Oakville Homes

July 5, 2010

Fire – the bane of Historical Societies, god of developers


I was lucky.  

A few days ago,  I visited the Milton Historical Society ( they have an operating blacksmith shop there) and as I drove away, I decided to take a few pictures of St. Paul’s United Church, which is next door to them.  As you can see by the photo, there is some fencing around it due to the slate roof sending down pieces.  There was some controversy about the roof.  A number of years ago they decided to put on a slate roof but failed to do the engineering to determine if  the roof could carry the load.  Over the years, the structure has been collapsing due to the weight. 

St. Paul's United Church


About a week later, there is a fire – a suspicious fire according to InsideHalton.com.  It appears that the congregation have voted to have the building torn down and a developer move in and build a multi-story condo (the height for which is contrary to downtown Milton guidelines).  Now, I’m not accusing anyone but it seems funny that this historic building, awaiting final disposition regarding a condo, suddenly bursts into flame.  

I don’t know – is this a sign from god that he wants the building torn down and condos to arise from the ashes?  

 Who knows?  But next time – put the burning bush outside the building and save us some history. 

Suspicious fire at historic church. St. Paul's United Church Graham Paine/Metroland Media Group


Now, speaking of “Suspicious Fires”, on October 25th,2006,  the historic Brubacher barn located on Blackbridge Road (Cambridge Area), the site of the Forbes Wetland and where Mattamy destroyed a wetland and built a subdivision, went up in flames. Who benefits from the barn being torched…hmm… 

And, then there is the Kaitting House, on Dundas Street, west of 6th line.  Supposedly, Mattamy was going to move this historic house to another location, thus preserving it but, the fire demons visited this premise.  Of course, it will be blamed on youths in the party mood.  What I find interesting is that this house was an active property, albeit a single house in the middle of nowhere.  But it was being used!!! 

Now, if a developer really wants to preserve a piece of history – a piece of history being lived in, why not let people stay there until they are ready to move it.  That way, the “suspicious fires” set by “youths” might not occur.  If empty houses are such a lure to young arsonists , why not keep it active until the last moment, thus preserving it. 

Maybe because developers and Mattamy have no real feel for history.  Lets face it, Peter Gilgan’s home of 20 years is going to be demolished.  Developers want to build, not preserve. 

Gord Kaitting,  of the Trafalgar Historic Society, “bemoans the destruction of heritage properties, some by neglect, others by mysterious fires that erupt as the time for developers to decide their future nears”. 

Another house in the Milton area reflects  “a good representative example of the Edwardian Classicism style of architecture.”  On this property, Mattamy sent to the Town of Milton, “a request to demolish the buildings on the property, which include the Hamilton farmhouse, another house, and a barn built in the 1880s”. 

Mattamy submitted a heritage assessment backing up that demolition request, according to Town staff. The assessment stated the Hamilton farmhouse has low heritage significance, as it fails to exhibit any outstanding characteristics necessary to establish a significant heritage value, according to the report.”  Well, you can get an expert to say anything you want and back it up. 

If Mattamy and the Town stall long enough on this, the “suspicious fire” may strike again.  And who wins? 

If the developers have their way, the only way you will see Canadian history is in old photographs.  Want to see an old building with some style and culture – fork out a few thousand and fly to Europe.  Even with all their wars, pestilence and fires, they have maintained their cultural heritage through the preservation of historical architecture. 


Check this photo of a building left in the hands of a developer – Mattamy.  Does this show responsible stewardship of our history? 

Kaitting House - victim of developer stewardship


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  1. if you do then you are no better than gilgan

    Comment by do you vet comments there — July 7, 2010 @ 6:54 am | Reply

    • ???

      Comment by oakvillehomes — July 7, 2010 @ 9:16 pm | Reply

  2. anyway, don’t get murdered in Halton as your family may never get the details


    Comment by some comments seem to disappear maybe — July 13, 2010 @ 11:53 pm | Reply

  3. This is a really great website. The layout and design is very easy to navigate and the info is superb. Keep up the good work!!!!

    Comment by Shingle Roofs Westchester — July 27, 2010 @ 4:48 pm | Reply

  4. I agree! I still am stunned this keeps happening again and again in modern day times. This news was well received as I am not running. We would love to have pondered for the future. Anyway I will keep track of this situation to this.

    Comment by Anonymous — July 15, 2013 @ 11:30 am | Reply

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