Heritage treasures from British Columbia to Nova Scotia are featured on the National Trust for Canada’s Top 10 Endangered Places List for 2017.
First launched in 2005, the annual list spotlights historic places at risk due to neglect, lack of funding, inappropriate development or weak legislation.
“Canadians care about their special places, yet they face powerful forces that threaten to destroy them,” said Natalie Bull, executive director. “The National Trust’s Top 10 Endangered Places List has become a powerful tool in the fight to save places that matter.”
The list is compiled, in no particular order, from nominations submitted and from reports and news items that the National Trust has been following throughout the year. The national attention it brings may even play a role in reviving places that matter. For instance, the Guild Inn in Scarborough, Ontario was included in the Top 10 Endangered Places List in 2011 due to its risk of demolition by neglect. Today, the building and the surrounding public park have undergone a $20 million transformation.
Top 10 Endangered Places
The Black Horse Pub and Pig’s Ear Tavern (Peterborough, Ontario)
Not only well-known watering holes, but also landmarks in Peterborough’s downtown core. Both bars stand on either side of the historic Morrow Building, built in 1878-79.
Saint-Germain Cathedral (Rimouski, Quebec)
An iconic Roman Catholic Church in limbo, the structure was built between 1854 and 1862 and designed by the prominent French Canadian architect, Victor Bourgeau.
Young Avenue (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
Serial demolition undermines the character of a historic residential boulevard. In 1896, the City of Halifax passed an act which encouraged beautification of the avenue and limited construction on the avenue; however, the act is no longer in effect.
Davisville Junior Public School/ Spectrum Alternative Senior School (Toronto, Ontario)
An exceptional mid-century modern school designed by noted architects Frederick Etherington and Peter Pennington. The Toronto District School Board intends to tear down it in 2020 after a new school is built next door.
Wallingford-Back Mine (Mulgrave-et-Derry, Quebec)
A stunning industrial landscape that became a beloved, recreational asset is threatened with destruction. It was first exploited by miners in 1924 to produce feldspar and quartz, and would later become one of the largest mines in North America.
Bryn Mawr (St. Johns, Newfoundland)
A historic former summer home and local landmark that us being threatened with demolition. Built in 1907, the residence was provincially designated by the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador and was municipally designated by the City of St. John’s in 2016.
Manie Opera Society (Lethbridge, Alberta)
The oldest building in downtown Lethbridge’s Chinatown district: empty, crumbling and awaiting reuse. The two-storey, flat roofed, stucco commercial building speaks to Chinese emigration to southern Alberta in the 1880s and 1890s and the once thriving Chinese Canadian commercial neighbourhood.
Somerset House (Ottawa, Ontario)
Derelict for 10 years, this landmark downtown building is teetering on the brink. A key building in the Centretown Heritage Conservation District, this Queen Anne style building has served many purposes and is now at the centre of a decade-long battle between the owner and the city.
Hangar 11 (Edmonton, Alberta)
One of the last World World II hangars at the former Edmonton Municipal Airport. Edmonton City Council has approved the redevelopment of the overall Blatchford Field site to accommodate a sustainable community. Hangar 11 is listed on the City’s Inventory of Historic Resources, but is not protected by formal designation.
Sinclair Centre (Vancouver, B.C)
For over a century, four federal heritage buildings have made up the Sinclair Centre, which is now at risk from office tower development. These buildings are listed on the City of Vancouver’s Heritage Register and identified as prominent and highly valued heritage buildings.