Explore your heritage

The nation’s capital has some of Canada’s most unique heritage buildings and residents here should do more to support them, an expert said yesterday.

The nation’s capital has some of Canada’s most unique heritage buildings and residents here should do more to support them, an expert said yesterday.

While many of the buildings cannot be used to their best advantage because of factors like accessibility, heritage buildings should be saved until it is proven that demolition is the only way to go, said Sandy Smallwood, president of Andrex Holdings Limited.

“We should have a heritage-first policy,” he said.

As consumers, Ottawa residents can do their part.

“Spend your dollars in heritage buildings,” Smallwood suggested. “It gives the message to developers that there is money in heritage buildings. Make heritage buildings a part of everyday life.”

“Ottawa’s historical architecture is a fundamental part of its rich heritage,” said Deputy Mayor Marianne Wilkinson, who kicked off Heritage Day at city hall yesterday. This year’s theme is Heritage and the Environment: Saving Places Built to Last.

Part of a nationwide, month-long celebration, Heritage Day encourages Canadians to explore and celebrate their personal heritage.

“We live in a fantastic city. Whether it’s skating on the Rideau Canal … or simply enjoying villages like Manotick, Ottawa has something for everyone,” Wilkinson said. “And we are all responsible for protecting our heritage.”

This year, Ottawa is also celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Village of Manotick.

There are many heritage groups in Ottawa that are entirely run by volunteers, said Meg Hamilton, executive director of The Council of Heritage Organizations in Ottawa. “And the fact that you are all here today shows that people care about Ottawa’s heritage. By working together, we can continue to share these stories with future generations.”

 
 
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