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Historic farmhouse destroyed by Sunday morning fire (update)

Now being investigated as an arson


On Monday afternoon, Waterloo Regional Police said the fire is now being investigated as an arson.

They also report there was a large gathering of people in the area before the fire was reported.

If you have any information, you are asked to call police at 519-570-977 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477. Anonymous tips can be submitted online at 

Original story:

A historically-significant farmhouse in southeast Cambridge in the process of being relocated to a nearby location to make room for a new subdivision was razed by fire early Sunday morning.

The farmhouse was officially located at 1395 Main St. and was slap dab in the middle of the new 419-unit Moffat Creek subdivision located just east of Wesley Boulevard.

Fire crews and police were called to the location around 4 a.m. but it was too late to save the building. By morning all that was left was a pile of rubble and burnt timbers.

The building had been placed on a large skid as it was to be moved to a more suitable location roughly 300 yards north of where it stood.

Police and a fire truck, occasionally watering down hot spots, remained on scene Sunday.

A neighbour who declined to give her name said she heard voices coming from the area late Saturday night and thought it was teenagers partying.

Around 4 a.m. she said she was woken by the sound of what she called "explosions" from the location. She called police but they were already responding to the location.

Just a few days ago crews were on site preparing a makeshift road to move the farmhouse to its new location where the developer planned on transforming it into a luxury home.

Moffat Creek is made up of 419 units built within 23 blocks featuring multiple-family residential units, mixed-terrace homes and townhouses.

In March, the city's heritage advisory committee accepted a Heritage Impact Assessment and designation for the home, and council approved the move. Last week, the city issued a foundation permit to allow the farmhouse to be relocated. 

The one-and-a-half storey limestone structure, built in the Ontario Cottage style with a Gothic revival central peak, was the subject of a 2019 investigation by Martin Simmons Architects that concluded there are no structural flaws and “no substantive reasons why this structure cannot be located.”

Once it’s relocated, the developer plans to build an addition on it with a two-car garage.

Located on land originally owned by Robert Dickson before it was transferred to Scottish native Thomas McKenzie in 1848, the house was built between 1855 and 1860, according to a preliminary heritage impact study completed in 2012. 

Dickson was no relation of Galt founder William Dickson and the property was deemed to have no significant historical value even though the city initiated a heritage designation on the farmhouse in 2012.

Fire and police could not immediately be reached for comment.

– with files from Doug Coxson

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