Re: Semi OT RE: [War Of 1812] Fort York & Environs - defenders and developers
- 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.
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
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.
That said, I'm one for mindfulness nonetheless.
From: WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com [mailto:WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com] On
Behalf Of James Yaworsky
Sent: April 2, 2007 11:42 AM
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
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
--- 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<http://tinyurl.com/29uf8k> com/29uf8k) was to go
> higher-elevation image of the site (http://tinyurl.
> right straight through the middle of the grounds. The preservationistsensibilities had changed and its 20th century defenders were able to
> sensibilities are unfortunately a relatively-recent phenomenon.
> -----Original Message-----
> By the time Fort York really came under developmental pressure,
successfully beat off the "developers'" assaults. It seems
inconceivable that it will ever now be deliberately destroyed.
> Jim Yaworsky[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
Check Out the new free AIM(R) Mail -- 2 GB of storage and industry-leading spam and email virus protection.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- --- 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
> A couple of years back the USS Constitution Marines organized an
> (eneded up being smaller than it should have been) to bringattention
> to the fact that parts of the Battlefield at Sackets HArbor wereby
> planned for waterfront housing. One parcel has since been claimed
> the "Battlefield Common" housing developement the other parcel,where
> many from the battle are buried is still in danger.recall
> 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
> all that was said by them but one thing has stuck with me.a "lady"
> "Its only bones...What good are they now?" If it had not been
> sayng such a thing we may have had to visit the county courthousein
> the subsequent months.a
> There were many other comments like that one and I nearly lost it
> number of occasions. But since then it had been sadness and notanger
> when hearing about these things. Towns and cities do not realizehow
> a well preserved historical attraction can be, in trhe long run,FAR
> more lcrative to the town than more cookie cutter condominiums andYou 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
--- 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!