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Pending Demolition of a Heritage Resource in Ramsay - Black & White Meat and Groceries

Provided by The City of Calgary (Planning & Development Services)

The Black & White Meat and Groceries (an identified Heritage Resource) was originally proposed for conservation as part of a mixed-use multi-family redevelopment (DP2023-02822). In preparation to temporarily relocate the structure for site development, significant water damage and deficiencies in the building’s original construction were discovered – both previously unknown to The City, Applicant and Property Owner. Photos showing the observed building condition are included in Attachment 1.

On-site review was conducted by the Applicant (Hindle Architects), project structural engineer (TRL & Associates Ltd.) and City of Calgary Heritage Planning, which determined that the original development proposal cannot be achieved due to risks associated with the current condition of the heritage resource. The extent of required intervention would also involve substantial projected cost, and impacts to the heritage resource which City Heritage Planning considers non-aligned with best-practice and not recommended for support through The City’s Historic Resource Conservation Grant Program. As a result of these concerns, City Heritage Planning deems long-term conservation of the Black & White Meat and Groceries building to be no longer feasible.

The Applicant has provided an updated Development Application, which will replace the historic building with a contemporary structure in the same location. The new building includes a similar form and scale to the heritage resource, and references the curved canopy and stucco cladding from the Black & White Meat and Groceries. The original roof top signage will be restored and reinstalled on the new structure, and the new building will retain a commercial use (office), allowing the site to maintain a mixed-use component. A publicly accessible information feature will also be provided on-site for the Black & White Meat and Groceries. Rendering images from the proposed development are included in Attachment 2.

Demolition of the heritage resource is anticipated within the next 1-2 weeks.

CA-BIA Information Package - Attachment 1
Download PDF • 1.24MB
CA-BIA Information Package - Attachment 2
Download PDF • 326KB

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the heritage resource legally protected?

The property is not designated as a Municipal or Provincial Historic Resource. A private agreement exists between The City of Calgary and the property owner which requires City approval for certain alterations, or prior to demolition.

What is the nature of the damage to the heritage resource?

The east façade of the building was found to contain significant rot, resulting from long-term moisture infiltration. The nature and magnitude of the damage suggests failure in the exterior water-shedding (drainage) system, and occurred over many years or even decades. As a result, the east façade requires significant or full replacement. Wood rot is also visible in other locations, including portions of the projecting canopy.

Deficiencies were also observed in the overall structure, which seemingly date to the original design and construction – as well as instances of apparent alteration. Major issues include: Inadequate structural support for the roof, insufficient structural framing throughout, improper securing of the projecting canopy to the main structure, inappropriate modification of the main floor structure, and concrete incasement of the main floor beam and joists.

Why is it not feasible to repair and save the heritage resource?

The estimated extent of intervention necessary to save the building would significantly alter the Black & White Meat and Groceries. This is considered outside of best-practice heritage conservation, and would potentially be more akin to construction of a replica building (which may risk confusion to the public, or inaccuracy in conveying the history of the site). Due to challenges with the existing structure, the costs of attempting to reuse viable portions of the Black & White Meat and Groceries in performing this work would significantly exceed the cost of a standalone replica – and the resulting structure may be less flexible and adaptable into the future.

Rather than a direct replica, Heritage Planning supported the concept of a new structure which would retain the location, commercial use, and roof top signage of the heritage resource, and reference the historic design while maintaining a broadly contemporary appearance. Heritage Planning was willing to consider a variety of design solutions, however the Applicant’s preference was to maintain a similar form and scale to the heritage resource, while differentiating the design through the main entrance, landscaping, windows, and canopy.

How will the heritage protection agreement impact the demolition and updated development proposal?

As the Black & White Meat and Groceries is not designated as a Municipal Historic Resource, The City of Calgary can authorize the proposed demolition (with retention of the historic signage) via an Intervention Approval, which is a standard process through City Heritage Planning when impacts are proposed to a protected heritage resource.

Is compensation required from the Property Owner in exchange for demolishing the heritage resource?

Although the 2015 Land Use Amendment for the subject site to M-X1 (137D2015) included negotiated protection for the Black & White Meat and Groceries, it is Administration’s position that additional compensation is not required for demolition of the heritage resource. The Applicant attempted to conserve and rehabilitate the heritage resource through their original development proposal, and only requested demolition following the uncovering of new information about the building’s condition. The Applicant has committed non-refundable resources towards the intended conservation, including consulting and labour in preparation to move the structure, and re-design of the Application. The Applicant will provide storage, restoration and reinstallation of the historic signage as part of the new development, as well as a publicly-accessible commemorative feature.


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