"White House"

The “White House” in Stratford, Ontario, is on the 2018 Top 10 Endangered Places List.

Created by the National Trust for Canada

May 23, 2018

Location

Stratford, Ontario

Why it matters

Built in 1866, this grand, landmark home is one of the best known houses in Stratford and has housed many prominent families. Its towering Southern-styled portico supported by 18 two-storey concrete columns (added in the 1920s) and its large, block-wide grounds are key features contributing to its civic renown.

Why it’s endangered

For more than a decade, uncertainty around maintenance, reuse, and subdivision (including OMB hearings), and tensions between various owners, neighbours, and municipal officials, have hung over this high-profile property. The current owner is on track to further subdivide the property and is seeking to demolish the portico in response to an engineering report that the concrete columns are unsound and would require over $300,000 to repair. With the current unwillingness of the City to designate the White House, and the lack of incentives that could stimulate creative solutions, the White House is at risk of losing the extraordinary portico and spacious grounds that has made the house a civic landmark.

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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