You are here

Worst Losses

Over the past 30 years, Canada has lost 23% of its historic building stock in urban areas and 21% in rural areas. This rate of destruction is disturbing both in terms of lost heritage and increased environmental waste. The following represent only a small number of buildings and structures that have disappeared from the Canadian landscape.

2013 Worst Losses List

Moose Jaw Civic Centre - 1251 Main Street North, Moose Jaw, SK-- AWARD-WINNING MODERN HOCKEY ARENA CRUSHED

Built in 1959, the dramatically designed 3,150 seat multi purpose arena affectionately nicknamed “The Crushed Can” won the Massey Medal for architecture. Designed by Saskatchewan architect Joseph Pettick the innovative cable roof structure which gave the building its unique shape was seen as a breakthrough in structure, aesthetics, cost management, and energy conservation. Despite being one of Canada’s few award winning modern era civic buildings, it was demolished in the summer of 2012 after a new arena was constructed in downtown Moose Jaw.

 

Hamilton Education Centre, Hamilton, ON — MODERNIST BUILDING SUFFERS AT THE HANDS OF QUICK DECISION MAKING

The prominent building in downtown Hamilton was issued a demolition permit last year on May 2. With McMaster declaring that the building footprint does not fit its expansion purposes—despite it being deliberately designed to allow for future expansion—no real feasibility studies have been undertaken on how the building could be integrated into the design. Heritage advocates felt that there was not enough public discussion about the development.  The building was demolished in August of 2012 to make way for McMaster University's new $85-million downtown health centre. The board will construct a new facility at its Crestwood location on the Mountain.

 

Paramount Theatre, Chilliwack, BC — LOCAL COUNCIL MAKES SHORTSIGHTED DECISION BASED ON FREE OFFER OF DEMOLITION

Members of the Save the Paramount group—who formed the Chilliwack Paramount Society to respond to the city’s request for proposals to take over the cinema made proposal to run the building as a repertory-style theatre. The outcome looked promising to the group but the proposal made by the Chilliwack Economic Partners Corporation’s (CEPCO) offer to demolish the building at no cost was accepted instead. That option was passed by council in a six-to-one vote. The building was demolished and sits as a vacant lot. Luckily of the buildings contents went to Chilliwack Museum to be eventually put on display. 

PDF BACKGROUNDER