Younge Street Built Heritage Loss

Yesterday, the heritage building once known as William Reynold’s Block at Younge and Gould Streets in Toronto burnt to the ground. The building was built in 1888 and last year suffered major damage to its facade. A great concise history of the building was posted on BlogTO in May 2010.

Following the collapse of a portion of the building last year, the building’s current owner filed a request for demolition. This request was delayed by the building being designated a heritage property and Heritage Toronto maintaining that efforts would go towards the renovation and restoration of the building.

Considering the ongoing request for demolition various heritage advocates have been crying arson since news of the blaze of the fire. Currently, the cause of the fire is not yet clear, but arson has yet to be ruled out. Regardless, this fire marks a substantial loss to the historic Young street facade.

Photo credit: Postmedia News photo

Built Heritage in Danger: Sudbury’s Flour Mill

The Moulin à Fleur neighbourhood Sudbury located immediately north of the downtown core was one of the first neighbourhoods to develop outside of the original settlement. The most well known landmark in the area is the flour mill which gave the community its name. The mill silos will be 100 this year.

This mill has long closed and the mill’s silos were designated a city heritage site in 1973 and recognized under the Ontario Heritage Act in 1989. Additionally, the mill’s foreman house was converted into a community museum in 1974.

Despite these positive preservation efforts the flour mill landmark in Sudbury is in a state of disrepair. The silos that the city has previously deemed a heritage property have received no maintenance work in many years, and the entire structure is nearing a state of demolition by neglect.

The neglect of the silos has left the city with a choice to either repair or demolish the silos, as they are becoming a safety hazard. Demolition costs have been estimated at $520,000 to $850,000, and refurbishment at $1.7 million. However, based on the age of the silos there are a number of heritage grants which local organizations are applying to in hopes of helping finance the repair. Many Moulin à Fleur community members see the mill as been a valuable part of their local heritage and are against the demolition of the silos. Hopefully the city can be convinced of the value of this local landmark.