Tag Archives: demolition

The Evolution of a Findlay Home –Is That All There Is?

The Evolution of a Findlay Home –Is That All There Is?


1911 Postcard– Findlay home on High Street that was demolished in the 2000’s.

The home really wasn’t that old having been built in 1910. It was built of Newfoundland Stone and the few skids of stone that were supposed to be saved were tossed away like old shoes on McArthur Island according to Irma Willowby. The land remains empty and last night when I saw the postcard above I knew I had to do a timeline series so this never happens again. I swear if I see this happen again I will personally stand in front of the building to stop it– and that is a promise.



1920s– Photo Tom Edwards– the small fir trees in the front and the Mississippi River in the back. One verandah has been screened off



Linda Secccaspina Photo- Mid 1980s



Photo Judy Pallister 1990s — The place is a horror story and condemned.


Interior in its glory from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum


Interior being demolished- photo by Shane Wm. Edwards 2006


photo by Shane Wm. Edwards 2006


photo by Shane Wm. Edwards 2006



The End-photo by Shane Wm. Edwards


Linda Secccaspina Photo– 2016

The story here–The Carleton Place House That Disappeared




Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place and The Tales of Almonte

Every House Needs to be Remembered– 41 Julian Street Mississippi Manor

Every House Needs to be Remembered– 41 Julian Street Mississippi Manor


This house at 41 Julian St. in Carleton Place will be demolished following an order from the municipality. Council members approved the move during the policy review meeting on Dec. 12. Over the years, the house has been subjected to numerous property standards orders, with the owner predominantly non-compliant. – Photo and Text– Tara Gesner/Metroland



Every week I get asked what happened to this house or that house, and sometimes it is darn right difficult to come up with the information. I am a firm believer that everything needs to be documented for the historians of the future, and especially for the kids with the cell phones that might be interested some day. So today I am documenting the house at 41 Julian Street in Carleton Place that is soon to be demolished for future reference.

My mother-in -law lives on Julian Street, so I pass by this home on a daily basis. When the owner lived there it was one of the nicest homes on the street for years. Then the home was abandoned and neglected for the better part of  two decades.

I remember when former owner Mervin Visneskie owned the home in the late 80s and 90s and like anything else in life everyone has their personal opinion.  Visneskie was famous for playing football for the Ottawa Roughriders, Sooners and the Edmonton Eskimos in the early 70’s, and rumour was that he was some sort of financial wizard.


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Not all the history of the house is bad, and as Julie Sadler remembers: “Mervin had a beautiful convertible sports car that during any green Christmas he would park it in his driveway and fill it with a huge Santa, etc. The children loved it and he was always a very gracious host summer or winter”. At one point in the early 90s this house was even part of the Carleton Place St. Andrew’s Christmas House Tour.

But times soured for Mr. Visneske with personal and financial problems, and it was sold by the bank a few years ago in the hopes of being redone. However, it appears that the new owners took on more than they could chew, and the fate of the home fell into neglect and disrepair, and became a complete nightmare for the neighbours for years.

According to this article from 2013 the house has pretty much been vacant for 15 years prior to 2013.  The once luxurious house on Julian Street turned into an eyesore, and became overrun with raccoons and rodents and literally became a firetrap threatening those who lived nearby. Les Reynolds, director of protective services, admitted the residence had been the subject of numerous property standards and yard maintenance orders since 2009.

Now the fate of the house on Julian Street has been sealed, and last Tuesday, December 12, 2017, the committee carried a motion to engage Metcalfe’s Robert Gourlay Equipment Rentals to demolish the house for $11,000 plus $90/ton, with all costs to be recovered from the property owner by adding the expense of demolition onto the property tax roll if required.

This isn’t the first or last time something like this has happened, and let this be a lesson to us all. As Dale Costello said: “personalities, stubbornness, and uncompromising situations has led to this home’s demise”.





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Jeremy Stinson If I was informed correctly, (it was before my time) Johanson Construction built the first few homes, and had already set prices… I want o say all the homes South of Brown street had to be blasted to get their basements in. Johansson went under and Iber took over.

Linda Gallipeau-Johnston I think I told the story of Mr. Kettles blasting out on Pattie Drive when on one blast the stone absolutely rained down on the existing houses and all the men were out having quite a hee haw at what just happened – quality you say!!!!

Mary Ann Gagnon My parents (the Dawsons) lived at 7 Brown St. In the same model pictured in the flyer.
Ray Paquette– The late Mayor Brian Costello once explained to me the development problems experienced by the original builder and how the Town had to take over the completion of the services to the sub-division and the sale of the remaining lots to Iber Construction of Stittsville from whom I purchased a home. Many of my neighbours living in what was referred to as “Johanssen Homes” purchased their homes from the Town in various states of completion and finished the homes. Perhaps some of your correspondents can add more to the story of “the Manor”.

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Mississippi Manor–The Ottawa Journal
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Fri, Sep 24, 1976 – Page 51 and the other picture is 2017

Image may contain: house, tree, sky and outdoor

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun andScreamin’ Mamas (USA)

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.



Abandoned Carleton Place home causing problems



Architecture in Carleton Place

Comments About a Picture–Prince of Wales School




Picture from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

Yesterday I posted a picture of the demolition of the Prince of Wales School on High Street in Carleton Place. It was torn down in the late 70s. Here is what they said:

From the Tales of Carleton Place


Linda Gallipeau-Johnston This just makes me cringe!!!!

Jill Seymour Here’s hoping the powers that be, in CP, will one day realize how important heritage is and protect it. That building could have been made in to apartments or just a big house, or a business or, well use your imagination. Don’t tell me about the money brought in by the sale of the property. It could not, possibly, have been enough to justify the demolition of that wonderful building

Valerie Edwards Breaks my heart

Shane Wm Edwards It may be time to start thinking about how the old mill building (formerly Spar and even earlier Leigh Instruments) beside Riverside Park could best be utilized. Last I heard it was still for sale or has it been sold?

Linda Seccaspina There is too much waste cleanup Shane I think and that costs money.. but yes condos… great idea.. but you saw how far the Gillies Mill went.. You need $$$$ for old buildings.. I know.. mine is fondly called the money pit


Shane Wm Edwards I was at a heritage conference where the people restoring the Tremont Hotel in Collingwood spoke about the project and the incredible economic spin-offs. Old commerical buildings can also make the owner money and enhance a local community.

Shawn McNicholl This would have made good condos, all stone bldg, what a shame

Jean Rogers Such a travesty!! Makes me want to cry.

Joyce MacKenȝie Sad, sad, sad….Linda, hi…apparently, there is a scroll in the foundation…”The corner stone of the present High School (Prince of Wales High School) was laid in 1923 and under it was placed a scroll containing the following information: (historical information on the wiki page) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carleton_Place_High_Schoool


Doug B. McCarten What a sad, sad day! Many memories of attending school there! Truly a historic building that should have been preserved!! Council needs to be more interested in conservation of town history!! Stupid move!!

Jennifer Fenwick Irwin Joyce MacKenȝie that reference to the scroll in the cornerstone from the wiki article refers to the present building on Lake Avenue West. It’s still there somewhere!

Brad Occomore That shovel is about 50? years old…when was the school taken down Linda Seccaspina?
People’s comments seem to think it was recent, I couldn’t see the town taking down a building like that these days!


Jennifer Fenwick Irwin Prince of Wales School was torn down in the late 1970’s.

Stephen Bennett I used to live right across the street from it. Remember playing in the school yard a lot. Especially in the summer. Good memories.


Related reading–

And the Walls Came Tumbling Down-Prince of Wales School High Street

What Will 50 Cents Get You at the Prince of Wales School?

Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News and now in The Townships Sun

And the Walls Came Tumbling Down-Prince of Wales School High Street


A huge bouquet of thanks goes to Jennifer Fenwick Irwin curator of the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum. If it wasn’t for her time and patience, I would not be able to post such great, and not so geat moments in Carleton Place history. Thank you Jennifer!


Prince of Wales School on High Street in Carleton Place-Torn down in the 70s

And the list goes on how these magnificent heritage buildings were torn down.


In my hometown of Cowansville, Quebec they tore down 7 heritage homes in two years in the 60s. Nothing was wrong with them. My grandfather’s stately home which was originally The Cowan House (founder of the town) was also torn down in the 90s.

You cannot get these buildings back EVER– Our heritage is– us working together to keep it strong through words, memories and action so we remember that our buildings and the remembrance of our ancestors matter. No bureaucrat ever created a town, province or country– and we need to project this message to our children and grandchildren. Once something is gone we never get it back.. EVER.


Teardowns like this and the Findlay house etc. should have been stopped in my mind.The term “teardown” was associated with outsized McMansions during the housing boom years. What a waste!

These photos just make me cry.


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March 28th 1973-Ottawa Journal

Related Reading:


So What Happened to The Findlay House Stone?

The Carleton Place House That Disappeared

Before and After in Carleton Place — Be True to your School

Dim All The Lights — The Troubled Times of the Abner Nichols Home on Bridge Street

What is Heritage? — The Old Hotel in Almonte



You are so right to cry, Linda. Prince of Wales School was of superior quality. The destruction continues into recent years when the Town tore down a quality pre-confederation house on Bridge St (for a parking lot no less!) within the last ten years. Sadly, the lack of respect for our built heritage continues. Keep up the good work of celebrating and reminding us of the value of our people and their Town. One day, people will realize our real heritage is not in the museum.-John Edwards