The local paper stated it clearing in the opening paragraph:
Say goodbye to the south side.
Even though it seemed a great deal of interest was beginning to coalesce towards saving if not all, then some of the buildings along the South Side of Colborne, it now appears the Council has decided that such interest is not in the interest of the City.
I suppose it can be said, as a number of councillors have opined, that all this opposition, or perhaps in the positive, suggestions and ideas should have been placed before them at least a year ago when the process was in the early stages.
Perhaps they have a point. I wonder if part of the situation was no one believed it was possible. After all, there was a few road blocks, such as not all the money coming forward from the Province or the Federal governments. Also, the idea that since Brantford Laurier had issues with funding, plus the Y, it may have been seen that this was simply another pipe dream that had no possible way of taking place. If that was the case, then part of the problem can stem from the fact that there was a wide acceptance, or an unwillingness to see beyond the status quo. That is, people were now used to seeing the south side as the collection of dilapidated old buildings that kept people and rats housed.
It was only when the talk of it's demolition began to heat up that people decided to look again at the south side and realize there were some potential architectural gems in those roughs.
Although with the fact that people are coming forward, as well as the fact publicity is now being generated to save at least something of the south side, there still might be time.
Ah article in The Record, the paper of the Waterloo Region, lists groups that are interested in working with the City to halt the total demolition of the area. One professor is quoted as saying:
Rick Haldenby, the director of the University of Waterloo school of architecture, said the old buildings should be carefully assessed and studied to see what they could be used for.
“I was going to send an email to the mayor and council saying, ‘We have a lot of experience in dealing with these kinds of situations here and would be happy to look at it.'
“There needs to be some serious consideration given to this and some serious study done on the options that are available at this point,” Haldenby said. “We should not be demolishing the largest stretch of pre-Confederation architecture in the country.”
The issue can also be brought forward all this publicity seems to be having a bit of a negative effect on the leadership at Brantford Laurier:
The university is trying to distance itself from the controversial move by the City of Brantford.
Leslie Cooper, the vice-president/principal at Laurier Brantford, said the university has “no firm plans.”
“We are not out there pushing the council to demolish south Colborne Street,” Cooper said.
The university is taking no position in the increasingly heated debate.
“They have political processes that they go through in terms of the acquisition of buildings, demolition of buildings, consultation around buildings. They have a democratic process,” Cooper said. “Laurier Brantford respects that process.”
So the question has to be asked, is it all over? Or will this continue to drag for a few more weeks, or months until someone, somewhere comes up with a concrete proposal.
If you go to Colborne, you will notice the blue fence up around the buildings, I guess now it's just a matter of time before the equipment comes along. Apparently the hope is to have everything down and grass planted by July.