8:30 a.m., July 23)
of Orléans' agriculture past to become focal point of new park
By Fred Sherwin
Ward Coun. Bob Monette addresses the audience
during the official ceremony transferring
ownership of the Vinette silo on St-Joseph
Blvd. to the City of Ottawa. The silo will
become the focal point of a small park celebrating
Orléans' agriculture heritage. Fred
people drive by 3227 St-Joseph Blvd. without even knowing
that behind the nondescript bungalow is one of the last
symbols of Orléans' agriculture past.
Vinette silo has stood on the site for the better part
of the last 70 years. Standing seven metres tall and made
out of concrete with a copper roof, the silo was once
the focal point of the last functioning farm in Orléans,
first owned by Éliodore Vinette and Almaïs
Wolfe, and then handed down through three generations.
recent times, part of the old farm was sold to Phoenix
Homes which is developing the land east of the Centrum
Town Centre. Since they owned the land it was standing
on, Phoenix also owned the silo.
2011, the silo was placed on the city's heritage registry
at the insistence of the local community led by the Societé
franco-ontarienne du patrimoine et de l'histoire d'Orléans
which wanted to preserve the silo for future generations.
move set into motion a series of discussions as to what
should be done with the silo. When it was deemed to expensive
to buy it back from Phoenix Homes, and to expensive to
move it, the city proposed a land swap. Phoenix Homes
would get a quarter acre of land at the northwest corner
of St-Joseph and Tenth Line Road and the city would get
the silo and the land immediately surrounding it.
Homes also agreed to repair the silo and develop the park,
which is planned to have maple trees, shrubs and a series
of display panels showing Orléans' agriculture
deal worked out to be revenue neutral, which means there
is no real capital cost to taxpayers. However, the city
will have to pay to maintain the building and the park
at a cost of about $15,000 a year.
generations of Vinettes were on hand at the official land
swap ceremony on Tuesday including brothers Robert and
Roger and their cousin Germaine Vinette, whose fathers
built the silo after the Second World War. All three men
are thrilled that the family landmark will become the
focal point of a new park.
effort to register the silo as an historic site was spearheaded
by SFOPHO and Orléans Coun. Bob Monette.
president Nicole Fortier said the silo is historically
important because of the significance agriculture played
in the establishment of the original police village of
Orléans, and more specifically the role the earliest
pioneers played, most of whom were francophones.
important to protect the silo because it is one of the
last landmarks of our early history and to preserve it
on the site were it has stood since it was built and use
it as a focal point for a small park is fantastic,"
is hoping work on the park can begin next spring as Phoenix
Homes continues to build out the area.
coming here next year. It will be the first park for agricultural
purposes in Ottawa," says Monette.
generations of Vinettes gather for a family photo
in front of the Vinette silo which will become the
focal point of a new park in the Centrum Town Centre.
story was made possible thanks to the generous support
of our local business partners.)
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