Re: Demolition Request for 2096 Wonderland Road N.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Members of Planning & Environment Committee:
Councillor Stephen Turner (Chair)
Councillor Anna Hopkins
Councillor Jesse Helmer
Councillor Maureen Cassidy
Councillor Tanya Park

Dear Councillors:

Re: Demolition Request for 2096 Wonderland Rd. N.

I write with concern over Invest Group’s demolition request for 2096 Wonderland Rd. N. This listed property, a Priority 2 on London’s Inventory of Heritage Resources, is of architectural and historical value for the following reasons:

  1. The building is an excellent example of a Georgian-style white brick farmhouse. Its symmetry and simplicity, hipped roof, and central entry flanked by window openings are all representative of the style. Moreover, pictures online indicate this building is well-preserved, possessing such original features as wide floor boards, wainscoting, and fireplaces. It has apparently suffered no neglect, with an updated kitchen and bathrooms, a rear deck, two-car garage, and beautiful grounds with mature trees. There seems little reason to demolish such an attractive home in move-in condition.

  2. An early London Township settler named William Warner first settled on this lot in October 1819, his family remaining on the farm until 1907. The family’s first home was probably of log construction, this permanent house not being built until mid-nineteenth century when the family was more prosperous. The farmhouse is a magnificent memorial to this early pioneer family and provides us with a physical connection to original settlers of the township. If maintained in good condition, the home could inspire a sense of civic pride in those who live in the north end of London.

To relocate a large brick pre-Confederation home with stone foundation would be difficult, potentially damaging the building as well as reducing its heritage value by removing it from its original context. New developments should ideally not interfere with heritage properties and should be able to exist with them side by side. I urge you to deny the demolition request, advise the developer to revise the development plan to allow this house to remain, and recommend that the house be sold to an appropriate buyer interested in preserving its heritage features for future generations.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Grainger
President
Architectural Conservancy Ontario - London Region