Ancestral Roofs

"In Praise of Older Buildings"

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A living legacy

I received a lovely anonymous message from someone who came upon my blog searching for images of his/her own property (which I will choose not to identify, to respect the owner's identity). This owner and preserver of an exquisite 1816 Niagara-on-the Lake home and property expressed the following " While I technically have title I have long determined I am the only the temporary steward and the house owns me."
Isn't that lovely? Unlike many Ontario towns and cities, whose c19 buildings must feel sentiment has turned against them, and that they are the victim of developers' whisper campaigns, the houses of Niagara-on-the-Lake ought to feel secure in the knowledge that their fate lies in the hands of an informed and heritage-minded community which sees itself as the guardian of something precious.
Perhaps that security accounts for the serenity we experienced as we cycled its leafy streets.

And for Brenda:
L: St. Andrew's Manse, 342 Simcoe Street (1836)
R: 85 Johnson Street (1813)


  1. I want to be rich enough to consider myself a steward! I want to reassure and comfort an old house by filling it will all the lovely furniture and accoutrements of its day.

  2. Oh Brenda I KNOW what you mean - there are so many wonderful old stone houses in the Kingston area and along the St. Lawrence that I would love to rescue single-handedly. I keep trying to perfect my Midas touch (visions of the little fellow in your favourite Volkswagon ad here), but no luck so far.