A Feb. 23, 2013 Toronto Star article highlights adaptive reuse of heritage buildings as a viable way to save them. [Click on link in previous sentence to read the article.]
Below is an excerpt from the article:
“Absent government fiat, though, heritage preservation will inevitably have to rely on enlightened private investors, notes Gary Miedema, chief historian with Heritage Toronto.
“’You always have to hope that people who own these buildings will somehow appreciate what they have or, like the Dineen building, the person who does appreciate it will somehow get their hands on it.’
“Clayton Smith came to the preservation field courtesy of a career path that looks linear only in hindsight.
“He grew up on a farm in Caledon East and, as any farmer will tell you, agriculture really means being a jack of all trades, from construction worker to mechanic. So it was natural enough that a young Smith would find himself in construction management with Bramalea Ltd.
“There followed a stint in building management with Oxford Properties Group and another in commercial real estate brokering before he’d saved up enough for the down payment on his first property, 50 Richmond St. E., a decade ago.
“Such restoration and renovation work isn’t for the faint of heart, since making the numbers dance can prove trickier than it might with completely new construction. ‘At the end of the day, it’s all got to make financial sense,’ says Smith.
“’Too often the relationship between preservation and development is perceived as an ‘either/or,’ and that’s a great disservice to both,’ says Miedema. ‘It’s not about trying to lock a place in time, but to enrich the pieces that we have.’”