As the debate about the Wilson Street farmhouse rages on (and on), one house in Guelph isn't getting off the hook with the wrecking ball so easily. The house at 24 Downey Street in the south end of the city will be demolished sometime next week as per a city council decision on the subject late last year. The land that the house sits on is city owned and will likely be used at sometime point in the near future for an interchange for the Hanlon Expressway.Here's the city press release:
Guelph, ON, March 14, 2014 – As per Council approval, the City is working with a contractor to demolish the building located at 24 Downey Road.
The contractor will begin on-site preparations on Monday, March 17, with the demolition taking place mid-week.
The City-owned property is approximately 2.78 acres at the south west corner of the Hanlon Expressway and Downey Road, across from the YMCA. The sole building on the property is a 1.5 story hom.
“At some point in the future the Downey Road/Kortright Road West interchange at the Hanlon Parkway will be built by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation,” explained Mario Petricevic, general manager of Corporate Building Maintenance. “At that time, access to this house will be cut off and the house will need to be demolished to make room for the interchange.”
The property is vacant and has been secured by the City’s building maintenance staff. It was previously leased by the City to Matrix Affordable Homes for the Disadvantaged Inc., who used the property from June 2005 to May 2013, at which time Matrix chose to exercise its right to terminate the lease.
Council approved the demolition, after staff examined and presented three options for the property:
Based on the cost implications, and the pros and cons for each option, Council approved option 1 on November 25, 2013.
- Option 1: Demolition. The City demolishes the building on the property and allows the property to naturalize until it is required for the future interchange.
- Option 2: Guelph Police Service use. Police Services use the building on the property for training sessions on an interim basis until construction of the interchange begins or until another use is proposed.
- Option 3: Lease property to a local non-profit organization. Lease the property to Abbeyfield Houses Society of Guelph Inc., which would use the building to provide affordable housing to its clients.
As instructed by the City’s arborist, protective fencing will be placed around the building to protect nearby trees and their root systems during demolition.
The property is not designated under the Ontario Heritage Act and is not listed in the City of Guelph’s Municipal Register of Cultural Heritage Properties under Section 27 of the Ontario Heritage Act.
The cost for the demolition is $13,500.