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Historic Resources are buildings, structures, fragments, landscapes or features that represent an important development in Edmonton. It may have a unique architectural style or have been associated with a prominent person or event in Edmonton’s history.

The Neon Sign Museum features restored neon signs from Edmonton's past.
Incentives may be available for restoration, rehabilitation and maintenance of designated Municipal Historic Resources.
The City maintains a Register and Inventory of Historic Resources in Edmonton to protect and support historical resources.
Learn how to renovate a historic property or sign up for a workshop.
Walking tour pamphlets to guide citizens and visitors through Edmonton's historic areas and buildings.
Description of the heritage areas within the City of Edmonton.

Historic Resources Management Program

The Historic Resources Management program was developed to identify and save Edmonton’s historic resources with the goal that today’s developments are tomorrows heritage. The City is committed to preserving historical resources that represent our past and enhance our urban environment.

The Program

The Historic Resources Management Program was put in place to identify, facilitate and manage the protection and reuse of Edmonton’s Historic Resources.

The City works with property owners to make historical resource projects feasible. The program offers opportunities for buildings to expand and change while maintaining the character defining elements and key features of the historic resource’s period. There are also financial incentives available to assist with some costs of restoring the building.

The Historical Resources Management Program focuses on the following:

  1. Register and Inventory of Historic Resources
  2. Ensure important resources are identified and recorded in the Register and Inventory with the goal that they’ll be designated as Municipal Historic Resources
  3. This enables appropriate effort and policy to be put in to place to protect and/or incorporate historic resources facing ongoing development pressures
  4. Financial incentives
  5. Promotion - bring awareness to the benefits of heritage conservation
  6. Enabling individuals to access appropriate resources, advice and assistance to allow them to evaluate and protect historic resources
  7. Monitoring - ensure historic resources are accounted for in the development process and part of long term management
  8. Broader Heritage Initiatives - Integrating the Historic Resource Management Program with other heritage initiatives such as museums, archives and archaeological efforts
Benefits
  • Improves tax base when historic structures are maintained
  • Creates demand for a wider range of skills, services and materials within the local economy
  • Creates historical, architectural and cultural attractions
  • Retains the character of communities and neighbourhoods
  • Can be marketed as a tool to create positive economic development and cultural sustainability
  • Has a strong positive impact on developing communities and creating a culture of creativity and innovation
  • Adapting and recycling of existing buildings makes good use of building stock and prevents materials ending up in landfills
  • Owners can apply for financial incentive programs to designate
  • Desirable locations to live or work and are good investments in the long term when well maintained
  • Free advice to owners and users of historic resources to help maintain, save or develop properties
  • Heritage planners may act as a liaison for owners during the permitting process
History

Learn how the Register and Inventory Program started and expanded over the years.

2008: City-wide Study to Assess Modern Resources

A city-wide study assessed buildings built up to 1959 in recognition of a significant collection of modern resources. The modern structures selected were added to the Inventory. The Register and Inventory continues to expand as significant resources are identified.

2005 to 2007 - New Heritage Plan Developed

The format of the Register and Inventory changed between 2005 and 2008. The Historic Resource Management Plan was updated because:

  • the federal and provincial heritage preservation standards changed
  • the inventory of designated heritage resources increased

The process featured a series of visioning exercises that were held in 2006 and 2007 to ask those with interest in heritage matters where they would like to see Edmonton in 20 years.

The process aligned itself with national terminology, standards and processes. “A” and “B” designation of resources was removed, and all resources were given equal value.

Summary of Vision, November 2006

Summary of Vision, February 2007

The Art of Living 2008-2018

1995 - City Council Meeting

The Register and Inventory of Historic Resources in Edmonton and the Historic Resource Management Program was presented to City Council.

While the Register and Inventory lists, identifies and locates each of the Historic Resources, the Historic Resource Management Program describes how these resources will be monitored and managed by the City.

1992 - Project Team to Identify all Historical Resources

A project team identified significant buildings, bridges, landscapes, cemeteries, trees, architectural fragments, street furnishings and monuments to add to the Inventory. Natural resources, monuments, cemeteries and fragments were listed separately as Appendices. Historic resources of all types were evaluated using nationally recognised criteria.

1988 - City-wide Inventorying Project

City Council directed Administration to "conduct a comprehensive inventory of all historical and architecturally significant buildings in Edmonton."

A system was developed to evaluate buildings consistently. At that time, the Register and Inventory had two groupings of Resources; the “A” and “B” Lists. “A” listed buildings were considered to be the more historically significant than the “B” listed buildings.

1984 - First Register of Historic Buildings

In response to City Council's request to be notified when demolition threatened any heritage buildings. Initially, only downtown buildings were inventoried. This list gradually expanded to include the inner city residential communities surrounding downtown Edmonton and Strathcona.

The inventorying was done without a consistent standard with limited staff to manage the list.

For More Information

6th Floor, Edmonton Tower
10111 - 104 Avenue NW
Edmonton AB T5J 0J4

Email heritageplanners@edmonton.ca

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