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 May 2009 - Nr. 5

Keep the wrecker’s ball at bay and save a heritage that makes a community unique

Bowmanville, Ontario - Camp 30 is a collection of 18 building on 40 hectares of land in Bowmanville located 70 kilometers east from Toronto. The camp housed top German soldiers during WWII. Camp 30 at Bowmanville [photo: Rolf A. Piro]A suspicious fire occurred during the weekend of March 1, 2009.

The Kaitlin Group a developer wishes to demolish the place which does not meet the approval of many citizens.

Much of Bowmansville’s residential and commercial architecture heritage was lost to modern development in 1950 and the 30 years following thereafter. The same mistake cannot be repeated.

Durham Region has an unbelievable amount of history, relative to World War II and with forward thinking by Town Council and the general public it is possible to put the town on the world stage with Canada’s effort in the war. When 74% of the travelers to Ontario want to visit historical buildings and sites and 85% want to visit interesting small towns and villages, the town needs to be concerned about future development. This makes it mandatory to save Camp 30 and provide the town with a balanced mix for future growth between industry and tourism. And when doing so avoid becoming a bedroom city for the region. The promotion of Bowmansville’s festival must include the zoo with endorsement of all heritage values. Foster positive visitor experiences and for locals make it a good place to work and live.

It must be remembered, that heritage is a big part of what makes a community unique, namely with spaces and stories that we value today that require us to save and preserve our heritage for tomorrow. The option to designate Camp 30 as a protected heritage site is in the interest of the general public the developer must concede. A positive step forward would be for Town Council to appoint a spokesperson that can keep the public informed while the project goes forward.

Rolf A. Piro


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