There is a home on Kerr Street in Oakville that stands alone within a commercial area of stores & restaurants. Back in the 50's and 60's the other local area early 1900 residential homes were being bought up by developers and turned into various concrete block commercial buildings. This left the subject house as the only remaining historic residential building on Kerr Street south of Speers.
There really isn't anything too spectacular about the home's design. It is on the list of homes of cultural heritage value or interest, but that is more about being the last link to the memory of the early 1900's than the structure itself. The home is a 2 storey framed wood home built in 1915, there was also a rear storage shed/garage built around the same time. In the 1950's the home was covered in insulbrick, but the wood shingles on the gables remain.
What is more significant to the history of the home is its family history. The property was purchased from the crown in 1831 by William Chisolm, it was sold by his descendants in 1904. In 1914 the property was bought by Thomas Shields. The home is believed to have been built by Shields in 1915 & in 1920 was sold to a 1913 immigrant to Canada, Ernest Winzer who was born in England in 1886. In 1916 Ernest married 1894 English born Violet Warner. Ernest & Violets' home would remain in the Winzer family to this day, for 93 years of the homes 98 year existence.
Ernest & Violet had 3 daughters, Margaret, Dorothy and Ethel. In 1960 Ernest retired from his job as a gardener at various Oakville Estates. Ethel lived with her parents as did Margaret's son Jack until he left for school in 1974. Ernest died in 1970 & Violet passed away in 1991. Ethel remained in the house until she died on 12 Aug 2010 at age 89. The house has been vacant since then.
The house is now up for sale & a demolition permit has been requested. With the process demolition requests of homes on the list of homes of cultural heritage value the town investigates whether the home should be designated as a Heritage property as per the Ontario Heritage Act. Although this home is unique compared to the buildings surrounding it, it isn't architecturally unique with homes built in the early 1900's & there are other same era homes around the corner in more compatible non-commercial settings. In this circumstance it appears as the home will NOT be designated, will be removed from the Heritage List within the next few days & the demolition permit will be approved.
Once the home is removed from the Heritage list & the demolition permit is approved I expect the property to sell very quickly. The home won't be of value to any developer & I completely expect it to be demolished.
The home is presently locked up tight, but not boarded up. I'm surprised the local kids haven't accessed it yet, but maybe everyone thinks the little old lady still lives there or maybe it's because the street has a lot of foot traffic. I have a feeling this may be a bit of a "time capsule" home & would have loved to been able to see the inside. Timing may come down to when the demolition teams open it up.