November 15th 2009
The future of an intact Britannia Farm remains cloudy, and ultimately unlikely. The Britannia Farm is last relatively intact 200-acre farm within the limits of the City of Mississauga. Located northwest of Bristol Road and Hurontario Street, and stretching from Hurontario Street to McLachlan Road. Undeniably, the property is prime real estate within our city. The Peel District School Board has reached a tentative agreement to lease a portion of the property for development for tenure of 99 years. The agreement calls for the relocation and restoration of the farmhouse, Gardner-Dunton House and Conover Barn, and educational programs on the property being expanded. The development would start south of the Old Britannia Schoolhouse, run southward along the Hurontario Street corridor, and wrap around to Bristol Road. Approximately 85% of the property will remain undeveloped.
In the heritage community, at large, the announcement has been met with disappointment, as it was hoped that future planning for the farm would work with its existing contextual fabric. Public visions for the property have ranged from developing a “historic building preservation area”, a public central park, and even revert to a working farm, amongst many other ideas over the years.
The farm lot was deeded to the children of Peel County by the Crown, under King William IV, in 1833, for the support and maintenance of a school and for the advancement of education in Toronto Township. The rent from this School Reserve was used over the years to support the local school section and education throughout Peel County. Over the years the trusteeship of the farm property passed to the Peel District School Board.
Part of the farm property had been severed in the past for the old Britannia Schoolhouse and for the building of the Peel Board of Educations offices. In addition the existing 1852 one-room Britannia Schoolhouse, the property boasts several other heritage landmarks and features: the original farmhouse on the property, built circa 1865, was built in a traditional storey-and-a-half style; the circa 1832 Gardner-Dunton House, a large Georgian-style dwelling, was relocated to the property in 1990; the Conover Barn, relocated to the property from the Clarkson area and in place of the original barn on the property; the sugar bush, the last of its kind in Mississauga; and the remnant right-of-way of the long defunct radial railway – one of the last places in Mississauga where this rail route is still evident. Also, even though the individual structures and landscape features are independently significant, the contextual setting of the entire property is also a significant heritage asset to the City of Mississauga – truly the last of its kind in our city.
According to Board Chair Janet McDougald, the agreement allows the development company to apply for rezoning of the property in anticipation of building 850,000 sq. ft. of office space on 31.67 acres of the farm property. According to McDougald, the Board desired “to preserve this beautiful jewel in the middle of the City but we require long-term stable funding so students can better use it” and “it’s a wonderful facility but it’s underused for the value it could be producing for students.” The plan to build offices is just the latest in a long line of proposed projects for the farm, since active farming came to a close in the 1990s. “It all comes down to money, ultimately,” McDougald stated. “We’ve tried numerous things for the farm but there’s nothing in the (educational) funding formula that really covers it.”
Time will tell what the future holds for the Britannia Farm. Needless to say, all eyes will be upon the property. Regardless, it does not appear that the Britannia Farm will remain intact in the coming years.
Special thanks to John Stewart and the Mississauga News for the article: “Board to add eight high-rise offices to farm” by John Stewart, published on April 10th, 2008. www.mississauganews.com/article/12996
Britannia Farm: An Uncertain Future Update
The future of an intact Britannia Farm remains uncertain. Supporters who wished to see the 200-acre farm, which was deeded to the children of Peel County in 1833, remain intact were disappointed with the decision by the Provincial Government to allow the Peel District School Board to develop and lease 32 acres of the property for 99 years. The signing of the lease agreement is dependent upon the developer’s (Osmington) building plan meeting municipal standards. As part of the lease agreement, Osmington will seek to relocate three heritage buildings to elsewhere on the property, and as such they will have to make an application to do so through the City of Mississauga’s Heritage Advisory Committee.
November 10th 2009
Mississauga Heritage remembers the event that defined the .....
Cick here to see the Special Interest Page with all of the details about this event
October 23rd 2009
Haunted Mississauga 2009: Spirits of the Scotch Burying Ground
When: Friday, October 23rd, 2009
Where: Streetsville Memorial / Pioneer Cemetery
This year our story is set in October of 1831. The Home District election is set for January 2nd, 1832. William Lyon Mackenzie, the Reform leader, has just been ousted from the Legislative Council, and there is much unrest leading into the January election. Three Streetsville locals are running for office to challenge Mackenzie in the upcoming January election. They are Timothy Street as a Conservative, Henry Rutledge as an Orangeman and Free Thinker, and John Embleton for Reform. All three men are well respected Streetsville citizens. (In actuality, Timothy Street was chosen to run against Mackenzie in the 1832 election – Street lost soundly 119-1. We do not know for certain whom Street ran against in the by-election of 1831.)
Preliminary Character & Actor List
|Timothy Street (1778-1848)
|Henry Rutledge (1800-1875)
||Orange Order||Councillor George Carlson|
|Margaret Glendinning (1775-1856)||Conservative||Sandra Lindsay|
|Mary Hyde (1776-1857)||Reform||Denise Mahoney|
|Isaac Askin (1807-1883)
|Jane (Scott) Askin (1806-1878)||Conservative
|Rebecca (Weylie) Steen (1774-1867)||Orange Order||Mavis Wilson|
|Esther (Beatty) Leslie (1783-1867)||Reform||Arlene Manning|
|Helen (Ker) Beaty (1792-1868)||Reform||Rose Langley|
|Thomas Sibbald Sr. (1774-1858)
|Henry Cole (1792-1849)
|John Embleton (1790-1855)
||Reform||Theatre Unlimited Actor|
|Dr. John Crumbie (1794-1877)||Orange Order
||Theatre Unlimited Actor|
|Jannet Douglass (1771-1842)
||Reform||Theatre Unlimited Actor|