having a farm house on 30 Sideroad designated as a Heritage Building under Part V of the Ontario Heritage Act.

The property in question is currently slated for demolition to make way for the proposed Greenwood gravel pit.

The home is unique in many ways, not the least of which is that it was part of a farm that had previously been owned by a single family for 145 years. The two-story red brick house was built in 1922 and represents a good example of the classic, 20th century Edwardian style of architecture popular at the turn of the 20th century.

Called a ‘foursquare’ in the USA, these homes had a square footprint, two rooms wide by two rooms deep, with a wide saved hip roof and a centre dormer and projecting frontispiece.

The house in question, formally referred to as Maplehurst, had been a part of the Newton family farm at 487424 30 Sideroad, which dated back to Samuel Newton who in 1843 leased the farm from the Canada Company, a large private chartered British land development company incorporated by royal charter on August 19, 1826, under an act of British parliament, to aid in the colonization of Upper Canada.  He purchased it in 1865.

Samuel Newton was a respected member of the community and a founder of the Loyal Orange Lodge No. 354, in Violet Hill, in the mid 1840’s. That lodge is still standing and is, today, the Granny Taught Us How store .

Although the Province will only consider the exterior architecture of the house for its designation as a heritage building, there are still many original elements of the interior as well, including the wooden ceilings, a great deal of wainscotting and many other features.

The committee proposed a bylaw requesting that the house be designated by the Province and thus saving it from demolition. It should be noted that the proposed gravel pit by Greenwood Aggregates is an issue of contention in Mono and is currently a matter of concern in Council. Following deliberation and discussions with CAO Mark Early, council voted to seek the designation.

Council then voted to send a letter to the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority asserting that the proposed levy by the authority is not financially sustainable by the town and that the NVCA increases, which total 13.23 percent for 2017, are incompatible with the town’s taxation policy. A similar letter had previously been sent to the Credit Valley Conservation Authority.

A motion to pledge support for the David Suzuki Foundations Monarch Manifesto was passed Tuesday and further illustrates Mono’s support for the enhancement and preservation of the natural habitat and populations of pollinators in ‘its’ community. At present, Mono has discontinued the use of neonicotinoids on all municipal lands and properties in Mono and has encouraged both upper levels of government to do the same. As well, there is a pollinator preserve garden in the community and  a dedicated web page on the issue of the decline in pollinators.

The motion went on to direct staff to advise the DSF of their support and actions and to encourage residents to support the Manifesto.

The issue of radon gas will definitely be raised at Mono’s next Town Hall Meeting, with talks to include how it gets into basements, its effects on health  and how to eliminate it. Much of the issue was recently addressed in a discussion paper from Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health. Radon gas is the second largest cause of lung cancer after smoking.

In reports from staff, it was noted that there will be a Trails Summit on May 10 to help with the formation of an Active Transportation Plan in Mono. Councillor Ralph Manktelow suggested that the town consider hiring an outside consultant to help formulate the plan.

Parks and Rec director Kim Perryman noted that Family Day is this coming Monday and a Family Ski Day is planned, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Monora Park. Winterfest was a huge success this year and was put on at a cost of only $483 of the $1000 budgeted. She also noted that there is now password-free wifi at all community centres and that the new online soccer registration is being exceptionally well received, with some 30 registrations being received since its inception last week.

CAO Mark Early reminded Council that there are now four committee vacancies due to resignations and the filling of one, the Heritage Advisory Committee, is required by provincial legislation. He noted that final arguments should be heard imminently in the Niagara Escarpment Commission hearing into the matter of the proposed water-skiing events planned by Dr. Cliff Singer for his lake property. Following their deliberations, the NEC’s decision should be made public by the Minister some time in the Spring.

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