“It’s about more than the architecture; the values of our environment are not singledimensional,” he said in an interview.
As Shipley and three co-authors in the School of Planning noted in their 2008 study of Upper Doon, the intent of its heritage designation was to conserve “the intrinsic rural and historic character of the village” and ensure development within and beyond the village did not destroy it. Attributes to be protected were the small village atmosphere and “strengthening of a neighbourly quality.”
Quoting the study, “The district’s value was seen in a random cluster of historic and new buildings set in a valley with an expansive treescape.... It’s unplanned quality and harmonious blend of built structures and natural features was different from the new subdivisions that encircled the area....”
A survey distributed in Upper Doon as part of that study received responses from 43 residents. Half lived in Doon prior to the heritage designation, and most said they felt good or at least neutral about it.
Several respondents were unhappy about the extent of encroachment the city had allowed for adjacent subdivisions and wished for more developmental controls around the designated area.
Late last fall, two adjacent properties on Doon Village Road were discussed by Kitchener city council after the planning department approved applications to replace two houses at 1094 and 1112 Doon Village Rd., dating back to 1872 and 1952 respectively, with two 4,700-square-foot houses, each with a four-car garage, on lots, with a combined area of roughly 2.5 acres.