Farmhouse on correctional centre lands would price ‘a fortune’ to restore, says proprietor

Owner provided to promote York Road constructing to metropolis for $1, however deputy CAO says ‘no course’ from council to purchase it

An enchantment will “probably” observe if metropolis council strikes forward with heritage designation of a stone farmhouse within the east finish, says proprietor Inglis Berry, who beforehand provided to promote the deteriorating, 1860-built construction to the town for $1.

“Trying to repair a house that should be torn down just makes no sense,” mentioned Berry, who owns Brodie Ltd., the listed property proprietor. “It would cost just a fortune to do what they want to do.”

Berry’s feedback come forward of subsequent week’s metropolis council planning session, for which the agenda features a workers suggestion to formally designate the property underneath the Ontario Heritage Act (OHA).

Following that, there’s a 30-day window to enchantment council’s determination to the Ontario Land Tribunal.

In December, metropolis council unanimously accepted a movement to promote intent to designate the property for defense underneath the OHA, a precursor to formal designation. During its assembly subsequent Wednesday, council is poised to contemplate approving a designation bylaw.

“It’s been deteriorating for a long, long time,” mentioned Berry, noting his firm purchased the property as a part of a deal to buy the previous Guelph Legion web site on the nook of Watson Parkway and York Road in 2011. “It’s been deteriorating for 44 years (since the last tenant moved out), probably before that.”

As outlined in a December workers report to council, the property has been the topic of quite a few property requirements bylaw orders lately.

Ordered by a municipal property requirements bylaw officer to demolish or restore and safe the constructing, Brodie Ltd. utilized for a demolition allow on July 20, however that was denied by metropolis workers. The software set in movement the method of council contemplating heritage designation, as the positioning is already listed on the municipal register of cultural heritage properties.

The property incorporates a stone farmhouse inbuilt 1860, in addition to a stone gate and stone shed related to the adjoining former Guelph reformatory lands. It was bought by the provincial authorities in 1910 and used to accommodate reformatory workers whose duties included watching out for escapees, the workers report notes.

In a letter of objection to OHA designation despatched to the town on the proprietor’s behalf, lawyer Kevin Thompson explains the legion deliberate to renovate the farmhouse in 1977 however “it was in such bad shape” it opted to not and as an alternative started utilizing it for storage.

During an inspection after shopping for the property, the letter continues, Brodie Ltd. determined the “only solution” was to use for a demolition allow and tear it down.

Brodie Ltd. subsequently provided to promote the stone farmhouse to the town for $1.

“We got no response to that at all,” mentioned Berry. “We heard nothing about it.”

City planning workers are conscious of the provide, famous deputy CAO Trevor Lee in an electronic mail. 

“The city’s planning staff are aware of this offer and there has been no direction from council to procure this property,” he defined. “Should council provide the direction to purchase this property, there has been no identified need nor has there been any cost analysis on the rehabilitation of this property.”

Berry mentioned the farmhouse was “a minor detail” in buying the then-legion land.

“We didn’t even think about the house until later on,” he mentioned.

“There’s nothing we could do with it. … It’s no good for anything, really” Berry added. “The laneway going into the house, we don’t own (all) of that. … We couldn’t even rent it out to anybody.”

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