Canadian Historic Sites: Occasional Papers in Archaeology and History No. 10
The Architectural Heritage of the Rideau Corridor
by Barbara A. Humphreys
This, then, is the heritage: a concentration of 19th-century
buildings which form a microcosm of rural Upper Canada 120 years ago and
a tangible expression of the pioneering skill, faith and determination
in the creation of an environment which still retains much of its
original charm. Fortunately the heritage is a living one and great
credit is due those who have kept it this way: the descendants of the
original families who have carefully maintained the family homes;
newcomers who have rescued and sympathetically restored so many of the
houses; historical societies and local historians who have contributed
endless time and effort to preserve threatened structures and to
interest the residents of the region in their history and heritage.
Parts of this heritage, however, continue to be seriously threatened.
The small rural schools and churches, the large commercial buildings in
the small towns, the old inns, the mills, the tradesmen's shops have
been rendered inadequate by the relentless pressures of social and
economic change. To resent or now attempt to stifle the progress of the
area would indeed be no tribute to the pioneers who worked so hard to
ensure it; but in making our contribution, enough must be preserved to
show the contributions of others along the way. Preservation of our
architectural heritage is surely the finest tribute we can make to
Canada's pioneer past.