Historic Aylmer Road home slated for demolition to make way for residential project
Clearly Aylmer is experiencing a development boom, with many demolition requests and apartment complex projects being approved by Gatineau. The 103-year-old house located at 674 Aylmer Road is no exception.
A demolition request has been submitted for the house in the Mitigomijokan district that was built in 1920. According to city documents, the single-family house is in an advanced state of disrepair. The owner submitted documents to the city that detail the work needed to restore it would total approximately $302,907. According to city documents, the building is worth $110,000, while the property is worth $136,700.
The house has two residences, one in the front section of the building and the other at the back. Currently, both units are vacant due to the state of the building.
The Service de l’Urbanisme et du Développement Durable (SUDD) does not recommend the demolition and says that the building has a strong heritage value, as it bears witness to the housing style of the early 1900s and is “characterized by an unusual architectural style”. However, the home is not on the 2008 built heritage inventory.
At the request of SUDD, the property owner hired a company to analyze the home’s heritage value. This final report of the analysis states that, due to the building's lack of maintenance and state of deterioration and that it does not have heritage protection status, they conclude that the building has low heritage value.
The project is located in an area of Aylmer Road that is designated the countryside integration sector and a woodland protection area.
The Aylmer Heritage Association (AHA) has written a letter to the city voicing their concern with the demolition request. The letter highlights the history of the building and asks the city to consider postponing the demolition decision to allow all parties, including the developers, SUDD and AHA to determine the best course of action.
“We're extremely concerned about the changes that have taken place along the Aylmer Road in recent years and it is clear that, despite a long series of laws, policies and regulations, heritage buildings in Gatineau, and Aylmer in particular, are gradually disappearing, and are now more threatened than ever before,” reads AHA’s letter to Gatineau. “We feel that Gatineau must send a clear signal of its commitment to heritage, the environment, sustainable development and building maintenance, without penalizing well-intentioned owners unduly.”
The Comité sur les demandes de démolition (CDD) was to meet on October 24. At press time, it was not known if the demolition request would be approved, rejected, or postponed. For 30 days following the CDD’s decision, any resident or legal entity whose address is in Gatineau can request a review of the CDD’s decision by the municipal council. This request comes with a fee of $122.50. After the request has been submitted, authorization to demolish the building will be suspended until the council reviews the decision.
Because the house was built before 1920, if the demolition is approved, Gatineau must send a “notice of intent to authorize demolition” to the Minister of Culture and Communications and then wait at least 90 days before issuing the demolition authorization.
Photo 1 caption: Historical home at 674 chemin d’Aylmer, built in 1920, facing threat of demolition.
Photo 2 caption: Draft of developer's land use plan. Details a four-storey 32-unit apartment building.
Photo credit: Ville de Gatineau