Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Councillor Responds to Editor About New Library & Heritage

Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

As Chair of our Heritage Committee and a member of the Meaford Public Library Board, I want to thank you for the points you raised in your (far too civil to be called a) Rant in the August 13th edition of The Meaford Independent. You raised exactly the kind of questions everyone would ask if they gave any thought to the issue.

Having been appointed to these two posts following the October 2018 election, I can take neither any credit nor blame for the new library or its architectural pedigree. Presently, I am in a steep learning curve on the Plan and Guidelines of the Downtown Meaford Heritage Conservation District. Other members of the Heritage Committee are very well qualified to comment on your thoughts and I hope they do.

What I will say is, the new library is at a focal point in our heritage district near the south gateway. I have fond memories of the 3-storey Paul’s Hotel that used to grace this corner. But the present structure is a reincarnation of a concrete block grocery store. In my view, keeping the new library a single storey structure allows the heritage storefronts in the next block to dominate the street-scape and it doesn’t further obscure glimpses of the harbour. Another valuable asset coming with the new library is the adjacent parkette which will be an oasis at the east end of the urban core.

Time is the arbiter of good design. But I have a hunch that not far down the road when people talk of Meaford they’ll say, “Of course, the heritage downtown with the modern new library!”

Councillor Ross Kentner

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