We had a splendid meeting last night, with a welcome number of new faces appearing to add their insights and opinions.
Much of our time was spent dealing with housekeeping matters to do with the Centenary Birthday Signs launch on Saturday morning. We will kick off smartly at 10am with a short speech about 1912 and the development of Grandview at that period, along with an appreciation of the particular houses we are celebrating that day. The formal posting of the sign will be followed by the presentation of a 100th birthday cake. We are hoping for a good crowd.
Talk of planting a centenary sign outside Professor Odlum’s wonderful old house on Grant Street just behind the liquor store led to an interesting discussion about co-op housing in the neighbourhood and the fact that 2012 is International Year of the Co-op. The co-op which has occupied the Odlum House since 1980 is having a celebration this Saturday evening.
From co-ops, the conversation moved on to the current Community Plan process and the role that heritage may play in it. There was general agreement that the current and recent City administrations seem to be lacking in sympathy for heritage retention, and a number of ideas were floated that could improve that situation while moving forward on City priorities such as the Greenest City initiative. These included changes to the building code that would assist retention and renovation of older heritage houses (after all, the greenest building is the one that is already built), and innovative ideas for repurposing the hundreds of 1940s and 1950s “starter homes” in Grandview. Our members and others interested are encouraged to participate actively in the Community Plan process to ensure that our past is maintained as part of our future.
We firmed up plans for our Walks and Talks series this fall and winter, and I’ll write up a separate post about those later today.
Finally, in our usual glee for show and tell, Eric brought along another of his extensive collection of technical books from the early part of the 20th century — this one included surprisingly modern bathroom fixtures — and Ann showed us a wonderful cast made by a local metal workshop that she found in her house.