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February 18, 2011

Heritage Activity in North Bay

The North Bay Municipal Heritage Committee

When I noticed some professionally done heritage signs in front of some downtown locations I was impressed. I knew there is a Downtown Improvement Committee dedicated to strengthening the downtown core as fundamental to the life of the community. They have had their say in the development of the C.P. Rail lands and the new transit terminal etc.I wasnt aware there was a Municipal Heritage Committee. 

Heritage sign giving history of North Bay City Hall at its former site – now the Thomson Building on McIntyre Street.  D. Mackey

A little research led to the role of the Municipal Heritage Committee and the signs. In 1996 North Bay had a council approved Local Architectural Conservation Advisory Committee (LACAC) to advise on the identification of worthy heritage buildings for purposes of recognition and preservation. They did some good work. 

In 2003 the provincial government decreed that the LACACs would become Municipal Heritage Committees. (MHC). Guidelines were expanded to include streetscapes, districts, & landscapes. A North Bay bylaw established a MHC committee of interested individuals that proceeded to fulfill their mandate within the municipal framework. 

One of the rules of the MHC is to educate the public about these sites. The committee decided that appropriate signage leading eventually to a walking tour would be a goal.   

Five sites were given signs in 2010 & 3 more will be added in 2011. The signs are sturdy, well-researched initiatives with photographs & written information (see photo) (In this case the original building is gone.) 

Google North Bay Municipal Heritage Committee & you can see the 28 identified sites with photographs and profiles of the sites along with a map if you wish to tour the sites. 

The committee, chaired by Peter Handley, works closely with the city and they are to be congratulated for their excellent work. Other communities would do well to establish such committees if they have not already done so. 

Laurier Woods Blossoming 

I wrote about the remarkable Laurier Woods Conservation area in June 2002 (#100). A lot has happened since. The wetland is a joint stewardship between the North Bay Mattawa Conservation Authority (NBMCA) & the Laurier Woods Stewardship Committee. The MBMCA takes elementary students on tours on a regular basis to look at the natural setting. Scouts have planted hundreds of trees over the years. There are 5 bridges and an observation tower on the trails. 

Laurier Woods North Bay. D. Mackey  

The partners have acquired an additional 100 attached acres to the south of the current site recently from a private owner.  With the costs involved they are raising $100,000 by “selling” 1 acre sections for $1,000 with smaller sections for other donors with a belief in conservation, preservation and education. 

Donations of any size would be appreciated. Log on to www.laurierwoods.com for details on donations recognition, tax receipts etc. Sue & Gord Miller, Commissioner of the Environment, former Mayor Vic Fideli, the Kiwanis club & Dean’s Pharmasave are among the early major donors.

The new site will be developed and opened in stages as soon as possible. With its new waterfront its municipal heritage sites & Laurier Woods North Bay should be proud of its achievements and of those who made it happen. 

West Nipissing Digitalization Project 

The project mentioned last week will start on Sunday February 27th at 1pm at the Verner Municipal Office.  Bring your questions, materials, ideas, and get involved in this great project. For further information on the Project contact the Digitalization  Facilitator Bridgitte Campeau at the Sturgeon Falls Library (705) 753-2620). 

Heritage Perspective Home Page

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