EMAIL mj.morris@live.ca


Saturday, September 12, 2015

Ian Macdonald argues 'thinking outside box' required to save remaining Chapleau heritage buildings

Chapleau CPR Depot 1900 CP Corporate Archives
Here is part two of Ian Macdonald's thoughts on Chapleau's heritage buildings. I appreciate so much the time and hours of research Ian did to write these two articles. In the beginning, I thought I might just ask him a few questions. Ian has a sincere interest in the community , like so many of us who are Chapleau "boys and girls" but no longer live there. Ian is retired head of the department of architecture at the University of Manitoba and Professor Emeritus.  Thanks Ian.... MJM

By Ian Macdonald
Buildings are an important part of Chapleau’s cultural heritage including the original CPR depot opened in 1886 that was described in a previous article and presently located on Monk Street. In most instances, historically important buildings like this can be given a second or third life through adaptive-use or adaptive re-use. Adaptive re-use is an approach where the original major elements ( window types, door types, finishes etc.) of the original building are maintained but modifications are made to accommodate a completely different occupancy than the original.

Below is Stirling Rotary Club facility. Stirling Rotary Club

One example of imaginative adaptive re-use is the Rotary Club facility in Stirling Ontario ( population 2139 ). This building was originally one of the first T-1 type railway depots in Canada very similar to the first CPR depot built in Chapleau. A new foundation was built for the old Stirling Grand Trunk depot on a more central site in the community and the building was literally picked up and relocated there. A barrier free ramp was constructed to meet present day building code requirements .

The restored Stirling facility includes a tourist information centre and an antiques and collectibles shop. Downstairs is the Rotary Hall, where the Stirling Rotary Club meets every week. The hall is rented out for parties, business events and meetings. This was part of the business plan that was developed to make the facility economically sustainable.

Below is Dubreuiville restoration construction R.I.Macdonald collection

Another example of adaptive re-use closer to home was carried out by an ambitious group in the small town of Dubreuiville, Ontario ( population 635 ). 

Below is Franz station 1940

The former CPR/ ACR depot at Franz was acquired and moved approximately twelve miles from Franz to Dubreuiville where it was placed on a new foundation, restored and is now a fully functional tourist information/ souvenir shop.

Below is completed Dubreuville project

The Hudson’s Bay Company played an important role in the early days of Chapleau. The Chapleau post was, for a brief time, the headquarters of the Michipicoten district of the HBC. However, the first building constructed by the HBC was in 1884 as CPR construction was approaching what is now Chapleau. It was a small log sub-post (post with two outbuildings) on the Nebskwashi River approximately a mile south of the community on what is now IR 61 of the Chapleau Ojibwe First Nation.

 HBC Chapleau store HBC Archives

The next buildings, which were built in 1886, were a retail store on the southwest corner of Birch and Young Streets (site of the old Algoma Hotel) and a residence for their post manager at the west end of Pine Street. The log sub post south of town was abandoned in 1889 and the retail store apparently burned in 1895. The residence was sold by the HBC shortly thereafter and still exists to the present day.

Below is HBC Post Manager’s house 1886 HBC Archives

The style of the HBC house isn’t particularly unique and is similar to the majority of the first homes built in Chapleau in the late nineteenth century. It is, however, significant because of its relationship to the Hudson’s Bay Company era and was one of the first houses built in Chapleau in the early days of 1885 and 1886. The location of this house adjacent to one of Chapleau’s main intersections obviously provides the potential for restoration as a tourist information centre or other similar function.

Below is HBC house 2015 Michael McMullen

Many Important Chapleau buildings have been demolished but those remaining include St.John’s Anglican Church completed in 1908, the Legion Hall opened in 1920 and the Post Office building completed in 1950. Each of these buildings has historical significance.
There is no established formula as to how to breathe life into an older building but one has to accept that the task is never easy. Church restorations in particular are complicated. St.John’s Church, for instance, obviously has to be saved despite not having a large enough congregation to support it. 

In this case, sentimental association with former times and traditions has to be abandoned to ensure that a wide range of development possibilities is revealed regardless of the discomfort that this might first create. A good measure of thinking “outside the box” will be required to sustain the social usefulness of this building for future generations. The good news is that many churches in Canada have had to deal with the same challenge and developed a wide variety of innovative, practical and successful solutions.
One can only hope that the people on Council, CDEC and other positions of influence in the community recognize that older buildings can offer opportunities a for a community’s future.

LINK TO FIRST COLUMN http://michaeljmorrisreports.blogspot.ca/2015/09/cultural-heritage-important-to-chapleau.html

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Bed push 'record' set over 71.3 miles from London to Kitchener by Waterloo College students in 1961

Bed pushers MJ behind Tom in black coat Other names below

Sitting around in Willison Hall, the men's residence and at the time, seminary and library too,  just before the first winter carnival in 1961, we were looking for some activity we could undertake.

The dining room was also attached. 

I don't recall who said "Let's push a bed" but once said the project started to become reality,

For the most part, the participants were  were first year students at Waterloo College later Waterloo University College of Waterloo Lutheran University, now Wilfrid Laurier University.

In no time, we had a hospital bed with wheels -- and my memory fails me on who actually prepared the bed, but it happened pretty quickly, and off we went in a cavalcade of cars, including my mother's, which I had at university with me.

We started from London at about midnight determined to set the world bed push 'record' over a distance of 71.3 miles. We did it in 8 hours 23 minutes, and set an unofficial record. I really don't recall if anyone else ever pushed a bed that distance. We pushed in teams of four in a relay -- accompanying cars drove us to our next point. 

Remember now, this was all happening on a two-lane highway.

There were no mishaps. although in due course there were more Ontario Provincial Police cruisers appearing on the highway. We had not bothered to seek permission from anyone - including the university to undertake the bed push.

As we approached Waterloo, it was decided to end the bed push at Kitchener City Hall, rather than head into Waterloo -- we were a bit concerned that we all may be expelled from the university for this antic. The university was owned by the Lutherans.

No need to worry as the media had picked up on our push and reporters from the newspapers, radio stations and CBC Television appeared.

The college public relations people saw the publicity benefits and we were greeted by the president, Dr. H.M. Axford, at Kitchener City Hall where he extended congratulations, and the winter carnival was officially opened. No way were we on the carnival program when we set out.

Although most of us who lived in Willison Hall were involved, other students also joined us.

In the photo I discovered while looking for something else entirely on Google, here are the names. From left  Tom Kinnear, Foster Stark,Paul Barton, Tom Ramautarsingh, Mike Morris, Steve Underhill,Eric Renman, Collin Campbell, Art Pollock, Jim Wilgar, John Saso, Ralph Reichert. The photo was taken by the Kitchener-Waterloo Record but copyright has expired now.

As an aside, the bed push was featured on CBC National television news, the next night, and my mother, Muriel E Morris was out playing bridge when the news came on and the university's name was mentioned. As Mom looked at the television, her car happened to appear on screen, and moments later she saw me -- but i was not driving the car, I was pushing the bed. Mom's bridge partners were Mrs. Aldythe Pellow, Mrs. Beth Goldstein and Mrs. Opal Simpson.

We did not have television at home at that time. I had some explaining to do.
MJ on right bed in helmet

In the 1970s after I returned home to teach at Chapleau High School, and became involved in the community, we added bed pushes to our Summer community celebrations. I was involved in one on a team composed of Chapleau Intermediate A Huskies players, but they made me sit on the bed and wear a helmet.
Fire department won

Great memories folks. If anyone sees this post and has more information on the great bed push, I would love to hear from you. My email is mj.morris@live.ca

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Adelaida Duffney captures beauty of Louis Dube Peace Park in Chapleau

Adelaida Duffney  arrived in Chapleau from the Philippines in 1985, and has been an active member of the community ever since.

She married James Patrick Mulligan, the son of Edith (Simard) and Hugh Mulligan. Sadly Patrick passed away after suffering a heart attack. They had two sons, Ben and Brian Mulligan.

She later married Desmond Duffney who moved to Chapleau from Newfoundland and Labrador.

Adelaida commented: " I am so blessed that my destiny brought me to Chapleau. 

"I knew I was in the right place away from home when my first husband passed away.
Everybody was and is so good to me".

Adelaida recently received a new camera and one of her first "assignments" was to visit the Louis Dube Peace Park (name changed now from Chapleau Peace Park) and take some amazing photos. 

Adelaida and I are friends on Facebook and she kindly agreed to let me share some of
them with blog visitors.

Thank you so much for sharing your photos.

My email is mj.morris@live.ca

Michael J Morris

Michael J Morris
MJ with Buckwheat (1989-2009) Photo by Leo Ouimet


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Following the American Dream from Chapleau. CLICK ON IMAGE