Freeman Station lease signed with Ashland

Burlington's Freeman Station

Burlington’s Freeman Station

The Friends of Freeman Station and the City of Burlington have signed a lease with Ashland Canada Inc for a portion of Ashland’s land located just east of the Fire Station Headquarters at 1255 Fairview Street.

The land will be used by FOFS to re-locate and restore the historic Freeman Station, which will remain the property of the City of Burlington. The lease is for a term of three years, with the possibility of extension by mutual agreement.

A draft of a Joint Venture Agreement between the city and the Friends is being reviewed by both parties. The essence of the agreement is as follows:

  • the Friends will be responsible for contracting the services required to prepare the site and foundation, and move the station.
  • the city will help guide the Friends through the required steps to move the station, including site plan drawings (a local resident with planning expertise has already donated his time for this); geotechnical expertise; building and other permits.

The estimated cost for the move ranges from $80-$130,000 depending on soil conditions and the type of foundation used. The Friends have approximately $75,000 ($30,000 raised to date; $25,000 from community benefits on the Strata apartment; $20,000 in city funds for the demolition or relocation of the station). In addition to the cash on hand, many goods and services have been offered “in kind.” The Friends are looking for donations of materials for the construction of a foundation for the building, a large shipping container for storage, and the use of equipment for grading the site. All donations will be gratefully acknowledged and, as a registered charity, the Friends can issue tax receipts for donations.

If you can help, please contact info@freemanstation.ca.

The Friends of Freeman Station is a nonprofit community group and registered charity, whose aim is to relocate, restore and preserve the historic Freeman Station for the enjoyment of current and future generations. The Freeman Station, built in 1906 by the Grand Trunk Railway, has been recognized for its architectural and historic significance by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Culture and Heritage Burlington. More information is availablehere.

My Take: As one of two council members appointed to liaise with the Friends of Freeman Station (Ward 6 councillor Blair Lancaster is the other member), I congratulate the Friends for obtaining the land lease and moving ahead with the relocation and restoration plans. I have always believed the community would step forward to save the station, and you have proven you can and will do it.

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