The purpose of the current post is to highlight resources available to owners of heritage properties, that have been designated under the Ontario Heritage Act.
But first, a note about Ontario’s architectural history dating back to the nineteenth century.
I was most interested to learn that the house at 58 Wheatfield Road in Mimico, Ontario has a historical connection to a house in Stratford, Ontario through the architect, to whom the design of the Wheatfield Road building is attributed.
History of the Town of Mimico website provides background regarding 58 Wheatfield Road
An entry regarding the property can be accessed at this link:
The opening paragraphs at the above-noted page (I have added links of my own to the excerpt) read:
“The large home at 58 Wheatfield Road (originally Robert Street) was built circa 1908 for Alfred Baker.
“Alfred Baker was born in Stratford, Ontario on July 13, 1877. He was the son of Ichabod Baker, a civil engineer with the Grand Trunk Railway and Carrie Matilda Smith. He apprenticed with the architect Harry J. Powell in Stratford in the late 1890s.”
[End of excerpt]
As the link notes, before he moved to Mimico, Alfred Baker apprenticed with architect Harry James Powell in Stratford in the late 1890s.
Harry James Powell House in Stratford, Ontario, was built in 1896. Jaan Pill photo
An entry, at the Biographical Dictionary of Architects in Canada 1800-1950, documents details regarding Harry James Powell, with whom Alfred Baker apprenticed, early in his career as an architect; the entry notes that Harry James Powell was a successful architect in Stratford.
Since moving to Stratford in October 2018, I have spent many hours walking in Stratford’s heritage neighbourhoods.
On one such walk, I came across a house on Nile St., a few minutes walk from the Stratford city centre, that features a plaque from the Architectural Conservancy Ontario, Stratford and Pert County Branch, which notes that the building’s original owner was Harry James Powell.
Plaque in window of house (built 1896) on Nile St. identifies the original owner as Harry James Powell, Architect. The plaque has been prepared by the Architectural Conservancy Ontario, Stratford and Perth County Branch. Jaan Pill photo
Given the connection between the two architects, Powell’s house on Nile St. (built 1896) in Stratford has a direct historical connection to Bakers’ house (built circa 1908) on Wheatfield Road in Mimico.
Resources related to designated properties such as the 58 Wheatfield Road
The City of Toronto staff report on the house can be downloaded here:
Attachment 3 to the report contains the “Statement of Significance” which outlines the reasons for the designation under the Ontario Heritage Act. The “heritage attributes” are the most important aspects of this and these attributes are what have to be protected and preserved.
Attachment 4 is the Heritage Property Research and Evaluation Report. It contains a detailed history and evaluation of the house under the Ontario Heritage Act.
Any work to the heritage attributes/house requires review and approval of Heritage Preservation Services at the City of Toronto (in addition to building department, etc.). Anne Fisher is the heritage contact. The manager is Mary Macdonald. The City also has a grant program to help with repairs to designated homes.
The Ontario Architectural Conservancy has the “PreservationWorks!” program which provides expert advice on conservation and heritage projects across Ontario. They have a roster of highly skilled professionals that provide a range of services to promote the preservation of at-risk buildings and natural sites. This preliminary assessment is provided for a flat fee. They can provide a list of professionals that can help a homeowner evaluate the condition of the heritage house and the necessary work.
I attended an interdisciplinary symposium at the University of Waterloo some time back, which I aim to write about at this website in future.
The event, sponsored by the Heritage Resource Centre, focused on updates and information sharing related to heritage planning.
At the event, I met a number of planners from Southwestern Ontario who specialize in heritage planning, and learned about resources, many of which I had not heard about, connected with heritage architecture.
One resource that was mentioned was a book, of which I had bought a copy after I had come across it at the Stratford Public Library, entitled: