Adaptive Re-use of the Caledonia Old Mill

Visioning Session-July 2008

On July 22, 2008, community members participated in a visioning session—the first step in a community consultation process to determine an appropriate use for the mill.

Visioning session wrap-up at the Grand Trunk Train Station

To set the stage for visioning, participants were asked to close their eyes and imagine that the year is 2015 in Caledonia, and that the now restored mill is one of the town’s most significant historic icons.  People were then prompted to describe what kinds of activities they imagined going on at the mill in 2015, and who was participating.  They were also asked to describe what the mill looked like (inside and out), and to also surmise how the adaptation of the mill was made possible. 

Small-group discussions followed and were divided into four 25 minute mini-sessions—each session focused on one of the four questions asked.

Sketch paper, markers, photographs and other graphic tools were scattered amongst the tables which people used to expressed the many ideas that they had for the mill.  Four facilitators helped to capture the flurry of exchange on flip charts and also helped to guide discussions along. 

Results from the session are currently being compiled and will form part of the final report of
findings to be completed by December.

What Does the Old Mill Mean to People?

What does the Old Mill mean to people in the community?  What words would they use to describe the mill today, and how do they envision the mill in the future?

This is exactly what participants were asked as part of warm-up exercises used to energize imaginative, innovative thinking prior to small-group discussions.  Participants were asked to pick only one word and not to think too hard, so responses are really right ’from-the-gut’. 

The word-wheels illustrate the exact words people chose and also clearly highlight the diversity of visions for the mill.  They also show us that in spite of the challenges that may be ahead, people for the most part are optimistic and see the mill as having a future role in the community.

Words describing how people see the mill today and in the year 2015