Designated in 1992 for its exceptional Moderne architecture, newspaper magnate Roy Thomson built Timmins’ Daily Press Building in 1940. Masson & Sheppard, Windsor architects, created an impressive contemporary building. The interior and exterior were a complete modernist expression and symbolized Thomson’s internationalism.
The Thomsons lost interest in the property and eventually tried to sell it to the City of Timmins for $1.00, with an endowment of $100,000 for the building to be preserved as a cultural centre. The City considered the building too costly to repair and voted against the offer. Eventually, the City received ownership in lieu of property taxes.
Local citizens took action and initiated a nomination of the building for designation as a National Historic Site. Many organizations and governments were concerned over the future fate of the building, but would not come forward to assist in its preservation. Instead, the City issued a demolition permit and it was raised Oct. 19, 1995, only three years after it was designated.
The Daily Press Building is an excellent example of Canada’s lack of federal legal protection of National Historic Sites, and an outstanding lack of support for saving nationally significant places.
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