View Single Post
Old 12-02-2008, 07:47 PM   #9
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 153
Default Re: Gord's Orillia Home

I can't speak for Orillia or whether Mr Hill was aware what he was buying or not, but I know that in Massachusetts when they wanted to make my dad's childhood home a historical landmark (which may or may not be the same as a "municipal heritage designation", I don't know, but is different from an "historical district". District is an area and buildings in it may not all be landmarks. Landmark is the particular building that may not be in an historical district.) because it is one of the original taverns of the city, my cousin who currently lives in the house said "no thanks". They do restrict the renovations you can make. Case in point, first thing they wanted him to do was take down the tasteful in-law apt he had added on for his mother. It looked like a carriage house, but because it didn't match the original footprint of the house, (he had built it on the opposite side of the house from where the original carriage house had once been, but was looooong gone) it was a no go. He was also in the process of replacing all the original single paned windows with more energy efficient ones and they said he would have to do individually paned wood windows to match the look of the original ones, at three times the expense of the vinyl integrated grilled ones he was doing.

He said the low interest loans for home improvements and tax break wouldn't make up the difference of the cost of the historical materials they would make him use (not to mention the insurance premium and upkeep of a historically accurate house). And twice a year the house would be open to tours and he wouldn't see a dime of the admission price. We all wondered where was the city when the tavern stood vacant for 10 years between my great-grandmother's death and my aunt and uncle moving in and doing all the repairs to make it sound again?

All I can say is that from my experience, Mr. Hill is being smartly cautious.

The article does state that he would have to give 60 days notice before demolition or renovations...sounds like the beginning of a slippery slope to me.

While I applaud the city for wanting to recognize Gord's family home, it would be nice to bring the current homeowner in on the negotiations and give him the option of accepting the responsibility or not because in a sense, what he would become is a curator of a museum of sorts with no pay and a lot of out of pocket expenses.

Sorry about the rant...if you couldn't tell, this is a personal sore subject with me. Thanks for your patience.

Sundown17 is offline   Reply With Quote