5 Calgary historic sites move closer to heritage designation

On Wednesday, a city council committee approved five new designations for heritage properties — including two schools, two city parks and a private house.

City council committee approved 2 parks, 2 schools and an Inglewood residence

The Reader Rock Garden is one of five properties approved to receive municipal heritage designation. (davebloggs007/Flickr)

The head of the Calgary Heritage Authority says 2017 could be a record-setting year for historical designations in the city.

On Wednesday, city council's planning and urban development committee approved five new designations for historical properties, including two parks, two schools and one private residence in Inglewood.

"It just means that the city is doing a great job at managing their historic properties and more and more homeowners are taking an interest in designation," said Josh Traptow.

"So it's a positive win-win all around."

Traptow credits recent initiatives — like Century Homes, which pays tribute to houses more than 100 years old — for sparking new interest in heritage designation.

"Property owners have researched their homes; they've found out who lived there, they know the architecture style. I think those grassroots initiatives have really helped in terms of people learning about their homes," he said. 

Growing interest in official designation

Councillor Andre Chabot says the increasing cost to preserve heritage properties is likely also driving the growing interest in official designation.​

"I fully understand why a resident would want to apply for municipal designation and potentially, subsequently provincial designation because there's both provincial and a municipal grant for heritage buildings for refurbishment."

City council will decide later this month if the five sites — Reader Rock Garden, Confederation Park, Cliff Bungalow School, Holy Angels School and the James A. Ross residence in Inglewood — will be joining Calgary's list of 74 municipally designated properties.

With files from Scott Dippel