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Calgary's Heritage Resources

Surrealplaces

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I find all over North America, that trades get paid differently in different areas, and it can range fairly drastically depending on local circumstance. Surprisingly it's not always dependent on how expensive the local economy is. I had some work done in South Carolina, and after getting all kinds of quotes, found it was about the same as Calgary. A friend of mine got the same work done (a new roof) in San Jose, which is a notoriously expensive city and his quotes were almost half the price using the same shingles. costs are whatever the local market seems to be set at. Alberta, even in a downturn is still more expensive than most places I find. From experience, much more expensive than Virden, Manitoba.
 

JoeUrban

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Definitely the cost of trades is a good place to start. I'm going to dig a bit deeper and see what I come up with.
I was looking at the very expensive work being done on old city hall, and it appears we have needed to bring stone masons out here from eastern Canada to do the work. I would be nice if we could get a big enough heritage restoration market going here in Alberta to not need to outsource that kind of skilled work, I can't imagine paying for workers to fly out here and work remotely for months is cheap.
 

Rollerstud98

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Definitely the cost of trades is a good place to start. I'm going to dig a bit deeper and see what I come up with.
I was looking at the very expensive work being done on old city hall, and it appears we have needed to bring stone masons out here from eastern Canada to do the work. I would be nice if we could get a big enough heritage restoration market going here in Alberta to not need to outsource that kind of skilled work, I can't imagine paying for workers to fly out here and work remotely for months is cheap.
You would be surprised. We have been underbid by companies from bc as they were payed 15-20 less an hour than we were for jman rate. Even with hotels they were still able to beat us and be profitable.
 

JonnyCanuck

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Another loss of a heritage property.
The article did not clearly outline the circumstances behind this. Did the previous owner sell to a developer and if so, to do what with the property? Was the property falling apart and the cost for refurbishment too exorbitant?
It's one thing to declare a house a heritage building but if the owner does not want to invest more money in the upkeep, does the city have to step in and takeover at taxpayers' expense every time? In Mount Royal, it is hard to envision what the house could be re-purposed for. You can only have so many 'Lougheed house type' situations in the city.
 

JoeUrban

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The article did not clearly outline the circumstances behind this. Did the previous owner sell to a developer and if so, to do what with the property? Was the property falling apart and the cost for refurbishment too exorbitant?
It's one thing to declare a house a heritage building but if the owner does not want to invest more money in the upkeep, does the city have to step in and takeover at taxpayers' expense every time? In Mount Royal, it is hard to envision what the house could be re-purposed for. You can only have so many 'Lougheed house type' situations in the city.
Another reason for a US style tax credit system so that home owners can use that themselves without needing the government to step in.

  • Don't upzone heritage properties as part of blanket community upzoning without specific measures in place to exclude those properties or allow the owner to take advantage of the kind of windfall an upzoning brings without needing to demolish.
  • Tax credits.

The Rehabilitation Tax Credit system in the US put in place in the mid 1970s has helped restore 41,000 properties and helped create $84 billion in economic development.
 

Disraeli

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The article did not clearly outline the circumstances behind this. Did the previous owner sell to a developer and if so, to do what with the property? Was the property falling apart and the cost for refurbishment too exorbitant?
It's one thing to declare a house a heritage building but if the owner does not want to invest more money in the upkeep, does the city have to step in and takeover at taxpayers' expense every time? In Mount Royal, it is hard to envision what the house could be re-purposed for. You can only have so many 'Lougheed house type' situations in the city.
I assume it is to build some modern mansion which is typically the case when something gets demolished in Mount Royal. They didn't need to repurpose the Cope House, they just needed to live in it.
 

Mountain Man

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Another loss of a heritage property.
I'm not super concerned with private houses on lots like this one getting demolished. These buildings are on quiet streets and are mostly obscured by large trees (the loss of which I lament more than the house lol). Big buildings and historic houses in prominent locations (Like Enoch was) should be saved, but I'm not sold on saving things just because they are old.

I assume it is to build some modern mansion which is typically the case when something gets demolished in Mount Royal. They didn't need to repurpose the Cope House, they just needed to live in it.
This is exactly the scenario. The are building a big modern mansion on the site, not my favourite design, but it looks like quite the house!
 

Cowtown

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JoeUrban

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Heavily paraphrasing essentially council unanimously approved having heritage planning return Q4 with proposals after investigating the list I posted for suitability in Calgary.
 

JoeUrban

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Some news on this front. This summer the Heritage Planning department with the help of a consultant completed a 'windshield' survey of basically all of the innercity to make note of buildings that had a significant amount of remaining historical integrity, had at least some stylistic elements, and was built prior to 1949. This resulted in a list of over 2000 sites. The best way to classify these sites are 'potential historical resources' vs the city's Inventory of Evaluated Historical Resources.

The inventory helps identify sites that have been deemed to have historical value by way of professional evaluations but unfortunately since even after some decades it has never been close to being completed, the absence of a site from that list doesn't in any way mean it's not a valuable resource. The survey work this summer was sort of the first pass filter to create a list that can now be looked at to determine which should be evaluated for potential inclusion on the inventory. Once that is done the inventory will finally be up to date. Also any sites from this list of 2000 that don't make the inventory would still likely be included as contributing sites to a historical district should any ever be created in Calgary.
 
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JoeUrban

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Also Calgary Brewing & Malting Company site aka Inglewood Brewery news.
Late in 2019 the Minister of Culture and site owners came to a covenant agreement on 3 of the buildings where the owners will maintain the current condition and not undertake any destructive modifications for the next 10 years (I'm heavily paraphrasing).

The buildings being protected are:
1905 Boiler house & Smokestack
1907 Office
1913 Engine Room

Here they are in their current state and an artistic rendering of how they could look restored

1905 Boiler house & smokestack

Current
1905 Boiler.png


Rendering
1905 Boiler-restored.png


1907 Office

Current
1907 Office.jpg


1913 Engine room

Current
1913 Engine.png


Rendering
1913 Engine-restored.png


This graphic shows the current state of the site

In Blue are the newly protected sites.
In Light Orange are the sites that the owner applied to demolish about a decade ago
In Dark Orange are the sites that the owner indicated would be demolished as part of a planned 1947 Bottling Plant restoration
in dark grey are newer sites not considered to be historic
Sites not coloured are not considered to be at specific risk

Calgary Brewery shrunk.jpg


This what I would consider a good start, however there are easily another 4+ buildings of equal or more historical and/or architectural value in the proposed demolition zone, and a very concerning thing about the covenant is this paragraph:

AND WHEREAS the Owner has determined to modify, demolish, relocate, excavate or otherwise change or remove the balance of the buildings and improvements, other than the "Protected Buildings", subject to all applicable laws, permits and approvals as such do not have historical value or are beyond repair and restoration;

Which comes across as being the Province putting in writing that no other buildings on the site have a) historical value and/or are b) beyond any saving which a) does not align at all with the most recent Historic Resource Impact Assessment and b) is based on what evidence exactly?
 
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JoeUrban

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Heavily paraphrasing essentially council unanimously approved having heritage planning return Q4 with proposals after investigating the list I posted for suitability in Calgary.
This has now been postponed until Q2 2020. I believe the resignation of the senior heritage planner has partially caused this delay.
 

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