That the Local Architectural Conservation Advisory Committee recommend that Planning and Development Committee recommend Council approve the designation of the former March House Restaurant, 806 March Road, under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act in accordance with Statement of Reason for Designation attached as Document 4.
RECOMMENDATION DU RAPPORT
Que le Comité consultatif sur la conservation de l'architecture locale recommande au Comité de l'urbanisme et de l'aménagement de recommander au Conseil d'approuver la désignation de l'ancien restaurant March House, situé au 806, chemin March, aux termes de la Loi sur le patrimoine de l'Ontario, conformément à l'énoncé ci-joint des raisons motivant la désignation (document 4).
The City of Ottawa recently has purchased the March House Restaurant, 806 March Road, to allow for the widening of March Road and the construction of a new intersection at the corner of March and Klondike Roads. The proposed roadwork means that the former March House Restaurant cannot remain in its present location. This report has been prepared in order to ensure that the building is preserved, not demolished, and moved from its site within the community, so that it can continue to be a part of the small hamlet of March's Corners.
The former March House Restaurant is located in the former City of Kanata at the corner of March and Klondike Roads (see Document 1). Constructed in 1851, the building is a one and a half storey, stone structure that served as a private house and a general store in the late 19th and early twentieth centuries (see historical photograph, Document 2 and Heritage Survey and Evaluation Form, Document 3). Prior to amalgamation, Kanata did not have a Local Architectural Conservation Advisory Committee (LACAC) to recommend the designation of heritage properties for individual designation to Council under the Ontario Heritage Act. The City of Kanata did, however, have a list of properties of significance and this structure was included on the list.
March Road has been the subject of many studies over the last 20 years, all of which have focused on its widening. In the early 1990s, recommendations were made to Kanata City Council to relocate the building to allow for the widening of the road. The roadwork proposed at that time never went ahead. During the 1990s when the road widening was discussed in the media and by former City of Kanata staff, it was assumed that the March House Restaurant would be preserved and moved on the site. This expectation still exists in the community.
Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act gives municipalities the power to designate properties with cultural heritage significance. In order to be designated, the City's LACAC considers the designation and makes a recommendation to City Council. The Act requires that a short statement of the property's cultural heritage significance, including its heritage attributes, be prepared and published in a local newspaper (see Document 4).
The Official Plan, approved by City Council, has policies related to the designation of buildings under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act; "Individual buildings, structures and cultural heritage landscapes will be designated as properties of cultural heritage value under Part IV of the Heritage Act."
Furthermore, the Policy 22.214.171.124 of the Official Plan stresses that the City must lead by example, stating that
As the owner of many heritage resources, the City will protect, improve and manage its heritage resources in a manner which furthers the heritage objectives of this plan and sets an example of leadership to the community in the conservation of heritage resources, including:
a) Designating its resources under the Heritage Act where appropriate ….
The Official Plan also addresses the issue of the moving of heritage resources in Policy 4.6.1 3:
The City may consider the option [moving a designated structure] provided that:
a) The building is retained on site, but moved to another part of the property for integration into the new development, or, if that is not possible;
b) The Building is relocated to a site appropriate to its cultural heritage value outside the proposed development or property.
In May 2003, a consultant engineer with experience in the moving of heritage structures, was hired to prepare a report for Transportation, Utilities and Public Works outlining the cost and feasibility of moving the former March House Restaurant on the site. His report concluded that the building is sound enough to move and that it would cost $204,000 to move it. Rehabilitation of the structure and construction of a new wing to allow for future uses would add to the costs. It should be noted that these additional costs could be absorbed by a new owner if the City chooses to sell the structure. This report does not address the future use of the building.
The Development Services Department initiated this designation because of the building's significance and importance to the community and because Official Plan policies direct the City to lead by example in the management of City-owned properties. The Department acknowledges that the building will be moved and does not intend that this recommendation would prohibit the moving of the building from its present site. If the building were to be moved away from March's Corners, the Department would not support its designation because its significance would be dramatically reduced if it were no longer located within its historical context and therefore would no longer be eligible for designation.
Key individuals associated with the City's purchase of this property, and the road- widening project scheduled for the site were consulted in the preparation of this report. Real Property and Asset Management, Corporate Services, concurred with the designation and recommended that the building be moved to a site adjacent to the City-owned former March Township Hall, just north and west of the subject site.
The Councillor was informed of the proposed designation and forwarded the following comment:
I certainly support the proposed heritage designation for this site. Especially in a relatively-new community like Kanata, the retention of heritage assets is very important; we have already lost too many. In terms of relocating the building, I am certainly willing to take the advice of heritage experts on this matter.
No other comments on the proposed designation were received within the time-frame allotted.
Heritage Ottawa has been informed of the proposed designation.
The cost of the one-time statutory advertising of the designation in the Citizen shall be paid from the operating budget of the Development Services Department, Account Number 112762-502210
Document 1 - Location Plan
Document 2 - Historical Photograph
Document 3 - Heritage Survey and Evaluation Form
Document 4 - Statement of Reason for Designation
CORPORATE SERVICES DEPARTMENT, SECRETARIAT SERVICES BRANCH to notify the property owner (City of Ottawa, Corporate Services, Real Estate and Property Management, Property Services, 110 Laurier Avenue, Ottawa, Ontario ) and the Ontario Heritage Foundation Foundation (10 Adelaide Street, 3rd Floor, Toronto, Ontario, M5C 1J3) of Council's decision to designate 806 March Road, under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act.
CORPORATE SERVICES DEPARTMENT, LEGAL SERVICES to prepare designation by-law and submit it to City Council for enactment.
DEVELOPMENT SERVICES DEPARTMENT, PLANNING AND INFRASTRUCTURE APPROVALS BRANCH to advertise the Notice of Intention to Designate.
LOCATION PLAN Document 1
HISTORICAL PHOTOGRAPH Document 2
HERITAGE SURVEY AND EVALUATION FORM Document 3
STATEMENT OF REASON FOR DESIGNATION Document 4
As a long-time local landmark that illustrates the early history of March Township and the type of dwelling built by more prosperous settlers, the former March House Restaurant, 806 March Road, is recommended for designation under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act.
The building was built in the 1850s as a private house at a time when most settlers were building crude log structures. Its original owner is unknown but it was occupied by the McMurtry family, a prominent March Township family, from the 1850s until the 1890s. During the family’s ownership it remained a private house. In 1897, it was sold to the Gow family, who operated it as a General Store and Post Office until 1938. As a grocery store, it was a hub in the small hamlet of March’s Corners. From the late 1930s it served a number of functions, ending up as a restaurant in the 1980s. It was purchased by the City of Ottawa to accommodate the widening of March Road in 2003.
The March House is a rectangular, one-and-a-half storey, gable roofed structure constructed of rough-cut stone laid in irregular courses. It is extremely plain in character, having its gable end facing March Road, a centrally placed door flanked by large windows, gabled dormer windows and a recent addition. The original rectangular windows remain, although the original two- over- two sash windows have been replaced with one-over-one windows. “Ghosting” on the brick and an historical photograph indicate that it had a shed roofed veranda on its north and west facades in the 19th century.
The recent addition is not to be included in this designation.