On behalf of the Yukon Heritage Resources Board, I would like to thank the heritage and public communities for their support and assistance, both for us and for the territory’s heritage assets. We would, however, like to address an inaccurate statement from Friday’s Yukon News article about Taylor House.
While the board had been made aware that the commissioner was interested in obtaining the Taylor House for his office, at no time until the board received the eviction notice last week were we made aware that a decision had been made to undertake the change in tenant.
This was despite repeated requests to be kept apprised of any decisions that had been made and to be provided, should the decision be made to transfer the building to the commissioner, with sufficient notice to identify and move into suitable new accommodations.
After we were made aware in late 2012 of the commissioner’s interest, the board clarified for the Yukon government the board’s work and other uses of the building under the board’s tenure and provided letters of support from the heritage community for the board’s tenancy, whereupon the board’s lease for the building was renewed through April 2014, with automatic conversion to a month-to-month lease thereafter.
As recently as June of 2014, however, Yukon government representatives had assured the board that no decisions about a change in occupancy had been made, no changes were immediately imminent, and that if a decision to change tenants were to be made, the board would receive considerable notice.
The board was advised to continue operations as normal, including arranging for uses and maintenance of the Taylor House over the coming months.
While the fact that the Yukon government had considered transferring tenancy to the commissioner did not come as a surprise, that the decision had been made to do so and the short notice to vacate the building certainly did.
The board is encouraged that funds have now been found to undertake long-recognized and much-needed structural repairs to Taylor House and that the historic character of the building will be retained well into the future.
We wish the commissioner all the best in continuing a long tradition of sharing and interpreting the history of this exceptional historic site.
Anne Leckie, Chair
Yukon Heritage Resources Board