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Thread: In Brantford: Heritage Treasures or Hopeless Hovels?

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    In Brantford: Heritage Treasures or Hopeless Hovels?

    BRANTFORD–When is a building a vital piece of history, and when is it just old? It's an urban debate now touching down in Brantford.

    At issue is a three-block stretch of south Colborne St., a short walk south of City Hall, in Brantford's small downtown. Some of the buildings here are over 170 years old, while others have stately brick Victorian facades. Most of them are crumbling.

    Six of the 11 members of Brantford's city council want to see the strip demolished this week, in favour of a slick facility for a growing university population. To them, the buildings are just old.

    The other 45 per cent of the city's municipal government want the structures incorporated into a new complex. For them, these are Confederation-era pieces of history that belong in Brantford's future.
    Ontario is losing yet more of it's Pre-Confederation architecture...

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    Good post. I have been keeping up with the Brantford story myself.
    Below are some images of the buildings that are about to be destroyed.
    Many of them appear to be hopeless, but I have studied other examples that looked much worse but went on to be saved.

    There is actually a small bit of hope for these buildings from a bureaucratic angle. Certain politicians tried to ram this through so quickly they failed to do things like public consultations, heritage and environmental assessments. They also expropriated property without a plan for development, or at least the plan when the property was expropriated fell through. I'm not sure where the law stands on that, but I think the expropriation may have been illegal and certain former owners may have legal recourse.
    That was a quote from the architecture forum I belong to. If I hear any more I will let you know, but it seems that a contract has already been awarded to a company to tear them down anyway:

    http://www.brantfordexpositor.ca/Art...aspx?e=2386128












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    Yes, it was awarded a couple of days ago. It's very disheartening, such a street has such character and potential. The fact that one guy alone can own half of these buildings and run them down and suck the life out of a few blocks of a city is shameful.

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