Help Save the Silos & Restore the Barn!
Join Us in Restoring the Centre-piece of Van Horne's Agricultural Estate
VHEMI is currently looking to raise funds and volunteers to enable the restoration and conservation of the livestock barn designed and constructed in 1899 by Edward Maxwell and Sir William Van Horne. Over the last 115 years, the cladding of the building has deteriorated and water is now leading to timber decay in some areas. Based on a Historic Assessment Report conducted in the Fall of 2015 the proposed work on the barn will repair existing damage, halt further deterioration and at the same time restore the main features of the barn to their original design.
Two of the many character-defining elements of the barn on Ministers Island are the twin silos with asymmetrical and unique ventilators. After a storm in February of 2016 the silos were damaged as illustrated in the photo to the top left. We immediately launched fund raising activities and in December 2016 the work on the silos was completed. In May 2017 Phases 1 and 2 of the restoration were completed as the slideshow above illustrates and in the photo bottom left. Two sides of the barn are now looking spectacular however this is only half of the barn and fund raising for the remainder of the work is underway. There is so much more to do in order to restore the rest of the barn to its original splendour and magnificence.
With Phases 1 & 2 now restored we are moving on to secure funds from private and public sources to restore the remainder of the external features of the barn in Phase 3. Once the final restoration work is completed more areas of the barn can be opened up to the public and experiential elements of the Van Horne story can be developed. With increased safe and usable common space, it will be possible to provide a wider range of offerings such as agricultural displays; artisan workshops and community events. Every year, thousands of visitors will get a glimpse into the history of Canada and a leading figure of Canadian business and the arts.
Come join us! Become a Member. Consider Volunteering.