in the armoury of a stranger

The Aurora Armoury was officially designated as a Recognized Federal Heritage Building back in 1991: http://www.pc.gc.ca/apps/dfhd/page_fhbro_eng.aspx?id=4387

Listed under Reasons for Designation:

  • It is the oldest functioning rural drill shed in the country.

That statement is no longer true.

The Aurora Armoury has no function, and continues to sit vacant despite Deputy Mayor Abel’s crusade for its re-use as a home for the Aurora Farmers Market among other ideas.

Rest be assured the site is protected.

On top of the federal recognition the Armoury is included in the proposed South East Heritage Conservation District.

So what purpose does designating it as a “property of cultural heritage value or interest” under the Ontario Heritage Act serve? That is what is being proposed here: http://www.town.aurora.on.ca/aurora/index.aspx?ArticleID=4694&lang=en-CA

The Aurora Armoury was listed as a site for the town’s Doors Open 2013 program.
However when the date came it suddenly reversed its decision to participate and
barricaded its doors.

No reason was provided.

Will it be considered for the 2014 event?

Even if it is, what assurance will be given that it won’t pull out like last year?

To recap the site is underutilized and attempts to appreciate its cultural heritage are severely restricted.

Before the town starts to wave it’s magical heritage brush over an already protected site perhaps it should give some consideration to what was documented in the federal designation.

I.E.

  • The large regimental sign obscures two windows and appears over scaled in its present location. Careful consideration should be given in its relocation elsewhere on the property.

Who is going to do that?

The DND?

If they haven’t done so in 23 years it is unlikely they will do so now.

This designation appears redundant, and where the town is all to eager to seek designations as though they are prestigious awards they fail to ensure that maintenance and accessibility to these sites are in place. Where no doubt the photo-ops of such a designation will be immediate the key components to enjoying our heritage remain at arms length.

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