Posts Tagged ‘preservation’

Update on Plans for the Fegan Boys’ Distribution Home at 295 George St., Toronto

Saturday, April 5th, 2014

In September 2013, The Ontario Genealogical Society was made aware of the City of Toronto’s interest in for former Fegan Boy’s Distribution Home. Concern about the future of the home, and the many inscriptions on its exterior walls left by the boys passing through, prompted OGS President Shirley Sturdevant to send a letter to The City enquiring about their plans for this historic property.

Subsequent emails with city administrators and a telephone conversation with Toronto City Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam, left The Society with the understanding that the property had been designated a heritage property and that it and other heritage properties in the area would be integrated into the overall redevelopment of the street. The City planned to acquire the property and carry out a Heritage Impact Assessment to identify how that property and others were being appropriately conserved in keeping with the City’s Heritage Policies in the Official Plan.

Once the City acquired the property, they planned a stabilization and securement process to ‘mothball’ the heritage properties until the redevelopment began, expected no earlier than 2017. As part of that stabilization process, The City would be willing to consider additional measures to ensure the preservation of the bricks to which we referred. If it was determined that our organization could assist in any way we would be informed.

This week, the President sent a message to query where The City was in this process and received the following response:

“Thank you for your inquiry and for your interest in preserving this important part of our history on George Street. The City of Toronto is purchasing that property, along with other heritage properties on that block, and will incorporate them into a redevelopment to create a new shelter, long-term care home and service hub, pending council approval in 2015.

After the City takes possession next week, we will issue an RFP for the stabilization of the heritage houses until the redevelopment begins. If all goes as planned, the stabilization will take place by early summer. Specs for stabilization include the installation of a frame around the inscription, with hoarding and sealant across the top. This will remain in place until the redevelopment begins, likely in 2018.

Within the next couple of weeks we will have a website in place where you will be able to follow the progress of the project. I will email you the URL when it is available.

Rudy Mumm

SSHA Project Lead, George Street Revitalization

General Manager’s Office

Shelter, Support and Housing Administration, City of Toronto”

We thank Mr. Mumm for this update and watch with interest the stages of development for this significant property. Our members stand at the ready to be of assistance if called upon.

Heritage Languages Under Threat

Sunday, January 27th, 2013

If you could go back in time and visit some of your ancestors, would you be able to communicate with them?

Many of the languages and dialects our ancestors spoke have either disappeared or are under threat. On the Isle of Man for example, the last native Manx speaker, Ned Maddrell, died in 1974. Although great efforts are underway to revive it as a living language on the Island, fluent Manx speakers are in the minority. Two other Celtic languages, Cornish and Breton, are fighting for their survival as well. An interesting article posted on the Celtic League’s website in 2010, FOINSE FOCUS ON MANX, BRETON AND CORNISH LANGUAGES, highlights efforts being made to save these languages in their respective countries.

Click here if you wish to read the article.

UNESCO’s Atlas of World Languages maps out areas where the indigenous language has been flagged as endangered. Click here for a link to UNESCO”S Atlas to see if any of your “heritage” languages are on the list.

If you are interested in heritage languages and their preservation, you might find these groups of interest:

  • Intergroup for Traditional Minorites, National Communities and Languages:



  •  EuroLang:



  • Network to Promote Linguistic Diversity



OGS Projects: Keeping and Valuing Ontario’s Heritage

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

Keeping and Valuing Ontario’s Heritage is The Ontario Genealogical Society project that offers digitization services to heritage organizations throughout Ontario. Any heritage organization may contact the Provincial Office to indicate their interest in the project.

 Through this project, digitized materials will be placed on the pay-per-view (PPV) section of the OGS website. This will allow web users to access documents from across Ontario in the comfort of their own homes. For a minimal fee, a user will be able to access documents such as vital statistic records, family history collections, church and school histories, and obituary collections. Other records that will be available include Women’s Institute Tweedsmuir Histories, land grant records, and tax records like assessment and collector’s rolls.

 The OGS has access to several pieces of scanning equipment. This includes a large sheet-feed scanner that operates like a photocopier, a microfilm scanner, an automated book scanner, and a copy stand. The copy stand is the piece of equipment most often used, as it can accommodate large or small and bound or unbound documents. It can also be easily moved and set up in any organization’s office space.

 Digitization is very important as it allows a second copy of the information to exist. While nothing can replace the paper copy of a document, the digital copy will preserve the information, should the original be lost in a fire or flood. Digitization also improves the accessibility of the records and the inclusion of the documents in the PPV site can help promote small heritage organizations.

 The heritage organization retains all ownership of the digitized documents and receives a digital copy of the documents. OGS will also retain a copy of the documents, allowing for a backup to exist, which increases the security of the records. Any one interested in more information is welcome to contact the Provincial Office.