CHI AGM with Alastair Pollock: Heritage Tools & Incentives for Calgary Communities


About the Heritage Tools & Incentives Report

In March 2019, Council directed The City to prepare a report on potential new policy tools and financial incentives to further increase the conservation of heritage buildings – supporting Calgary’s Next Generation Planning projects and responding to the tragic loss of the Enoch Sales Residence to fire in early 2019.

Through research, consultant analysis and targeted stakeholder engagement, The City has developed proposals for heritage area policies and tax-based financial incentives and will be presenting their recommendations to Council for further direction this spring. If supported by Council, these tools and incentives would represent significant new approaches to conserving heritage buildings in Calgary.

View the summary report, or visit the “Heritage conservation incentives and Programs” page at for more information.

The Heritage report was presented to the Planning and Urban Development (PUD) Committee of Calgary City Council on April 1.  Check - Council for agendas, minutes and attachments. The Council date for the Heritage report,  along with the Guidebook for Great Communities and the North Hill Communities Local Area Plan (both recommended for approval at PUD on March 4, 2020)  has been postponed due to Covid.  The North Hill plan is a new multi community plan encompassing many historic neighbourhoods that is acting as a pilot for implementation of the Guidebook. The Guidebook will influence redevelopment of our existing communities and direct changes to the Land Use Bylaw. Currently, the Guidebook and North Hill plan contain placeholders for future heritage policy. If Council approves the recommendations for additional heritage tools and incentives, including new policy for heritage residential districts, implementation is still about a year out. In the meantime, new Local Area Plans, eg for the Area 2: West Elbow Communities and Westbrook Communities are underway without the benefit and certainty of new heritage policy. These three local area plans include many of of Calgary's oldest communities.

CHI believes that the recommendations in the report represent the most significant potential advancements in heritage policy for the City of Calgary in over a decade and will undoubtedly shape the balanced redevelopment and preservation of our older residential communities for decades to come.

Groups like The Calgary Heritage Initiative, Calgarian’s for Heritage Districts, applicable Community Associations and individual residents have some concerns with the Guidebook, North Hill plan and heritage policy.   It’s essential that the Councillors hear these concerns and understand that the public is behind the strengthening of heritage policy.

Guest Speaker

We hope to reschedule our guest speaker, Alastair Pollock, a Heritage Planner with The City of Calgary. Alastair has worked in that role for over three years – facilitating historic designations, administering conservation grants, managing interventions, and writing & reviewing policy. He is a graduate of the University of Calgary’s Urban Studies program.

Presented By

The Cliff Bungalow Mission Community Association Heritage Committee and the Calgary Heritage Initiative Society. This event is open to the public.

About the Calgary Heritage Initiative AGM

The agenda, 2019 audited financial statements, last AGM minutes and the slate of directors will be available at (Posts-Events and Workshops) once we have rescheduled. Paper copies will not be distributed at the meeting. We will not be accepting nominations for new Board members from the floor at the AGM, as the responsibility to select candidates best suited to take on Board roles requires consideration in advance.

Questions: email


Demystifying Designation #5 Workshop

Saturday September 21, 2019

What does a 1912 Craftsman in Sunnyside have in common with a 1977 Expressionist style home also known as the 'Energy Saving Earth and Garden Home’ in Glengarry? Both tell a story about Calgary’s past. Both are designated historical resources meaning they are legally protected by City Council from future demolition or dramatic renovation.

As of September 2019, Only 312 residences (including apartment blocks) were listed on Calgary Heritage Authority’s Inventory of Historical Resources and of these, only 32 were designated. We are losing our historic residential character at an alarming rate!

This workshop, attracted several participants who are considering designation and others who wanted to learn how Calgary’s heritage gets evaluated and protected.

Featured Designated Homes


JOEY STEWART AND LORNE KINGWELL RESIDENCE: Expressionist style modern house in Killarney by Wolfgang H. Wenzel, a custom designer of site-specific, energy-efficient homes.

ORMAN RESIDENCE: First and only designated house in Sunnyside and recently sold to a couple looking for a heritage home.



Topic Included:
• Designation criteria, how the process works, the role of the City’s Heritage Planners and available grants
• How heritage homes are valued in the real estate market and what buyers are looking for
• The pros & cons, fact & fiction of designation
• Economic, social and environmental benefits

Thanks to our presenters, the City of Calgary and our refreshment sponsor, the Calgary Heritage Authority

View the presentation slides here:  Demystifying Designation

Historic Calgary Week

Oh the Fun We Had!

Historic Calgary Week is organized by the Chinook Country Historical Society

Download the  full Program Guide for the 29th Annual HCW

With over 100 events, this was the largest, most fun-filled HCW ever. Sports, dancing, music and cinema were only a few of the events. Behind all this fun  were the stories of the people that made Calgary and region their home over the centuries.

2019 Calgary Heritage Initiative Annual General Meeting

Tuesday April 30, 2019


The Calgary Heritage Initiative’s Annual General Meeting was held  at Calgary’s newest heritage-building-of-the-future: the spectacular Calgary Public Central Library. Thanks to the CPL for providing a terrific tour and free meeting space to volunteer community groups such as CHI!

View Chris Edwards latest Heritage Wins, Losses and At-Risk Presentation on our  Watch List  page. 

Our guest speaker, Carolyn Ryder, introduced us to the new “Calgary’s Story” space and resources on the 4th floor (formerly the Local History Room in the old library). Materials useful to researching building history and that celebrate our unique stories, including photos, books and maps, can be found here. Carolyn introduced the Historian in Residence Program, Indigenous Placemaking, and the Williams & Harris Shared History Centre that ensures stories are told and collected, through new technology in the Story Studio and old technology in the Vintage Media Lab. Carolyn extends a personal invitation to anyone interested in an individualized orientation to "Calgary's Story" and the very rich collection of books, documents, records and photographs. Call 403-260-2600.

Demystifying Designation #4 Workshop

November 24, 2018

CHI's most successful Demystifying event ever! Sixty participants learned about historical designation from a panel of heritage experts along with homeowners sharing their designation experience.  

Featured Designated Homes

CALGARY TREND HOUSE (1953) A mid-century modern piece of Canadian Architectural History. Municipally and Provincially designated.

ORMAN RESIDENCE (1912) First and only designated house in Sunnyside and recently sold to a couple looking for a heritage home.








Topics included:

The designation criteria and how the process works.
What is fact – Yes, City Heritage Planners help throughout the process.
& What is fiction – No, designating a property is not overly restrictive nor does it reduce market value.
How heritage properties are valued in the market.
Pros/cons and the economic, social and environmental benefits.
What Municipal and Provincial grants are available.

Thanks to our guest speakers for sharing their time and expertise, The Calgary Heritage Authority for sponsoring the refreshments and The Windsor Park Community Association.

Historic Calgary Week
July 27 through August 6, 2018

This year's Historic Calgary Week explored the "Power of Partnerships"!

CHI's hosted a booth at the cSpace Farmers Market 

Volunteers shared  info on Calgary’s at-risk heritage buildings and provided  advice on heritage trades, how to research your property  and what designation is all about. cSpace King Edward is the award-winning, adaptive re-use of a former school on a 3-acre, inner city site including artist studios, rehearsal space, non-profit program offices, coworking space, cafe, meeting/event venues, new public park and private sector residential development.

Historic Calgary Week: Family Heritage Festival 2018

CHI joined more than a dozen of Calgary’s best-known heritage organizations for a fun-filled afternoon of hands-on activities for everyone celebrating the heritage of Calgary and Alberta. CHI’s booth explored Calgary’s early development as the first newcomers arrived by rail to settle the west.  In partnership with the Chinook Country Historical Society, the Calgary Public Library and Shane Homes YMCA at Rocky Ridge.

Finding Nimmons: Past, Present and Future

Once upon a time, Williams Nimmons built a magnificent two-storey, red brick and sandstone ranch house, which today is a Bankview icon, for his beloved wife, Isabella. He perfectly placed the house so Isabella would had great view of the sweeping prairie and the village of Calgary.

CHI's Jane's Walk on May 6th took us on a provocative tour of Bankview's birthplace: the Nimmons Residence site, Nimmons Park, and Nimmons Corner. Lindae Stokes, Calgary Heritage Initiative, spoke to the past, Nathan Berko, Bankview Community Association, covered the present, and Ward 8 Councillor Evan Woolley led us into the future.

The walk explored  why Williams Nimmons was so key to Bankview, how the Nimmons family influenced and shaped history, and why we should we care about the municipal designation of the Nimmons residence.

Let's keep the dialogue going about how to preserve heritage integrity for future generations in the face of inner-city densification. Awareness, a recognition of the value of heritage, tools (like tax incentives) to support protection, and passionate advocates will help create the political will to do this.

CHI's 2018 AGM

SPEAKER:  Reid Henry, President and CEO at cSPACE Projects shared the inspiring story of adaptive reuse of the 1912  King Edward School.  Appointed as the first President and CEO of cSPACE Projects, Reid is leading the development of a network of large scale, multi-disciplinary creative workspaces in Calgary, Alberta. The award-winning flagship project of cSPACE is the redevelopment of a 3 acre, inner city site including artist studios, rehearsal space, non-profit program offices, coworking space, cafe, meeting/event venues, new public park and private sector residential development.


CHI thanks cSpace and Reid Henry for his insightful and fascinating talk on adaptive re-use, heritage rehabilitation and social and economic benefit. It dove-tailed perfectly with CHI's strategic focus. Reid capped off the evening with a personally guided tour of cSpace.

WORKSHOP: Places of Faith

The National Trust for Canada hosted a workshop on Regenerating Places of Faith  for Calgary Communities at the historic Knox United Church.

WHEN: Saturday, April 14, 2018 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM

Community, heritage and faith-based groups presented.  CHI presented on stakeholder engagement and heritage advocacy. View the slides.

Places of Faith Intro & City Heritage Planner

CHI Places of Faith April 14 2018

Places of Faith National Trust

TALK: Booze, Broads & Brothels... A History of Calgary’s (Almost) Oldest Profession, in the era of the North West Mounted Police and railway settlement.

Notoriously known as the booze, brothel and gambling capital of the Canadian West, early Calgary was home to dozens of entrepreneurial sex workers. Kimberley Williams, Associate Professor of Woman’s and Gender Studies, Mount Royal University, introduced  a few of these dynamic women, whose clients were the miners, ranchers, NWMP officers, and CPR railmen considered the “mavericks” of Alberta’s pioneering past.  For information on walking tours based on this talk go to

WHEN: 7-9 PM Tuesday, January 23 2018

PARTNERS: The Chinook Country Historical Society in partnership with the Calgary Public Library and Calgary Heritage Initiative

CHI's top endangered site for 2018 is the Inglewood Brewery. The brewery supplied  the bars and brothels of the era. To learn more, and find out what you can do, see CHI's Inglewood Brewery Fact Sheet on our Heritage Watch Page.

Are you interested in investigating which of Calgary’s historic railway era hotels and lodges might have served the sex trade? Consider writing a story for the Your Stories project. See  Your Stories  for more details or email us at

PHOTO CREDIT: Glenbow, 1911. Houses of ill repute located near railway track approximately 50 yards north of railway bridge over Bow River.

WORKSHOP: Your Home's History

WHEN: Saturday November 4, 2017

PARTNERS: Calgary Public Library, The Glenbow , and City of Calgary

This workshop explored resources to help you uncover the history of your house.   Presenters were Christine Hayes, Calgary Public Library,  Carol Stokes, Archivist from City of Calgary, Corporate Records, Archives and Lindsay Moir, Librarian, Glenbow Library and Archives.

WORKSHOP: Demystifying Designation with Lorna Cordeiro, Leslie Robertson, Laura Pasecreta and Halyna Tataryn

PHOTO: William J. Gray Residence in Hillhurst,  1912

WHEN: November 18, 2017

PARTNERS: City of Calgary and the Calgary Heritage Authority

Our third heritage designation workshop, featured homeowners who have had their properties designated and heritage experts familiar with the designation procedure.  Four speakers shared their designation stories and covered topics such as selling unused residential density, generating transferable residential density and taking advantage of City of Calgary and Provincial grant programs.  The presentations and discussions explained everything you need to know about historical designation from people who have experienced it. Have you heard that designating a building is overly restrictive and reduces market value? Our panel of heritage experts dispelled some of these myths surrounding designation and presented information on the resources available to preserve and protect your heritage home or building.

CHI Celebrated Canada’s 150th by relating the Railway era immigration experience and its historic built heritage to immigration today



Top 10 Endangered Sites & Issues by Chris Edwards, CHI Vice President and Heritage Watch Chair

WHEN:  7-8 PM Thursday Aug 3, 2017

PARTNER: Chinook Country Historic Society, Historic Calgary Week

Chris's 2017 Countdown of Calgary's Top 10 Endangered Sites (and issues)

10. Western irrigation headworks including the headgate and pump house. 1912. This is a great example of industrial heritage in the city.

9. Inglewood Bridge. 1908.

8. Stampede corral, 1950.

7. 17th Avenue heritage- Jalland block, Condon Block, 800 block. These are all owned by Arlington Street and slated to be torn down and replaced.

6. Olympic Plaza, 1987. One of the biggest concerns for people will be what happens to the 22,000 bricks, inscribed with names and messages.

5. Heritage designation. Designation itself seems to be in danger. Council has de-designated a protected heritage site, allowing for loss of protection, a waste of the resources that went into assessment in the first place, and sets a precedent.

4. Bill C323. This bill is in danger of not passing. Bills such as this have been very successful elsewhere, providing additional jobs, tax revenue, restored character buildings, and providing a wide range of housing.

3. Enoch Sales house. 1904.

2. Calgary Brewing and Malting, 1894-19802. One of the dangers is that it is hard to understand the site. There is a large collection of original sandstone buildings, but they have all been covered up by later buildings. They're still in there! This is another good example of industrial heritage in Calgary. A site that many can relate to, and have fond memories of. There is great potential for a mixed use brewery district here.

1. Heritage streetscapes and character homes.