As reported on September 19, Council has been asked to approve demolition of the Certo building on the old Kraft property (see link below). It is in bad shape and an engineer’s report said a rough estimate to bring it into shape would be $500,000. The request is currently with staff for a report but at tonight’s Committee of the Whole Council meeting, Diane Chin, President of the Architectural Conservancy Ontario, Cobourg branch (ACO) asked that the permit be denied. She said that there were only a few examples in Cobourg of heritage industrial buildings and this one should be preserved.
One example of a preserved heritage industrial building is the Mill; another was the old matting factory on Tremaine but that was demolished. The building being discussed – known as the Certo building – was used by Kraft for Micro-biology research and is one of the few remaining.
The ACO did not say who would pay for preservation but the implication was that they would find the money and were currently looking at options. One idea would be to move the building off the Kraft property and install it on a park somewhere in Cobourg. There have already been buildings moved in Cobourg – one example is the Cottage now used as a gift shop on the Sifton-Cook Museum property. Another that she did not mention is the house that was on the current Canadian Tire property (the Wilson farm house). Diane mentioned that larger but similar buildings had been moved in Whitby but there would need to be a feasibility study.
When asked, Diane said that if moving the whole building was not feasible, then the first priority would be the façade with the three columns.
To bolster her case, Diane preceded her request to deny a demolition permit by mentioning the great job the ACO did with the very popular Heritage signs distributed throughout the Town that say: “This house existed in 1867”. An almost complete list is on the Cobourg History site here.
She also said that in 2013 Council should never have agreed to “list” the Certo building instead of “designating” it as a Heritage building since the owner at the time planned on making changes to the building.
At no point in her presentation did Diane address how funds would be raised to restore the building (approx. $500k) then move it (unknown cost).
- ACO and Museum Foundation contribute to Canada 150 celebrations – About signs on pre 1867 buildings