August 14, 2010
by Canadian Architect
The Heritage Canada Foundation (HCF) has released its Top Ten Endangered Places and Worst Losses Lists drawing attention to a total of 16 architectural and heritage sites in Canada either threatened with demolition or already lost.
The Top Ten Endangered Places List, compiled from nominations received as well as from news items that HCF has been following and reporting on throughout the year includes:
* Canada’s Lighthouses – Department of Fisheries and Oceans decision to declare virtually all its lighthouses surplus emasculates the new Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act
* Kitsilano Senior Secondary and Vancouver schools, Vancouver – Provincial seismic upgrade funding is being used to replace rather than upgrade historic schools – a seismic shakedown
* Calgary Brewing and Malting Co., Calgary – four of the site’s oldest buildings threatened with demolition with no redevelopment plan in place
* Warehouse District, Winnipeg – unrivalled turn-of-the-century concentration of buildings succumbing to parking lots and megaprojects
* Views of Ontario Legislative Assembly Building, Queen’s Park, Toronto – a massive precedent-setting condo tower project will erase iconic silhouette
* Lansdowne Park, Ottawa – massive redevelopment project incompatible with heritage of 142-year-old park – selling a public legacy short
* Porter/McKinley Block, Ridgetown, Ontario – a designated heritage landmark – a case of demolition by neglect
* Redpath Mansion, Montréal – last vestige of city’s famed Square Mile is hovering on the brink of collapse
* “Company Houses” of Industrial Cape Breton, Nova Scotia – the once prolific workers cottages are suffering from neglect, abandonment, and vandalism
*St. Philip’s Anglican Church, Portugal Cove-St. Phillip’s, NL – the 115-year-old “Church By The Sea” in need of salvation
Topping the Worst Losses List are the 41 predominantly mid-19th-century commercial buildings on Colborne Street in Brantford, Ontario, tragically demolished in the name of “urban renewal” which cast aside viable opportunities for their reuse and recycling.
Other examples of historic places needlessly destroyed by the wrecking ball in Ontario include Toronto’s heritage-designated Downsview Hangars, and Hamilton’s historic Century Theatre lost to unenforced property standards bylaws.
In Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, over a dozen historic buildings and hotels from the early 20th century were consigned to landfill to make way for a municipal sports complex.
Elsewhere on the Prairie, the Fleming Grain Elevator, the oldest remaining grain elevator on its original site in Canada, was tragically lost to fire, as was the Watson Lake Hotel, the oldest building in Watson Lake, Yukon.
The Heritage Canada Foundation is a national, membership-based, non-profit organization with a mandate to promote the preservation of Canada’s historic buildings and places.
For more information, please visit www.heritagecanada.org/eng/main.html.