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Heritage committee wants 'Frost Row' listed on registry BY EVELYN HARFORD

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eharford@metroland.com

The Smiths Falls Municipal Heritage Committee recommends four mansions — all located on Chambers Street East — be listed on the Heritage Properties of Interest registry. The so-called Frost Mansion Row includes properties at 57, 65, 69, 89 and 97 Chambers St. E. — the property at 57 Chambers St. is already designated. Together the homes — all originally owned and constructed for immediate descendants of the Frost family, founders of the Frost and Wood Company — create what the town and heritage committee consider a row of architecturally and culturally significant mansions on the streetscape of Chambers Street. Elmcroft — the house located at 89 Chambers St. E. — was originally built in the late 1890s as a three-storey mansion in the grand Queen Anne revival style. It was home to Senator Francis T. Frost, the son of the founder and later president of Frost and Wood, a farm equipment company that provided stable employment in Smiths Falls for 116 years. Frost eventually became the first mayor of Smiths Falls in 1883 and later became the MP for North Leeds and Grenville and in 1903 was appointed to the Senate. The building was converted to a one-storey home in the 1930s, but retains many of its original ground floor features. The Carriage House located at 97 Chambers St. E. is culturally significant due to its connection with its adjacent property, Elmcroft. It's believed that it was the residence and workshop of Frost's full-time groundskeeper.

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The Groundskeeper’s House located at 97 Chambers St. E. is part of the so-called Frost Mansion Row in Smiths Falls. The significance of 65 Chambers St. E. lies in its architectural detailing, as a fine example of American shingle style. The home was built in 1905 for Frost's brother, Edwin. Its adjacent mansion, 69 Chambers St. E., is also a fine example of American shingle style architecture. Built in 1905, the property's cultural significance also lies in its association with George F. McKimm. McKimm married Frost's cousin and was the founder and editor of The Rideau Record. Founded in 1887, it played an important role in local

politics. The newspaper later became the Record News. McKimm was also instrumental in securing funding from Andrew Carnegie in 1902 to build the Smiths Falls library. Putting the rest of the homes in the row on the registry would delay the review of any proposed demolition permits for 60 days to allow discussion between the town and owner to review the heritage potential and options that might allow the preservation of the structure. The registry was established in March 2014, under Section 27 of the

Ontario Heritage Act and contains five listed properties. Listing the properties on the registry does not designate the property under the Ontario Heritage Act, but it does act as a greater pause for a municipality to consider the demolition of the above-mentioned buildings. The heritage committee said it has not been in communication with the owners of the properties, however the town's senior planner, Niki Dwyer, assured council that any future action to designate the building would require full consultation with them.

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Connected to Your Community - SF1 - Thursday, March 23, 2017

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The Smiths Falls Record News, March 23, 2017

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The Smiths Falls Record News, March 23, 2017

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