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Niagara Falls
Wednesday, March 22, 2023
Historic stone culvert discovered during road excavation
Construction of the new culvert at Johnson and Simcoe Streets continues, despite concerns that the historic old stone culvert would be destroyed. The town intends to save as much of the stone as possible. Somer Slobodian

 A piece of historic stone culvert has been uncovered during a town construction project at the Simcoe and Johnson streets.

“As the stone culvert is an early structure, staff attended the work site to photo document it when it became exposed during excavation works,” Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake spokesperson Marah Minor said in an email to The Lake Report.

While the old culvert is operational, but the upgrade is necessary as it will work more effectively, she said.

Resident Chris Allen contacted The Lake Report worried the town would destroy the underground structure.

“Consideration is being given to the retention of the stone, where possible, for possible future use in other town projects,” Minor said.

Allen said the town never told the public the “early cut stone, (an) example of one of Niagara’s first early public works projects, would be dug up and destroyed.”

The town completed the first two stages of an archeological assessment before construction began, Minor said.

Other than the stone culvert and a concrete arch, no other structures were found, she said.

Lake Report architecture columnist Brian Marshall also worries the town may be destroying a part of its history.

“Despite the fact that it cannot be seen by the average walker, that does not alter its historic importance as an artifact of the town’s built history,” he said.

If the structure must be demolished, Marshall suggests it should either be documented, preserved or the stone should be “retained against the possibility it might be reconstructed as an example of the town’s historic infrastructure.”

Construction work on the installation of a new culvert in the area is scheduled to continue until April 28.

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