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Developer ordered to secure deteriorating, historic stone barn

City tells Mattamy Homes to secure roof, stone wall of 170-year-old structure

A North American developer that owns lands in Guelph has been ordered to secure an historic south end barn in the wake of a partial collapse.

City officials recently ordered Mattamy Homes to secure the roof and stone wall of a 170-year-old barn at 2187 Gordon St., between Clair Road and Maltby Road. Known as the ‘James Kidd Barn,’ it was built in the 1850s and is on the city’s registry of cultural heritage properties.

Krista Walkey, the city’s general manager of planning and building services, confirmed the order was issued.

Efforts to reach representatives of Mattamy Homes weren’t immediately successful.

Concerns about the barn’s fate came to light in July, following the partial collapse of a stone wall. At that time, a Mattamy spokesperson told GuelphToday the company was "working with the city to address the barn while future plans are being considered."

In order for properties to qualify for the municipal registry, they must be deemed to have cultural heritage value because of either their design or physical value; historical or associative value; or contextual value. 

Properties on the registry aren’t officially protected by regulations. However, if/when a demolition permit is requested for a property on the registry, the application is paused while city council considers whether to seek formal designation under the Ontario Heritage Act.

Coun. Leanne Caron previously told GuelphToday the barn has been “earmarked for designation since 2011.”

Under provincial legislation changes approved last year, any property on a municipal heritage registry must be designated within two years or it will be automatically taken off the registry. In the cast of the Kidd Barn, that deadline is Jan. 1, 2025.

In addition, the barn property is identified in the council-approved Clair-Maltby secondary plan as a site to conserve, though that document is under appeal by a variety of property owners including a numbered company associated with Mattamy Homes.

The barn sits on the same property where Mattamy Homes violated the city’s tree clearing bylaw in 2019, removing an estimated 542 trees without permits, as described in an article in the Waterloo Region Record, citing information from city environmental planner Leah Lefler.

As a result, Mattamy Homes paid about $25,000 in fines and was ordered to plant 2,170 new trees on the property.


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Richard Vivian

About the Author: Richard Vivian

Richard Vivian is an award-winning journalist and longtime Guelph resident. He joined the GuelphToday team as assistant editor in 2020, largely covering municipal matters and general assignment duties
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