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Oshawa Founder's Home Facing Demolition Through Neglect

·2 min read

OSHAWA, ON, Feb. 18, 2021 /CNW/ - On February 22, 2021, the Oshawa Council will discuss a motion to demolish a significant piece of the City's automotive heritage. A group of citizens dedicated to preserving Oshawa's heritage has rallied together to save this historic home in honour of Oshawa's upcoming centenary in 2024 and the return of GM assembly jobs in 2022.

195 Simcoe Street N was the home of Robert McLaughlin, a visionary community leader and businessman who founded the McLaughlin Carriage Company in the mid-1800s. Of the four Oshawa homes he lived in, this is the only one that remains. The "McLaughlin Motor Car Company Limited" was incorporated with his sons, George and Sam (R.S.) McLaughlin, Oshawa has benefited from their philanthropy ever since.

Cathy Clarke, a former Regional Councillor who has also chaired Heritage Oshawa in the past, explains that "Destroying a Historical Building Means - It Cannot Be Brought Back."

Clarke adds, "When we preserve significant historic buildings, we have a window to see rare and quality use of materials, heritage design and how they lived. When we adapt them, we open the door to the future. The Robert McLaughlin House is a heritage house that needs repairs from years of damage and neglect; it can be restored to continue the incredible legacy of the McLaughlin family."

Margaret Wilkinson and Jane Clark believe adaptive reuse could include a Hospice for palliative care patients or a myriad of adaptive private uses on this unique ½ acre property.

Oshawa has several landmark buildings that had fallen into disrepair but were brought back to life, including the Regent Theatre, Pinewood and the former Genosha Hotel at 70 King St.

Louise Parkes, a former City Councillor and business owner, suggests that heritage preservation requires a 'coalition of the willing' and stresses "that the Regent, Pinewood and the Genosha were rescued from demolition because the City reached into its toolbox and incentivized restoration." The group is asking the City to work cooperatively with the property owner to develop an incentive plan that will help attract a buyer. Parkes believes that "linking the development incentives to the restoration of the house is a "win-win for the property owner, City and residents alike."

The group is urging people to sign their petition at change.org and write to the council at clerks@oshawa.ca

SOURCE Louise Parkes


View original content: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/February2021/18/c4570.html