Protect/Preserve Heritage Buildings

 
 

Background

Heritage preservation is important for many reasons. Preserving historic buildings also maintains links to a city’s history and contributes to its cultural well-being. Restoring and preserving historic buildings is also better for the environment as it requires fewer materials than new builds. Heritage preservation also creates employment opportunities and restored heritage buildings foster entrepreneurship and innovation (Dimatteo, 2012). Winnipeg has a large stock of older commercial, residential, institutional, and industrial buildings, many of which are located in or near the downtown area. These buildings represent a significant cultural and physical resource if maintained properly (City of Winnipeg, 2016).

Strengths

  • Winnipeg has a large stock of historic buildings that require heritage preservation
  • Heritage preservation tax credits and incentives are already available
  • The City of Winnipeg developed fire safety alternatives for the rehabilitation of a group of buildings in the Exchange District
  • Restoration is often cheaper, provides more local employment opportunities, uses less energy and creates less waste than new construction (Government of Manitoba)

Weaknesses

  • Some residents may not be aware of the historical significance of some buildings and would rather see them torn down to make way for new development

Threats

  • The Manitoba Building Code can be difficult to meet in existing buildings that are outside the Exchange District
  • Historic building may be abandoned by their owners and left in derelict conditions

Opportunities

  • Heritage tourism is rooted in historic buildings
  • Heritage buildings can link new and older generations and can thus be used for education and citizenship
  • Heritage preservation contributes to urban revitalization (Government of Manitoba)

Option 1 – Create a heritage review

  • Review what heritage preservation program and initiatives already exist
  • Determine the city’s vision and goals
  • Prioritize strategies
  • Propose an implementation plan

Option 2 – Create a heritage management plan

  • Define administrative procedures
  • Determine implementation tools
  • Establish a heritage review process

Option 3 – Create a heritage work program

  • Create heritage training programs for local trades
  • Offer opportunities for the local community to get involved