Saturday, 7 March 2015

The Poplar Heights Hotel

The Poplar Hotel in the mid 19th century

The Poplar Heights Hotel as it was once called sat just outside of Collingwood Ontario at the corner of Highway #24 and the Poplar Sideroad. Board and batten in it's construction, this beautiful structure was most likely constructed in the Georgian style in the mid nineteenth century and featured a 3 bay front and a centre hall floor plan.  

From the information I managed to gather at our library, the hotel was apparently already in existence when it was purchased by Thomas Bannister who was born in Leicester England in 1833.  He emigrated to Canada in the 1850's and was wed to Mary Hunt in York, Upper Canada (now known as Toronto).  They purchased the farm and hotel on the corner of the Poplar Sidereal and Hurontario Street where they raised their family. Two of the Bannister children - sisters Elizabeth and Maude lived in the home, and after the passing of their parents, Elizabeth inherited the house where she continued to reside until 1954.  

Ironically the home came to be purchased by Les Allen who was the son of Maude Bannister and her husband William.  Apparently they lived in the home until 1964 when it was again sold to the Scattergood family. After that, it changed hands several more times until it eventually reverted to it's roots and became a Bed & Breakfast.  As a kid, I remember visiting this beautiful old home with my folks and recall that it had a beautiful staircase - a design feature I'm a big sucker for in any old home.

Unfortunately, this beautiful old structure is now but a memory having fallen victim to the wrecking ball earlier this year.  Once again a part of our heritage has been sacrificed in the name of progress.  It's sad that so many folks don't realize that beautiful buildings like these are fast becoming extinct, and if we all soon don't wake up to this sad reality - soon much four history will be gone forever.

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