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Heritage Designation

posted by: The Royal Hotel Chilliwack on: January 29, 2019 10:23:40 AM

Gervan House on First Avenue (rear of house)

Have you ever walked by a well-kept historically significant home or building in your neighbourhood and thought “that building sure is old – it must be protected”?

Just because a home or building is old, or historically significant, does not necessarily mean that it is protected.

What exactly is Heritage Designation and how does it affect my community?

Heritage designation is a voluntary process that allows an owner of a heritage home or building to apply to the City of Chilliwack for protection through a municipal bylaw. Currently there are just 15 designated sites in Chilliwack. The designation is added to the property’s title and registered in Victoria.

Jean McNaughton Park 45951 Victoria Ave. February 17, 1992
Caskey House 9467 Corbould St. Nov. 21, 1994
Carmichael House 45614 Spadina Ave. May 16, 1994
Walker House 9079 Banford Rd. October 30, 1989
Princess Armories 45707 Princess Ave. Feb. 25, 1991
Yarrow Post Office Wilson Rd. February 14, 1983
Promontory Womens’ Institute Hall 5650 Teskey Way August 2, 1988
Portion of Highway known as Old Yale Wagon Road Majuba Hill Rd. February 14, 1983
Former City Hall 45820 Spadina Ave. January 26, 1981
Gervan House 46054 First Ave. June 18, 2013
Stonehurst House 46290 Yale Rd. June 18, 2013
Brock House 46063 Gore Ave. February 4, 2014
Adanac House 46860 Adanac Ave. November 21, 1994
Skelton House 45483 Spadina Ave. March 20, 2018
Rolfe House 45621 Wellington Ave. May 15, 2018

Skelton House on Spadina Ave.

And according to Canada’s Historic Places “a historic place is a structure, building, group of buildings, district, landscape, archaeological site or other place in Canada that has been formally recognized for its heritage value by an appropriate authority within a jurisdiction”.

Stonehurst on Yale Road
image credit: Chilliwack Museum & Archives

These heritage properties give communities a distinctive character, a sense of identity, and connect us to our past. Historic preservation also acts as a positive economic force by creating jobs while simultaneously increasing property values. It revitalizes residential neighbourhoods and downtowns and adds character to new developments when re-purposed heritage buildings are included.

Brock House on Gore Ave.

Below are the criteria used by the City of Victoria when assessing the possible heritage value of a particular building. (Taken from their website)

Architectural Criteria
  • Style/type: Is the building style representative of one of the City’s significant development periods? Is the building associated with a significant industrial, institutional, commercial or transportation activity?
  • Design: Are the buildings notable of special attributes of an aesthetic or functional nature? These may include massing, proportion, materials, detail, fenestration, ornamentation, artwork, functional layout, landmark status or symbolic value.
  • Construction: Does the building use unique or uncommon building materials, or an early or innovative method of construction.
  • Designer/Builder: Did the building’s architect, designer, engineer or builder make a significant contribution to the City, province or nation?
 Historical Criteria
  • Historical Association: Does the building have a direct association with a person, group, institution, event or activity that is of historical significance to the City, province or nation?
  • Historical Pattern: Is the building associated with broad patterns of local history, including development and settlement patterns, early or important transportation routes, or social, political or economic trends and activities?
  • How would changes to the building affect its style, design, construction or character?
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