Five Almonte Buildings
Mississippi Mills, Ontario
2019 Ecclesiastical Insurance Cornerstone Award (Resilient Historic Places)
Over the past 25 years, an informal group of investors and visionaries in Almonte, Ontario, have been passionately working to conserve their town’s built environment. The Almonte Heritage Redevelopment Group, led by Stephen Brathwaite, has tirelessly protected and redeveloped five key sites – the Old Almonte Post Office, the Victoria Woollen Mill, the Thoburn Mill, 78 Mill Street, and 65 Mill Street – along with others that anchor the town to its milling history dating back to the 1820s. After the decline of that important industry in the 20th century, many historic buildings were put at risk.
The Almonte Heritage Redevelopment Group’s philosophy – to purchase endangered structures, redevelop them in dialogue with their heritage design, and resell them – has been a key factor in the cultural and economic re-invigoration of the town of Almonte. For almost three decades, the Almonte Heritage Redevelopment Group and its network of friends and supporters have been building a community that centrally values respect for the past and a celebration of its built legacy.
Developer: Almonte Heritage Redevelopment Group (Stephen Brathwaite, Partner, 73 Little Bridge St. Inc.)
Additional Key Players: Bob McKay, Partner, 73 Little Bridge St. Inc.; Michael Rickley Lancaster, Curator, Mississippi Mills Heritage Committee; and David Stephenson.
The Five Almonte Buildings project was nominated by Stephen Brathwaite, Partner, 73 Little Bridge St. Inc.