When “Building Assetics” Go Wrong!


Today I was looking for some information about the Hugh McMillan home on Bridge Street and came across this 1980’s news article about “the little yellow house”  and its continuing struggles. Just more information on the fight over a renovation—one that was assured to all that “it would compliment the area”.


It began in November of 1986 when Judith Hughes, then owner of “the little yellow house,” began her battle against the proposed renovations to the former John Deere building 4.5 feet away. The one storey cinder block, owned by self-employed contractor Al Roberts, sat snugly in between the Abner Nichols and one of the Miller’s homes. Hughes said if  Roberts proceeded with his plans she would sue him for of the loss of enjoyment of her property.


She also argued that the projected ‘ghastly’ renovations would destroy the quaint streetscape of Bridge Street, which she had personally worked hard to preserve. Roberts assured her that the heritage type renovations he planned would compliment her home. He also cited himself a heritage restoration expert to the Ottawa Citizen. The contractor said he had carried out more than 50 such jobs in Lanark county in the past five years.

Well, we all know the outcome of this story. The little house sits unoccupied, dwarfed by the “complimenting” building next door. This week I have noticed “a ‘we’re going to dig’ construction sign” on the front porch of “the little yellow house”. Who knows whats next?



Photo- Linda Seccaspina.. newspaper photo- Ottawa Citizen 1986

Buy Linda Secaspina’s Books— Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac– Tilting the Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place and 4 others on Amazon or Amazon Canada or Wisteria at 62 Bridge Street in Carleton Place

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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