May 6, 2014 9:07 pm

City starts process to protect historic Glenora homes

EDMONTON – A decision made by a city committee on Tuesday may help save some homes in Edmonton’s Glenora neighbourhood from a future date with the wrecking ball.

Councillors unanimously agreed to perform what’s called a “historical inventory assessment” of Glenora starting in 2016 or later. It will entail figuring out which homes should be considered for a historic designation and protection.

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The decision comes following a plea from the Old Glenora Conservation Association, whose members are concerned about the nature of redevelopment in what is one of Edmonton’s oldest neighbourhoods.

“Up until this point, Glenora has had no protection, and there certainly are many development issues facing our community,” said resident Barbara Finlay.

Between 2000 and 2012, the neighbourhood has seen roughly three times the amount of demolitions and building permits issued compared to an average mature neighbourhood.

Finlay argues many new projects are changing the character of Glenora.

“We have no protection for trees even in our neighbourhood; while the boulevard trees might remain, trees on property can be torn down which would change the greenscape of the community substantially.

“Once you lose an area that has heritage value, it’s gone. And I think it contributes to the whole fabric of Edmonton.”

She believes Tuesday’s decision will help start a much-needed dialogue with the city.

“Frankly, I’m surprised that the city hadn’t done an inventory in Glenora before,” said Mayor Don Iveson.

“Some of the most significant heritage homes in the city are in there, and they’re not under threat today; but there’s no better time than the present to go in there and do that historical inventory work.”

The inventory won’t settle debates over what should be built, but it might help clarify what should not be destroyed.

There are currently two other historic inventories in the works: one is in Newton, and the other is in Calder.

With files from Fletcher Kent, Global News


© Shaw Media, 2014

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