London Heritage Advocate Honoured with Provincial Lifetime Achievement Award


Architectural Conservancy Ontario (ACO) has awarded the 2018 Eric Arthur Lifetime Achievement Award to long-time London heritage advocate Janet Hunten.

The Award recognizes individuals or groups that have made an outstanding contribution to the heritage conservation movement in Ontario over a sustained period of time. The state of the province's architectural heritage today would not be the same without the significant activities of this recipient.

Janet Hunten has worked in the heritage sector in London for nearly 50 years and is a long-standing and active member of ACO London, the London and Middlesex Historical Society, and the London Chapter of the Ontario Archeological Society, among many others.

After graduating with Honours in Physics and Chemistry from the University of Western Ontario, Ms. Hunten joined the Stratford Festival’s property and set design department in their inaugural season.

Her museum career in London began in 1970 at Centennial Museum, where she was Assistant Curator and Collections Manager. In 1982 she was appointed the first Curator of Fanshawe Pioneer Village where she oversaw the restoration of the Paul Peel House and ensured recognition of his status as a Person of National Historic Significance with the unveiling of a federal historical plaque. Ms. Hunten moved to the newly restored County Court House and Gaol in 1985, where she worked until her retirement in the mid-1990s.

She was an original member of London’s Advisory Committee on Heritage (LACH) and was a key member of the dedicated field team scouring city streets and rural roads of the annexed areas to assess and catalogue buildings and sites of heritage interest, resulting the City’s first Inventory of Heritage Resources. She continues to be active with LACH and serves on both its Stewardship and Heritage Inventory sub-committees.

Ms. Hunten has previously been recognized locally for her significant heritage contributions on the 2002 Mayor's Honour List and a 2015 ACO London - Heritage London Foundation Award.

She was nominated for the prestigious annual provincial award by the London Region branch of Architectural Conservancy Ontario. Previous Provincial ACO award honourees from the London area include the Clock Tower Inn, Strathroy (2016), Chisholm Building (2015), London Roundhouse Project (2015), Kyle Gonyou (2014), Friends of Meadowlily Woods (2013), Red Antiquities Building (2011), and Julia Beck (2009).

The Eric Arthur Lifetime Achievement Award was created in honour of renowned University of Toronto architecture professor, author, and heritage conservationist Eric Ross Arthur. Arthur founded ACO in 1933 and led the charge to save such iconic landmarks as Toronto’s St. Lawrence Hall and the Gooderham flatiron building, inspiring generations of architectural and heritage advocates to this day.

The Award will be presented at the 12th Annual ACO Awards reception which will be held at Toronto’s historic Art Deco ‘Symes Road Destructor’, now restored and creatively repurposed as an event space and home to Junction Craft Brewing, on Thursday, October 11th.

Shawn Adamsson