Friends and supporters rally for Nan Finlayson
LONDON, ONT. -- Friends and supporters rallied against the demolition of 100 Stanley Street on Saturday.
"Hey hey, ho ho, Nan doesn't have to go," was a chant echoing through west London.
Advocates for Nan Finlayson took to the streets to rally in support of the London senior and her heritage home.
"I believe in saving her house for many reasons," says friend and neighbour Tania Dupon-Martinez. "There is heritage and environmental reasons, and I don't think seniors shouldn't be treated like this. It's heartbreaking."
Finlayson was overwhelmed by the support, calling it "heartwarming."
"It's huge. There is people from my community and my school," says Finlayson.
With a city of London imposed deadline approaching to sign a deal, this rally comes at an opportune time.. Finlayson has to sign an agreement with the city by Friday. However at this point, she has no plans to put pen to paper.
"I'm waiting the report on how moveable the house is, so I’m not about to sign until I get those questions answered.
The city of London has been trying for five years to either move or demolish her home to make way for the widening of Wharncliffe road. Heritage and traffic advocates like David Chamberlain aren't in favour of the plan.
"Naturalized gardens should be preserved, and we're in favour of preserving heritage," says Chamberlain.
"I'm especially worried about inducing more traffic. The city's plan to widen this road will simply make this an even busier street."
About 40 people showed up to hold signs and chant. Phrases like "clap your hands, stomp your feet, save 100 Stanley St.' were used. At one point those holding signs, even stepped out onto Wharncliffe Road and stopped traffic.
Prior to the rally, Finlayson invited everyone into her home for entertainment, snacks and to write hand written letters which will be delivered to city hall. Rima Sater has come to know Finlayson through the London Public Library. Nan comes into her work a couple of times of week to use the computers and deal with all the logistics over the past five years.
"She's such a strong woman, and she has so much integrity to help save her home,“ says Sater. "That's all we want for her as well."
Despite the deadline approaching, Finlayson isn't feeling stress.
"I think I’ve remained fairly calm about hit all," added Finlayson. "I think it's because I’m so passionate about saving the home and the property the gardens. And it’s the support of all these people that has helped me though all this."
Nan is still awaiting legal advice about what will happen to her and her home, if she does not sign the city’s offer and vacate 100 Stanley by March 31.