The Black Horse Pub and Pig’s Ear Tavern

The Black Horse Pub and Pig’s Ear Tavern in Peterborough, Ontario, is on the 2017 Top 10 Endangered Places List. 

Created by the National Trust for Canada

June 8, 2017

Location 

Peterborough, Ontario

Why it matters

The Black Horse Pub (1882) and the Pig’s Ear Tavern (1865) are part of a virtually intact historic streetscape on George Street, Peterborough’s most important downtown artery. The Pig’s Ear (also known as the Piggy), a popular hangout for university students, was one of Peterborough’s oldest bars, having been open for 152 years. It closed permanently in April. Customers and employees of the Black Horse Pub were ecstatic when they found out the sale of the pub fell through. Both bars stand on either side of the historic Morrow Building, built in 1878-79.

Why it’s endangered 

The Black Horse Pub was in the process of being sold to a developer to be demolished and replaced by a five-storey apartment complex. The deal fell through but the building is still for sale. The Pig’s Ear Tavern, on the other side of the Morrow Building, was sold to the same developer and has permanently closed, pending demolition. City council has voted against giving heritage designation to the two bars for reasons including an interest in building more apartments downtown and wanting the current owners to be able to sell and realize a return on their investments.

Every year, the National Trust publishes its Top 10 Endangered Places List as part of its mission to raise awareness of the value that historic places bring to quality of life, local identity and cultural vitality.

First published in 2005, the Top 10 Endangered Places List has become a powerful tool in the fight to make landmarks, not landfill. The National Trust believes that historic places are cornerstones of identity, community and sense of place, yet every year, more are lost due to neglect, lack of funding, inappropriate development and weak legislation. By shining a spotlight on places at risk, the Top 10 Endangered Places List raises awareness about their plight and bolsters the efforts of local advocates working to save them.

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