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Cooper building has potential

Re: Heritage group weighs in on Cooper site, news, Jan. 3

Jeff Heuchert’s report on Heritage Stratford’s attempt at convincing our council to commemorate the Grand Trunk site was indicative of the negative thinking in City Hall.

Allan O’Neill, although mentioning the Borgal report’s positive view of the building’s structure, gave the impression that a simple plaque would suffice. After doing his thing I noted that “there was no discussion,” indicating little interest from our elected representatives.

Nobody seemed to recall that only steps away from this meeting is the first significant development on the site – the Stratford campus of the Waterloo University, a very attractive building and indicative as to what can be done.

In the past year, groups of Fanshawe students have supplied ideas and plans and great drawings of developments that could be done at the site. The Perth County Historical Foundation, which initiated this plan, has suggested that a transit terminal here for inner and intercity bus services could solve the Market Square bus and traffic congestion.

Various historically minded Stratford people have voiced interest in a railway museum being fitted in a well preserved part of the existing buildings, with a locomotive or two to not only recognize this site as one of the most important railway repair centers in Canada, but also what literally built Stratford to what it is today. And this could quickly become a tourist attraction.

Other parties have suggested shops, parks, reflecting pools, apartment buildings, all noted in newspaper articles. Amazing isn’t it, how quickly some of us seem to forget?

Ian Taylor     
Stratford  

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