The great barn debate in Stittsville
Published Monday, November 9, 2015 6:16PM EST
Last Updated Monday, November 9, 2015 7:19PM EST
As municipal issues go, it’s not exactly a barn burner.
But it is about a barn.
Discussion over the fate of a 142-year-old heritage barn in West Ottawa has been set for December 10th at the next meeting of the Built Heritage Sub-Committee.
The barn, and an accompanying farm house, are all that’s left of the Bradley-Craig farm along Hazeldean Road between Kanata and Stittsville. The barn is not being used and is falling into disrepair.
The two buildings, however, were given heritage status after the land was purchased by local developer, Richcraft. They are among the few remaining symbols of Goulbourn Township’s rural heritage.
Richcraft has proposed keeping and re-purposing the farm house, and re-locating the barn to Saunders Farm, about 20 minutes away. “Saunders Farm would provide a family friendly, interactive environment in which the public could experience the building in a farm setting,” wrote Kevin Yemm, Richcraft’s Vice President – Land Development.
Others would rather it remain where it is. “It sits there as a landmark for everyone driving by on Hazeldean Road to remember what the heritage of that area really was,” says David Jeanes, President of Heritage Ottawa.
Jeanes says the barn has both historical and architectural significance. And, as common as barns are, examples of 140-year-old heritage barns are fast disappearing.
He points to all the condos surrounding Ottawa’s Byward Market as a perfect example of development that has benefitted by keeping a heritage site intact. He thinks the barn could be turned into a farmers’ market or something else to attract residents. “There’s a lot of interest in rural heritage and it can be an asset to a developer rather than a problem.”