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Acton Town Hall – Preserving a Historic Beauty

Acton Town Hall was built by the town fathers who agreed it was essential that a building be available for use by council and the community, in 1883. It was used as the municipal government offices until 1977 when they were moved to Georgetown.


In 1977 the building was declared surplus and condemned and a grassroots movement started to save the building. That movement later became known as Heritage Acton, which is still run as a not for profit, registered charity, with a small volunteer board.


Today, Town Hall normally hosts about 260 events/year. Many of these events are meetings. But the facilities also host a variety of events such as fundraisers, auctions, theatre, weddings, movie nights, exercise classes, bazaars, art and trade shows, and parties from birthdays to anniversaries and retirement. The space is very versatile with two halls, a kitchen and bar, and two meeting rooms.


But, in March, COVID-19 brought this to a grinding halt. Currently there are only a couple of bookings per month for a meeting space “set up for 22 people with 2m distancing” Lloyd McIntyre, Chair Heritage Acton, tells Acton UP. The Town construction, of the new youth centre in the old main level firehall bays, is expected to begin in the late fall.


Heritage Acton has a long list of work to be done on the second level of the heritage hall. With the Youth Center moving in on the ground level, funding was already budgeted to move the second floor women’s washroom closer to the front of the building in order to increase its size and make it accessible. “The plumbing for the washrooms is in the ceiling of the youth center, so the project is time sensitive” says McIntyre. A new HVAC system is required to replace a very dated water boiler system. The ductwork for the new HVAC system is in place and the new HVAC will go on the flat roof. Which leads us to the most pressing issue for this historic landmark, the peaked roof.


The cedar shake roof is old, cracked and in some spots, missing. This is leading to water seeping in, running along beams and causing ceiling deterioration. In order to prevent further damage, Heritage Acton is trying to obtain funding to replace the roof before winter. They have secured a grant of $284,000 from the federal government, but, it’s a matching funding grant. Their efforts are now focused on raising


$150,000 by September in order to replace the roof. If that sounds like a lot of money for a roof “it is” says McIntyre. “But that amount includes the cedar shake roof, a chimney replacement, the cleaning and painting of the bell tower and the extensive scaffolding required for the job.” It is most cost effective to complete all this work at one time. All the work is necessary and is part of the heritage designation that the Town Hall holds.


“Every dollar will be matched by the grant. Even $20 helps” urges McIntyre. The new roof is vital to the sustainability of the building which is highly utilized by the community. Please consider donating at https://www.actontownhallcentre.ca/


*Correction* This article was corrected at 1:52pm to accurately reflect Acton Town Hall being the location of 'Municipal' council not regional, and was changed to accurately reflect the date of surplus as 1977, not 1982.



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