In the northern region of Hastings County, you will find the small Village of Maynooth. Nestled a hop skip and a jump away from Algonquin Park, this tiny, yet thriving community is home to a small main street business section including the brand new Hastings Highlands Municipal Office and community centre, a school, liquor store, bank, post office, various artisans and a house that the Group of 7 liked to paint (photo above of painting by artist A.J. Casson).
The house is next to a United Church and now the centre of debate over its future sale. The church wants to buy the house and tear it down. But others want to to try and save it by finding a buyer willing to preserve its postulated historic value.
How much? The house is apparently selling for $35,000! Estimates for repair and upgrades are in the $50,000 range. So for less than $100,000 someone can own this gem and hopefully preserve it as either a living space or perhaps do some research into whether it can become a tourist stop, art gallery or cultural centre of some sort for the community.
According to Tom Newman, owner of the Arlington Hotel in Maynooth and past-chairman of the Maynooth Downtown Revitalization Committee, (and as reported in the Bancroft Times), “historic buildings are important to economic development and tourism”. He adds that the Revitalization Committee published a report outlining “…the three main assets identified for the main street were its proximity to Algonquin Park, the stock of historic buildings and the growing arts community here. This house fits all three categories.”
As published by the Bancroft Times, the owner of the property is keeping options open. But in the meantime, Tom Newman has started a new Facebook page: “Save the Maynooth ‘Group of Seven’ House”. Check out his Facebook page and join in on the discussion.