Old Stone House

The Heritage Board Phoned – They’d Like Our House!

November 29, 2006

Filed under: Day to Day @ 3:20 pm

A while back, we visited the bank to discuss our house, mortgage etc. We had a fantastic conversation with our representative, who started asking questions about our house. It turned out that she too had an old house that was in a constant state of repair, and she understood the costs involved therein. We learned that she was a member of the Heritage Committee, and they were always awarding grants to help maintain designated homes of historical significance. She suggested that we apply, that they were always looking for worthwhile projects. We concluded our discussions, agreeing that it would be nice to be awarded some grant money, but thought nothing more of it.

A few weeks later we received an envelope from the city with application forms for “historical designation”. The accompanying package detailed the application procedure, clearly outlined the authority the heritage board had over a property with designation, and the restrictions placed on the structure. The terms seemed agreeable, but we didn’t have the time to research our home’s history, as the countless hours needed to sift through the local archives could be better spent finishing pressing projects.

We let the application sit for a while, and then hastily decided that we would fill it out and send it off. Rather then detail the genealogical reasons that our house should be considered for designation, we simply wrote that we were committed to restoring the house to the best of our abilities, and if it suited the committee, we would like to work with them to better understand the house’s history, and possibly source out some old photos for reference. In short, we were asking for advice, not money.

Two weeks after the letter was mailed, we received a phone call from the director of the heritage committee, who explained how excited she was to receive our application, and was going to do all of the background research for us. She apologised that wouldn’t hear back from her until early February with the decision from the Committee, but in the meantime she would swing by to look at the property, again emphasizing how excited she was.

So now we will wait till the spring to see what happens. If aren’t granted designation, we will at the very least learn a little more about our property, and perhaps access some new resources along the way.

On the bright side, we might actually be able to restore the porch and replace the ‘replacement’ windows.

Here’s hoping.


  1. I’d like to tell you that you hands down have the best designed and most attractive (in my humble opinion) houseblog I’ve seen. Very very nice.

    Many thanks for adding us to your blogroll.

    Chris@The Emery Restoration

    Comment by Chris and Mandy Emery — November 29, 2006 @ 4:52 pm

  2. I just wanna say ….YEAH FOR STONE HOUSES and People That LOVE them!

    I love your blog and would love to share some stories if you folks ever decide to do anything to the stone work itself.

    Comment by donutboy — November 29, 2006 @ 9:22 pm

  3. Chris – Thanks for the kinds words about the blog. I won’t hold it against you that you live in Alberta. (I’m in Ontario)

    Donutboy – Oh, don’t you worry – we have to do something with the stone. It’s structurally sound, but the last jokers took white paint and added fake mortar lines to the entire exterior…

    Comment by mdenny — November 29, 2006 @ 11:26 pm

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