Regina planning commission to review demolition request for site where Louis Riel's body was kept

·1 min read
The Burns Hanley Building is a heritage property at 1863 Cornwall Street. The owner hopes to demolish it.  (Office of the City Clerk - image credit)
The Burns Hanley Building is a heritage property at 1863 Cornwall Street. The owner hopes to demolish it. (Office of the City Clerk - image credit)

Regina's planning commission will be reviewing an application to demolish a downtown heritage site connected to Louis Riel.

The Burns Hanley Building is a heritage property at 1863 Cornwall Street. It was the former location of the 1883 St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church.

This was the church where Louis Riel's body was briefly kept after his execution before it was sent to Winnipeg.

Jackie Schmidt, president of Heritage Regina, says the members of the Métis Nation-Saskatchewan should be contacted before any permanent decision is made about the fate of the building.

"If we allow them to tear it down, what happens to the intangible cultural heritage of this site when that building is gone?" she said. "Have we reached out to the Métis Nation to engage them in what they want?"

City administration is recommending that the planning commission vote in favour of the demolition. The owner says rehabilitation of the building would be too expensive.

According to a report from administration, a condition for the approval of the demolition is that the owner must "submit an interim plan for the site that is safe, secure, aesthetically appropriate, and reflective of the heritage significance of the site; and that any permanent development at the site adhere to the Guidelines for the Victoria Park Heritage Conservation District."

If the planning commission votes in favour of the demolition Wednesday, the application would then go to city council on Sept. 15.

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