Vansittart Area Association Inc.

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Vansittart Area Association Inc.

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  • Textual record

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  • 1969 - 1981 (Creation)
    Vansittart Area Association Inc.

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Physical description

approx. 32 cm of textual records

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Archival description area

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(1971 - [?])

Administrative history

The Vansittart Area Association was formed on November 29, 1971 by citizens living in the Vansittart Avenue area who were opposed to the widening of the street beyond 34 feet between Dundas Street and Devonshire Avenue. At the time, the Mayor and City Council felt that in order to receive a 75% subsidy for reconstruction from the Provincial government that the road width would have to be increased to 40-46 feet. However, members of the general public feared such a width increase would not only increase truck traffic on residential streets but would affect the beauty and grandeur of Vansittart Avenue, a historic and principal street in the heart of Woodstock. Over the next three years much debate raged over the reconstruction of Vansittart Avenue with much discussion happening between the Vansittart Area Association, chaired by George A. Calder, and city council and public works department, local organizations such as the Men of Trees and other “Area Associations”, several provincial Ministries, and the local MPP and the local MP. Concerns raised related to not only the future width of the street, but the preservation of the trees along the boulevards, planting of flowers within Vansittart park, and the possibility of a ring road or truck by-pass to alleviate truck traffic along residential streets such as Vansittart Avenue.

The Association’s hard work and perseverance would eventually pay off. On April 4, 1974 City Council passed By-law No. 4827-73 which approved the reconstruction of Vansittart Avenue at a width of 34 feet, with work being expected to start in the spring of 1975 with provincial funding assured. On April 29, 1974 the Association was officially incorporated and given the name “Vansittart Area Association Incorporated”. Some of the main objectives of the newly incorporated Association were to safeguard and promote the interests of tenants and owners of real property in the Vansittart Avenue area; to co-ordinate the efforts of property owners and other organizations on matters of common interest; and to encourage community cohesiveness and maintain the stability of neighborhoods, with particular emphasis on preserving and restoring the residential character and quality of the environment of the Vansittart Avenue area. The Executive was made up of:

    George Alston Calder    - President
Thora Harvey - Vice President
Ray Kenneth Murray - Secretary
Thomas Ozzie Ramsay - Treasurer

Over the next four years the Association actively provided their input on the Official Plan for the City of Woodstock as well as the Official Plan for the County of Oxford with specific emphasis on transportation policies for the city, home occupations and the importance and necessity of historical building sites and conservation districts. The Association also provided their input on the Dillon Report, which was the internal traffic study for the city of Woodstock, and worked with other “Area Associations” such as the Devonshire Avenue Group and the Northdale Group to tackle traffic and construction issues within the city. The Association would also voice concern over train noise and the city of Woodstock’s proposed Anti-Whistling By-law; the proposed choice of the street lighting for residential streets; and Timard Properties Limited’s application to the Land Division Committee to sever three lots of the former, “Carbide” Wilson property which was previously owned by the Roman Catholic Diocese as St. Joseph’s Academy.

Reconstruction of Vansittart Avenue did not occur until 1978 with Aztec Contractors Limited of London, receiving the tender for the work. Once the construction work was finally completed in 1979 little is known about the existence of the Vansittart Area Association Inc. However, as of 2012, the work of the Association has ensured that Vansittart Avenue has remained a historical and visual focal point within the city of Woodstock.

Custodial history

The records were created or accumulated by George Calder and members of the Vansittart Area Association Inc. between 1969 and 1981. At some point, over the following 30 years these records were obtained by the Oxford Historical Society. In late 2011, the records were transferred to the Oxford County Archives when it moved to the newly-renovated Governor's House of the Old Oxford County Jail.

Scope and content

The fonds consist of a wide spectrum of documents that relate to the reconstruction of Vansittart Avenue and the formation, and subsequent activities of, the Vansittart Area Association Inc. Records range from the local, provincial and national level and include such topics as the road width, provincial government subsidy, street parking and lighting, tree preservation along the street and flower planting in the boulevard in Vansittart Park. The fonds also touches on the Association’s input into the possibility of a truck by-pass in Woodstock, the creation of the Oxford County Official Plan (specifically the section on historical buildings and sites), the selling of St. Joseph’s Academy building on Vansittart Avenue to Timard Properties, train noise within city limits, and the condition of 53 Vansittart Avenue. Materials included within the fonds include correspondence, newspaper clippings, agendas, and reports as well as maps and drawings.

Notes area

Physical condition

The materials in this collection are in good condition.

Immediate source of acquisition

The fonds was acquired in 2011 from the Oxford Historical Society.


Language of material

  • English

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The fonds is open to publish research. However, please contact the archivist responsible for the records regarding access, as some materials may be too fragile to handle. The Archives will make every effort to supply reference copies where feasible.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Copyright is held by the archives. Researchers are responsible for observing copyright regulations that may apply to the publication of their research. If you wish to publish any of this material, please contact the archivist responsible for the records.

The Archivist has the right to restrict reproduction if the material is in a fragile condition.

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