Building on our successes

Fraserfield, South Glengarry

Photo: Fraserfield, South Glengarry


Sean Fraser

Buildings and architecture

Published Date: May 10, 2007

The Ontario Heritage Trust’s heritage conservation easements conserve some of Ontario’s most significant heritage sites. Good stewardship of easement properties includes regular maintenance and periodic life cycle repairs to protect the heritage value and fabric.

When funds become available, the Trust assists owners of easement properties with financial incentives. In 2006, the Trust provided funding for this purpose and announced a cost-sharing program – the Easement Conservation Fund – as a means of supporting the critical conservation needs of heritage properties protected by Trust-held conservation easements.

By the May 2006 deadline, the Trust had received applications for 172 distinct projects at 69 sites amounting to more than $6.5 million in capital costs, stabilization, repairs and other emergency measures. With only limited funds available, the Trust was able to assist 38 of these projects on 26 easement properties. The majority of the funding requests related to urgent work on roofs, building envelopes and masonry repairs. Restoration, renovation and rehabilitation costs were ineligible. Since the funding decisions were made in July 2006 by the Trust’s Board of Directors, a number of projects have already been completed – including Layer Cake Hall in Loyalist Township and Fraserfield in South Glengarry.

Fraserfield is an architecturally significant historic country estate that features a mix of Classical Revival and Regency styles. Built in 1816, Fraserfield is historically significant for its association with The Honourable Alexander Fraser (1786-1850) – army officer, militia officer, justice of the peace, politician, farmer and co-founder of the Highland Society of Canada. The recently completed work on Fraserfield included repairs to the wood frame verandas, rainwater systems and the wood features on the widow’s walk. Consistent with the history of this remarkable property, the lands remain in use as a family farm. Fraserfield is commemorated at the southern edge of the property by a provincial plaque.

Layer Cake Hall, built in 1859, is a municipally owned timber-frame building currently used as a local library and museum in the community of Bath (Loyalist Township). Built in a vernacular Gothic Revival style by local carpenter Abraham Harris, this one-and-a-half storey, nailed-and-pegged frame structure is clad in board and batten siding. Support from the Trust contributed to the repair and refinishing of the exterior wood features that were in danger of being lost to water damage and rot. With assistance from the municipality and local fundraising, the building is once again in good repair.

The Trust is proud of the accomplishments made by these communities in repairing their heritage structures and is delighted to have been able to assist easement holders with this much-needed funding.