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Architectural Conservancy of Ontario – History

The Architectural Conservancy of Ontario was founded in 1933 sparked by the desire to preserve Barnum House in Grafton. In the years since the organization has grown to 19 branches across the province with a singular goal to educate the public and preserve Ontario’s heritage landscape.


Windsor/Essex Branch

Windsor Region Branch was formed in 1995 – the result of a few heritage-minded people getting together to save (and eventually move) the Walkerville Town Hall. The old Town Hall (also known as the Barclay Building) was built in 1904, designed by architect Albert Kahn.  Ninety years later, with a corporate plan to reduce its heavily taxed physical plant, Hiram Walker & Sons, Ltd. decided to raze the former Town Hall along with the malthouse and the Walker Stores buildings.

A determined group of volunteers quickly formed the Preserve Old Walkerville committee to try to save the Town Hall. Within a year sufficient funds had been raised to have it moved. Today, thanks to an imaginative and enterprising businessman who purchased it, the Town Hall has been restored and renovated to house a new cultural and commercial attraction.  The Preserve Old Walkerville committee became the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario – Windsor Region Branch.

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