Track 3: For Power or For Passage: Re-envisioning Historic Industrial and Transportation Infrastructure

General Abstract

1 - Regenerating the Heart of Rural Ontario: New Life for Old Mills

Monday, September 24
2:45 PM - 4:15 PM
Location: BNCC-106AD

Old mills are at the heart of most towns in Ontario, and mark the start of the industrial boom which provided good middle class jobs for nearly everyone for over a century. However, from 2002-2012, Ontario lost over 300,000 manufacturing jobs, equivalent to 30% of the industry.[1] Typical of many rural industrial communities, Smiths Falls is left with the challenges of a shrinking population and underused or vacant industrial buildings. Using the ICOMOS-TICCIH Dublin Principles as a framework, this thesis explores innovative ways to adaptively reuse the Wood’s Mill Complex in Smiths Falls in a way that positively impacts the region by reconnecting the community with their industrial heritage on the Rideau Canal. The project investigates the role of social equity, cultural vitality, economic prosperity and environmental sustainability in the rehabilitation process and how this contributes to community resilience.
This study of the Wood’s Mill Complex could serve as a case study and guide for the sustainable rehabilitation of other vacant mills and industrial sites in rural Canada.

[1] Jeff Rubin, “The Future Looks Bleak for Ontario’s Manufacturing Sector,” The Globe and Mail, December 30, 2013.

Learning Objectives:

Carly L. Farmer, OSCAR Co-Chair

Intern Architect
MTBA Associates Inc.

Carly is an intern architect at MTBA Associates and works at the "nexus of conservation and sustainability" on a variety of projects including the Canadian Parliament Buildings, University of Ottawa, and the Toronto Courthouse. Having grown up in a small town, she is also a specialist in conserving the heritage of rural regions.

Carly graduated in 2017 from the Master of Architecture Program and NSERC Create Heritage Engineering program at Carleton University where she specialized in sustainable rehabilitation and documentation of heritage buildings. Her studies specifically investigated how adaptive reuse of heritage buildings could help revitalize small towns facing the challenges of deindustrialization and shrinking populations. Carly was an APT Scholar in 2016 and is an active member of the Technical Committee on Sustainable Preservation and Co-Chairs the OSCAR Focus Group.

Some of Carly's favourite activities include travelling, cycling, and spending time with family and friends.


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Michael Lennon, AIA, LEED-AP

Senior Architect
Flynn Battaglia Architects, PC

Mr. Lennon has an Architecture degree from the University of Detroit and has been a licensed Architect in New York State since 1978. He is a long-time member of APT and has spoken at past conferences about his work at the Lord and Burnham conservatory in Buffalo and Adler & Sullivan's Guaranty Building; both highlights of his professional career. His interest in architectural history and archaic building methods has led to intensive involvement in projects for many of Western New York's National Landmark structures including the Roycroft Campus, St. Paul's Cathedral, the George Eastman Museum and the Richardson-Olmsted Complex.


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1 - Regenerating the Heart of Rural Ontario: New Life for Old Mills

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