The Westmount Architectural Heritage Area in Edmonton
Through the efforts of community residents, the City of Edmonton officially recognized the historic significance of the distinct character of the Westmount Architectural Heritage Area (WAHA) in 1997 and implemented a Direct Development Control (DC1) Provision to guide development in the area.
Sources and further reading:
City of Edmonton Westmount Architectural Area
The Westmount Community League
Alberta Register of Historic Places
A real estate listing site for heritage homes
Armstrong's Point Heritage Conservation District in Winnipeg
Historic Armstrong’s Point was thus named in the mid-1800s, when the land was first granted by the Hudson’s Bay Company to Captain Joseph Hill. It is centrally located within the city of Winnipeg, directly off the Assiniboine River.
Of the 123 homes on the Point, 73 are listed by the City of Winnipeg as Historically Noteworthy. The ornamental Tyndall stone gates were erected in 1902 and were designated by the City as historically significant in 1993. The Cornish Library, a Carnegie library built in 1915, was named after Winnipeg’s first mayor, Francis Cornish. Its historical value was recognized by the City in 1992. Ralph Connor House, home to the University Women’s Club at 54 West Gate, has been designated municipally and provincially and was named a National Historic Site. The House is named for Ralph Connor, the pen name of Reverend Charles W. Gordon, a prolific and popular writer who gained international acclaim for best-selling novels but was also a Presbyterian minister and one of the founders of the United Church of Canada.
The Armstrong’s Point Association was formed in 1955 to “preserve the residential nature” of one of Winnipeg’s most cherished neighbourhoods. The association had been trying to find a way to preserve the neighbourhood’s heritage since the early 2000s. Investigations into San Francisco, Victoria, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax revealed that these cities had bylaws that allowed them to preserve neighbourhoods, not just single buildings as was the case in Winnipeg. Encouraging some 120 owners to seek heritage status for their homes was impractical. Firstly, changes to the provincial charter were necessary to enable heritage districts in Winnipeg. A policy framework for Heritage Conservation Districts was prepared in 2014, followed by a City initiated Heritage Designation Study in 2016 that involved the residents of the Point.
In 2019, Armstrong’s Point was named Winnipeg’s first Heritage Conservation District (HCD). The City’s administration report, which says that they chose Armstrong’s Point “based partly on residents’ long-standing advocacy”, sums up the unique characteristics that have made it such a wonderful place to live: “Armstrong’s Point’s history, architecture, cohesive streetscape and natural landscape contribute to its recognition as a highly valued district that is worthy of protection.”
The Armstrong’s Point HCD formed a template for other HCDs in the city. “The primary objective for every Winnipeg HCD is the identification, protection, celebration, and management of the district’s attributes and heritage resources so that the area’s historic significance, heritage values, and character as identified in the HCD study and HCD plan are protected in the long- term.”
The Armstrong’s Point Association promotes the homes, gardens, nature and art of their community through events, tours, newsletters and a website.
Sources and further reading:
Winnipeg Heritage Conservation Districts: Policies and Procedures Framework
Armstrong’s Point Heritage Conservation District-Study
Armstrong’s Point Heritage Conservation District Plan
By-law 87/2018 to protect and conserve areas within the City of Winnipeg that are of special architectural or historical interest.