A well-organized Sledgehammer Ceremony was staged on April 6, 2015 at the Small Arms Building in Mississauga

Detail from photo display at Sledgehammer Ceremony, April 6, 2015. Jaan Pill photo

Detail from photo display at Sledgehammer Ceremony, April 6, 2015. Jaan Pill photo

I’ve been writing about the Small Arms Building at 1352 Lakeshore Road East, located at the foot of Dixie Road, for some years.

Jaan Pill. Lee Tovey photo

Jaan Pill. Lee Tovey photo

Occasionally it’s called the Small Arms building and at other times it’s the Small Arms Building. I’ve switched to using the second of these spellings. Either spelling works fine. I like to be consistent, with regard to my own usage, in such cases. From now on, I will capitalize all there words: Small Arms Building. It will take me some time to revise the texts where I talk about the building.

If you click on the link in the first sentence at this post, you can read previous posts about the Small Arms Building. As a result of efforts by the local community in Lakeview in southern Mississauga, the structure was designated as a historic building under the Ontario Heritage Act in 2009. Otherwise, it would have been destroyed. Many other historic buildings in the area are gone, but this one – with thanks to the leadership of Jim Tovey and the local community – remains.

On the morning of Monday, April 6, 2015, I attended a Sledgehammer Ceremony at the Small Arms Building.

Small Arms building, April 6, 2015. Jaan Pill photo

Small Arms building, April 6, 2015, view looking south toward Lake Ontario. Jaan Pill photo

Small Arms building, view looking south toward Lake Ontario during Sept. 27, 2014 Small Arms Doors Open event. Jaan Pill photo

Small Arms building, view looking south toward Lake Ontario during Sept. 27, 2014 Small Arms Doors Open event. Jaan Pill photo

April 6, 2015 YouTube video

An April 6, 2015 YouTube video from WardOne Mississauga with highlights from the event can be accessed here.

The introduction to the YouTube video reads:

“On Monday April 6th 2015 the demolition/restoration of the historic Small Arms Building began. Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga has kindly offered to assist with the initial demolition phase of the main hall. The aim is to open up the hall of the building in order to create spaces that the community can utilize all year round.

“The Small Arms Building has a rich historic background dating back to 1940 and in 2008 was under threat of being demolished. The City of Mississauga designated the structure as a historic building under the Ontario Heritage Act in 2009. Since 2008 the community, our Ward 1 office, the Small Arms Society and the TRCA have been putting into motion the restoration concept of the building so that it can once again be occupied and serve its community.

“The local community created a vision for the adaptive reuse of the building as a centre for arts, heritage, culture and science.”

[End of text]

April 6, 2015 Brampton Guardian article

An April 6, 2015 Brampton Guardian article, entitled “Teardown of interior at Small Arms Building underway,” can be accessed here.

The opening paragraphs of the article read:

“MISSISSAUGA – The first step towards turning the Small Arms Building in Lakeview into a hub of arts, culture, heritage and science was taken this morning (Monday, April 6) as the interior of the building was gutted.

“Dozens of people gathered at the old building – which was designated under the Ontario Heritage Act in 2009 by the City of Mississauga – to mark the occasion and check out some of the work being done by volunteers with Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga. Habitat’s team of trained volunteers were busy tearing down some interior, non-load bearing walls in the building in what is the initial phase of the project.”

[End of excerpt]

Hard hat and safety vest

When I arrived at the site, I switched from street shoes to steel-toed construction boots. I also picked up a hard hat and a safety vest so you could see me at a distance, or up close if there’s a lot of dust. As well, I donned a face mask.

You had a choice of construction boots, organized by shoe size. Jaan Pill photo

You had a choice of construction boots, organized by shoe size. Jaan Pill photo

I noticed at once that we were dealing with an organized demolition process. Consider this. I had a large pile of pairs of boots to choose from, and the pairs of boots was identified by their size. As well, by a wall near the back entrance to the building, where the demolition work was underway, First Aid equipment was set up in a way that demonstrated a sense of order and close attention to detail. I saw tools and pieces of equipment that had been laid out, and was impressed by the fact the tools were neatly organized, as opposed to being strewn about at random.

Councillor Jim Tovey tours the Small Arms building with a City of Mississauga Commissioner [details to follow]. Jaan Pill photo

Prior to the April 6, 2015 Sledgehammer Ceremony at the Small Arms Building in Lakeview, Ward 1 Councillor Jim Tovey conducted a tour of the Small Arms building with Paul Mitcham, Commissioner of Community Services. Jaan Pill photo

The safety equipment meant that it would be safe for me to observe the demolition work that was underway that day, at the Small Arms Building, without fear that something would hit me on the head or fall on my toes.

Given that I arrived early, I had the opportunity to visit the room, where the Sledgehammer Ceremony was about to be held, as the room was being set up. I also had the opportunity to meet Jim Tovey, Councillor for Ward 1 in Mississauga, and his wife Lee Tovey, who is a Board Member of the Small Arms Society.

Volunteers with Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga, Small Arms building, April 6, 2015. Jaan Pill photo

Volunteers with Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga, Small Arms Building, April 6, 2015. Jaan Pill photo

The media event featured brief and enjoyable speeches by assembled dignitaries and a spokesperson from Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga. I was impressed with the tenor and organization of the event, and was very pleased I had the opportunity to attend.

Jim Tovey and the Small Arms building

Lee Tovey and staff from Ward 1 Councillor's Office prepare the room prior to Sledgehammer Ceremony, April 6, 2015. Jaan Pill photo

Lee Tovey and staff from Ward 1 Councillor’s Office prepared a meeting room prior to Sledgehammer Ceremony, April 6, 2015. Jaan Pill photo

The story of how Jim Tovey came to be the Councillor for Ward 1 in Mississauga, and how the Small Arms building came to be designated as a heritage property is a source of inspiration for many people. It’s a strong source of inspiration or me. Two brief articles that highlight the back story are:

Mississauga Life, April 2012: Councillor Jim Tovey: Ideas in Motion

Equipment at the Small Arms building was observed to be neatly organized. A sense of attention to detail and a focus on safety was evident throughout the work site. Jaan Pill photo

Equipment at the Small Arms Building was observed to be neatly organized. A sense of order and a focus on safety was evident throughout the building. Jaan Pill photo

Brampton Guardian, March 11, 2010: The women who won the war

A previous post is entitled:

August 11, 2013 interview with Jim Tovey, Ward 1 Councillor in Mississauga, regarding Lakeview Waterfront Connection Project

Click on the photos to enlarge them. Click again to enlarge them further.

 

2 replies
  1. John Gerrard
    John Gerrard says:

    Thank you Jaan Pill on behalf of all the volunteers for covering such a great event and capturing the essence and flavour of the moment and what is transpiring today. On behalf of Habitat for Humanity Halton-Mississauga and our thousands of volunteers, we are proud to be working along side Jim Tovey and his team to make this a space for the future.

    Sincerely John Gerrard CEO Habitat Halton-Mississauga

    Reply
  2. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    Thank you, John Gerrard.

    I’m really pleased that I had the opportunity to attend the event.

    I’m pleased as well that I have the opportunity to spread the word about the great work that is being done at the Small Arms site by Habitat for Humanity Halon-Mississauga alongside Jim Tovey and all of the other dedicated individuals who are working alongside him and his office.

    This is work that is truly in service of Lakeview and of the wider community that extends far beyond it.

    Reply

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