Heritage Centre-Wellington Endorses Designation for Elora School House

September 20, 2017

 

Heritage Centre-Wellington has unanimously endorsed a recommendation to designate 37 McNab Street, Elora, under the Ontario Heritage Act.  

37 McNab Street, Elora (1842) has an active demolition permit request by the new owner.   

 

MUNICIPAL COUNCIL WILL MAKE CRUCIAL DECISION SEPTEMBER 25.

Built 10 years after the founding of the village, this 175 year old log house and is one of the oldest existing structures in Elora. It served as the common and then boys’ school till 1866. A branch of the county grammar school shared the building, educating students from across the countryside.

The association of this building with the efforts of a Scottish pioneers to provide education for children, as well as its early log structure, make this a community treasure that must not be demolished. It  is significant to the identity and history of Elora.  Already recognized in the Municipal Heritage Register with an A rated listing, the final decision for designation or demolition rests with Council. Heritage conservation has many stakeholders: the federal and provincial governments, the municipalities, private sector, property owners and the community. 

We expect the Councillors of Centre Wellington to uphold the mandate of the Province, that Significant Cultural Heritage must be preserved.  A log building can easily be repaired; horizontal cracks in logs, the result of natural drying, do not weaken them structurally.  If given Heritage Designation, the owner can still extend the original log building with compatible design.  However, the site and the substance of the first school in Elora, a significant associative community landmark,  cannot be built again.

Beverley Cairns