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Historic Simpson building to be reconstructed, developer fined

Main Street Clock Inc. acknowledges demolition of Newmarket Main Street building was unauthorized, agrees to follow 'stringent conditions'

NEWS RELEASE
TOWN OF NEWMARKET
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The historic Simpson House will be fully reconstructed by the developer, Main Street Clock Inc. (MSC Inc.), who will also be penalized $200,000 after an unauthorized demolition. MSC Inc. has accepted a stringent set of conditions imposed by the Town of Newmarket to ensure the rebuild of the historic Charles Hargrave Simpson House, at 184/186 Main St. S. (Simpson House) in a heritage fashion, as well as the completion of renovations to other associated properties (188/190/192 and 194) on Main Street.

The conditions include:
    •    A commitment that the Simpson House will be fully reconstructed by MSC Inc. in a full heritage restoration, acceptable to the Town of Newmarket. Other associated properties, (188/190/192 and 194 Main Street), that are part of the development must also be completed according to approved plans and permits.
    •    A letter of credit in the amount of $300,000 to secure the completion of the Simpson House reconstruction and completion of work on other associated properties (188/190/192 and 194 Main Street) to the Town’s satisfaction and to the full satisfaction of the Chief Building Official and the Town’s Heritage consultant.
    •    Penalty payment of $100,000 by MSC Inc. to the Town.
    •    Withdrawal of Community Improvement Plan (CIP) funding of $100,000 by the Town that would have been provided to MSC Inc. for the entire project under the previous agreement.
    •    Acknowledgement of unauthorized demolition by MSC Inc.

“The imposed conditions demonstrate our unwavering commitment to heritage preservation and sends a message that if our community’s history and heritage is not respected there will be significant consequences,” says Newmarket Mayor John Taylor. “Given the circumstances, this is a positive outcome for downtown and Newmarket as a whole. Our main objective is to protect our heritage and continue to move forward with the development and revitalization of our Main Street.”

After the unauthorized demolition of the Simpson House by MSC Inc. in October, the Town immediately launched an investigation and issued stop work orders and compliance orders under the Building Code Act. The original scope of work and conditions for the building permits were only to conduct interior alterations to the Simpson House building. During the Town’s investigation, the developer MSC Inc. acknowledged the unauthorized demolition of the Simpson House.

MSC Inc. has provided the following statement regarding its actions:

“Main Street Clock Inc. acknowledges and regrets that the Simpson Building was taken down without proper permissions. We accept the penalties and conditions being imposed by the Town and we are committed to a full heritage rebuild and the completion of the adjacent restorations.”

The Town of Newmarket continues to stress the importance of following proper processes and respecting the rules and regulations that are in place under the Ontario Building Code Act and the Ontario Heritage Act.

A detailed information report outlining the investigation process and actions undertaken by the Town will be coming forward to Newmarket Council on Feb. 3, 2020. For more information, including a backgrounder on the MSC Inc. development, please visit newmarket.ca/clocktower

The Charles Hargrave Simpson House is a significant heritage property located at 184/186 Main St. South and was home to Ontario’s first female druggist, Anne Mary Simpson, who ran an apothecary at that location from 1886 to 1914.

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