For much of the 20th century, the Township Hall on Mill Street North continued to serve as the offices and Council Chamber for East Flamborough Township. After provincial government School Inspectors condemned and closed the upper floor classrooms of the Waterdown Public and High School in Sealey Park, the township’s School Board was forced to find new accommodation for the senior students throughout the village. For more than a year, the upper floor of the township hall was used as classrooms, together with Grace Anglican Church, while the new school on Mill Street North was completed.
In 1966, the hall underwent extensive renovations, under the direction of renowned Waterdown architect, Arthur Wallace, as part of the village’s Centennial celebrations. The exterior walls were re-pointed and during the following year, the interior was gutted and completely modernized. During the work on the upper floor, a painting of King William of Orange mounted on a horse was discovered on the west wall, the location of the Loyal Orange Order’s meeting room at the turn of the century.
The last meeting of the East Flamborough Township Council was held in 1973, as the implementation of regional government in Hamilton and Wentworth County necessitated a new headquarters on Dundas Street. For almost four years the building remained empty. Under the urging of the Flamborough L.A.C.A.C., the architectural and historical significance of the hall was recognised by Flamborough Township Council in 1978 and it was designated a heritage property under the Ontario Heritage Act. A year later, the building became the focus of a centennial project to commemorate Waterdown’s incorporation as a village. Fundraising events and activities during the year-long celebration produced the necessary monies to renovate the interior and for the historic building to be brought back to life as the new home of the Waterdown Library.
Sylvia Wray is the former archivist with the Flamborough Archives. She can be reached through the Archives at email@example.com.
This article was originally published in the Flamborough Review, 29 June 2007.