KENORA, Ontario, April 18, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - The Ontario Heritage Trust recently completed significant conservation and repair work at Mather-Walls House. The work will help to ensure the long-term protection and preservation of this important historic site, owned by the Trust and operated by the Lake of the Woods Historical Society.
The recent conservation work and capital repairs included the replacement of all wood shingle and flat roofs, and the repair and repainting of all exterior woodwork, including siding, mouldings, windows and verandas.
"Conservation work is essential to maintaining our heritage," said Dr. Thomas H.B. Symons, Chairman of the Ontario Heritage Trust. "We are pleased to have completed this project at Mather-Walls House and were delighted to see a high level of interest about it in the community."
The Ontario Heritage Trust purchased Mather-Walls House in 1975 and undertook a complete restoration of the site. Under an agreement with the Trust, the Lake of the Woods Historical Society has operated Mather-Walls House since it opened in 1985. The Society holds its meetings and hosts community events on the premises, and in the summer months conducts public tours.
Commissioned by industrial entrepreneur John Mather for his son David in 1889, Mather-Walls House was designed in the Queen Anne style by Winnipeg architect George Browne. The Mather family was instrumental in the formation of the local milling industry and the growth and modernization of the town. The house was later purchased by local mill foreman John Walls in 1906. Today, the house features furnishings from the era of the Walls family, as well as an interpretive display highlighting the Mather family's significant impact on the area's development.
The Ontario Heritage Trust received financial assistance for the conservation work at Mather-Walls House from the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario under the Infrastructure Stimulus Fund, announced last year.
The Ontario Heritage Trust is an agency of the Government of Ontario, dedicated to identifying, preserving, protecting and promoting Ontario's heritage.
The Ontario Heritage Trust owns 25 built heritage sites and over 160 natural heritage properties across the province.
In addition to the project at Mather-Walls House, the Ontario Heritage Trust received infrastructure stimulus funding to support conservation and repair work at the Hudson's Bay Staff House in Moose Factory, McMartin House and Inge-Va in Perth and Sheppard's Bush Residence in Aurora.
Mather-Walls House is open for visitors from June 20 to August 20, 2011 (9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Saturday). For hours of operation, admission fees, a special events schedule and other information, call Lake of the Woods Historical Society at 807-547-2870 during summer opening hours or leave a message.
For more information on the Ontario Heritage Trust, visit www.heritagetrust.on.ca.