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Heritage Advisory Committee explores options for Banting dairy barn

March 24, 2022   ·   0 Comments

The Town’s Heritage Advisory Committee heard an informal presentation on the condition of the dairy barn on the Banting Heritage Park property during its March 16 meeting.

The barn is currently fenced off and closed to the public as there are concerns about its present structural condition.

The foundation is in bad shape and parts of it are at risk of collapse.

The building also has a beetle infestation in the wood timbers that is compromising the integrity of the structure.

There are several options being considered when it comes to saving the barn; however, if those options aren’t viable, the barn may have to be demolished with the remnants repurposed for an on-site adaptive re-use of the materials.

The large barn is behind the main house on the property at the Sir Frederick Banting Road site.

From the outside, it appears to be in reasonable shape, but an interior inspection reveals leaning walls and general disrepair.

Dan Burton, Director, Parks, Recreation, and Culture, provided an informal presentation to the Heritage Advisory Committee on the current status of the barn and the study of what can or cannot be done to save it.

Director Burton said they are still in the “findings and research stage in terms of the existing condition of the building.”

In 2021 an investigation of the footings and foundations of the building was conducted. The footings and foundations were not built to current building standards.

The base is a rubble foundation stacked ten to 12 inches below grade and are subject to freeze/thaw conditions. This has resulted in the building shifting over the years.

A structural engineer has identified the structure as “unsafe” and will not meet current design standard and regulations in terms of safety.

There is also a powderpost beetle infestation within the timber structures of the building which will require an investigation to see how much damage has been done.

Director Burton said they are exploring three options for the site.

One option is to return the building to a structurally sound state with proper footings and foundations. This option will not allow use by the public.

The second option is to try to bring the building up to an occupancy state which will meet the Ontario building code, however this option will be considerably more expensive.

The final option is to demolish the barn and re-purpose the material for on-site use.

Director Burton said it hoped a report on the best option will be ready by summer.

By Brian Lockhart
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

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