Posted by: Paul Jenkins | March 14, 2008

Our Alma – An Open Letter to Ontario’s Minister of Culture – Part III

Honourable Aileen Carroll:

Tomorrow is an important day for the citizens of my hometown, St. Thomas, Ontario. Your immediate intervention is required to stop the demolition of Alma College.

I would like you to apply the powers of your authority to not just save a heritage building from unnecessary destruction, but to show how it can be done through public and private partnership

Your decision could be the catalyst for the foundation of Ontario’s newest university. Alma College is a significant asset to its city – its storied history demands the Liberal government take leadership of it.

Eerie and Endangered, a Facebook group, dedicated to preserving Alma College, has confirmation that current owner George Zubick is interested in selling the property. Plus, there is already a disinterested tenant waiting in the wings.

All that is missing is lead support from the government of Ontario – a commitment of $10 million to be matched by the federal government. The economic diversification offered by a functioning Alma College is well worth the initial investment.

St. Thomas is part of Canada’s tenth largest city – a town that has produced, at times, the greatest hockey player in the world; and at others, a Hollywood actress and Ontario Premier. It has played host to a Disney movie and the Canada Games.

St. Thomas deserves a successful, operating, contributing Alma College – instead of a crumbling school. It deserves the provincial government to stand up and make Alma College right. The citizens of my hometown have earned this piece of their history and deserve to keep it.

I am prepared to organize a team to raise matching private funds for the property’s purchase and development and, to decide on a tenant.

As such, Aileen Carroll, it all starts with you. Alma College needs 60 more days and $10 million. In return, the city, province and country get to bring back to life, 131 years of history and a strong, internationally recognized brand.

I would like to thank you in advance for the time and consideration that you have shown my proposal. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Kind Regards,
Paul Jenkins



  1. This is the first I’ve heard of this, and it’s a shame this historic landmark may fall.. For a Country that is pround of it’s history and heritage, why is this going to take place? Good luck Paul.. and God Bless!!

  2. Thank you for bringing the possible demolition of Alma College to my attention. People need to know about this, especially Aileen Carroll and everyone else who can do something to stop this. The word needs to get out so the Ontario government can know that the people of St Thomas regard Alma College as a special part of the city’s history and one that is worth saving. This is our city’s history and heritage. Alma College needs to be saved! I hope your efforts pay off, Paul. Thank you for taking the lead on this cause.

  3. I think it’s great that you are bringing this issue forward Paul, I would be interested in assiting you in organizing a fund raiser, let me know what I can do to help.

  4. Excellent Paul. Often it feels like there is nothing we can do, but with your lead there is. Keep me posted and keep the passion alive on this one. It is so shameful that Alma college might be torn down when there are things to be done.

  5. Congratulations, Paul. It is reassuring to a person of my generation (pre-boomer!) to find someone of your generation who is working to protect the heritage of St. Thomas. Too much of it is being lost and sacrificed to commercial greed. Alma College is a beautiful building. I remember visiting it when it was still a girls’ school and being impressed by its appearance and splendour. It is even more important to me on a strictly personal level because one of my granddaughters (Kaitlyn) always used to point to it and say “There’s Cinderella’s castle”!! So for many reasons it must be preserved!

  6. I really appreciate everyone’s support for Alma College. If the ol’ school could talk, I’m sure she’d say the same thing. Perhaps we’ll have to wait for the voice of Alma’s ghost, Angela.
    I’m still waiting for a response from the Minister of Culture, though. When (and if) it comes, I’ll provide concrete actions we, (as a community past and present), can take.
    There’s going to be lots of work to get done and I might take you up on your offers of help.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: