This post is the twenty-second 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 twenty-second to respond was Kimbery DeYong, Candidate for Kingsville Deputy Mayor. 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.
In addition to being a member of the Kingsville Historical Society, I chair the Kingsville Municipal Heritage Advisory Committee. This past term my committee has recommended designation of several heritage properties including The Jack and Laona Miner House, home to the internationally significant Jack Miner Bird Sanctuary. Our committee was integral in saving The Esther Jasperson Campbell House from demolition. This Main Street landmark helps tell the story of our town and is of sentimental value to our community. Interestingly, the incumbent I’m challenging opposed saving the home. During his 21 years on council, he has also voted against other designations recommended by the heritage advisory committee, leading to the demolition of such architectural gems as The Shore House.
I believe that the adaptive reuse of heritage buildings can help save them from the wrecking ball or from demolition by neglect. In Kingsville, historic buildings seeing new life as shops, hotels and eateries are vital to our town’s tourism industry. The Kingsville Railway Station is home to the popular Mettawas Station Restaurant. Our Carnegie Library is now a bustling arts and culture centre. Historic homes are used as bed and breakfasts and short-term rentals. In all cases, the key architectural attributes that contribute to the heritage value of these properties have been preserved. The adaptive reuse of these buildings ensures their preservation and adds a new chapter to the narrative of their histories. My philosophy on adaptive reuse and heritage preservation in general is reflected in my campaign motto– “Remember the Past — Embrace the Future.”
During my term as a municipal councillor, I championed the creation of a Main Street Development Review Committee. I served on the heritage sub-committee which identified properties integral to the historic character of our downtown corridor. If elected, I intend to pursue heritage designation of these key properties. I also vow to advocate for better policy at the municipal and provincial levels to preserve our built heritage.
Picture provided by the Candidate.