This post is the thirty-sixth in a series in which we reached out to municipal candidates to ask their heritage platform. Responses will be posted in the order received.
The thirty-sixth to respond was Donald McArthur, Incumbent for Amherstburg Town Council. The responses are in the candidate’s own words only slightly edited in a way that doesn’t in any way change what they said.
When it comes to economic development in Amherstburg, our history is our future.
Tourists will flock to walk that Historic Mile from Fort Malden to a restored Belle Vue House and enjoy all the heritage houses along the way and throughout our historic downtown. They will also browse and spend money in our increasing number of shops, eat in our restaurants and stay in a quaint Bed and Breakfast or one of the boutique hotels planned for the core.
Adaptive reuse is an exceptional way to maximize the modern value of historic homes by transforming the interior space into something usable while preserving the exterior to ensure a consistent heritage look and feel. When heritage buildings in historic areas are deemed beyond repair or lacking in significant architectural value, I think it’s important the new structure be built with heritage aesthetics in mind.
It’s vitally important that Amherstburg put plaques in front of historic buildings and other heritage sites as part of a self-guided walking tour that can be enhanced with audio and video features delivered through a mobile app. Improved directional signage to sites like the Freedom Museum, Gibson Gallery, the Carnegie Library and our historic churches would also add significant value.
1) Issue an Expression of interest to the private sector for the restoration of Belle Vue.
2) Highlight historic homes and buildings with plaques and benches and feature them on Town’s website and as part of a walking tour enhanced by a mobile app
3) Highlight Heritage Rebate program for residents with heritage homes and ensure it is funded
4) Enhanced heritage signage in downtown core
My favourite memories of Amherstburg revolve around Canada Day celebrations with my daughter at Fort Malden and in Toddy Jones Park. It’s always such a fun weekend with so many events for the kids in a sea of red and white in the place where it all began! I also flat out love the Canada D’Eh 5K run!
Picture provided by the Incumbent.