In our neighbourhood – as in yours I’m sure – the old makes way for the new. And it’s disappointing at best and heart-breaking at its worst to see fine old homes ripped down for cookie-cutter-mini mansions (in our neighbourhood) or mega-mansions (in richer neighbourhoods). We had a moment’s worry when the homes on either side of our two-house compound were sold, but luck was with us, the new owners have renovated a bit and moved into the original structures.
Tearing down old houses creates waste and lots of it. Each demolished home sends 50 tonnes of material to the landfill. Often homes are ripped down with no thought of recycling the building materials.
But not in Gimli. Gimli, Manitoba. According to this story in the Interlake Enterprise newspaper, clever Melanie Casselman is recycling homes rescued from nearby Winnipeg and putting them on lots in Gimli.
It’s a great idea, and not just because it saves money for the developers (because they don’t have to pay for demolishing) and not just because it puts up instant homes in a growing community. It’s a great idea because it perfectly embraces the idea that we don’t just throw things out. We try to save as much as we can.
Well done, Melanie Casselman! Bravo Gimli!
Full disclosure, Melanie Casselman is a distant cousin of my son-in-law. Further disclosure, I went to college with a girl from Gimli, a natural Icelandic blond by name of Solvason.