Celebrate Demolition by Neglect Week

As heritage week draws to a close,on Sunday February 22nd 2009,let us not forget all the historic buildings we’ve lost under Culture Minister,Aileen Carroll,and all those buildings that are continuing to face demolition by neglect.Minister Carroll has stood up many a times in the legislature,to boast about the “improved & strengthened” heritage act,but she knows it’s window dressing at best,for she has not enforced the heritage act,as it was intended,instead allowing building after building to fall,or allowing owners to demolition by neglect,until the buildings are so unsafe,the culture ministry just gives the go ahead,to tear them down.Owners of historic buildings in the province of Ontario,are fully aware of Aileen Carroll’s lack of interest in protecting our built heritage,so to speed up the demolition process,they remove windows & doors leaving these historic buildings vulnerable to the harsh Ontario weather,and it doesn’t take an engineer to figure out,the longer the building is open and unprotected,the sooner the owner can apply for a demolition permit.Minister Carroll has failed miserably at protecting Ontario’s built heritage,and if there are any people that doubt that statement,I urge you to drive to the City of St.Thomas,and view what remains of Alma College.On the property at 96 Moore Street,you will find 2 historic structures that survived the horrific blaze in May of 2008,you will also find an outdoor amphi-theatre,all of which are continuing to face,demolition by neglect.We lost the main structure,and will lose the 2 remaining structures,if this minister does not take an interest.The property deserves to be designated as “Provincially Significant”,and if the culture minister could bring herself to realize this fact,St.Thomas,Ontario would then have a reason to celebrate “heritage week”.

Robert F.Foster


4 thoughts on “Celebrate Demolition by Neglect Week

  1. I attended question period this past week at Queen’s Park.I’ve always been curious about how things are done in the Ontario legislature.The(not so)Honourable Aileen Carroll was in attendance,and was nearly completely asleep,when her colleague nudged her.I was not surprised at this display,since her lack of concern for our built heritage,gets the same treatment.You must take in a session at Queen’s Park,it only confirmed my belief that each one of them is there for two reasons,to collect a big pay cheque,and accomplish very little.Whoever coined the phrase “the more money you make,the less work you do”,was surely talking about MPP’s at Queen’s Park.

    Michael Quartz (Heritage Advocate)

  2. Well I sit here in sunny Florida checking my e-mails and decided to check out my hometown news,via Ian’s City Scope Blog.My wife and myself are truly happy to see that our beloved Alma,is still making waves back home.We are saddened that culture minister Aileen Carroll has not resolved the issue of land designation for 96 Moore Street.It seems every level of government has missed the boat on heritage issues.We have always been true admirer’s of historic buildings,and if you travel to places such as Rome,Russia you can see the stark contrast,because in those places they take very seriously the maintenance of these structures.My wife and I have stood in churches that are 800 years old,they are spectacular and draw thousands upon thousands of tourists.Alma College was 130 years old,a mere baby compared to the above mentioned and could have been easily restored by caring hands,instead the Ontario government points the accusing finger never resolving the issue at hand,which is to save our built heritage,no matter the cost.We do hope the minister will come to understand the feelings that are associated with such important issues.Keep up the fight for the chapel,the music building and the very unique outdoor amphi theatre.We wish you every success.

    Lloyd Beeston

  3. As a person who assisted in trying to save alma college from the wrecking ball only to have her taken by a fire just let me say aileen carroll should be ashamed of letting alma sit neglected for so long.Alma was beautiful and though I was only inside the building once,it had an affect on me and was the reason I wanted to help save her.So many people fought to save the college and finding out later that aileen carroll had a report that could have saved the college,made it even more sad.We have to save 96 Moore Street and show the government that it was not just a one time fight and we are not going away!

    Jamie Summers

  4. Mr.Quartz,
    I would very much like to visit Queen’s Park,but unlike many of the MPP’s in the legislature,I actually have to go to work,to earn my living.However I dont want to give the impression every MPP is lazy,because I had the honor of meeting speaker of the house,Steve Peters in May of 2008,in St.Thomas.He was every bit the gentleman,listening to all the concerns of Alma supporters,in fact he was instrumental in obtaining a “stop work” order on the demolition of Alma College,but sadly an arsonist brought the college down,on the very day the paper work was being signed.We do have politicians in the Ontario legislature who care,and are willing to help,but it’s only a few.We need to clean house,because as is evident with our present Liberal government,they’ve spent taxpayers money like drunken sailors for many years,now its catching up with them,and the really scary part is,Dalton McGuinty doesn’t have a plan to get us out of this mess.He has always been a “wait & see” premier,which means he doesn’t have a clue!!

    Bob Foster

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