Devereaux Conservation House

Devereaux Conservation House

Worried that the town's rural character was being lost in a sea of new homes for buyers from nearby Toronto, concerned residents of Halton Hills launched a campaign to save Devereaux House, a condemned town-owned 19th-century heritage home on 100 acres of farmland.

To forestall slated demolition, Friends of Devereaux House argued that energy-saving upgrades and renovations could transform the residence into a rentable, financially self-sufficient community meeting place. The town agreed, and added $150,000 to a $34,000 Green Municipal Fund grant and $400,000 in private donations to refit the house with a geothermal heating and cooling system, new energy-saving windows, on-demand water heaters and high-grade wall and roof insulation.

Devereaux House is now a popular spot for social events and home to a community soccer club. Rental revenue covers operating costs.


Environmental Economic Social
  • 89 per cent reduction in energy use from energy-efficient heating, other improvements
  • 23.8 tonnes of GHG emissions avoided annually thanks to geothermal heating
  • Rental income from community groups and functions covers operating costs
  • Lower heating bills over seven years offset geothermal installation costs
  • A popular venue for social events and home to a community soccer club
  • A model for sustainable heritage preservation,offering lessons on energy conservation


  • Finding contractors who shared the heritage group's conservation ethic.
  • Hiring builders with energy-efficient heritage restoration experience.
  • Persuading time-conscious tradespeople to restore, rather than replace, heritage features.

Lessons learned

  • Volunteer fundraising takes time. Be prepared to spend more than you expect.
  • Community members develop a sense of ownership in projects when they volunteer and help raise funds.
  • Municipal authorities are amendable to financially self-sustaining heritage projects.

Partners and Collaborators

Project Contact

Ann Lawlor
Friends of Devereaux House
Halton Hills, ON
T. 905-877-5662

Want to explore all GMF-funded projects? Check out the Projects Database for a complete overview of funded projects and get inspired by municipalities of all sizes, across Canada. 

Visit the projects database