Building Stories Podast: The Maclean House

Friday, November 29, 2013

7 Austin Terrace, the Maclean HouseWATERLOO, November 29, 2013 – On Monday, December 1, 2013 the eighth episode of the Building Stories Podcast series will be released. The episode will feature 7 Austin Terrace, also known as the Maclean House, in Toronto, Ontario.

The MacLean House was built for John Bayne Maclean in 1910. Maclean was prominent Canadian publisher and founded the popular Maclean’s Magazine. The house was built in the Georgian Revival style and was designed by Canadian architect John M. Lyle. Lyle is best known for his work on Union Station and the Royal Alexander Theatre, a National Historic Site.

The podcast includes interviews with Glen MacArthur, an author who wrote an award-winning book about John M. Lyle in 2009, and Matthew Garnet, of Renaissance Fine Homes, who purchased the property in 2011. The house was planned to be demolished and to be replaced with high-density town houses. Garnet prevented this from happening by restoring and converting the estate into three attached town homes. In the podcast, Garnet describes the process of restoring the building and how integrating the historic elements of the building was very important. The building is now protected by Part IV designation under the Ontario Heritage Act.

The podcast will be available to listen to on the Building Stories website at under the ‘Publicity’ tab. It will also be attached to the Building Stories entry for The Maclean House, a featured location on the website’s home page. The first seven episodes of the podcast series focused on the London Life Insurance Building in London, Victoria Hall in Cobourg, Keefer Mansion in Thorold, the Stratford Historical Plaque Program, Victoria Jubilee Hall in Walkerton, Camp 30 in Bowmanville, and the Guelph Civic Museum in Guelph. They are also available to listen to on Building Stories.

The Maclean House is just one of the many interesting buildings included in a book that the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario has released to celebrate their 80th year. Titled “80 for 80: Celebrating Eighty Years of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario”, the book tells the stories of 80 buildings that the ACO has saved or helped saved. It is now available for order on the ACO’s website at

Building Stories is a website and mobile application that enables Canadians to take a direct role in identifying important community heritage assets. Building Stories is an incredible new on-line resource making thousands of original documents, photos and historical records available online from a wide variety of communities. The website engages the public in a way that has never been done before to help explain the importance of heritage in communities across Canada.

Dr. Robert Shipley, Director of the Heritage Resources Centre, states: “Through being able to use the inventory tool in a web-based and interactive way, it will allow communities and individual citizens to take a direct and active role in identifying the significant and valued structures that make up such a vital part of the country’s heritage assets. There has never been anything like this and the result will be to magnify and expand both interest in, and understanding of our built environment.”

Currently, the website includes entries from every province and territory in Canada. However, Building Stories will continue to grow into new communities, as new collections and archives are added to the fully searchable database, and as individuals comment on existing listings and contribute their own sites with stories, memories, digital artifacts, and photographs.

Building Stories has been developed by the Heritage Resources Centre (HRC) and the Computer Systems Group, both at the University of Waterloo, and the Centre for Community Mapping (COMAP).

The development and creation of The Building Stories Podcast series have been made possible by the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario and the Government of Ontario. The podcasts have been written, produced and hosted by Amy Barnes, a Heritage Consultant from Cambridge, Ontario.


For more information please contact:

Melissa Davies
Building Stories Project Manager
Heritage Resources Centre, University of Waterloo

519.888.4567 ext. 36921