© Amber Nicholson/Journal Pioneer
SUMMERSIDE - An event tonight at Lefurgey Cultural Centre in Summerside will mark the completion of a federal government program that supported the online documentation of thousands of historic Canadian venues.
The Historic Places Initiative began in 2001 in response to the demolition of 20 per cent of Canada's pre-1920 buildings over the past 30 years. By visiting www.historicplaces.ca, Canadians can now locate historical venues across the country and view a detailed description of the site, its heritage value, character-defining elements, construction date and further historical information.
Wyatt Heritage Properties staff members Jean MacKay and Fred Horne have been heading this initiative in Summerside for the past several years.
"A lot of people have a great admiration for architecture and there is so much character in the older homes," said archivist and curatorial assistant MacKay.
MacKay said having the information documented allows new property owners to learn the historical background of their property.
Funding provided through the federal program enabled P.E.I. to create its own website, www.peihistoricplaces.ca, that highlights historic places solely on P.E.I.
Islanders can search for historic P.E.I. places through an interactive map. Properties are selected as historic homes for a variety of reasons including notable architecture or construction, a former significant homeowner or resident, etc.
The federal government program has now been terminated and MacKay said Wyatt Heritage Properties is uncertain of the program's future.
"Thursday will be the last (properties) to be recognized with the federal government funding. We don't know right now what will happen. Fred and I would like to do a few more properties but the urgency is no longer there," said MacKay.
About 100 properties in the Summerside area have been documented online as a result of the federal funding.
The final 12 Summerside venues being highlighted through the aid of federal funding include St. John's Anglican Church and Trinity United Church. Certificates will be presented at 7 p.m. at the Lefurgey Cultural Centre. Representatives from the city and the province will be in attendance.
Summerside properties to be recognized:
Philip Callbeck House on Cambridge Street
John Calhoun House on Eustane Street
Holman Homestead on Fitzroy Street
George Callbeck House on Notre Dame Street
Colin Milligan House on Notre Dame Street
James Campbell House on Poplar Street
Albert Graves House on Poplar Street
James Gourlie House on Poplar Street
St. John's Anglican Church on South Drive
Trinity United Church on Spring Street
Anglican Rectory on Summer Street
Memorial Square Summer/Spring Street