This month, the City of Lethbridge celebrates the 10th anniversary of conserving historically significant places by designating them as Municipal Historic Resources.
After the adoption of Lethbridge's Heritage Management Plan, City Council approved Lethbridge's first two Municipal Historic Resource designations on Nov. 10, 2008, for the Spudnuts Shop at 1102-5 Avenue South and the Annandale Residence at 1280-4 Avenue South. Since then, a total of 26 Lethbridge properties have been designated as Municipal Historic Resources. Details on historic building preservation in Lethbridge, including a full list designated properties, is available at www.lethbridge.ca/HistoricBuildings.
"Historic designation provides protection for our historically- and architecturally-important places that include buildings, architectural sites and engineering works," says Jean Johnstone, Chairperson of the City of Lethbridge's Historic Places Advisory Committee. "This protection ensures that these elements of our past are preserved for our future generations."
The Alberta Historical Resources Act empowers municipalities to protect and conserve historically significant places. The Municipal Historic Resource designation protects such places and ensures they are not altered haphazardly or destroyed. Owners of properties designated as Municipal Historic Resources may apply to the province for annual matching grant funding to help with conservation and restoration costs.
Municipal Historic Resource designations are requested by property owners, and only those sites assessed by the Historic Places Advisory Committee as having both historical significance and integrity are considered for designation. Once designated, a Municipal Historic Resource remains the property of the registered owner. The designation is registered on the title for the property, ensuring that future owners understand and abide by the requirements of the designation.
In addition, Lethbridge is also home to 16 Provincial Historic Resources (PHR), which are sites considered to be of province-wide importance. These include the Nikka Yuko Centennial Garden, which was designated a PHR in 2017. Further, Lethbridge is also home to two federal historic sites: the Federal Building (the downtown Canada Post Office), and the Fort Whoop-Up National Historic Site of Canada (the original fort site just south of Lethbridge, not the replica in Indian Battle Park).
Jean Johnstone, Chairperson
Historic Places Advisory Committee
Robert McKay, Community Planner
City of Lethbridge