the agritect

@VELD architect, southwestern Ontario

Archive for Rural Revitalisation Ideas

Rural Revitalisation Idea #2 : farmer retirement village

BEFORE

BEFORE

I’m sure you’ve heard it before from a farmer, If I retire I’ll die.  Those farmers just don’t know how to take a day off, let alone retire. Not to mention that most farmers don’t want to move to town. So what options are left? move in with you on the home farm?!? If you’re looking for an alternative, this might be it.  Prince Andrew public elementary school in Bryanston has been empty for many years. It is prime time for someone to adaptively reuse this building.  The school is home to the annual fireworks, soccer and basketball games, the annual bike rodeo, and many more events. Image retiring to a place that is still full of life, located in the county, and has community and assistance. The school is a typical 60’s school that taught junior kindergarteners to grade 8. That’s 10+ living units, plus a library or new community hall, and even a gym for those who like to dance!  The location is also ideal, on Highbury Avenue, it’s less than 15 minutes to London for groceries, doctor’s appointments, etc. and not too far away from the grand kids! In fact the property has baseball fields and soccer fields so there is room to kick them out of the house to run around when they stay the weekend, and entertainment during the dull summer weeknights! A little TLC, vision, and an operator could make this a great place for the farmers to retire to. And I’m sure this is not the only elementary school that no longer has a purpose in life.

AFTER

AFTER

Part of the Rural Revitalization Ideas Series, exploring rural revitalization projects.  Feel free to contact me, VELD architect if your interested in pursuing one of these ideas!

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Rural Revitalization Idea #1 -tobacco kiln B&B

 

BEFORE

BEFORE

As many of you probably don’t notice anymore, smoking in bars, entrances, and other places has mostly disappeared from Ontario. All you have to do is go to Europe and you will appreciate the smoke-free environments we enjoy in Canada. However, this industry shift took a very hard toll on Tobacco farmers in Ontario. In many places, these Tobacco farmers have gotten quite ingenious with the old kilns, good soils, etc. and have gone into niche markets. But many farms lay with abandoned tobacco kilns sitting empty waiting for a use! Well I have got one… Wouldn’t it be cool to renovate a farm with a few kilns and turn it into a B&B or hotel! Or even a campground! Image a landscape full of kilns all mini cottages with long-term cottagers and your weekenders! Each kiln could probably hold a small family, with a great loft bedroom! Each kiln could have a semi private porch, skylights, views of the rural landscape. Each kiln nestled between rows of vegetables and decorative plants. Each morning you could get up at the crack of dawn to help the farmer, relax in a hammock all day, or go on a day trip exploring the rural landscape.

AFTER

AFTER


I was told once that the more you share your ideas the more they come back to you. So this is part of a series called Rural Revitalization Ideas where I throw my ideas out to the universe and hope they come back to me! The series will focus on projects in rural Ontario(or anywhere) that I think (and hopefully others will too) would be cool places to add to Ontario’s rural tourism, culture, and atmosphere. Feel free to add and suggest your own or contact me if you want to pursue one of my out-of-the-box ideas!