One thing that everyone agrees about when it comes to the historic Auchmar estate is the manor’s heart-stopping beauty.
With its sweeping gables, pointed arch windows, and vaulted ceilings, it’s hard not to be entranced by the gothic-style mansion.
But it’s no secret that Auchmar is crumbling. It’s going to take $4 million to repair both its interior and exterior — and that’s not including costs needed to operate the building.
The question remains: should the city be the one to pick up the tab?
“We have a lot of demands in front of us right now,” said Councillor Lloyd Ferguson. “There’s no question it’s a jewel in the community. Ideally, you’d find someone from the private sector who would fix it up and get it into shape. But we should not get into the bankroll business.”
Ferguson was one of several councillors, senior staffers, and members of the public who attended a special general issues committee meeting at the estate on Thursday. As only eight councillors initially showed up — Ferguson came late due to a medical appointment — the meeting never reached quorum.
Councillors who did attend the meeting were given a tour of the estate, from the basement — parts of it were once used as billiard rooms and a workshop when it was a burn hospital for members of the Royal Canadian Air Force — to the upper-floor bedrooms.