Comment 123196

By Tybalt (registered) | Posted July 03, 2018 at 14:29:24

I'm not sure a Heritage designation is particularly appropriate for St. Giles's.

A reminder that these are the relevant criteria to assess:

(2) A property may be designated under section 29 of the Act [NOTE: this is the section under which a municipality can designate by bylaw) if it meets one or more of the following criteria for determining whether it is of cultural heritage value or interest:

  1. The property has design value or physical value because it,

i. is a rare, unique, representative or early example of a style, type, expression, material or construction method, ii. displays a high degree of craftsmanship or artistic merit, or iii. demonstrates a high degree of technical or scientific achievement.

  1. The property has historical value or associative value because it,

i. has direct associations with a theme, event, belief, person, activity, organization or institution that is significant to a community, ii. yields, or has the potential to yield, information that contributes to an understanding of a community or culture, or iii. demonstrates or reflects the work or ideas of an architect, artist, builder, designer or theorist who is significant to a community.

  1. The property has contextual value because it,

i. is important in defining, maintaining or supporting the character of an area, ii. is physically, functionally, visually or historically linked to its surroundings, or iii. is a landmark. (O. Reg. 9/06)

Taking each in turn:

  1. St. Giles is ultimately an ordinary Edwardian brick church (and not my cup of tea at all, but no worse for all that) and competently put together but by no means rare or outstanding.

  2. Like any building with 100 years of congregations, it has some historical value but ultimately it's not unlike other churches and the historical value is very much in the hands of the (now merged) congregation that occupies it.

  3. It's not a landmark, although it may be a highly local one to the St. Clair neighbourhood (I know lots of people who use De dwa da dehs nye>s but I don't get down there that often these days). It sure is... um... noticeable when you drive by it, it's noticeable as anything can be along that street. So the building is nice for a neighbourhood that doesn't have too much nice... but since it can't reasonably be used and occupied, it will quickly fall to ruin. It's very hard to have contextual value sufficient to ground a heritage designation anyway.

So I don't really see the argument for it. I could always be persuaded.

I'm more than a little disappointed (shocked, more like) that people would be so quick to invoke Jesus Christ in defence of what is nothing more or less than a real estate play, but you do you.

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