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NEWS | ACTION


1. T he National Trust Urges Federal Government to Revisit Transfer of Central Experimental Farm Lands
2. Money for Heritage Buildings- Nova Scotia
3. 60 Acres to be Carved from Central Experimental Farm National Historic Site
4. Heritage Champions and Ontario Municipal Elections

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1. T he National Trust Urges Federal Government to Revisit Transfer of Central Experimental Farm Lands
National Trust for Canada Release (Heritage Canada)

Ottawa, ON, November 19, 2014 – The National Trust for Canada wrote to the Hon. John Baird, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister Responsible for the National Capital Commission, today to request that the federal government revisit its decision to transfer 60 acres of the Central Experimental Farm, National Historic Site of Canada to The Ottawa Hospital for the development of a new hospital campus.

This action would allow time to consult with the Central Experimental Farm Advisory Council (CEFAC) and discuss the impact such a transfer would have on the integrity of the farm.

“As the steward of this nationally important site on behalf of the people of Canada,” wrote executive director Natalie Bull, “it is incumbent upon the federal government to protect the future integrity of this heritage treasure.”

The letter draws attention to the key references in the Central Experimental Farm Management Plan—with particular emphasis on the Research Fields and the pressures of urban growth—and in the all-important Commemorative Integrity Statement to show the many negative impacts the proposed land transfer would have on the farm, from eroding land for scientific research to eliminating character-defining view planes.

A rare example of a farm within a city, the Central Experimental Farm (CEF) was established in 1886 as an agricultural and scientific research centre on land selected for its rich variety of soil types. In recognition of its historical, cultural and scientific significance—and the need to protect it from encroachment and inappropriate development—the Farm was designated a National Historic Site in 1998. The Central Experimental Farm National Historic Site Management Plan was created shortly afterwards “to sustain a cultural landscape of national historic significance through a reinvigorated and ongoing agricultural research program.”

The letter to Minister Baird is available here.

For further information: 
Carolyn Quinn, Director of Communications 
cquinn@heritagecanada.org 
Telephone: 613-237-1066 ext. 229; Cell: 613-797-7206

2. Money for Heritage Buildings- Nova Scotia

The Heritage Trust of Nova Scotia has funds available to help with the conservation of heritage buildings in Nova Scotia.

Information is available at the Heritage Trust’s web site, http://www.htns.ca/committees.html, under Buildings-at-Risk Committee. Here there is an application form, the policy of the Conservation Fund, and the purpose of the Trust. There are links to more information and other sources of funding from various levels of government.

The repair of the lighthouse in Port Greville, Cumberland County, is an example of a project helped by the Fund in the past.

Enquiries can be directed to buildings-at-risk@htns.ca, or to Phil Pacey, Chair, Buildings-at-Risk Fund Committee, 902 422 8814.

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3. 60 Acres to be Carved from Central Experimental Farm National Historic Site
Leslie Maitland, President, Heritage Ottawa

Central Experimental Farm National Historic Site Richard Hinchcliffe

The Civic Campus of the Ottawa Hospital on Carling Road is a Frankenstein among hospital buildings. A new facility is well warranted and the Ottawa Hospital can count on my donation cheque when the new building campaign is launched.

But why must a new facility be built on the grounds of the Central Experimental Farm (CEF), one of Canada's signature agricultural research stations and a National Historic Site of Canada? I'll leave it to the scientists to address the significance of the agricultural research conducted there. From a heritage perspective, we must ask why the Federal Government of Canada is giving away part of a National Historic Site - a site that belongs to all Canadians - without public discussion or consultation.

Surely there are other viable options to consider. As far as central locations go, what about the Booth Street complex which is already slated for disposal? And let's not forget LeBreton Flats.

The gradual 'whittling away' of the Central Experiment Farm has been ongoing for some time, and is in danger of accelerating. What developer wouldn't want the portion of the CEF property facing the Rideau Canal? Development pressure could soon result in too little land remaining to justify the Central Experimental Farm's continued existence, at which point it would be all to easy to justify carving the site up even more.

The Central Experimental Farm is a rare jewel in our midst that can be preserved, but can never be recreated. Like all of Canada's National Historic Sites, it deserves thoughtful and careful consideration.

4. Heritage Champions and Ontario Municipal Elections
Catherine Nasmith

On his second run for office, heritage activist and Port Dalhousie resident Carlos Garcia has joined St. Catharines City Council. He will do a great job representing Port Dalhousie issues, and will bring a fresh voice to Council. Also, pleased to see ACO President's Circle member James Gordon elected to Guelph City Council. Guelph also re-elected Leanne Piper, former Acorn editor.

On the heritage losses side, Guelph lost progressive Mayor Karen Harbridge to incoming Cam Guthrie. A local wag ...."Guelph elected our own Rob Ford". Hamilton has lost heritage champion Brian McHattie, who left his Council seat to run for Mayor and was defeated along with incumbent Bob Bratina. Former mayor Fred Eisenberger was returned to office.

In my second home, Muskoka Lakes the results were not good for heritage. Bala Falls defender, Mayor Alice Murphy lost to Don Furniss, who was making a big issue of monies invested (wasted) in heritage preservation under the Murphy administration. Muskoka branch president, Gunta Towsley was also defeated in her bid for a spot on Council.....but she may, as Carlos was, be second time lucky.

Thanks to you all for throwing your hats in the ring, and for landing some of the spots.

I am sure there may be others around Ontario we should know about...please send in your local stories.