Time is up for two heritage buildings in Sandbanks Provincial Park, located in Ontario’s Prince Edward County.
Despite several pleas to save Hyatt House and MacDonald House, Thursday marked demolition day for the two mid-1800s heritage homes.
“Over the last year we’ve been asking repeatedly for the Minister of Parks and park officials to meet with the mayor and our local council and our heritage advisory committee members to discuss alternative options,” says Peter Lockyer of Save Heritage Sandbanks Homes.
“I think what’s most discouraging to me is that this represents a loss of an opportunity to re-imagine properties and bring them up to standards to meet park needs.”
The demolition wasn’t a secret, it was just a matter of when.
Global News received a statement from the provincial government on Aug. 27, 2021, saying, “Detailed heritage assessments recommend tearing down the buildings as soon as possible in the interest of public health and safety. They are no longer safe to maintain with no heritage value.”
“It’s hard to imagine what can be done now because the damage is irreversible,” says Lockyer. “We really had 150 years of history wiped out in a couple of hours.”
While they may have been part of history, now they are just history.
“I always try to look at the bright side things and be an optimist,” says the historian. “I suppose I should be pleased that they’re keeping the old hog barn on the MacDonald farm. A hog barn seems to have great significances to the park officials when houses don’t.
“But I think that this will be the start of many heated discussion between park officials and local residents. I don’t think they have any idea how out of step they are with the community.”
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