Special Bulletin - Update on Demolition of The Pigs Ear and The Black Horse Pub

Monday, Apr 3rd, 2017 - 6:30 pm

Special Bulletin - Update

We are hearing from our members and thought we would share a letter they wrote here. The letter expresses concern over the historical designation and preservation of our downtown historical structures the Pig's Ear Tavern and The Black Horse Pub. We urge you to continue to share your letters with us. Council meeting details are below. Please consider attending.

Hello Henry (Clarke) & Don (Vassiliadis),
As my members of Council for our ward, I am writing to you with my growing concern about the proposed development on George Street.  I believe that Henry will remember that I was municipal planner in the city's planning department during the 1970's and 1980's – at a time when Peterborough was recognized for its foresight in maintaining the heritage and viability of its downtown. 

While many other communities were promoting urban sprawl and encouraging strip development to the deterrent of their downtowns, Peterborough recognized the important role that its downtown should play in the well-being of the community.  With much determination by advisors such as PACAC, new development was encouraged and built around its heritage features such as Market Hall. 

I am delighted that we are proposing to intensify the downtown and develop housing.  This will allow people to walk to work, events and shopping.  This will promote our community as a walkable place to live and reduce the reliance on cars.   It will reduce urban sprawl that has reduced our food-producing lands. 

We have an amazing opportunity to build a housing complex that fits into the heritage landscape that we have inherited.  We have the chance to build a new downtown that has character, culture and a sense of class and promotes sustainability.

As a planner, I urge you to reconsider allowing the 2 heritage buildings to be totally demolished.  As someone who has worked to build a strong community that is diverse, I ask that you take this opportunity to provide direction to the proposed developer and the proposed development and ensure that there is preservation of permanency and heritage.   

Preservation attaches people to their community – and while it does not have to be the entire building that is maintained, preservation of a portion of the architecture gives the message that we want to maintain/build a sustainable community.  It is one that values cultural and heritage tourism. 

My understanding is that the developer was instructed to work with the planning department but there was no instruction to work with the heritage preservation office or PACAC. This speaks to the fact that the City should be developing a standard design for infilling in the downtown that promotes infilling but maintains the heritage and culture of the downtown. 

At a time when Peterborough is recognized for its preservation of its heritage and sustaining its downtown, tearing down 2 heritage buildings means that we are building a downtown that looks like any other city (such as Oshawa) that is merely urban and lacks style, sophistication or elegance.  (Perhaps we should be looking to our neighbours in Port Hope and Cobourg for examples of how to make new structures conform to the heritage architectural integrity that is needed to make the building look as if it belongs.) 

I look forward to hearing of a positive outcome. 
Dawn Berry Merriam, Hon. B.A., M.A.
Please take the time to read this article, contact your City Councillor and let them know what you think. City Council will meet to discuss this on Monday April 3rd at 6:30 pm. You can contact the City Clerk's office @ 705 742 7777, if you would like to speak to Council on this matter.

Many thanks.

Su Ditta
Executive Director
Electric City Culture Council
PO Box 2334, 150 King Street
Peterborough, ON
K9J 7Y8


City Hall, George St. Peterborough