January 6/2022 - Council Decision Worries Heritage Advocates - (by) Mac Christie
July 17/2019 - Expedited heritage designation sought for Waterdown buildings. - (by) Mac Christie
July 25/2019 - This could destroy our Downtown - (by) Dianne Cornish - Special to the Review
Thursday January 6, 2022
Council Decision Worries Heritage Advocates - (by) Mac Christie
Heritage advocates are concerned the decision by City Council to allow Ancaster's Marr-Phillipo House to be moved could be a harbinger of bad news for heritage in Waterdown.
Thursday July 17, 2019
PARTRIDGE SEEKS EXPEDITED HERITAGE DESIGNATION
(by) Mac Christie - Flamborough Review
Ward 15 Councillor Judi partridge has requested that the city staff expedite a heritage designation for the Royal Coachman and former Village Fish and Chips buildings in Waterdown.
In separate motions at the June 18 and 19 planning committee meetings, Partridge had the two properties added to the city's Register of Property of Cultural or Interest as non-designated properties, and assigned immediate priority for heritage designation. City council ratified the moves at the June 26 and July 12 meetings respectively. Partridge said that she pursued heritage designation for the Royal Coachman and Village Fish and Chips properties - located at 1 Main Street North and ( Main Street North respectively - due to concerns about the potential sale and demolition of the buildings.
"One of the concerns that residents have had - myself included as well - is making sure that we preserve the heritage of the old town of Waterdown," she said. While the heritage district in Waterdown currently encompasses Mill Street and the intersection at Dundas Street, it does not include the Royal Coachman or the Village Fish and Chips properties. "There are about six buildings that the community thinks - and I believe - may be at risk," she said. "At risk of being torn down and something else built there, if there is no protection on them."
Both buildings were listed on the city's inventory of Buildings of Architectural and/or Historic interest, but were not recognized or protected through designation under the Ontario Heritage Act. According to Partridge's motion, the owner of the Royal Coachman lands "is considering selling the property for redevelopment." Royal Coachman restaurant owner Ross Nelson said he was not aware of either the move to designate the property or a potential sale.
As part of the Register of Property of Cultural Heritage or Interest, the Royal Coachman is protected from demolition for 60 days. The heritage significance of the properties will be determined by staff - with each evaluated against federal, provincial and municipal heritage values. "It gets those buildings on the list of buildings to undergo heritage designation," she said of her motion. "They're put on as a priority, because right now they're relatively unprotected. "But should anybody want to develop those lands - especially when you see a heritage building put up for sale - that's a good indication that it needs to be protected because you have no idea what those plans are going to be."
The Royal Coachman property was constructed in 1868 by William Heisse and was first named the Right House Hotel in 1875. After the sale of the hotel to Patrick Kirk in 1888, the building was bricked and renamed the Kirk House Hotel, remaining in the family until 1966. It came into the current life as a British pub in 1995.
According to Partridge's motion, the building is representative of the Queen Anne Revival style, popular in Ontario between 1870 and 1910. "The property displays a high degree of craftsmanship, including but not limited to the projected bay with wood paneling and decorated barge board on the primary elevation," reads the motion.
Personally, Partridge said that the Royal Coachman building has played a critical role in the heritage of the village and the development of Waterdown the town. "I think it's critical to do whatever we can to take a look at the village as a whole and identify what buildings are there or what areas are there that would make sense to protect," she said. Meanwhile, the village Fish and Chips building was built in 1929 as a Bell telephone exchange and post office. For a short time in the 1950s it served as the East Flamborough Township police station before the building was bought by owner Neil Bos' parents in 1968. In 1969, it opened as the Village Coffee Shop, before becoming the Village Restaurant, In the late 1980s Bos re-branded the business as Village Fish and Chips.
Partridge's motion indicates that the building meets the criteria of historical associations physical and architectural design and contextual value. In particular, "the wood framed building clad in roughcast stucco, with a low hip roof and projecting eaves, is a representative example of a local vernacular architectural style." Partridge said that the building has a lot of character and has played a significant role in the lives of many people in Waterdown. Bos said the building and business was sold effective June 15 - his last day in operation.
While the building and business were sold as a package, Bos said he isn't sure what the new owners plan to do with the building. Bos said he was not aware of the move to designate the building, but said he is honoured that the building will be preserved. "It's a real honour to hear that they want to preserve that building," he said. "It's nice that the community is thinking about preserving that building and designating it as a heritage (property) - but I had not heard of that before I sold."
Partridge said that issue is tied to the Waterdown Community Node Secondary Plan study, which will seek to create a blueprint to manage change and development in the Waterdown area. She said the Waterdown Mill Street Heritage Committee has requested the city look at expanding the current heritage district over to Hamilton Street. "Any expansion of the heritage district would certainly be put out for public input," she said. All the people who live within the area or border on the area would receive letters and be able to come to a public meeting and give their two cents."
Partridge said that while the Secondary Plan will go out for public consultation in the fall, it will take time to work through - typically a 12-18 month timeline. "What these motions do now is give some protection to buildings that are not within the heritage district," she said. She said the two properties in question from a large parcel of land - one which could be enticing for developer who may want to tear the buildings down and constructed something else. "I would not be on side for that at all," she said. The motions protect that from happening.
Thursday July 25, 2019
'THIS COULD DESTROY OUR DOWNTOWN' - Heritage Committee seeks to expand district to safeguard against urban zoning bylaw.
(by) DIANNE CORNISH - Special to the Review.
Development progress in Waterdown have prompted the local heritage committee to ask the City of Hamilton to enlarge the Mill Street heritage district. The quaint, historic character of Waterdown's main core along Dundas Street between Mill and Hamilton streets is being threatened by a relatively new zoning bylaw that allows for six-to-eight story buildings within the downtown urban core and the current heritage district, said Andy MacLaren, chair of the Waterdown Mill Street heritage committee. 'This would destroy our downtown if changes aren't made immediately' he added.
Dundas and Ancaster have been given exemptions (G5 exemption 570) from the downtown urban zoning bylaw, allowing them to limit buildings to three storeys in their urban core, but Waterdown hasn't, MacLaren explained. To protect the character of the downtown core and prevent any buildings over three storeys from being built there, the Waterdown heritage group is spearheading a campaign to expand its heritage district to include the area along Dundas Street from Main to Hamilton streets. At present, the Mill Street heritage district is bounded by Union Street to the south and Elgin Street to the north and runs on Mill Street to Mary Hopkins School from Dundas Street East. It also includes portions of Griffin and John streets.
The enlargement will include Dundas Street East from Main to Hamilton Street. Although the current district runs along Dundas Street from Mill to Main streets, it does not include the Main Street North restaurant properties of the Royal Coachman and Village Fish and Chips, two buildings which Ward 15 Councillor Judi Partridge recently took action to protect. She has asked city staff to expedite a heritage designation for both of the buildings, something that allows for 'a considerable amount of protection' for the buildings should their owners one day seek to alter or demolish them, she said. Partridge said the Review that she was surprised the Coachman, given its architectural and historical significance, is not already designated as a heritage building.
She supports the expansion of Waterdown's heritage district, but said public consultation is essential before it can happen. That will come this fall when area residents will be asked for input into the Waterdown Community Node Secondary Plan study, which will create a blueprint to manage change and development in the Waterdown area.
"We're way past due in getting one (a study) done," the Councillor said, noting that the last study done for Waterdown was in 1981. She encourages residents and business owners within the proposed expanded area of the heritage district to attend the upcoming public meetings. She envisions that the process will wrap up late next year or early 2021.
"We need to be careful where density (development) goes," she said, adding that the character of that community needs to be protected. "It is the heritage where we came from".
MacLaren, who also sits on the Hamilton permit review committee, said he would be happy to attend a planning committee meeting or the upcoming public meeting focusing on the Community Node Secondary Plan study to talk about the heritage committee's desire to preserve the distinct character of downtown Waterdown. But he said he remains concerned about "the lack of information' coming from city hall to residents and business people in the downtown core.
"We (residents and heritage committee members) didn't know anything about it ( the changes in the zoning in the downtown core)." He said he learned about the change "by accident" from a downtown business owner only an hour before attending a Jan. 30 focus group meeting with city staff.
The bylaw changing the zoning has been in effect since October 2017. Given the zoning change, the downtown core is vulnerable to eight storey buildings being built all the way down Hamilton Street and along portions of Main and Dundas streets, as well as on the sites of historic buildings such as the American House, the old Weeks building at the corner of Dundas and Mill streets, the old Jam Factory on Mill Street and the Waterdown Post Office on Man Street North.
MacLaren questions why property owners affected by the new zoning were not informed of the change. He invites interested residents to visit the heritage committee website at www.waterdownmillstreetheritage.ca or send an e-mail to him at firstname.lastname@example.org to state any concerns or learn more about the committee's request for an enlarged district.