Friends of Freeman Station, the volunteer citizens group that is leading efforts to restore and reopen the historic Burlington train station, are seeking donations (cash, goods or services) to build the basement under the station (estimated at $30,000). Eligible for charitable tax receipt.
Heritage Burlington has completed a review of the three historic properties in Village Square, and concluded that they all have historic value worthy of heritage designation.
The properties are:
- 416 Pearl Street “The Inglehart House – Mitchell Dairy”
- 415/417 Elizabeth Street “The Stinson –Morrine House”
- 423 Elizabeth Street “The Bastedo – Redmond – John Kenter House
Village Square is a unique historic pocket in the downtown that is worth preserving, especially as the blocks around it are developed with modern buildings. I have and continue to meet with the current owners and prospective purchasers to convey the community’s interest in preserving Village Square, and share the results of the heritage studies.
Freeman Station: The little train station that almost wasn’t becomes the little train station that could
There have been bumps on the road to reach this significant milestone in the relocation and restoration of Freeman Station, and many wondered if it was ever really going to happen. But the people mentioned here and many more took a leap of faith and stepped up with hope and optimism that if we worked at it together, it would happen. And it has. Freeman Station will be preserved for future generations to see and enjoy, and learn about Burlington’s early rail history.
Thanks to the members of the Burlington Waterfront Committee (formerly the Waterfront Access & Protection Advisory Committee) for spearheading this initiative
The Friends of Freeman Station are hoping to move the historic train station to a new home in April, on land provided by Ashland-Hercules on Fairview Street, just east of the fire station.
The recommendations will provide a service to heritage property owners, rather than a penalty for being on a municipal registry.
Congratulations to the Friends for obtaining the land lease and moving ahead with the relocation and restoration plans.
The Waterfront Citizen’s Advisory Committee has recommended that the city explore a future commercial use for the old pump house on the beach strip, for example a coffee house or pub.
There will be multiple opportunities for public input as the recommendations are being developed, including online feedback and a public meeting the evening of April 25 (time and place to be announced. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up to receive regular electronic updates and opportunities to provide your input.
I believe the government has a role to play in heritage preservation, but believe there needs to be more clarity, transparency, and input from residents on that role.
The ad hoc citizen’s committee struck to save the historic Freeman Station has achieved a significant milestone. The group has been formally incorporated through the Ontario Historical Society as the Friends of Freeman Station with a board, bylaws and constitution.
Historic Freeman Station is safe from the wrecking ball – for now. Council unanimously supported my staff direction in January to put the demolition on hold to allow councillor Blair Lancaster and myself to form an ad hoc citizen’s committee to find a location, use and funding.
The committee cannot consider any locations previously voted on by council (Spencer Smith Park, Ireland House grounds and behind the Burlington Art Centre), and must find independent funding. The city has previously committed to paying relocation fees, which are about the same as the what the city would have to pay to demolish the station.
Already, many residents have stepped forward to get involved, pledging time, skills and money to the project.