Reviving Ward 3’s Old McConnell farm ?
The Old McConnell Farm on Aylmer Road has been withering away. After seven years of vacancy, Mike Duggan, candidate of the Deschênes ward, is suggesting the farm be used for social events for the nearby Park Champlain neighbourhood.
“For years, the Park Champlain community has been seeking a social space for its citizens. The National Capital Commission (NCC) has a property nearby that could accommodate this – the McConnell farmhouse,” says Duggan.
The NCC’s objective is to lease this property as soon as possible. The NCC’s previous tenant for the farm was the Tea 'n' Tole craft shop and restaurant, from 1995 to 2008.
The NCC issued a call for proposals to rent the historic farm, built in the 1850s by W.H McConnell, son of Aylmer pioneer William McConnell Sr, to no avail. With no income being generated from the property and the farm practically in a state of derelict, it has lost part of its appeal.
“There are major renovation needs inside, which is what probably is limiting the possibilities to sell or rent the farm,” said Richard Bégin, outgoing Deschênes candidate. “It’s not an easy file, but I’m hoping to pursue discussions between the City and the NCC regarding this building.”
According to the late historian Diane Aldred, the NCC purchased the home in the 1950s to construct the never-built South Hull Parkway. The NCC started renting the home with its recognizable verandah in 1974 after Lillian McConnell vacated the ancestral dwelling.