Thursday, July 4th, 2019

DAN CEARNS – The Caped Cearnsader

By the time this column runs, Canada Day will have come and gone.
One of the things that makes me proud to be Canadian is how important the connection is for us with our heritage. In Scugog specifically, there is a strong desire from the township to maintain the heritage features in the area. I have often thought about why people feel such a strong connection to heritage buildings, and I think I have found some reasons why.
They have a sense of character in their design. Many times when you are in big cities, and sometimes in certain areas of small towns, you will see rows of houses in a subdivision all built to look plain and generally the same. However, heritage houses or buildings have a unique style and craftsmanship, revealing a lot of thought and work went into the design and construction of that specific structure.
This also bleeds into my next point. Since these styles are unique, they are rare. Developers do not build homes or other structures like people did back in the era of the heritage home. Because of this, they cannot be replaced if we lose them, making them that much more valuable, and giving people an incentive to protect them.
Communities that maintain their heritage buildings have something unique, a more modern city or town wouldn’t, which works well as a tourism attraction point.
Often times, heritage buildings are like pieces of art. Similar to seeing an artists’ works, people travel to view these buildings’ unique designs and atmosphere. Preservation of historical buildings contributes towards maintaining a community’s culture.
They are also a great tool of both education and nostalgia, bringing generations of people together. For the older population, these buildings can bring back memories of what life was like for them in the past. For the younger generation, we can use these houses to teach them what life was like in that period of history. It can also be something interesting to study for those who enjoy architecture.
There is so much to love about old buildings, and I’m happy to work in North Durham, where heritage preservation is a big priority.

Photo taken from Township of Scugog