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He Was a Local Legend

January 9, 2018

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Developer re-shaped Caledonia

April 14, 2017

Barbara A. Martindale- For What It's Worth 2012

Before Alan Alderson came along, Caledonia hadn’t seen development quite like it

before. He changed the residential face of Caledonia.

 

A hard nosed shrewd, businessman, Alderson worked within the framework of the rules

but cleverly moved them out as far as he could. He knew the ground rules of development, knew

the law and could get a subdivision going where others couldn’t. It was said that he clearly knew

his goals.

 

Alderson was said also to be a planner with expertise. He was one who once he gave you

his word, you could rely on it even though at times he might have to be backed up against the

wall to get it.

 

Alan Alderson was active in development in Caledonia for 15 years from the mid 1960's

to approximately 1980. During that time, Caledonia was reshaped from the north to the south,

east and west.

 

He began his business prowess as a farmer with a prize herd of dual purpose shorthorns

and he bought and sold cattle all over Ontario. His development career commenced when he

subdivided his father’s farm at Ryckman’s Corners into the Aldercrest survey.

 

Alderson’s first development in Caledonia was McKenzie Crescent at the north west end

of town. In 1966-67, he built the Grandview Terrace Apartments.

 

The Glengarry Heights subdivision to the south east, near the Caledonia Cemetery, was

developed by Alderson in the early 1970's. He built the downtown Scotiabank building about the same time.

 

With other local developers, in the mid 1970's, Paisley Square was established. Then in

the late 1970's, Alderson built the first dozen homes in the Haller Heights sub division.

Alan Alderson realized the potential of Caledonia. Those who knew him well said Alan was an astute businessman and highly intelligent, always a nice guy when you got to know him.

A line often used in jest when Alan Alderson entered the Sachem office in those days

was: Well Alan what are you doing today, buying or selling? If he was dressed up, he was

selling, if he was in his rubber boots and dressed down, he was buying.

 

There are no photographs in Sachem files of Alan Alderson, at least none in research

material. That, too, was a characteristic - quietly, but in an aggressive manner, going about his

business without fanfare.

 

Alan Alderson passed away at age 62 on April 30, 1981.

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