Auchmar is a hidden jewel, hiding in plain site at the corner of Fennel and West 5th. Built in the 1880s by the Honourable Isaac Buchanan a merchant, philanthropist and politician, it is the only City owned heritage site on the Hamilton Mountain. The house itself sits on 9 acres of heritage gardens which include apple and cherry trees that date back to Auchmar’s construction. Because of the highly historical nature of the house, the dovecote, the carriage house, and the grounds themselves many heritage easements exist on the property to prohibit most kinds of development.
The City recently held an RFP process for private interests to present their plans for Auchmar. Two bidders came forward but neither scored high enough in this process to be accepted. Staff then recommended that Auchmar be sold to a private owner. As the ward councillor I have worked hard to find a way to allow for this building to be both restored and remain in public hands.
I believe this estate is too special to simply be sold to private interests. It is my hope that working with the community and city staff and reaching out to other levels of government that the funding can be found to restore Auchmar and keep it in public hands.