United Memorial Church

United Memorial Church in Halifax, Nova Scotia is on the 2019 Top 10 Endangered Places List.

Published with permission from the National Trust for Canada

June 18, 2019

Location

Halifax, Nova Scotia

Why it matters

The United Memorial Church was erected in memory of those who lost their lives in the Halifax explosion on December 6, 1917 and is situated at the centre of a district almost entirely destroyed from the blast.

This United church was constructed to house the congregations of the Methodist Church and Presbyterian Church (both destroyed in the blast) and in 1920 they joined together to form one congregation.

This predates the founding of the United Church of Canada by 5 years.

Why it’s endangered

The church was sold to a private developer who filed for a demolition permit. The developer is proposing to construct a 7-storey condominium on the site, which is in a neighborhood of single-family houses.

The Halifax Regional Municipality’s Heritage Advisory Committee recommended heritage designation for the property, however City Council voted against doing so after the owner voiced objections.

The community is hoping the historic church will be saved and repurposed to keep the history of the neighborhood alive.

This article is also available in French.

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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.

The Top 10 Endangered Places List is compiled from nominations received as well as from reports and news items the National Trust has been following throughout the year. 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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