February 7, 2018 11:14 am

London senior continues fight to keep heritage home

Nan Finalyson, 75, has been fighting to keep her heritage home at 100 Stanley St. since January 2017

Liny Lamberink/980 CFPL

Nan Finlayson wants to keep here 121-year-old heritage house right where it is, while city politicians are offering to cover the $500,000 bill to move it across the street.

City staff say it’s the only way to save Finlayson’s home at 100 Stanley St. from being demolished.

The city has plans for a $39-million overhaul of Wharncliffe Road, which includes widening the roadway to four lanes. Finlayson’s home borders Wharncliffe, and the city needs the property for the extension.

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She says even with the city offering to cover the costs, she doesn’t want to move.

“It takes the historical house out of its context on the corner, it plants it in a very bare and treeless lot just across the road,” said Finlayson.

“I don’t think I could possibly live in it and watch my property, with all the mature trees and gardens decimated just across the road, so I’m not interested in that at all.”

Coun. Phil Squire has personally offered to move Finlayson’s garden, a gesture she appreciated, but didn’t sway her stance.

“They can’t move the mature trees, unfortunately, and I have some native trees here that are getting to a pretty big size.”

The road widening and bridge repair are intended to ease the traffic bottleneck that’s slowing drivers and causing collisions on one of the city’s major north-south corridors.

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“There’s several people who walk or drive by, who regularly take this route, that are very much in favour of keeping the house rather than saving them a few minutes to get across town,” said Finlayson.

“People at the grocery store, at the library, it’s been quite wonderful. I really appreciate the support. I just wish the city would listen to that a bit more.”

Finlayson says she’s been in contact with her lawyer about what’s next.

“There’s enough room under the bridge for four lanes, I don’t know where we go from here, I’ll have to see what council votes before I decide what happens next.”

The issue goes to full council next week.

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