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.
2014 Worst Losses List
Criddle/Vane House, near Shilo, MB – LOST TO ARSON
Built in 1906, this historic house was a key part of the provincially designated Criddle/Vane Homestead Park in a farming district south of Shilo. The Criddle and Vane families were prominent Manitoba pioneers, and the homestead was the site of the first entomological field station in Western Canada. Unoccupied since 1960, the house had suffered from escalating vandalism in recent years and was completely destroyed by fire on June 25, 2014.
Former Halifax Infants’ Home, Halifax, NS – UNIVERSITY TURNS ITS BACK ON HISTORY
Built in 1899 with funds raised by the Local Council of Women, this important historic institution once gave shelter and medical support to single women and their infants. It stood as a remarkable testament to the emerging role of women in late-19th-century Halifax. St. Mary’s University demolished the building in June 2014, claiming that costs to rehabilitate for classroom use were too high.
Point Aconi Lighthouse, Capstick, Cape Breton, NS – DESTROYED BY FIRE
This remote Cape Breton landmark was completely destroyed by fire in February 2014. The operational light of the 11-metre glass fibre tower, built in 1989, was visible for 13 nautical miles. There had been a lighthouse in the area since 1874.
Redpath Mansion, Montreal, QC – LOST TO NEGLECT AND UNENFORCED LEGISLATION
Brought back from the brink of demolition twice, this once majestic vestige of Montreal’s fabled Square Mile (built in 1886) was demolished on March 14, 2014. With the city showing little interest in enforcing its property standards, the Borough of Ville-Marie issued the demolition permit without any public consultation.
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