The heart of the continent has attained historic site designation. After eight years of concerted volunteer effort, April Kassum, Chair of Armstrong Point Heritage Committee Heritage House Tour, is pleased to announce Manitoba has its first designated historic neighbourhood.
Ms Kassum did her research and consulted with historic sites in Ottawa, Victoria and even San Francisco. She discovered there are historic buildings but no historic neighborhood protocols in Canada.
Under the auspices of City Councilor Jenny Gerbasi, a feasibility study was initiated as part of Plan Winnipeg.
Project Lead, Jennifer Hansell – Senior Urban Designer, Planning, Property and Development Department, City of Winnipeg – says the 128 houses in Armstrong Point and its natural habitat are unique and worthy of recognition.
For Ms Hansell the most enjoyable aspect of her involvement with this endeavor has been “the dedication and passion of the Armstrong Point residents.”
Just one example of Armstrong Point community spirit is the reforestation initiative spearheaded by volunteers Melva Widdicombe and Darlene Irwin. To date they have planted forty-seven trees and one hundred shrubs.
And they will continue to do so in their mission to maintain the natural beauty of the area. The two budding horticulturists are becoming known as the Buckthorn Detectives as they help residents root out the invasive shrub that can cause problems for the area.
Ms Hansell says the Historic Site Designation demonstrates Winnipeg’s commitment and valuing of history. There has never been anything like this before within the city limits of Winnipeg and the potential for positive spinoffs are plentiful. From economics to tourism, revitalizations, education and heritage appreciation there is reason to celebrate this historic site achievement.
Armstrong Point represents one of the most intact pre-World War II neighbourhoods. The legacy of the architecture and sense of community lives on in events such as the bi-annual “walk back in time.”
New to the celebratory Sunday this year are turn of the (19th) century costume displays and an art show by area residents. There will be refreshments, a Holland Street Organ, farmers market, Barber Shop Quartet and roadsters courtesy of the Antique Car Club.