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Second Line West Bridge
Bridge demolition sparks a passionate debate

November 17th 2011

Meadowvale area residents gathered at the Meadowvale Community Hall last night to discuss plans over the demolition of the bridge on Second Line West over the 401. For more information please visit:

Loss of Heritage Home creates new Opportunity
Heritage Home in historic Meadowvale Village Heritage Conservation District Lost in Fire

November 14th 2011

In the early morning hours of November 12th, 2011, the Lambe-McDonald House, also known historically as the “Cantelon Cottage”, located at 1066 Old Derry Road in historic Meadowvale Village, was gutted by fire. The home had recently been sold, and was undergoing a major renovation at the time of the fire. The cause of the fire is not immediately known.


A portion of the house was believed to have been built by William Lambe circa 1921. It is unlikely that Lambe lived in the house, as he had purchased the nearby Commercial Hotel in 1915 and converted it to his residence. William also owned a general store in Meadowvale Village, and it is possible that the dwelling at 1066 Old Derry Road was initially used to house employees or rented to tenants. William Lambe sold the house in 1939 to Marjorie Mann, who in turn sold it in 1943 to Emily and Jabez Austin. Emily Austin sold the house in 1961 to Sydney and Joy Buttle. The Buttle’s ran the nearby (former) Texaco Gas Station and Garage. The Buttle’s rented the house to tenants, at which time we find reference to it as the “Cantelon Cottage”. In 1967 the house was sold to Richard and Pauline Martin, who in turn sold it to the McDonald family in 1969. Significant alterations and extensions were added to the original dwelling between 1967 and 1971, creating a triple gable, half-timbered, Tudor-revival-styled building. One of the only surviving exterior features of the original house evident in the altered building was the large bay window on the front-west façade.





Update: Cause Undetermined






Lambe-McDonald House, 1066 Old Derry Road, Meadowvale Village, Mississauga, from 2010, before fire


Lambe-McDonald House, 1066 Old Derry Road, Meadowvale Village, Mississauga, November 2011, after fire



Follow Up:


The lot once occupied by the Lambe-McDonald House at 1066 Old Derry Road  Meadowvale Village is now up for sale as a building lot - which is a rare opportunity within a Heritage Conservation District.


For more information on Conservation Principals and Design Guidelines for Meadowvale Village Heritage Conservation District, please see:

City of Toronto to Close Four Museums
Montgonery’s Inn, Zion Schoolhouse, Gibson House and the Market Gallery threatened

November 14th 2011

Various news sources are indicating that the City of Toronto will close four of its ten Museums in cost-cutting measures. The Museums on the chopping block are Montgomery’s Inn, Zion Schoolhouse, Gibson House and the Market Gallery.


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Fore more information:

Call for Nominations!
2012 Mississauga Cultural Heritage Property Awards

November 10th 2011

The Cultural Heritage Property Award is presented jointly by the Mississauga Heritage Advisory Committee and Heritage Mississauga. This award encourages and recognizes excellence in preservation, restoration, conservation and/or the enhancement of cultural heritage property, built and natural heritage. In celebration of Heritage Week, winners will be announced, and awards presented, at the annual Heritage Mississauga Awards evening during Heritage Week in February 2012 (date to be announced).

For more information, award criteria, and nominations form, please click the link below:

2012 Cultural Heritage Property Awards - Criteria and Nominations

Wanted: Good home for an old house
Historic Homes in the Path of a new 407 Extension

October 20th 2011

Wanted: Good home for an old house

Carola Vyhnak for The Toronto Star
Urban Affairs Reporter

The offer: Your very own piece of history — a 150-year-old stone farmhouse in north Oshawa. Seen better days but still solid. You name the price.

The catch: You pay to move it.

The house, and eight other heritage homes, along with an assortment of barns, silos and chicken coops, is in the path of the Highway 407 extension east through Durham Region.

So it’s raise ’em or raze ’em, the Ministry of Transportation, which owns the properties, has decreed.

“Stone is the big one,” warns moving contractor Laurie McCulloch. “It’s the heaviest, the most difficult to load and the most expensive.”

How expensive? Try $300,000 to haul the aforementioned Magner-Robson House just a short distance.

But absolutely worth it, says Cathy Clarke, chair of Heritage Oshawa, the city’s volunteer advisory committee on historical properties.

“It’s an amazing piece of history and a unique stone house that’s still in beautiful condition,” she says of the large homestead built in the 1860s.

Would-be buyers of any of the vacant structures have until Oct. 31 to get an offer in, “based on what it’s worth to them,” says Stephen Fagyas, who’s handling the sale for the ministry.

The price will largely be determined by the cost of relocation, he says, noting bidders must demonstrate they’ve contacted a qualified mover to find out what’s involved.

The shorter the distance the better, says McCulloch, whose Whitby company McCulloch Movers specializes in relocating historic buildings. Every time overhead wires have to be taken down, the price goes up, he says, citing one example of moving costs.

He doesn’t do ballpark estimates because there are so many variables in transporting a house to a new home once it’s raised off the foundation onto a wheeled, custom-made steel frame.

Wires, cables, high-tension hydro lines, road crossings, bridges and traffic lights are all obstacles to be negotiated before and during the move, he explains. Then there’s the paperwork and permits, without which you’re not going anywhere.

The 38-year veteran of the big-ticket moving business describes the operation as a combination of co-ordination, communication and clockwork — subject to the whims of nature. “If you get a storm, everything shuts down.”

Fagyas wants the buildings relocated by Jan. 20, 2012, so the province can get on with its plans to extend the 407 toll highway from Brock Rd. in Pickering east to Harmony Rd. in Oshawa by 2015.

Any building without a buyer will be sold off in pieces and the leftovers demolished, he says. But it’s the MTO’s “desire” to see the structures, which have varying historical value, put back to use, explains Fagyas, president of Commercial Focus Advisory Services Inc. The listings are on his company’s website.

With showings on tap this week, prospective bidders need to get a move on.



One can only imagine how and where John Magner got the big granite blocks that help form the walls of the magnificent house he built in the 1860s.

The Irish-born farmer was 46 when he constructed the Neoclassical style, one-and-a-half-storey farmhouse to replace his family of four’s log home on Winchester Rd. W. in north Oshawa.

The house, increased to 12 rooms with an addition in 1891, was sold to Charles Norman Robson of Robson Leather Co. Ltd. for $6,500 in 1944. The Oshawa tannery supplied Canadian forces with boot leather during the two world wars.

As a wealthy businessman in need of a country retreat, Robson did extensive renovations that included a fieldstone extension, gabled dormers, a carved pineapple over an exterior door and a gun room. He also built pens for his peacocks.

A big post-and-beam barn boasted decorative elements such as refined hinges and bars on the large stalls and brass name plates, now missing, for the horses.

Neglected in recent years, the Magner-Robson House is nevertheless an impressive structure that was designated a heritage site in 2004. Bought by the province in 1995, it was most recently inhabited by tenants.

A leaky roof has left the basement smelling musty but that won’t pose a problem to the new owner — it will be left behind when the house is moved.



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