Kitchener-Waterloo

Damage to Woodside National Historic Site pegged at $10,000, Parks Canada says

Parks Canada says it will cost about $10,000 to repair windows and doors that were broken by vandals overnight Sunday to Monday.

Costs include replacing 66 broken panes of glass, one door and staff time

Vandals smashed panes of glass in windows and damaged three doors at the Woodside National Historic Site. Parks Canada says the damage is estimated at about $10,000. (Jackie Sharkey/CBC News)

Parks Canada says it will cost about $10,000 to repair damage caused by vandals at the Woodside National Historic Site in Kitchener overnight Sunday.

In total, 66 panes of glass were broken in ground floor windows.

Some windows that had multiple panes of glass had each pane smashed. As well, the doors to the administration offices, the main entrance to the site and a side door were damaged.

Lisa Curtis, superintendent of national historic sites in southwestern Ontario for Parks Canada, said when the windows were broken at the boyhood home of Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King, an alarm was tripped and a staff member was called. That staff member called police, who were on scene as quickly as possible.

Police believe a drain pipe was pulled off the front of the building and used to cause the damage.

It is believed this drainage pipe from the eavestrough was used to vandalize the Woodside National Historic Site. (Jackie Sharkey/CBC News)

The restored Victorian home, which dates back to early 1890s, is filled with King family heirlooms.

Curtis said it does not appear theft was a motive for the broken windows and doors. 

"We went through the entire collection just to double check and there was nothing taken, it was just vandalism," she said.

Curtis said vandalism at the site is rare, and the $10,000 needed for repairs will come from an emergency fund.

"The site is open year round, our grounds are open to the public to come and enjoy the site, so we've had less vandalism over the years because it is open," she said.

More security possible

Still, news of the vandalism has troubled neighbours. Many, like Victoria Victoria Boily, walk their dogs there on a daily basis. 

"Parks Canada owns this property and we all bear the cost of this type of vandalism and I think it's just unfortunate that people feel that that's acceptable behaviour," she said.

Curtis said they will be considering other options for security, and asking the security company what more can be done, to keep the site safe.

"If there's anything there, we're certainly going to explore it. They're our Canadian treasures, we want to make sure we protect them," she said.

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