By Councillor Lloyd Ferguson
By the end of the month, we will know if the city is successful in moving forward with the purchase of Memorial School in the village core. As you know, I have been championing the acquisition of the downtown property from the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board and to keep it in public ownership.
I am hopeful council will ratify the purchase as its meeting on May 28. The purchase has the support of municipal staff and I am excited about the future of this last remaining green space in Ancaster. The vision for the property is to develop 1.5 acres for seniors’ housing and the rest for a new arts and cultural centre that will boast a 400-seat theatre.
This re-development will be a gem in our community and completes the numerous projects that have been done in the core over the past several years – renovations to Old Town Hall, the Municipal Service Centre and Library, Tisdale House, Hammill House, Ancaster Lawn Bowling and Tennis Club facilities, and the installation of the splash pad.
In other news, I want to announce that motorists entering Ancaster on Wilson Street at Montgomery Drive will also see construction activity for 8-10 weeks beginning in June as a new gateway is constructed. This beautiful stone structure, featuring a clock tower, will further enhance the unique character of Ancaster and will be a defining feature on the north border of the village as the existing gateway is at the south entrance.
It is also exciting to report that on June 21 from 1-5 p.m. we will celebrate the official ribbon-cutting for the newly renovated and expanded Ancaster Senior Achievement Centre. After overcoming some construction-related issues, the $1.8-million facility is a jewel for our seniors’ population and I encourage everyone to come out and join in the celebration.
As well, I want to welcome back the farmers market and urge residents to visit the various vendors – including wineries this year – at St. John’s Parish Hall. Sponsored by the Ancaster Business Improvement Area, the market opens on June 11 and promises to be bigger and better this season.
And finally, I want to send out another reminder about our 36th Ancaster Heritage Days June 10-14. The festival begins on Tuesday, June 10 with the Ancaster Mill Road Race leaving from the community centre. Ancaster Community Services and Ancaster Rotary Club AM have teamed up for the annual golf tournament on Wednesday at Copetown Woods. The parade goes Saturday at 10 a.m. and runs up Wilson Street. The Symphony of Fire Fireworks begin at dusk on Saturday at the community centre baseball diamonds. For those interested in participating in the Soap Box Derby – sponsored by Rastin’s Guardian Pharmacy – register online at www.ancasterheritagedays.com.