Exactly six years ago, the 112-year-old barn at ClearWater Farm burned to the ground. Today, looking at the brand-new building standing where the historic barn once stood, you can’t help but feel that a Phoenix has arisen from the ashes.
“The barn will embody the vision of the whole farm,” said Annabel Slaight, Founding Chair of the Ontario Water Centre. “It has the potential to be a real icon for Georgina and show everyone that the people who live here care about nature and the whole world we live in.”
The new barn incorporates many design ideas from young children and was built with funding provided by the federal and provincial government and the private sector. There were also many fundraisers, and hundreds of volunteers donated their time.
The structure was erected in 2018 with the help of timber framers from around North America who used traditional timber frame methods, no nails, just pegs. Many pegs have names of people who contributed.
The space upstairs commands a sweeping view of the lake. It can accommodate up to 150 people and will host youth and kids’ activities, art programs, concerts, and temporary art installations. The kitchen downstairs offers an opportunity for culinary arts.
Colin Dobell, Executive Director, stresses the importance of partnering with local schools and groups.
“We focus on education, environment, and the arts,” he said.
“We are open to organizations interested in hosting their own programs here. The building will also be available for private events.”
“It’s an unbelievable community resource,” adds Dave Neeson, Ward 3 Councillor. “It will bring people together and teach children to respect the environment.”
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