Senior says fight to save her home isn't over
LONDON, ONT. -- Nan Finlayson says the City of London wants her out by March 31.
But, Finlayson is sticking to her position, that she and her daughter “will tie themselves to the beds,” if the city forces her out of her heritage home in downtown London.
The London senior, who’s lived at 100 Stanley Street for 30 years, has been in a five-year battle with city hall to save her residence.
The city has said it requires the home and property to proceed with the widening of Wharncliffe Road South.
City plans show a crane would be erected in Finlayson’s current backyard, to replace and widen the rail overpass between Stanley and Horton streets.
But Finlayson, who prefers to be called Nan, is having none of it.
Her plight first came to public light after a CTV News story in Jan. 2017 sparked a groundswell of support and attention from other media outlets.
Since then, the city has offered to move her home, and just two months ago made a formal offer to purchase it outright.
Asked by CTV News Thursday if the offer was fair, she replied, “Yes, from one point of view.”
Nan says the offer comes with conditions she must meet, including:
• signing the offer sheet by Jan. 31
• vacating her home by Mar. 31
Nan says the city plans to move her home across the street to the corner of Evergreen and Wharncliffe, but that doesn’t mean she can live in it once it's there.
“I can keep it, if it buy it back,” she says.
Regardless, Nan says she has no plans to sign any documents and, for now, won’t vacate the home.
She’s also asking the public to help her.
An open house rally to save 100 Stanley Street is being planned for mid-January.
She expects the word to be spread on social media shortly.
Her latest argument to stop the move or demolition of her home is based on environmental and engineering claims.
She says the city has not looked seriously at other options to improve traffic flow, including a roundabout, or instead widening Wharncliffe on the opposite side of the street from her residence.
Further, Nan is upset the city says it will be looking to alter projects to meet its declared climate emergency, but seems to be ignoring the Wharncliffe widening.
She says it would destroy six mature trees on her lot, and a much coveted pollinator garden.
“The city has offered $8,000 to another group, in north London, to plant a pollinator garden, and yet they're going to destroy mine. I think it’s a huge, huge, mistake.”
CTV News has reached out to city official in charge of the Wharncliffe widening project, but to date he has not responded.
However, in an early interview, another official, city engineer Kelly Scherr did comment.
When asked by CTV News, if the Wharncliffe project would now need to go through the city’s climate emergency tool of qualifications, she stated, “That project is well underway…our intent would be to proceed with that project.”
Nan has submitted her latest concerns to city hall, but has yet to hear back.
She has sought legal opinion 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.