At the special council meeting on April 24 to discuss Solmar’s requests to demolish buildings on the Rand Estate, Deputy Lord Mayor Edwin Wiens said he thought Weatherstone Court, which was carved out of the original Rand Estate, was “the most beautiful court in town.”
Ideally someone with a magic wand from the Ontario Heritage Trust would purchase the entire estate, renovate the buildings and garden, and charge admission for people to enjoy and admire it all, but since no such magic wand exists, unfortunately development will occur.
As a resident of Weatherstone, I would agree with our deputy mayor’s comment but the development of this court has been far different from that proposed by Solmar.
On Weatherstone, the original Rand Estate dairy building was in a neglected state when the
development began. It was restored and is now a beautiful family home and the cornerstone of the court.
The early development across the road from the dairy building was built to reflect this, including a
turret on one of the houses.
Twenty-two houses were built on the court and all townhouses but only two are the same. The
other houses are all different and there is an oval green in the centre with trees and grass where
residents can meet and socialize.
The development that Solmar proposes is vastly different, with the desire to demolish most of the
buildings on the estate and erect a dense cookie-cutter style condominium subdivision.
With some vision and thoughtfulness, there is no reason a sensitive and culturally appropriate
development could not be built.
This would take willingness and an appreciation of the importance of the estate to the town and to Ontario.