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Heritage Caledon Recognizes Excellence and Significant Heritage Properties

Submitted to Just Sayin' Caledon

Pictured above: Mayor Thompson and Councillor Nick DeBoer presenting an award to Jesse de Jager

The Town of Caledon and Heritage Caledon presented awards of excellence for outstanding contributions to heritage conservation and stewardship and designated heritage property plaques to recently designated properties on July 11, 2022.

“I welcome the return of this event that celebrates our rich Caledon architectural history,” said Mayor Allan Thompson. “Our heritage is central to our Town’s identity and we are proud to recognize the property owners who have helped preserve and restore our heritage. I thank our award recipients for their contribution to preserving our Town’s history.”

Recipients of Heritage Caledon Awards of Excellence 

2019 Award

Downtown Bolton Revitalization and Restoration of Commercial Building

11-13 Queen Street North Bolton      

Jimmy Pountney and Luci Verdile

Jimmy and Luci have long been dynamic community supporters and stewards of revitalization efforts in Bolton’s historic commercial core, including the village’s designation as a Heritage Conservation District. Their rehabilitation of the front façade and storefront of 11-13 Queen Street North continues to be a catalyst for other storefront restoration projects in Bolton.

2022 Awards  

Duffy Homestead

Alan Duffy and family

The three-acre property that comprises the Duffy Homestead is part of the original 100-acre homestead of widow Eliza Duffy and her children, Irish immigrants who settled there in 1832. The farm remained in the Duffy family until 1955. Alan Duffy and family, direct descendants of the original owner, have recently bought back the three-acre parcel and an additional 60 acres of the original farm.

The farmstead comprises a mid-19 century two-storey log farmhouse with a circa1905 brick veneer, and a late 19th century timber frame bank barn, now both restored.

Robert Wilson House

Argo Caledon Development Corporation

The circa1880s Robert Wilson stone farmhouse has been conserved on its original lot for continued residential use within the new Lotus Pointe subdivision in Mayfield West. Argo Caledon Development Corporation’s restoration of the farmhouse demonstrates a clear respect for original materials and the use of skilled craftsmen. The house interior has been rehabilitated into a modern living space, incorporating original building elements into the design.

Recipients of Designated Heritage Property Plaques for properties designated under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act:

Henry the Elm
5323 Charleston Sideroad
Olive Dacres

“Henry” the Elm tree is the sole survivor of a late 19th century row of roadside elms on the south side of Charleston Sideroad east of St. Andrew’s Road. Estimated to have been planted near the turn of the 20th century by farmer Thomas McQuarrie, this elm represents the horticultural and landscape trends of that era when elms were popular as rural and urban street trees because of their shade, longevity and tolerance of varied soil conditions.

A rare survivor of Dutch Elm Disease, which ravaged the Ontario landscape in the mid-20th century, “Henry” is a prominent natural heritage and community landmark on Charleston Sideroad. As demonstrated by its height, canopy and healthy trunk, the tree remains in good physical condition. The tree was named “Henry” in memory of the late Henry Kock, founder of the University of Guelph’s Elm Recovery Project

Mack’s Park, Belfountain Conservation Area
10 Credit Street
Credit Valley Conservation

Belfountain Conservation Area, with Mack’s Park preceding it, has been a defining feature of the village of Belfountain for over a century. It offers a unique blend of a natural setting enhanced by landscape  design. When Charles Mack chose the site for his summer home in 1909, the naturally dramatic landscape of a river running through the Niagara Escarpment had been devastated by sawmills and deforestation. Mack and his wife, Addie, with the help of local craftsman Sam Brock, embarked on a decades-long beautification project, ‘improving’ nature with rustic wooden structures and complex stone and water features crafted in the English Picturesque landscape style. Free to the public, ’Mack’s Park’ became a regional summer destination, transforming the sleepy hamlet of Belfountain into a summer resort.  

The park was purchased by Credit Valley Conservation in 1959 and later expanded. While some of the original park features have vanished, a significant number remain. Recent environmental rehabilitation work has focused on ensuring the cultural and natural heritage of Mack’s Park remains to be enjoyed.

Pinkney Farmhouse
17923 Shaws Creek Road
Lafarge Canada

This stone farmhouse was built in 1886 for William Pinkney, whose family owned the property from 1874 to 1997. Emigrating from Yorkshire, England, in the 1830s, the Pinkneys were among the early settlers in Caledon Township.  

Built in the Gothic Revival style with some Italianate influences, the farmhouse displays a high degree of technical competency and craftsmanship in stone construction. Of particular merit is its use of stone for the rear and side additions, a rare feature and one exemplifying the cultural roots and prosperity of the Pinkneys. Situated adjacent to the Elora-Cataract Trailway (the former Hamilton and Northwestern Railway), this well-designed, solid stone structure is an area landmark. 

Robert Wilson Farmhouse
4 Robert Wilson Street
Raman Jahol

Built for Robert Wilson and family in the 1880s, this farmhouse is a remarkable example of domestic building in stone. It displays a high degree of craftsmanship, combining reddish-brown Credit Valley sandstone with grey limestone to produce a mixed palette in keeping with its High Victorian Gothic style. The mason’s skill is shown in the stepped arches around the windows, the quoins, an unusual heart motif in the upper front gable, and the cut-stone foundation wall. Adding to the historic character of the farmhouse is the delicately carved bargeboard found on the front porch and trimming the roof gables.

The high quality of the stonework suggests the handiwork of a Scottish-trained mason – a probable choice for the Wilson family who had emigrated from Scotland in 1839 to pioneer in Chinguacousy Township.   Sitting on its original site, the Robert Wilson House has been incorporated in a new plan of subdivision. Fully restored and with a modern addition, the farmhouse provides a tangible reminder of the area’s rural roots.

Baker/Teeter Barn
552 The Grange Sideroad
Denise and Larry Evans

This 50-acre farm property was associated from 1818 to 1891 with the Michael Baker and Aaron Teeter families, both of American-German ancestry. The bank barn is an example of a style suited to a small acreage farm operation. Its gable-roofed, saltbox form is uncommon and likely an adaptation of the larger Pennsylvania-German bank barns with a forebay that provides an overhang. It was built circa1872-76 by or for farmer/carpenter Alexander Gordon Baker or farmer Aaron Teeter. The long laneway between the farmhouse and the road is typical of a traditional farm lane. The Black Walnut tree in the front yard is representative of the pre 1930s period when this nut bearing species was planted on site for harvest as a winter food source.

Spence/Irwin Farmhouse
18030 Centreville Creek
Andrew Stewart

This farmstead was owned and occupied by the Spence/Irwin family from 1826 to 1931. They were among the earliest Irish immigrants to settle and farm in Albion Township. The ability of the family by about 1840 to erect a Neo-Classical style dwelling that is more refined in style and technology than the first log dwellings or shanties built by settlers is representative of their success in establishing a new life in Albion.

The survival of this modest scale structure (now restored), with a circa 1900 barn, contributes to an understanding of the character and evolution of the Irish farming community in this area. The orientation of the dwelling to the east compass point, rather than to the roadway, may demonstrate a preference of early Irish settlers.

Former Rainbow Valley Ranch
16847 Heart Lake Road
Tabitha and Donald McDow

This rural property with its large, timber frame bank barn and traditional, long farm laneway is historically associated with two early Irish families in Caledon Township, John Davis and George Wilson. In the 1870s-80s, the barn was reconfigured and enlarged to suit the changing needs of the family-owned farming operation.

The property also has a direct association with Rainbow Valley Ranch, a summer outdoors camp founded in 1946 and experienced by many boys and girls until it closed in 1990. During this period the barn was adaptively re-used as the camp dormitory and recreation hall. Since 2006, it has been used as a wedding venue. 

Baxter Farmhouse
17070 Horseshoe Hill Road
Michael Tjandrawidjaja

Scottish settlers Malcolm and Margaret Baxter and their descendants occupied this property from 1822 to 2011. Their original log house was replaced in the 1850s with this fine brick farmhouse, an early example of Georgian Revival architecture in Caledon Township. Notably, the farmhouse is sited against an embankment to give above-grade access to the foundation level. Its brick patterning and coursed rubblestone foundation display a high degree of craftsmanship and artistic merit. The front façade of the farmhouse is oriented to the south, providing a panoramic view over the original 200 acres of the Baxter farm.

From the 1870s, the farm was intersected by the Toronto, Grey and Bruce Railway as it curved to climb the steep bank of the Niagara Escarpment. George Baxter was occupying the farmhouse when he assisted at the tragic railway accident at the Horseshoe Curve in 1907.

David Bowles House
14966 Torbram Road

Barinder Kaur and K. Singh

This small, squared-log farmhouse was built for David Bowles, who immigrated to Upper Canada from Ireland in 1828 to join other family members in the area. Built between 1832-35, with a rear addition dating to circa 1845, the farmhouse is an early example of Neoclassical architecture in Chinguacousy Township. Its exterior walls retain their original roughcast plaster cladding, now overlaid with aluminum siding.  

Remarkably, Bowles family descendants occupied the property until 1969 and remained in ownership until 2017. David’s brother Charles Bowles and his wife Ann were the great-grandparents of former Prime Minister Lester B. (Bowles) Pearson.

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Just Sayin' Caledon

Just Sayin’ brings you Caledon-specific community news, events, personality & business profiles, restaurant reviews, & Town Council highlights.

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