City decision to relocate heritage home 'a slap in the face': homeowner

The city’s final decision to relocate a 120-year-old heritage home is being described as a ‘slap in the face’ by a defeated homeowner who’s now considering taking her concerns to the province.

City staff presented councillors three alternatives to the wrecking ball last year.

Nan Finlayson, 75, wants to stay home. Her 120 year-old home is facing relocation over a city expansion project. (Hala Ghonaim/CBC)

The city's final decision to relocate a 120-year-old heritage home is being described as a "slap in the face" by a defeated homeowner who's now considering taking her concerns to the province.

"I hoped that there would be enough councillors that would challenge the city staff on their plan but that didn't happen," said 75-year-old Nan Finlayson, whose 100 Stanley Street heritage home has to relocate to make way for a road widening project.

"I can't just set aside my responsibilities to defend my house and my property," said Finlayson, who's ready to take her plea to save her home to the Ministry of Environment.
Several neighbours have put up signs "save 100 Stanley Street" in support of Finlayson. (Hala Ghonaim/CBC)

City councillors approved an environmental assessment report Tuesday on a multi-million reconstruction of Wharncliffe Road to decrease congestion.

The report suggests creating north and south turning lanes near the CN rail bridge at Wharcnliffe and Horton in order to improve the intersection. The bridge will be replaced. But Finlayson's home is currently in the way.


Nan Finlayson has lived in her home at 100 Stanley St. for 30 years and she plans to fight city plan's to expropriate her house. (Hala Ghonaim/CBC)

There wasn't much discussion among councillors on Tuesday, but the topic has hit the horseshoe in years past, prompting city staff to explore many options to save Finlayson's house from the wrecking ball.

Staff ultimately recommended a compromise of relocating the home across the street to the west side of Wharncliffe Road, south of Evergreen Avenue, that would cost taxpayers about $600,000.

Last year, city staff explored many alternatives including demolition and expropriating properties on the other side of the road.

Even with that, Finlayson said the move would have a "physical, mental and emotional effect on her," and would cause her to consider leaving the city — and even the country.

"I can't stay in London and feel that discomfort and sadness," she said.

The report now moves to a 30-day public review period.