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Re: Semi OT RE: [War Of 1812] Fort York & Environs - defenders and developers

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  • ronaldjdale@netscape.net
    In the case of Fort York, the property was granted conditionally to the City of Toronto by the Department of Militia and Defence with a reversionary clause.
    Message 1 of 10 , Apr 2, 2007
      In the case of Fort York, the property was granted conditionally to the City of Toronto by the Department of Militia and Defence with a reversionary clause. If Toronto does not continue to preserve this National Historic Site, it will revert to the Crown.

      Interestingly, it was the fervour over the pending demolition of the fort in 1909 that launched the Federal Governments National Historic Site programme--conceived between 1911 and 14 and delayed until after the war in 1919.

      The approach that something is worthy of preservation because of its historic significance does not ring well in many decision-makers' ears but the argument that there will be economic benefits through the cultural tourism industry and its trickle down effect will normally get more attention.

      Ron

      -----Original Message-----
      From: igardner@...
      To: WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Mon, 2 Apr 2007 3:23 PM
      Subject: Semi OT RE: [War Of 1812] Fort York & Environs - defenders and developers


      Mind you, there's still the 'Hummers-not-History' set, even today.
      There's an element in the City of Toronto government who'd be pleased as
      Puck to build the Front Street Extension which would pass just to the
      north of the Fort site, effectively boxing it in even more and making it
      even less approachable than it is at present. I don't mention this to
      this international list as a way of introducing local Toronto politics
      to people who'd (not unreasonably) care a whit about them but rather to
      remind all and sundry that the things and reminders that we cherish and
      value can't be taken for granted.

      The Barbarians will ever be restless at the gate, awaiting distractions.

      Mind you, now that I think about it, the Barbarians have been at the
      gate before. For those of you familiar with the Fort, the bridge on
      Garrison Road over nothing in particular located here
      http://tinyurl.com/3yobtg
      used to span the tracks of the Toronto, Grey and Bruce which continued
      on to a terminus at Simcoe Street on the waterfront. A dead-end of rails
      were there as recently as maybe 10 years ago (even though the line had
      been swallowed up by the CPR in 1883.

      http://home.primus.ca/~robkath/railtgb.htm

      That said, I'm one for mindfulness nonetheless.

      Ian

      -----Original Message-----
      From: WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com [mailto:WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com] On
      Behalf Of James Yaworsky
      Sent: April 2, 2007 11:42 AM
      To: WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [War Of 1812] Fort York & Environs - defenders and developers

      Please note I said the 20th century defenders were able to
      successfully beat off developer attacks, which implies that there have
      been a few...

      Unfortunately, there will always be an element in our society that
      thinks itself "progressive" and that anything "old" is worthless...
      just as there has always been an element that is "preservationist".
      The question is, where lies the balance of power to set the agenda?
      In Detroit, 1820's, "developers" were in the driver's seat... In
      Toronto, the balance shifted on to the "preservationist" end of the
      scale at some point in the 1900's.

      Closely related is the debate between those who think a place like
      Fort York can be respectfully "polished up" and become an even greater
      tourist attraction and cultural asset, and those who think spending
      more money on such a site is merely to waste same...

      The debate is often (always?) a very local one. Look at
      Niagara-on-the-Lake vs. Amherstburg in terms of trying to maintain
      streetscapes etc... I've heard that an element in Niagara-On-The-Lake
      is very anti-tourist, and there are some in the Town who think that
      Fort George is just a nuisance that takes up a lot of valuable real
      estate.

      Those of us who chose to be involved in such matters should probably
      realize that a certain amount of compromise, and being realistic in
      our plans, will probably achieve the greatest results. Change is
      inevitable - the challenge is to channel it along appropriate lines...

      It struck me that the best part of the plans outlined for Fort York
      was the emphasis given in demonstrating the economic benefits to be
      accrued to the entire community by the tourist aspect, and the
      community educational benefit. An approach that just spoke to the
      "sacred nature of the site" would probably not be as compelling to the
      decision-makers...

      Jim Yaworsky
      41st

      --- In WarOf1812@yahoogrou <mailto:WarOf1812%40yahoogroups.com> ps.com,
      "Ian Gardner" <igardner@...> wrote:
      >
      > Yes and no. As recently as the early '60's when the Parking Lot (aka
      > Gardiner Expressway [note the different spelling; no relation to moi
      :-)
      > ]) was being built, the plan was that what appears as a jog in this
      > higher-elevation image of the site (http://tinyurl.
      <http://tinyurl.com/29uf8k> com/29uf8k) was to go
      > right straight through the middle of the grounds. The preservationist
      > sensibilities are unfortunately a relatively-recent phenomenon.
      >
      > Ian
      >
      > -----Original Message-----
      > [snip]
      > By the time Fort York really came under developmental pressure,
      sensibilities had changed and its 20th century defenders were able to
      successfully beat off the "developers'" assaults. It seems
      inconceivable that it will ever now be deliberately destroyed.

      > Jim Yaworsky
      > Moderator


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



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    • Mark
      ... event ... attention ... by ... where ... recall ... a lady ... in ... a ... anger ... how ... FAR ... You struck a nerve with this one. Stuff like this
      Message 2 of 10 , Apr 2, 2007
        --- In WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com, "Colin" <usmarine1814@...> wrote:
        >
        > Jim Wrote
        >
        > "I've heard that an element in Niagara-On-The-Lake
        > is very anti-tourist, and there are some in the Town who think that
        > Fort George is just a nuisance that takes up a lot of valuable real
        > estate."
        >
        > A couple of years back the USS Constitution Marines organized an
        event
        > (eneded up being smaller than it should have been) to bring
        attention
        > to the fact that parts of the Battlefield at Sackets HArbor were
        > planned for waterfront housing. One parcel has since been claimed
        by
        > the "Battlefield Common" housing developement the other parcel,
        where
        > many from the battle are buried is still in danger.
        > While about town the first evening there we ended up at the Sacket
        > Harbor Brewery(Highly Recomended. There we found ourselves in
        > presence of the prospective developers and friends. I do not
        recall
        > all that was said by them but one thing has stuck with me.
        > "Its only bones...What good are they now?" If it had not been
        a "lady"
        > sayng such a thing we may have had to visit the county courthouse
        in
        > the subsequent months.
        > There were many other comments like that one and I nearly lost it
        a
        > number of occasions. But since then it had been sadness and not
        anger
        > when hearing about these things. Towns and cities do not realize
        how
        > a well preserved historical attraction can be, in trhe long run,
        FAR
        > more lcrative to the town than more cookie cutter condominiums and
        > houses.

        You struck a nerve with this one. Stuff like this really peeves me
        off. There are too many in our "modern times", that have no sense of
        historical or heritage pride, meaning how we are able to lead the
        lives we do now, because of those that gave of themselves in the
        past. It seems that everything in our times, comes down to the
        almighty dollar, no matter what the cost, even to the preservation
        of our heritage. NOTL wouldn't be, if it wasn't for Fort George, in
        the past or now.
        When it comes to even the thought of digging a cemetery in the name
        of developement, that comes down to just a total lack of respect.
        But again, there is a lot of that in our modern times. Hmmmm .. if
        you or I decided to go digging in a known burial spot or cemetery, I
        believe that would be called desecration, but where money is
        involved to the "big pockets", well then, it's OK.
        More and more, people seem to forget about our heritage rich past,
        and the events and persons that got us here. To think about it,
        Paris could be Canada's capital, or we could be waving the Stars and
        Stripes as our flag, or we could even be doing the goose step. Those
        words are NOT meant to be prejudice or offenceful, just that things
        could have turned out quite differently in the past, if not for
        those that gave of themselves. To forget or be ignorant of history,
        is only asking for history to repeat itself in the future.

        My 2 cents worth .... Mark
      • Dale Kidd
        ... To forget or be ignorant of history, ... You nailed it, sir... that s why many of us reenact! ~Dale
        Message 3 of 10 , Apr 3, 2007
          --- In WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com, "Mark" <markrf@...> wrote:
          To forget or be ignorant of history,
          > is only asking for history to repeat itself in the future.

          You nailed it, sir... that's why many of us reenact!

          ~Dale
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