Oshawa Council again denies demolition permit for historic Simcoe Street home


Published June 27, 2023 at 9:54 am

The fate of the Robert McLaughlin House, the former home of the father of Oshawa icon and GM Canada founder Col. Robert ‘Sam’ McLaughlin, looks to be headed to the Ontario Land Tribunal after Oshawa stayed firm in its decision to deny a demolition permit to the building owners.

Built in 1887 in the ‘Classical Revival’ style and the residence of senior McLaughlin, his third wife Eleanor and their servant Elizabeth Welles between 1901 and 1919, the house has been through a lot in the past five years but earned itself a bit of a reprieve May 17 when an application to demolish the rapidly deteriorating structure was denied.

In 2018 the house suffered severe damage when a man who had barricaded himself inside from police, set it on fire. Earlier this year the walls witnessed a murder and double stabbing next door. And in between the 136 year-old home suffered “rot by neglect” as property owner Nantuck Investments sought approval to have the house demolished to make way for a new development.

That application arrived before Heritage Oshawa last month and was given the thumbs down, with just one member voting in favour.

The issue was back before Council Monday, with five delegates representing the property owners in attendance.

Council was not swayed, forever, and the demolition permit was once again denied, with Councillor John Gray saying he expects the matter to go the Tribunal for a decision.

Nantuck Investments submitted the demolition application in March and initially promised to preserve the front façade before subsequently amending that statement, with Nantuck representative Gagan Hajatri – one of the delegations Monday – saying the fire damage would make it “unfeasible” to preserve the entire façade.

Nantuck wants to rebuild with two commercial units and six residential units.

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