Schneider Haus Provides A Gateway to Our Past

Karen Redman
Oct 11, 2017

I was one of those mothers who loves local history. Throughout our children's school years, I dragged them to museums whenever there was a PD day. One of my personal favorites was Schneider Haus. While I represented Kitchener Centre in Ottawa as an MP, the staff at Schneider Haus began the process to have it designated as a National Historical Site. I was happy to assist in any way possible.  Schneider Haus is located on Queen street in Kitchener on the original site of the settlers who made this community the thriving hub of enterprise that it continues to be today. For me it has an amazing sense of place and tranquility in the middle of a busy city. Recently the Region has proposed to demolish two homes adjacent to the property. These homes are owned by the Region and cannot be used in any capacity without major expensive repair. The houses are not architecturally significant.  The land however, could provide a significant enhancement to the Schneider Hause property by extending the gardens and providing a more authentic view of the homestead from the South. Due to the entire Victoria Park neighbourhood having a heritage designation, the demolition of the two homes at the corner of Schneider Avenue and Queen Street requires balancing two completing heritage needs. In my view, I agree with the many neighbours, local experts, historians and patrons of the museum who support the demolition but are asking for assurance that this will never be turned into parking and that the community gardens across Queen Street will not be impacted. Enlarging the footprint of the Schneider Haus is the right thing to do for now and for future generations.