KENSINGTON – The efforts of the provincial government to designate a Kensington landmark as a heritage building have been opposed by the town’s council.
© Stephen Brun/Journal Pioneer
The province has proposed that the Government of Canada building on Victoria Street West in Kensington, the home of the town’s post office, be designated as a heritage place. Council is opposing to the move because of restrictions that come along with the designation.
Earlier this year, the Tourism and Culture Department notified town officials that it intends to designate the Government of Canada building on Victoria Street West, which is the home of Kensington’s post office.
In September, council asked CAO Geoff Baker to draft a notice of objection to the proposal.
Baker said the heritage designation could impose restrictions aimed at protecting the character of the building, which could present future problems given the post office’s placement at Kensington’s main intersection.
“We, at this point in time, don’t feel it’s appropriate to restrict that building, primarily because of its proximity to the intersection,” he said.
“There might be a necessity at some time in the future to modify the intersection (or) improve the safety of the intersection. We felt it wasn’t prudent to restrict what could be done with the property.”
The Government of Canada building was constructed in 1954, and is noted on the province’s historic places website for its asymmetrical shape, brickwork, and cube-shaped clock.
The post office is owned by the federal government, but Baker doesn’t believe P.E.I.’s heritage places protection board has to clear the designation with the feds.
It’s listed on the province’s website as a “registered heritage place,” meaning it’s not subject to the restrictions that concerned council.
The town filed its objection by the September deadline, but Baker noted that the heritage board could still decide designating the building is appropriate without the support of Kensington council.
“My understanding is… the heritage places board (will) deliberate on any objections they’ve received to make a recommendation to the (Culture) minister as to whether it should be designated or not at this point in time,” said Baker. “The town obviously doesn’t own the building; we just don’t feel at this time that it’s appropriate to restrict what could or could not be done to the property.”