A growing number of citizens and local organizations are voicing their concerns that the landmark Bradley-Craig Farmstead - a designated heritage property - should remain intact at its original location on Hazeldean Road.
The Bradley-Craig Barn and Farmhouse have been important landmarks at that location, now part of Stittsville, since 1873. The Barn is a very rare example of a working dairy barn from the 1870s that remains in an "excellent state of preservation" with original construction intact. Few intact barns from this era remain.
In 2010 the Farmstead, including the Barn and Farmhouse, was designated by Ottawa City Council under the Ontario Heritage Act. The designation recognized the contextual and associative value of the Farmstead. No appeals to the designation were made. Since designation, the property owner has several times stated a commitment to including the farmstead in plans for its Fernbank subdivision.
The property owner has now filed an application to demolish the Barn and reconstruct it some 20 km away at Saunders Farm, a farm-inspired tourist attraction, in order to make the land available for "big box" retail development. The proposed demolition and relocation of the Barn would have a serious negative impact on the character of the Bradley-Craig Farmstead, and fails to meet the Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada.
A City Staff Report recommends refusal of the application to demolish the Barn.
The Built Heritage Sub-committee (BHSC) agreed by a vote of 4 to 2 to recommend refusal of the application to demolish the Barn. City Councillors Scott Moffatt and Marianne Wilkinson, both BHSC members, voted in favor of granting the demolition application.
Next, Planning Committee will consider the matter at its meeting of January 26 and make its own recommendation to Ottawa City Council. Council will vote on the matter at a forthcoming meeting.
Heritage Ottawa adamantly opposes the granting of permission to demolish the historic Bradley-Craig Barn, in part because the designation of the Barn and Farmhouse was an integral factor in granting the zoning for development of the surrounding farmland in 2010.
The Friends of Bradley-Craig Farm have prepared a brief for consideration by Planning Committee. This document and others detailing the heritage value of the Bradley-Craig Farmstead are available in PDF format below.
We note that the Barn has been determined by an engineering report to be in good structural shape, making it a viable candidate for "adaptive reuse". Successful examples of adaptive re-use include the Aberdeen Pavilion at Lansdowne Park in Ottawa, as well as The Distillery District and The Evergreen Brick Works in Toronto.
As Ottawa grows, it's important to preserve special places that are valuable expressions of their time.
Heritage designation involves a strict set of criteria, and designations are not granted lightly. When the City chooses to designate worthy heritage properties under the Ontario Heritage Act, the citizens of Ottawa - both present and future - deserve to see those properties appropriately protected.