Potential Cairnsmore changes worrying

I have recently learned that the Cowichan school district is interested in selling its holdings on Cairnsmore Street.

I have recently learned that the Cowichan school district is interested in selling its holdings on Cairnsmore Street. They currently own seven lots on Cairnsmore, including the historic CVOLC building, the daycare facility, the location of the current weather station, and a number of heritage trees.

It is of great concern to me that these properties might be sold for potential development. I am concerned about changes development could bring to the Cairnsmore neighbourhood as well as the loss of heritage for the Duncan community at large. This is a quiet community with several early childhood centres, family residences, and senior housing sites nearby. A substantial development could significantly change the nature of the community.

Just as importantly, the development of these properties could result in the demolition of the CVOLC building (built in 1925) and the heritage trees on site. This seems like an important historic property with social value to our community. Heritage trees and historic buildings add character and distinctiveness to an area. Heritage is a fundamental ingredient in creating a sense of place for a community. I for one would be deeply affected by the loss of this building, a building which provides charm and character to the Cairnsmore neighbourhood, and which stands as an example of our community’s tangible past.

Historic buildings have much to offer a community. They speak of a city’s past, its culture and complexity. They offer residents and visitors an aesthetic example of history, create a sense of permanency, and they offer interest in a community. Their materials, awkward corners, and mixtures of styles create a feeling that is homey, warm or reassuring in a way that newer buildings do not.

I urge members of our community, Duncan city council, and the Cowichan school board to preserve this place as a piece of Duncan’s heritage now. Development should only be considered if it honoured its heritage, preserved the trees, and did not expand its footprint. A restored community building could be used as a centre for community development — it would be a great site for offices for non-profit organizations, a local museum, a place for cultural events and gatherings, a location to offer community classes, or to house an early childhood program. The building could become the heart of the neighbourhood like The Hub at Cowichan Station.

Let us remember that the destruction of historic buildings and heritage trees is a one-way street. Once a historic site is gone there is no chance to renovate, restore or preserve.

 

Marki Sellers

Duncan

Just Posted

North Cowichan’s senior environment specialist Dr. Dave Preikshot (pictured) said there’s a wide spectrum of views on carbon credits. (File photo)
Carbon credits expected to be part of discussions around forest reserve

North Cowichan acknowledges wide range of views on issue

Blue Moon Marquee from Duncan will be featured at the 2021 TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival on June 28. (Submitted)
Blue Moon Marquee to play Vancouver Jazz Festival

What’s coming up in the A&E scene

Sonia Furstenau, MLA
Proposed Health Professions Act would eliminate barriers, guide regulations

Is your doctor a member of good standing with the BC College… Continue reading

An example of the forest land in the Port Renfrew and Fairy Creek area of Vancouver Island is shown on May 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne
Old-growth logging opponents launch hunger strike as arrests continue at Fairy Creek

Zain Haq says the hunger strikers will gather today at Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver

Grade 12 students Sophia Kazakoff and Catherine Yuan accept QMS’s Stigma Free Designation award from Stigma-Free Society president, Andrea Paquette. (Submitted)
Duncan’s QMS earns ‘Stigma-Free’ designation

“No school in the province has accomplished what QMS did in such a short period of time”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Highway notices like this come down effective June 14. Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and commercial operation have hit local businesses in every corner of B.C. (B.C. government)
Province-wide travel back on in B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan

Gathering changes include up to 50 people for outdoor events

Calgary Stampeders’ Jerome Messam leaps over a tackle during second half CFL western semifinal football action in Calgary, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
CFL football will be played this summer in Canada

Governors vote unanimously in favour to start the ‘21 campaign on Aug. 5

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Citizenship Minister Marco Mendicino holds a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020. The federal government is announcing that Indigenous people can now apply to reclaim their names on passports and other government documents. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous people can now reclaim traditional names on their passports and other ID

Announcement applies to all individuals of First Nations, Inuit and Métis background

Harvesting hay in the Fraser Valley. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
COVID-19: B.C. waives farm income requirement for a second year

Property owners don’t need minimum income for 2022 taxes

A view of the outside of St. Andrews Roman Catholic Cathedral on Victoria’s Blanshard Street. (Don Denton/News staff)
Vancouver Island bishop apologizes for church’s role in residential schools

Bishop Gary Gordon of the Diocese of Victoria voices commitment to healing and reconciliation

Cruise ship passengers arrive at Juneau, Alaska in 2018. Cruise lines have begun booking passengers for trips from Seattle to Alaska as early as this July, bypassing B.C. ports that are not allowed to have visitors until March 2022 under a Canadian COVID-19 restrictions. (Michael Penn/Juneau Empire)
B.C. doesn’t depend on U.S. law to attract cruise ships, Horgan says

Provinces to get update next week on Canada’s border closure

Most Read