July 19, 2014
by Canadian Architect
The 2014 Top Ten Endangered Places List is released annually to bring national attention to sites at risk due to neglect, lack of funding, inappropriate development and weak legislation. From unique 19th-century landmarks to simple vernacular housing, stone railway stations to Modernist airports, heritage districts to single buildings, the list has become a powerful tool in the fight to make landmarks, not landfill.
The National Trust uses three primary criteria to determine the 10 final sites for inclusion on the list: significance of the site, rgency of the threat/potential for a positive and creative solution, and community support for its preservation.
The selection—presented here from the North to the West to the East coasts—was compiled from the results of The National Trust’s call for nominations as well as those stories and news items followed throughout the year.
*Robertson Headframe, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories: towering symbol of city’s gold-mining heritage threatened.
*Vancouver West Side Character Homes and Gardens, Shaughnessy, Kerrisdale, Point Grey and Dunbar Neighbourhoods, Vancouver, BC: demolition of original housing stock in favour of “monster” houses decimating affordable housing and character of Vancouver neighbourhoods.
*Paramount Theatre, 10233 Jasper Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta: curtains closing on downtown Edmonton’s last historic cinema.
*Petrie Building, 15 Wyndham Street North, Guelph, Ontario: a lack of capital investment leaves a once stunning and unique downtown landmark suffering from neglect.
*Former GTR Locomotive Repair Shops (also known as the Cooper Site), 350 Downie Street, Stratford, Ontario: this massive industrial structure may be sent to landfill despite creative suggestions for adaptive reuse.
*Nor’Wester Mountain Range and Loch Lomond Watershed Reserve, Blake Township, Neebing, Ontario: wind turbines trump culture and nature.
*Estate of the Pères de Sainte-Croix (Fathers of the Holy Cross), Notre-Dame-du-Bel-Air, Lac Simon, Regional Municipality of Papineau, Quebec: property owner circumvents heritage bylaw by making sale of lots contingent upon land severance.
*St. Alphonsus Church, New Victoria Highway, Victoria Mines, Nova Scotia: the survival of St. Alphonsus Church depends on the community’s fundraising abilities and a diocese willing to support their efforts.
*Gander International Airport Departures Lounge, 1000 James Blvd., Gander, Newfoundland: the most important Modernist room in Canada faces imminent destruction due to high operating costs and low passenger traffic.
*Federally owned Lighthouses across Canada: federally owned lighthouses deteriorate despite heritage legislation in Sambro Island, Nova Scotia; Terence Bay, Nova Scotia; Gannet Rock, New Brunswick; Nottawasaga Island, Ontario; Main Duck Island, Ontario; and many more across the country.
If you know a historic site that should be included on our list, contact Heritage Canada The National Trust at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, please visit www.heritagecanada.org/en/issues-campaigns/top-ten-endangered.
former GTR locomotive repair shops in stratford, ontario. photo courtesy of stratford perth heritage foundation.