City looking for buyer for Peterborough Lawn Bowling Club clubhouse to prevent building from being demolished

In a bid to save the Peterborough Lawn Bowling Club clubhouse from demolition, the city is poised to acquire the property and find a buyer that would maintain the building.

City council, sitting as committee of the whole on Monday, which means the plan must return to council for final approval, endorsed the plan.

The city would set aside $50,000 for the cost of transferring ownership, maintaining the property and potentially demolishing the building if it can't find a buyer.

The club, at the corner of Monaghan Rd. and McDonnel St., plans to construct a new building at the east end of the bowling greens to replace the current clubhouse.

The provincial and federal governments and the club agreed in July to each pay a third of the projected $1.56-million cost to build the new facility.

The club intends to demolish the original clubhouse to provide more parking, community services director Ken Doherty said, adding it's believed that the clubhouse is the oldest purpose-built recreational facility in the city.

"It's the context as much as use and architecture," he said, explaining the heritage value of the building. "It helps define that neighbourhood."

Doherty added the city wouldn't necessarily acquire the property and building from the club if it couldn't find a potential buyer by the end of March.

Coun. Doug Peacock, the community services chairman, supported the recommendation at the council meeting on Monday but he expressed some concerns.

"I'm stretched to see the historical value of that particular building.… I just don't think that we can protect every building," he said. "It seems like we're throwing $50,000 away without knowing whether there is a potential buyer for the building."

Coun. Dean Pappas agreed with city staff that the clubhouse is a significant structure.

"That building really helps to define that area," he said, pointing to the Bonaccord St. park, skate park and tennis courts. "That's all one big recreational area that's used by people from all over the city."

The clubhouse was built in the 1930s, Doherty states in a report.

The Peterborough architectural conservation advisory committee has recommended that council designate it under the Heritage Act, Doherty states.

"They cited as important both the role of the building in the history of lawn bowling in Peterborough and its value as part of a recreational precinct in that area," he states.

The item returns to council next week for approval.

Posted By BRENDAN WEDLEY/Examiner Municipal Writer

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