Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 8/9/2015 (597 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The wrecking ball is again targeting Dennistoun House, once the subject of a hard-fought battle between area residents and the City of Winnipeg.
Five years ago, Osborne Village residents went all the way to the Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench to appeal the plan to demolish the building at 166 Roslyn Rd., by stripping it of its historic designation status and turning it into a condominium complex -- an appeal they lost.
The 107-year-old home will again have its day in civic court, when the subdivision plan goes to public hearing on Sept. 16 so the properties of 166, 176, 178, 180 and 184 Roslyn Rd. can be consolidated to allow for the construction of a multi-family dwelling consisting of 78 units.
According to the variances the city will have to approve, the planned development will have 70 parking spaces. The public notice also states a sidewalk will be built on the south side of Roslyn.
At the centre of the argument, which began in 2009, was the historic designation of Dennistoun House, a Tudor-style home built in 1908, which was the home of Robert Maxwell Dennistoun. The building was designed by architect John Danley Atchison; Dennistoun was a corporate lawyer who drew up Manitoba's first workman's compensation act.
In 1977, the house was bought and converted into a five-unit rental property.
Designated a municipal historic site in 1984, city council voted nine to six in favour of stripping its title in 2009 so Sunstone Resort Communities could build a 12-storey residential tower and row of townhouses. It was estimated it would bring in $330,000 a year in property taxes for the city.
At the time, councillors in favour stated they supported the de-listing because they did not feel there was a compelling reason to preserve the home.
After losing the battle at city hall and losing an appeal with the courts, Cindy Tugwell, the executive director of Heritage Winnipeg, said the five-year gap had her holding out hope the development would never come to fruition.
"I thought maybe they didn't have the financing, or they changed their mind, but in all fairness they stripped it of its protection, so we always knew that one day when they did decide to go through with it, it was unprotected," Tugwell said Monday.
"Hopefully Winnipeggers don't think 'someone should have done something' because we spent hundreds of hours and dollars fighting it."
Tugwell said the group's objective in 2009 was to show Dennistoun House was a vibrant property, well-maintained and important to the character of the area.
"So we used the Osborne Village secondary plan which said we were to encourage character and not to demolish it unless it was a last resort. So I think it was a very poor decision on council's part to let them go ahead, because there was nothing wrong with it," she said,
"We knew it was demolition for development."
Residents wishing to ask questions or register objections can attend the meeting at 6 p.m. at city hall on Sept. 16.
-- With files from Bartley Kives