Heritage designation aims to preserve iconic Halton Hills landmark

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Published February 13, 2024 at 10:04 pm

Sunderland Villa Acton Halton heritage designation
A heritage designation has been given to an iconic Acton home.

Halton Hills has given an Acton landmark a heritage designation.

Known as Sunderland Villa, built in 1879, the building sits on the corner of Mill Street E. and John Street and is now known as the Mackinnon Family Funeral Home.

The designation gives the building a certain level of protection and entitles the property owner to benefits and programs through the Town of Halton Hills including financial assistance.

Moreover, the designation is meant to preserve the building with the expectation that it be left standing for future generations to enjoy.

The designation was approved by Halton Hills council this week.

The building is considered an excellent example of the Queen Anne Style of home, popular amongst the wealthy upper middle classes upon its construction due to its design and uniqueness.

Since its early residential use, the Sunderland Villa has also served as a boarding house and hotel for veterans following WWI through the Great War Veterans Association. The building has been a funeral home since 1937.

Interestingly, the structure was the first residence in Acton to be heated by steam as owner and entrepreneur William Heslop Storey had
steam piped from his glove factory, Canada Glove Works, to keep the large house warm in winter months.

Current owner Dignity Memorials’ Managing Director for Ontario South, Jay Branton, is supportive of the designation which allows the continued conservation of the property.

“The Sunderland Villa…is a unique and prominent place for the community of Acton to come together to honour their loved ones,” said Branton. “We are committed to be respectful of the building’s architecture, so the funeral home can continue to serve today’s families while reflecting the cherished backstory of days gone by.”

 

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