The roof is on fire.
We don’t need no water
Let the motherfucker burn.
~ Bloodhoud Gang
That was what I heard echoing in my twisted mind when I heard the news yesterday afternoon as one of Canada’s top 10 important endangered historical buildings burnt to the ground yesterday. Alma College, established in 1877, is no more. After more than a century of importance and significance to our culture – she fell to the ground. Shamefully.
Photograph by Jeff Toogood
And it’s disgusting. Suspiciously disgusting and revolting.
I could smell the charred remains still smoldering when I got home last night and continued as I went to bed. Yes, you all now know where I live. Just blocks away from this once magnificent building… in the historical town of St. Thomas, Ontario. And when I finally saw the remains of it, I almost threw up and fought back the tears. It had been burnt to a stone shell.
This town’s municipal government has no concept of preserving our history. They simply waved their hands claiming they can’t afford to preserve such history – without even attempting to seek assistance from Provincial governments or organization dedicated to doing such a thing. After years of campaigning to preserve her – the fire suspiciously broke out on the same day it was to go before Legislature, were the second round of petitions were being presented to stop the demolition of our history.
Our government has yet again failed to do their jobs. Municipal governments failed to ensure the current owners (who have yet to make a statement) to ensure the safety of this building.
The fire comes just a week after the latest agreement between the owner, the city and the OMB in which it was decided the demolition would take place but the building’s structure would be documented and photographed so its front facade could be rebuilt. The process was slated to begin tomorrow” reported on Canoe.ca
What angers me to no end is how Canada has no integrity in preserving our history and landmarks. Why is our government so insistent on sweeping it under the carpet and/or burn it down? This isn’t the first of our endangered historical buildings burn to the ground or destroyed without regard for the preservation of our culture and history.
Have we no pride?
I am absolutely disgusted.
Our historical Courthouse (literally just up the street from me) that is being rejected as the Ontario Government demands that all Ontario Courts of Justice and Superior Courts be amalgamated into one building. Currently, in St. Thomas, they are in two separate buildings. Instead of using our historical building (established well BEFORE the confederation, the seat of justice for Elgin County since 1853), the Ontario Government wants the town to build a new building. (The owners of the Courthouse offered to donate the building to the City of St. Thomas so that we can negotiate directly with our Provincial government instead of their contracting organization, FHC, setup to do this. Ontario has refused to do anything, and is unlikely to preserve this historical building – another very important part of our history – read here).
On so many levels, I understand why Quebecers fight to preserve their history. And today – I am more than sympathetic to that fight – just not their bigoted tactics.
Today, I am tired. I still have shit that went unresolved with yesterday’s appointment. And yesterday, we lost something even more important than my sanity. We lost, and continue to loose, a huge part of our history.
And big government doesn’t give a damn. I’m ashamed of our Liberal government for failing to keep their election promise to preserve our historical buildings and heritage.
Update: As of today… Alma College has been bulldozed to the ground. The only remaining structure is that of the Church.