A. Minchau Blacksmith Shop

A. Minchau Blacksmith Shop in Edmonton, Alberta, is in the 2018 Top 10 Endangered Places List.

Created by the National Trust for Canada

May 23, 2018

Location

Edmonton, Alberta

Why it matters

Built in 1925, this one-storey brick industrial building is one of a rapidly dwindling number of boomtown structures in Old Strathcona, a historic district experiencing unprecedented development pressure. The threat of its demolition has spurred a groundswell of support for the modest building, and a city-wide discussion on the need to save the unsung places that make Edmonton special.

Why it’s endangered

As of May 2018, the City of Edmonton is considering the owner’s request for a demolition permit. City officials negotiated unsuccessfully with the owner for three years to try to incorporate the building into a new development on the site, zoned in 1987 for up to 12 storeys. The City has been hampered by the Alberta Historic Resources Act, which, unlike legislation in most other provinces, requires municipalities to compensate owners for lost development value when it proceeds with heritage designation without the owner’s consent. The City has limited funds to incentivize heritage rehabilitation. There is an urgent need for provincial and federal incentives to encourage heritage projects of this magnitude.

Every year, the National Trust publishes its Top 10 Endangered Places List as part of its mission to raise awareness of the value that historic places bring to quality of life, local identity and cultural vitality.

First published in 2005, the Top 10 Endangered Places List has become a powerful tool in the fight to make landmarks, not landfill. The National Trust believes that historic places are cornerstones of identity, community and sense of place, yet every year, more are lost due to neglect, lack of funding, inappropriate development and weak legislation. By shining a spotlight on places at risk, the Top 10 Endangered Places List raises awareness about their plight and bolsters the efforts of local advocates working to save them.

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