What is it like to live in a heritage home?
If you live in or own a heritage home, it does carry a certain amount of cachet. After all a heritage home stands out from the modern buildings in the neighbourhood and can be certainly more full of charm and character with its architectural flourishes and style from a bygone age.
One feature of living in a heritage home is that there can be restrictions on what you actually do with your property. In fact although you may be the owner of such a home you are only considered the steward throughout the time of your ownership because the building is protected for future generations to come.
In Alberta the Historical Resources Act legally protects historic buildings and structures from demolition or alterations that take away from their historic value. This means that you cannot make any changes to your building without first getting approval from the Minister. Your building cannot be:
If your building is on the register as a Municipal Historic Resource it is important to find out more about the by laws because you may find that even just painting the exterior window frames or fixing a satellite dish to the wall will be against the law.
Westminster Apartments in Edmonton Alberta is still in use today as an apartment block and is an iconic building in the Olivier neighbourhood where it occupies a corner spot. It was listed on the Canadian Register as an historic building in 2005 so since then has enjoyed a protected status by law.
The Westminster building was constructed in 1912 when Edmonton was going through a period of expansion and it has many interesting pre world war features.
These include the arrangement of the windows, the decorative features including glazed porcelain pendants, diamond and square tiles and the architectural style which is considered a fine example of the Edwardian period.
If you are lucky enough to rent or own an apartment in this historic building, you can enjoy all the modern amenities of today’s housing standards, combined with old style charm.
High ceilings, decorative facings and interiors plus a quirky characterful ambience give the apartment block a great combination of comfort and style. And because Olivier locals have a sentimental attachment to this stately and graceful old building, your address will always attract favourable comments and sometimes stories of past residents and the local history of the area.
Living in a heritage home is always interesting. After all who knows the history of former residents who’ve passed through your doors and cooked in your kitchen? Not everyone likes to imagine this but it can be fun to imagine the past history of our great country played out within your walls.
As far as we know, Westminster Apartments does not have a tragic or dangerous history; it isn’t haunted, it hasn’t ever been home to a serial killer and nobody has ever been murdered within its walls. In fact this attractive upmarket apartment block has provided a home for generations of Edmontonians and we just love that it looks likely to continue doing this for people into the future.