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Leamington Council Approves Restoration Of The Big Tomato

Wednesday January 31st, 2024, 11:09am

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Leamington photo

Leamington Council has approved the restoration of Leamington’s iconic landmark, the Big Tomato.

This unique structure, a collaborative creation between the HJ Heinz Company of Canada Ltd., and the Town of Leamington, was designed in 1960 and built in 1961. Serving as a tourist information booth for nearly six decades until 2019.

For over 60 years, the structure has faced natural degradation, including deterioration of materials and water damage. However, a recent condition analysis confirmed that the Big Tomato is suitable for rehabilitation. This restoration project is expected to be completed this summer, just in time for Leamington’s 150th anniversary celebrations. The project will involve removing surrounding shrubs, aiding the renovation process and paving the way for enhanced landscaping and aesthetic improvements.

While the digital age has shifted the need for physical tourist information centers, post-restoration, the structure will be repurposed for various community-oriented activities. The Big Tomato will be a versatile space for community events, including beverage sales during Mill St. Markets and other forms of targeted civic engagement.

“The Big Tomato is not just an architectural piece; it’s a cherished emblem of Leamington’s heritage and community identity. This restoration is a step toward preserving our history while adapting it to serve our current and future generations. We’re excited to see the Big Tomato flourish once again as a vibrant hub for events and community engagement,” said Mayor Hilda MacDonald.

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