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Saturday, June 22, 2024
Solmar seeks permits to demolish some Rand buildings
Solmar and SORE will get another chance to argue over the future of the historic Rand Estate April 24. Evan Loree

SORE and Solmar will be facing off again soon after the town called a special meeting to review applications to alter or demolish buildings on the old Rand Estate. 

On the demolition applications, Solmar general manager Giuseppe Paolicelli outlines plans for structures on 588 Charlotte St. and 200 John St. E. 

The Calvin Rand summer house, carriage house, stable dwelling and several small sheds would all be demolished, the application says.

However, “The wall and pillars on Charlotte Street will be repaired and restored,” the document says and several structures will be repaired.

The tea house and the walls, pillars and gazebo at the Whistle Stop will be restored.

The bath pavilion will be moved nearer to the teahouse and the old landscaping surrounding the teahouse will be restored as near in likeness as possible to the original Dunington-Grubb gardens.

The applicant also proposes to build a modern pergola in place of the original one, which no longer stands. 

The municipal heritage committee received the completed applications from town staff last Wednesday night.

According to a staff report the applications were filed Feb. 17.

The applications can be viewed on the town’s Join the Conversation Page about the Rand Estate.

The staff report said the applications will be brought to council April 24 after the heritage committee reviews them. 

Both SORE (Save Our Rand Estate) and Solmar will have 30 minutes to speak at the council meeting.

Kate Lyons, a lawyer representing SORE, told The Lake Report that Brendan Stewart, an expert on heritage landscapes, has been retained and he has advised that the structures slated for removal are quite significant.

“Calvin Rand was one of the founders of the Shaw Festival. So there is a what’s called a historic association as well as architectural heritage importance to the building,” Lyons said. 

The permits to alter and demolish are meant to allow the development of a subdivision that was brought to council last June.

Lyons said the worst possible outcome of the meeting for SORE would be if the town approved the applications without conditions. 

She acknowledged, however, that it was “heartbreaking” when this council withdrew its appeal of a decision to stay the town’s charges against Solmar and Two Sisters over cutting down trees on the property in 2018. 

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