One of the first episodes of the Politicast this year was a conversation with Councillor Leanne Caron about heritage issues in the City. It would kick- off a year with a lot of heritage issues on making the front page, from discussion about inadequate communications to the controversy around the demolition of 797 Victoria Road North. So the year ends how it began, with a discussion about Guelph’s heritage issues.
Here in Guelph, we really love our heritage buildings. It’s an interesting character quirk, perhaps born in the 1960s when a big portions of the historic downtown was torn down and replaced with modern buildings. Heritage loving Guelphites are always worried about history repeating itself, and there are many heritage buildings falling into disrepair due to “demolition by neglect.” That concern was a recurring theme this year.
But there was also some good heritage news in 2021. The Drill Hall downtown is in the process of being reclaimed, the Cultural Heritage Action Plan was passed by city council despite some controversy, and the old Ontario Reformatory property was endorsed as a potential heritage district with the backing of the Provincial government. So it was a consequential year for heritage, but how does the head of the heritage committee feel about it?
P. Brian Skerrett, the chair of Heritage Guelph, will join us to answer these and other questions on this week’s podcast. Skerrett will talk about how this year has seen a change in the dynamics between his committee and the City staff, and the multiple pressures on local heritage buildings. He will also discuss how neighbourhoods can evolve and change while still protecting heritage assets, and whether Guelph has turned a corner in protecting its own history.
So let’s talk about this year in heritage on this week’s Guelph Politicast!
Also, when you subscribe to the Guelph Politicast channel and you will also get an episode of Open Sources Guelph every Monday, and an episode of End Credits every Friday.