This historic Chilliwack home can be yours for a low, low price … nothing


This is a fixing top – but you can not beat the price.

The owner of the house, who spent 125 years on the Wellington Avenue in Chilliwack, is ready to give it free.

But here is the catch: the new owner will have to move the house to another location, which will cost about $ 50,000.

If no one comes to his solution, the house that Merlin Bunt's ancestors lived about 120 years ago will be demolished to create a space for multi-family development.

"This is a tangible part of my personal history," Bunt said. "It's in danger now."

Prime Minister Mackenzie King had tea in the Paisley House yard during a visit in the 1930s, says Merlin Bunt. (Jesse Johnston / CBC)

When PM fell to tea

Louis Paisley built a house in 1894 and sold it to Bunt's great-grandfather Isaac Kippa in 1899.

"He was the so-called father of Chilliwack and my grandmother came here when she was small and played in a stable," Bunt said.

"They were strong people, they played piano and had eight children, one was my grandmother."

Bunt says that Kippi was such a big business in the city that Prime Minister Mackenzie King carried out in 1930.

"He had tea with my grandmother in the yard," Bunt said.

However, he admitted that, despite his attractive price, saving home would require a substantial sum.

"In order to preserve this place, a deep-seated heritage enthusiast will be needed," he said.

Chilliwack President Laura Reid wants to see the city offer incentives to developers to include historic buildings in their projects. (Jesse Johnston / CBC)

"Heritage Action Plan"

Chilliwack's list of historical monuments has not been updated since the early nineties, as Coun states. Jason Lum – and that means many can go unprotected.

Lum says that new guidelines are being developed to preserve the history of the city.

"We had several applications that submitted homes that have an important heritage value," Lum said.

"Instead of dealing with them only once, I thought it would be wise to study the Heritage Action Plan," he said.

President Chilliwack of the Heritage Society Laura Reid wants to see an action plan that includes incentives for developers to store real estate, such as Paisley House.

"I think that there are opportunities not to stop the development, but to be a little more ahead in thinking," she said.

"There are ways to incorporate these wonderful heritage homes into new events, not just delete them."

Lum and Reid draw attention to the continuing revitalization of the Chilliwack Center as an example of how we can integrate historic buildings into new projects.


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