There are buildings older than the Petch House you say?

More than we are led to believe.

Hartmans Corners School was built in 1837.

Here is an image of it from the 1900’s in it’s original location of Hartmans Corners (Baview & Leslie):


The Hartman Corners School is differentiated by the Petch House not just by the obvious fact that it is older but that it is a structure of real heritage significance, considered the 3rd or 4th oldest school in Ontario, as well as:
The oldest vertical plank construction school in Ontario,

The oldest school in Aurora,

The oldest school in York Region,

The oldest school in York County (Including Toronto),


The oldest school in the GTA

All of that and I bet only a handful of people know it exists, even though hundreds of commuters pouring to and from the town’s Go station pass it every day.

The school, now a residential unit, now sits at 118 Wellington St. East, to the west of Baldwins.

Here is an image of it from the 1930’s:


And here is an image of it in 2005 the same year on April 6th that a permit to demolish was received:


Here is the report brought before council regarding the matter.  It is comprehensive and includes several interesting facts, including a letter to The Auroran from a descendant of one of the families that lived in the house in the early 1900’s :

Luckily the Heritage Advisory Comittee did something right and the applicant was denied the permit.  The property was designated under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act, and can be found on Canada’s Historic Places website:

The Heritage Designation report can be viewed here:

HeritageDesignationReportHartmanSchool (2).pdf
Download this file

I find it interesting that the “Friends of the Petch house” continue to make a case that future uses of the Petch house be in part as an “educational” facility, with Ms. Belrose’s delegation to the Heritage advisory committee suggesting that it could include curriculum for youth.

I don’t share that vision, as both the proposed location and whatever is left to assemble from the remains are not suitable to this end.

Not when the town already has saved a building with rich heritage that had been used as an educational facility for over 130 years, and chooses to ignore it.

To my knowledge no plaque can be seen on the building.  It has not been included on the Doors Open tours, and yet all this fuss is being made about the Petch House and how it could be a micro “Black Creek Pioneer Village” feature for our town.

Where are all the Hartman Corner Schools’ friends?

The Heritage Advisory Comittee needs to get its priorities straightened out, and not bend over backwards tosome miniscule and unnecessary lobby group when we already have in town the jewels of our heritage, saved and accessible to our downtown core.

Instead of of coveting or storing it somewhere where no one can see it, let’s start sharing our town’s history instead, for what it is was, not because one or two people (some of them that don’t even live in our town) have some tangential vision that does not really align with anything.



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